Ann Coulter ticks liberals off.
Which, of course, is why so many conservatives consider her a priceless conservative treasure.
Now she’s at it again in Never Trust a Liberal Over 3 — Especially a Republican, a selection of her columns that illustrate to perfection the sharp mind and deadly, pointed wit that just drives liberals up the wall. Precisely because her missives are so unerringly aimed.
But she has a warning.
Don’t try this in GOP primaries. A point we will get to.
Let’s start with the opening sentence in Coulter’s first chapter, which is well worth the read:
Liberals never give up. Nothing is ever the same until they get their way, much like two-year-olds. That’s why we have to go back every few years and remind everyone that we already had this argument, and liberals lost. There’s a reason our Party’s symbol is the elephant — we never forget — and the Democrats’ is a jackass.
Coulter follows this opening by pointing out that liberals spent the 1970’s insisting “the Earth was going to freeze in two years.” That Hubert Humphrey “said he eat his hat if civil rights laws ever led to racial quotas” — and now liberals call conservatives “‘racist’ for opposing racial quotas.” Reminds that “Teddy Kennedy assured us his immigration bill would not alter the country’s ethnic mix” and that since the Kennedy immigration bill passed (back in 1965) the nation’s ethnicity has changed “from nearly 90 percent white in 1965 to about 63 percent white in 2013.”
I confess as a Reagan White House staffer myself I particularly enjoyed her noting that liberals once “called President Ronald Reagan a dangerous cowboy threatening world peace” but now “they act like he was a good partner with liberals in winning the Cold War.” Yes indeed. The memory is still vivid with shrieks that Reagan was not just a cowboy but a war monger, a murderer and a madman bent on blowing up the world. Now, grudgingly accepting of the political fact Reagan is seen as a great president in one poll after another, liberals simply declare him one of theirs and move on.
Coulter’s point here is an important one:
Most people barely pay attention to what’s happening now, much less two years ago — and much, much less a few decades ago. That’s how the liberal version of history becomes accepted fact. It’s not that history is written by the victors. History is written by the pushy. When one side cares MUCH more about the historical record, there’s not a lot you can do about it. Especially when the pushy have tenure.
This is, of course, why liberals expect to be recognized as the Party of Civil Rights — when in fact a more racist party has never existed in all of American history, over the years being determined supporters of slavery, segregation, lynching, the Klan, racial quotas and now race-based illegal immigration. This is why, with the collapse of the Soviet Union — which the Left believed would never happen — and all the liberal legends featuring martyrs to the Red Scare have in fact been revealed as Soviet spies, the storyline about those martyrs never changes. Liberal martyrs from the Rosenbergs to Alger Hiss continue to be celebrated as just poor, persecuted souls victimized by that mean Joe McCarthy.
Coulter asks who can forget the rewriting of the successful Iraq War as a failure? And to use the topic of the day, the Left demands to be seen as the Pro-Choice Party — while deliberately and decidedly willfully denying health care choice to millions who are losing their health-care plans of choice. All in the cause of appeasing the bureaucratic gods of ObamaCare, not to mention the insatiable desire for control over your life.
All of which is to say that Coulter has a considerable capacity for the political equivalent of 20/20 vision, or perhaps more accurately phrased, the political version of Superman’s X-ray vision. Looking right through the political surface to the political core, with an acute understanding of why what she is seeing is being done in the first place. She understands that when dealing with liberalism and its advocates “facts and evidence are useless.”
Yes. Emphatically if frustratingly so.
