Over at The New Republic, Ben Adler had this to say about Ann Coutler's C-PAC performance:
The intra-liberal squabbles over Ann Coulter are back. Coulter, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 2, 2007 (after being given a warm introduction by GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney) said, "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot.'" Her comment was greeted with laughter from the crowd. [Italics added].
He then argues that liberals should use Coulter to advance the liberal cause by claiming that most conservatives embrace her nastiness. Adler's contention that most conservatives agree with Coulter's nutty statements hinges on the C-PAC reaction, as evidenced from this later passage:
Is this fair? Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan obviously don't speak for all liberals, so why should we ascribe collective blame over Coulter? But it's not as if Coulter (or Moore) is some fringe wingnut twisting in the wind. Her homophobic line about Edwards took place at CPAC, a major movement conference--and it got laughs and applause. So, obviously, her views have a significant constituency on the right. In that way, it's also fair to infer from Moore's hatred for President Bush that many liberals hate Bush, too. [Italics added].
However, listen to actual C-PAC reaction, as shown here. Sounds like there are a lot more gasps and other uneasy reactions than there are laughs. For comparison, listen to other parts of Coutler's speech that do get big laughs.
If Adler wants to justify using Coulter brush to tar all conservatives, he needs to come up with a better argument.
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