March 07, 2007

Everybody’s talking about Ann Coulter’s latest attention-getting stunt “€“ she’s better at that than Paris Hilton, albeit less talented. What gets me, however, is that Coulter is supposed to be a wit, but Dorothy Parker she ain”€™t. What she said was this:

“It turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I’m kind of at an impasse—I can’t really talk about Edwards.”

Ms. Coulter needs to go into rehab for her Tourette’s Syndrome, that much is clear, but what, exactly, is the source of her reputation for sarcasm? Real sarcasm is all about riffing off a kernel of truth and exaggerating or burlesquing it to the nth degree. But there is not the tiniest such kernel in Coulter’s outburst, unless she has discovered “€“ via her other persona as a well-known fag hag “€“ some inside information that John Edwards”€™ wife and children will be quite surprised to hear.

She has certainly alienated many of her former supporters, which I suppose is one good thing that comes of all this, but what a sad commentary on the state of the ostensibly conservative movement that she was even invited to speak at CPAC, the famed annual gathering of the right-wing tribe. I have to admit that I haven”€™t read any of her rather, uh, provocatively titled volumes of prose, but I did have a copy of Slander which I put on the shelf perilously close to Russell Kirk’s

The Conservative Mind”€>> The Conservative Mind and a collection of Frank S. Meyer’s culled from the pages of the old National Review.  I chucked it months ago. This seems a likely metaphor for Ms. Coulter’s future career path. Or am I overestimating what passes for the conservative movement these days?

If I were Coulter or part of her dwindling band of defenders, I would check my gaydar and rein in the “€œfaggot”€ talk. Because if it comes down to “€œouting”€ prominent partisan figures on both sides of the aisle, the Republican casualty count is going to be quite high.

Coulter’s foul-mouthed antics remind me of Lyndon LaRouche who blends sexual innuendo with political polemics to produce such masterpieces as “€œThe Sexual Impotence of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party,”€ and, more lately, “€œThe Little Lords of the Unzipped Flies.”€ Coulter’s tone apes LaRouche at his wackiest “€“ and this from one of the best-selling authors of the neoconized Right, the warrior goddess of undiluted Bushite orthodoxy.  A more fitting symbol of the Right’s sad degeneration would be hard to imagine.


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