This Coulter ability, combined with a sharp wit, is what makes her the perpetual target of liberal wrath. It is stunning if typical to ponder the realization that once upon a time “the former spokesman for the Taliban” (that would be Sayed Rahmatullah Hashmi) matriculated at Yale — while a Coulter appearance on a college campus requires “bomb-sniffing dogs and a lecture hall lined with armed police.” Indeed, the Wall Street Journal reported that a Yale University official called opposition to the presence of Hashmi “retarded” (breaking another politically correct taboo, but another subject, another day.) Suffice to say, this attitude is never expressed by a college official to describe opposition to a Coulter college appearance. In fact, Fordham’s president, Joseph M. McShane, S.J. — finding Coulter invited to his campus by College Republicans — went out of his way to disapprove of Coulter, saying:
To say that I am disappointed with the judgment and maturity of the College Republicans, however, would be a tremendous understatement. There are many people who can speak to the conservative point of view with integrity and conviction, but Ms. Coulter is not among them. Her rhetoric is often hateful and needlessly provocative—more heat than light—and her message is aimed squarely at the darker side of our nature.
Thus a needlessly provocative liberal university president, silent as a church mouse about all manner of provocative liberals (Obama, Hillary hateful and needlessly provocative? Not in liberal land. Bite your tongue!) passes judgment on who — in his judgment — is and is not qualified to speak on conservatism at Fordham.
So what exactly is it that Ann Coulter says that makes her presence on a college campus decidedly more provocative than that of, as she puts it, “a man who was recently defending shooting women in the head for wearing nail polish”? Opposition to the latter seen by a university official as “retarded” — while Coulter is seen as “needlessly provocative”? So much so that armed police must be summoned to her campus speeches, replete with the bomb-sniffing dogs?
Here’s a sampling from this collection of columns.
• On the difference between the treatment by Republicans of Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor investigating allegations of perjury against Cheney staffer Lewis Libby, and Ken Starr, the prosecutor assigned by Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate President Bill Clinton:
If Libby were a Democrat, we would know the sexual proclivities of everyone in Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s office, Fitzgerald would be portrayed as a “stalker,” Tim Russert’s cat would be dead, and the public would know about every toupee at MSNBC.
• On Democrats’ refusal to even consider budget cuts for government-funded Planned Parenthood:
Now we know: Democrats absolutely will not cross the abortion ladies.
Blue-collar workers don’t like abortion? Democrats say, “Oh well.”
Abortion disproportionately targets black babies? Democrats say “Who cares?”
A majority of women dislike abortion? Democrats say, “Yes, but we’re going to lie about that.”
The only members of their base the Democrats will never, ever cross are government workers and abortion-crazed feminists.
• The headline on a Coulter column on Anthony Weiner: “Weiner’s Penis Headed to Small Claims Court”
• On the tolerance of liberals, as expressed in a New York Times profile of Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. A Kagan aunt was quoted as saying of the discussions at the family dinner table: “There was thinking, always thinking. Nothing was sacrosanct.” To which Coulter replied:
“Really? Nothing was sacrosanct? Because in my experience, on a scale of 1 to infinity, the range of acceptable opinion among New York liberals goes to 1.001
How would the following remarks fare at a dinner table on the Upper West Side where “nothing was sacrosanct”?
–“Hey, maybe that Joe McCarthy was on to something.”
–“What would prayer in schools really hurt?”
—“How do we know gays are born that way?”
—“Is it possible that union demands have gone too far?”
—“Does it make sense to have three recycling bins in these microscopic Manhattan apartments.”
—“Say, has anyone read Charles Murray’s latest book?”
Those comments, considered “conversation starters” in most of the country, would get you banned from polite society in New York. And unless you want the whole room slowly backing away from you, also avoid: “May I smoke?,” “Merry Christmas,” and “I heard it on Fox News.”
This is Ann Coulter at her best. Sharp, pointed, funny — and understanding of exactly what liberalism is really about.
Never Trust a Liberal’s column collection moves from one liberal target to another, be it policy or personality. Having been dished, Coulter is fearless in dishing back, and notably that includes the media figures of the day. In a chapter titled “Media: Does Barack Obama Have Nude Polaroids of Everyone in the Mainstream Media?”
