In Praise Of Ann Coulter
Lately nothing has amused me more in the blogosphere than liberal whining about Ann Coulter. Coulter is not really my cup of tea - I think the ad hominem attack, at which she excels, is a devastatingly effective way to entertain people, but is not very good at persuasion on a particular topic. Mark Steyn is a far better combination of substance and snark in my opinion.
I am happy Coulter is around though, because finally the Left is being given a dose of their own medicine. Ever since the 60's, the Left has made a fetish of name-calling, ridicule and character assassination in the name of their 'higher good', whatever that is, as the preferred way to 'debate'.
The comments at Crooked Timber on this are just precious - one commenter calls for more pies and more questions about sodomy as the correct response to Ann Coulter, saying "this is very effective polemics." Talk about misreading the room. This is precisely what animates Coulter and those that invite her. Every pie thrown at Coulter is probably good for another 10,000 books sold.
The Left hates Coulter for calling them on their traitorous ways. They hate her for trying to rehabilitate Joe McCarthy, which for the Left is just beyond the pale. The Left clings to McCarthyism as their Shoah, their Holocaust, their Killing Fields. It doesn't matter that no one actually died because of McCarthyism, the moral equivalance (in their eyes) is nonetheless established. Coulter demolishes this myth, and they hate her for it. And of course since Coulter represents the advanced guard of the proto-fascist right, probably any actions up to and including assassinating Coulter will probably receive clucking approval at Daily Kos.
How should they handle Coulter? Ignore her. This is impossible for the vein-popping Left of course, she is irresistable, both to the Right and Left, so be prepared for Coulterisms for a long time to come.
Thanks to Juan Non-Volokh for bringing this to our attention.