Apologizing for Ann Coulter

Edwards campaign manager David Bonior responds, via email:

Did you hear about Anne Coulter's speech this afternoon attacking John? A friend just forwarded me the video and it's one of the worst moments in American politics I've seen.

I can't bring myself to even repeat her comments. Her shameless display of bigotry is so outrageous you actually have to see for yourself to believe it.

This is just a taste of the filth that the right-wing machine is gearing up to throw at us. And now that it's begun, we have a choice: Do we sit back, or do we fight back?

I say we fight. Help us raise $100,000 in "Coulter Cash" this week to show every would-be Republican mouthpiece that their bigoted attacks will not intimidate this campaign.

Bigotry seems to me a strange choice. Is this really what's at issue here the disparaging of someone for being homosexual? Coulter probably would have called him a "salamander-head" or "potato-face" if it would have riled up the crowd as well. RedState's Mike Krempasky kindly stops by MyDD to challenge the idea that this strain of conservativism is a monolithic herd -- he says of Coulter, "what a waste of breath," and points to a post he made some ninth months ago where he called her "despicable." Hot Air's Bryan Preston says Coulter was over the line, belittling "faggot" as this year's "raghead." And over at the Corner, Kathryn Jean Lopez says that this is just Ann Coulter being Ann Coulter.

Precisely! The Ann Coulter that showed up CPAC was a known-quantity ordered up to entertain the troops. She's exactly who might appeal to the young CPAC-goer in 2007.

There's an opportunity here to move away from this language of "denouncing" and everyone running around after everyone else to say they're sorry. Back in 1980, Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy with a "states' rights" speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi -- where three civil rights workers had been killed in 1964. Why? One reading is that Reagan was personally so deeply racist that he would celebrate the murders of those working for racial justice. Seems more likely to me his motivation was more likely this -- he just thought it would work. It would propel his campaign and get him votes.

Was it important that Reagan apologize? Or was it a chance to spotlight just what some people are willing to do to win an election?

Update [2007-3-3 11:35:31 by Nancy Scola]: I attributed a Hot Air post to Michelle Malkin when it was in fact the work of her editor Bryan Preston. I regret the error.

Update [2007-3-3 12:55:50 by Jerome Armstrong]: Mitt Romney and Ann Coulter at CPAC

Ann Coulter Is Their Problem

It makes a whole lot of sense that Mitt Romney would sing the praises of Ann Coulter. Romney is clearly wants to prove he's credible to a certain strain of conservativism in which Coulter is something of a rock star. She's the entertainment at CPAC -- an event that a conservative DC media guy would call the 'Republicans YearlyKos' -- for a reason. There may be an effort in some circles to paint Coulter as some sort of outlier, but in actual fact she's a node on a network that forms the backbone of American conservativism. I just whipped this up, but consider how at all starts to fit together.

Coulter's first book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton, was published by Regnery, a D.C. based conservative publishing house. Top Regnery authors include Michelle Malkin, former RNC chair Haley Barbour, and Newt Gingrich. Eagle Publishing is Regnery's parent company. Eagle also owns Human Events, a conservative newspaper that's been kicking around in 1944. It was reportedly Ronald Reagan's favorite read. Of Human Events top selling points is that it's "the periodical in which the peerless Ann Coulter, author of the smash bestseller, Godless, drives multicultural defeatists up the wall." As of two months ago, Eagle also now owns RedState, a website created in in sort of the reverse image of Daily Kos. Eagle Publishing and its various properties share other talent. Erick Erickson, for example, is both the CEO of RedState and a featured writer for Human Events. Ben Domenech helped to run RedState and was also an editor at Regnery.

Then there's Coulter's weekly column, which runs on Townhall.com. Townhall.com was launched by the Heritage Foundation, which is, of course, conservatism's most prominent and respected think tank. So on and so forth. This is tip of the iceberg stuff, as anyone who has studied the conservative web knows.

Ann Coulter may well now be a rogue elephant -- you know, the ones who are shunned for their anti-social behavior and eventually lose their minds? But she comes, no doubt, from this conservative herd.

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