Coulter makes the often-made point that the “one thing all veteran journalists agree on — besides how dreamy Obama is — is their contempt for the blogs. It frustrates them that people can get the news on their own now.” Precisely. The difference between Coulter and some others on this issue is her willingness to take names — and bluntly put them out there. She mocks MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer, Touré, and Dylan Ratigan for “zooming in on a rifle held by one (Tea Party) protester” at a rally, accusing the protestor of anti-Obama racism while — oddly — obscuring his face.
Says Coulter, her sarcasm leaping off the page:
Then people went online and saw the exact same photo in a wide-shot — and the armed man turned out to be an African-American gun-rights supporter.
Dan Rather is the subject of a piece titled “Dan Rather: Fairly Unbalanced,” Walter Cronkite is “president of the Ho Chi Minh Admiration Society.” “Is there an adult on the editorial board of Newsweek?” she asks after the magazine rushed to run a shaky story saying Americans were busy flushing a Quran at Guantanamo — comparing that to the refusal of the magazine to run the famous Michael Isikoff story revealing President Clinton’s affair with an intern named Monica Lewinsky?
No matter how I look at it, I can’t grasp the editorial judgment that requires killing Isikoff’s stories about a sitting president molesting the help and obstructing justice, while rushing to print with Isikoff’s not particularly credible story about Americans desecrating a Quran at Guantanamo.
Keith Olbermann, the ex-MSNBC, Current TV host who has managed the trick of upsetting two sets of liberal bosses and departing, is taken to task for his “constantly lying about his nonexistent ‘Ivy League’ education.” Olbermann, it turns out, would constantly say he went to Cornell and refer to his “Ivy League education.” Leave it to Coulter to note that there are two Cornells — the Ivy League Cornell and the Cornell that is a state College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and that Olbermann “didn’t go to the Ivy League Cornell; he went to the Old MacDonald Cornell.”
On she goes merrily targeting Vanity Fair’s Michael Gross and a laughably snooty hit piece on former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. When Gross gripes that no one in Alaska will talk to him about Palin, Coulter mocks the dripping elitism on display this way:
Why wouldn’t people talk to him. It’s me — Michael Gross from Manhattan! Everyone in Alaska should want to hang with me! The fact that they don’t is evidence of a conspiracy…(and the fact that Alaskans just may not be) in awe of Manhattan or Vanity Fair. In other words, maybe Alaska is remarkably like other places.
While all of these controversial Coulter columns are sure to raise liberal hackles all over again, there is one area where Coulter has ventured forth that is inevitably drawing her into an intra-mural conservative debate.
She correctly notes that the GOP’s latest losing streak was caused not by the Iraq War but by “President Bush betraying conservatives” with his domestic spending. “The conservative base turned against Bush for his years of big spending, followed by pushing amnesty for illegal aliens, after getting reelected in 2004 with a Republican House and Senate.”
We would add here that in our view the entire “compassionate conservative” business was an abject political failure, resulting not only in the Bush skin-of-the-Supreme Court 2000 victory but the 2004 re-election victory with a hundred thousand votes in Ohio. Reaganesque these election wins were not.
The argument that gets a rise from some conservatives is Coulter’s point expressed thusly, after citing the failed Senate candidacies of Missouri’s Todd Akin, Indiana’s Richard Mourdock, Nevada’s Sharon Angle and Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell:
There are no prizes in politics for caring the most, only for scoring the most. Devotion to the causes isn’t better than having a modicum of political savvy. If we’re serious about improving the country, we need candidates to be brutally honest about their own appeal. That’s if they really care about the team. If they just want to score a few points while their team loses, then we need to call in Luca Brasi.
This isn’t a game. We aren’t picking basketball brackets. Bad things happen when Republicans lose elections and Democrats have veto-proof majorities.
After the Goldwater debacle in 1964, we got the full flowering of Lyndon Johnson’s pernicious Great Society programs, responsible for destroying the black family. (And not doing a half-bad job with white families these days, either.) We got Teddy Kennedy’s immigration law banning European immigrants and replacing them with a million immigrants a year from the Third World….
