Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ann Coulter: More than Ad Hominems

I have blogged on Ann Coulter before as a plea to fellow conservatives to abandon her outright. As she hasn't tread over the line before, now she is calling for the murder of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.
When a guest on Good Morning America urges the murder of one of our leading presidential candidates, somebody has exceeded the limit. A person who does that needs to be, should be, ought to be, must be kicked off the air permanently.
Edwards, though I disagree with him on numerous fronts, should not be the target of such attacks, nor his family. What exacerbates these attacks is that these come from a self-proclaimed, Bible-believing, Christian lady. Coulter has referred to Edwards as a "faggot" and mocked the death of his son in other venues. It is one thing to take an opponent to task for holding views differing from your own, but this is shameful and tasteless, beyond ad hominems.

What is even more amazing is this comes from someone who has also stated publicly in the past, "Christ died for my sins and nothing else matters." "I'm a Christian first, a mean-spirited, bigoted conservative second, and don't you ever forget it." "Christianity fuels everything I write."

However, Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards called her on the carpet. Courteous, clearly displaying restraint and civility, Mrs. Edwards calmly requested, addressing host Chris Matthews:
I'm calling you … in the south when we -- when someone does something that displeases us, we wanna ask them politely to stop doing it. Uh - I'd like to ask Ann Coulter -- if she wants to debate on issues, on positions -- we certainly disagree with nearly everything she said on your show today -- um but uh it's quite another matter for these personal attacks that the things she has said over the years not just about John but about other candidates -- it lowers our political dialogue precisely at the time that we need to raise it. So I want to use the opportunity … to ask her politely stop the personal attacks.
But as is her usual style, she played it off as a joke. This is the type of joke that a playground bully plays and then nasally responds, "Sorry Ms. Crabapple." The joke should be on her--and she should be removed from network broadcasting.


Steve Sensenig said...

Very well said, Tony. I can't figure out why Coulter's comments are any better than Don Imus's comments.

In fact, I would daresay that they are far worse than what he got fired for (and I agreed with his firing).

Who are her sponsors or funders?

Tony said...

Ann once had a voice for political commentary. She is well-educated, was an able lawyer, and worked for several high-brow media outlets, even CNN and MSNBC.

Nevertheless, she became a litigator for the Center for Individual Rights in D.C. and discovered how much she can make with acerbic political commentary, defending civil rights and free expression cases.

Plus, she is a member of the National Speaker's Guild and she makes up to 50K per engagement.

Yes, mammon is an able taskmaster.

Luke said...

Though I do not endorse either Ann Coulter or what she says, I believe it is important that her quote be understood within its context. We do demand that for Biblical exegesis do we not. I am adding a link here so that you may begin your search for the entire context of her quote but I find it amazing that the video you linked to only showed just that small snippet.

If you copy and paste, it ought to work.

Tony said...


Thanks for pointing me to that news article and for your concern about "putting things in context." I followed the link and I found that it did nothing to help Coulter's case.

This post is very much in context. Ann Coulter is a deplorable lady. First, as a proclaimed Christian, why even joke about something like that? Her insinuation that Edwards be murdered was thinly veiled in humor, especially given her past personal attacks against the Edwards family.

If she didn't mean it, why not any remorse? Why no retraction or public apology to the Edwards family? Why the refusal to talk civilly with Mrs. Edwards when she called in to Chris Matthews' show?

I am all for making allowances for occasionally talking out of turn but joking about someone's murder is beyond the limit, and even more so the case if someone proclaims over and over she is Christian. Should we not expect better than that out of someone who says they support and defend "our" views in the public square? She can make her points and she is educated enough to speak without such as this.

She also said in a public venue that John Edwards should have a bumper sticker on his car that says, "Ask me about my dead son." She also has been recorded mocking the 9/11 widows as well. I don't know that exact quote off the top of my head, but will be glad to provide that information if you would like it.

I think everyone should be allowed a modicum of grace and we often make verbal gaffes from time to time. Ann's consistency with such vitriolic rhetoric leaves her quote dead in its context, as mocking and reviling her opposition in a deplorable, despicable way.

My apologies for my disagreement, brother, but just because she says she is part of the religious right does not make her that way or easily defendable.

Luke said...

I whole-heartedly agree that just because she claims to be part of the religious right does not make her easily defendable or even religious OR right. I even agree that a Christian should not be making such statements that she did even when it is because someone else had already done so. We all know that two wrongs don't make a right. Three lefts do put you in the "right" direction though.:)

Now, back to the issue. The initial interview with Ann had addressed her labeling of Edwards in 2004 as a "faggot". I already agree with you that she should not have said that. But in the present interview, when that issue was brought up again, she was making a jab at Bill Mahr when he was given a free pass for saying Cheney should have been killed by terrorists. Her point was that it was more acceptable to make a horrible comment about the VP than to make a horrible comment about a candidate. In other words, Bill Mahr was basically ignored when he wished Cheney had been killed but Coulter was pounced on when she labled Edwards the "F" word.

Again, I in no way believe 2 wrongs make a right and even if others get away with "worse", it still does not give Ann a free pass, especially because, though not limited to the fact, she claims the title Christian.

The first thing all of this does reveal my brother is this. Our Nation is truly in need of the regenerating power of Christ.

The second thing I would think is this. Christians are adopting the values of their culture rather than the Scripture.

The third thing. We have a long way to go in being able to learn to discuss volatile issues without resorting to ad hominem abusive attacks.

The fourth thing. Judgment needs to begin with the house of God in blogdom before we can ever expect the world to address its failures. How often do we visit blogs where "preacher-boys" use almost the same vitriol to address each other.

I'll repeat that I agree with you that what Ann said was unchristian, needless and lacking character. But I think its point was much deeper than the face value of what she said.

Have a blessed evening.


Streak said...

I won't excuse Maher, but he was not ignored. There was a lot of criticism at the time.

And perhaps I am not a good judge of conservative Christianity any more, but I haven't seen Ann Coulter come close to acting like a person of faith. Nothing even close. But then again, I found her in common company when she did two days on the Dobson radio program and received nothing but praise from the good doctor.

Tony, you were right in your original post. She is smart enough to know better and probably does all of this just to sell books. There is nothing Christian about her.

Tony said...


From the close of your comment it sounds as if you may not be back, but I'll respond.

I agree with your list of four things that need to be tended to. And for the record, I completely understand the context of her comments.

As a matter of fact, I have blogged on Bill Maher getting a pass before, this post in regards to some hateful remarks about Falwell, so Maher has not gone ignored, at least not around here. I also saw the show where Barney Frank made the statement about Cheney.

So, that being said, Maher is not a man of faith. Ann claims to be. She should be held (and hold herself) to a higher standard and she should take responsibility for her words.

I hope that you have received no vitriol out of me here, being only a preacher-boy myself. I appreciate your openness to discuss this.

Luke said...

No vitriol at all. In fact, I have enjoyed our brief exchange. I also agree that Christians, even self-professing, ought to be held and hold themselves to a higher standard. And I still wish you a peace filled evening.

And since my evening is about to grow very busy, it will probably be my last visit for the day. But there is always tomorrow, Lord willing.