Elections matter. We’re trying to make the country a better place. But if our candidates don’t win, we can’t do that. As the rest of this book shows, life is a horror when liberals are running things.
Well….yes. But also….no.
Coulter zeroes in on the disastrous Todd Akin candidacy — not for his conservatism but his stupidity in expressing himself. We agreed in the day and thought Mr. Akin should vamoose immediately or he would certainly lose a very winnable Missouri Senate seat. Akin stayed — and predictably lost. Coulter also believes conservative candidates with “all the passion” but “none of the discipline” wind up doing damage to the conservative cause, well aside from letting liberals loose in Washington’s top jobs. The latter is indeed “always a mistake” as Coulter suggests, but she highlights another concern as well. That would be that “the worst thing about these losses is that they allow the media to roll out the old chestnut about social issues being death for Republicans.” Coulter correctly notes “that claim is disproved by all recent political history.”
She has a point here. But to speak up for Christine O’Donnell — the Republican Party of Delaware had long exposure to her opponent, ex-governor and sitting congressman Mike Castle. Castle simply didn’t have the votes. And he didn’t have them, we would suggest here, because he spent his time in office sidling up to such as the SEIU and any number of liberal causes. To use Coulter’s thinking, Delaware Republicans decided they would rather lose with a genuinely conservative O’Donnell rather than win with a Republican who would vote like a liberal.
Her Goldwater point is something I would disagree with as well. In retrospect it seems hard to deny that the real Goldwater accomplishment was to lift control of the GOP from the tight clutches of the East Coast GOP Establishment. In 1964 there was little chance the nation was going to choose a fourth president in as many years. The emotional shock of JFK’s assassination was still more than palpable, and nominating liberal Republicans like New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller or Pennsylvania Governor Bill Scranton or former Vietnam Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge was not going to change this. The Goldwater nomination not only launched the political career of Ronald Reagan, it shifted control of the GOP to the rapidly growing South and West, laying the foundation for the presidencies of Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes. The serious rise to power of the conservative movement had begun.
The question that Coulter is posing here is not new — but it is interesting that it is she who is asking it again. It has taken many forms over the years. Taft versus Eisenhower in the 1952 GOP presidential race. Goldwater versus Rockefeller and Scranton and Lodge in the 1964 GOP primaries. John Lindsay versus Bill Buckley in New York City’s 1965 mayor’s race and Charles Goodell versus Jim Buckley in New York’s 1970 Senate race. There was Reagan versus Ford in 1976, and four years later Reagan versus George H.W. Bush. Not to mention all manner of other races — Arlen Specter and Pat Toomey comes to mind.
Always there is the charge that the conservative can’t win. Only sometimes is it true.
The real question at this point in history, it would seem, is avoiding candidates who will campaign as conservatives and then spend their time in office doing exactly what Coulter herself accuses George W. Bush of doing — acting like a dime store New Dealer once in office. With $17 trillion in debt and some $90 trillion in unfunded liabilities hovering overhead, electing “winning” candidates who quickly proceed to further the opposition has taken on an increasing sensitivity inside the base.
This is an old conversation, and if we’re to have it again Coulter is precisely the person to begin that conversation.
Never Trust a Liberal Over 3 is a reminder of exactly why Ann Coulter is so popular with conservatives. Sharp, witty — and deeply understanding of liberalism. It’s hypocrisies, pretenses, silliness — and deadly results.
“We love him for the enemies he has made” said a Democrat of the day in nominating Grover Cleveland for the presidency.
Ann Coulter looks…ahhhh…nothing like Grover Cleveland.
But it’s safe to say that she is popular with many conservatives precisely because of the enemies she has made.
When we’ve reached the point that a Taliban spokesman is more acceptable at Yale than Ann Coulter is at Fordham, there is no need to wonder why her popularity.
But if you do wonder, reading Ann Coulter’s Never Trust a Liberal Over 3–Especially a Republican will remind.
Quickly, pointedly, thoughtfully — and with laughter.