Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This is definitely not going to boost my stock with the liberals, but with all the linking to Ezra lately I need to prop up my bona fides on the right. Ann at CPAC, courtesy of Freedom's Lighthouse, more a stand-up routine than punditry. As I have long argued, she is controversial more because she blurs lines between categories than for the things she says.
The first half and the Q&A are the best bits.
I can't stand that woman.
She's the worst of the sort who will say anything, just to piss people off, for attention and to sell books.
If you're 12 and you talk about somebody's "faggoty haircut", you're being immature. I can't think of a reason for a grownup to behave like this unless they're an idiot, or desperately clawing for attention. And she's certainly not an idiot.
She's like the Jerry Springer of political commentary. How could intelligent people take her seriously? Man.
Ann Coulter is all shtick -- it's Don Rickles for the mean-spirited elements of the Right -- it's so "2002." We all have to make a living, I suppose. But there's a subtext to her act at CPAC 2010 which is relevant to our current politics: She appeals to the "Bush-Cheney" element that came to dominate the Republican party. I suspect there's a large overlap with the readership here.
The Coulter Q&A had an interesting question which went to the heart of the big issue at CPAC 2010: "Are libertarians conservative?" Coulter didn't really answer it.
Republicans can win back the House in November -- and maybe even the Senate -- without having to answer this question. They just need to run against Nancy-Harry-Barney-Henry-etc. Obama still has high personal popularity, but the air is leaking out of this balloon. If Obama goes full retard and "reconciles" Healthcare, he'll pop this balloon and become a vulnerable target too.
But the Republicans do need to answer "Are libertarians conservative?" by 2012. I'd phrase this question differently ... see below.
Ron Paul is a nutty big "L" libertarian, but managed to win the straw poll at CPAC 2010. I'm sure this really pissed off Romney, who hadn't included that possibility in his Monte Carlo simulations.
"... and a child shall lead them." I don't watch much TV news, if you don't count The Daily Show ... so I don't know from Glen Beck. But I watched a replay of his CPAC speech. Whether you liked it or not, it was a bold, honest and politically provocative performance. He essentially said that "Bush-Cheney element" of the Party needs a 12-step program -- "just sucking less than the other side" isn't good enough. Beck strikes me as being child-like sincere -- it's not an act. There was some a-hole that used to post here that used to rant about the same things as Beck -- that the "Bush-Cheney" element of the Republican party irresponsibly led us into the wilderness.
Republicans can't claim credit for VA-NJ-MA -- especially not "Conservative" Republicans, who f*ucked up NY-23. Independents are the reason for VA-NJ-MA .... they went 2:1 for the insurgent.
Coulter appeals to those who still think our biggest issues are abortion, pot and terror -- she left out gay marriage, given Lynn Cheney being on the CPAC podium. There's a much bigger portion of the US voters -- including most independents -- who think that run-away government is our biggest problem. "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
"Are libertarians conservative?" "Conservative" doesn't work as a label anymore. "Bush-Cheney" Republicans are actually Big Statists and often reactionary.
By 2012, we'll need a radical answer to how to get our fiscal house in order -- or one will be forced upon us. Unemployment will be a huge issue. But cutting our military by as much as 50%, and having government exit healthcare may be necessary, lest we go Banana Republic. Coulter's shtick should be a sideshow ... Beck's clown act should be center stage.
Another comment thread wandered into whether Coulter's pushing a possibly-false quote:
I was questioned why I made a big deal out of it. Same answer as here: when conservatives stop relying on her, I'll stop examining her reliability.
Ugarte: You despise me, don't you? Rick: If I gave you any thought I probably would.
I exaggerate. But if she does have intelligent observations on some matters, the surrounding "shtick," as described above makes it hard to take her seriously - as she said, it's a gig, after all.
We're putting in 150 body scanners at various airports using $25 million of Stimulus money -- starting with Boston's Logan next week. We'd be better off dropping $25 million from helicopters. Now we have to pay for people to operate these things -- and deal with the pressure to put them at the airport in East Buttfuck, Iowa too. This won't make us an iota safer -- it'll just make ordinary travelers feel that much smaller. Terrorists can always come up with a work around -- it's not the particular method they use that's the risk.
I tripped over the following:
"January 5, 2010
Since the attempted bombing of a US airliner on Christmas Day, former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff has given dozens of media interviews touting the need for the federal government to buy more full-body scanners for airports.
What he has made little mention of is that the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines. Chertoff disclosed the relationship on a CNN program Wednesday, in response to a question.
Chertoff’s advocacy for the technology dates to his time in the Bush administration. In 2005, Homeland Security ordered the government’s first batch of the scanners – five from California-based Rapiscan Systems. Rapiscan is one of only two companies that make full-body scanners in accordance with current contract specifications required by the federal government."
The looming fight is between those who get government checks and those who pay for them. This cleavage doesn't necessarily map to the supposed divide between Republicans and Democrats.
Back on point -- too many of our political pundits are just silly shills that obsure the truth - Ann Coulter included.
Coulter is hilarious, bright and entertaining. She drives liberals insane (just look at their dysfunctional reaction on the web and attempts to assault her at public engagements).
She's a paid commenter in the public arena. Politicians tend to do quite a few things that are hypocritical, self-serving and ridiculous. As long as there are people like Coulter around, they will pay for it. That's a good thing.
If you want MY version of what's truly offensive (and you probably don't, but I'll tell you anyway)...it's MSNBC, with it's foul mouthed and unfunny rants trying to masquerade as news and journalism.
I see Brian is still trying to make a big case over Coulter referring to the famous quote about dismantling our intelligence service "brick by brick". I would take him more seriously if that were not exactly what is happening....and/or...if ANYBODY in the world EVER questioned the veracity of the quote besides Brian!!!
I think Coulter's kind of interesting. She's clearly smart, but long ago stopped trying to do anything intellectually and just went for the cat-scratch commentary. A wingnut version of Maureen Dowd, both with poisonous claws but they can't or don't dig very deep.
Dana Perino is a real contrast to Coulter and Palin. Perino is just as evil, maybe even worse, and just as attractive, but she goes for the professional approach as pushes her lies, without trying to play for the sexual angle of showing off legs etc.
Coulter's aging out of that demographic, so it'll be interesting how she tries to manipulate her public image.
I see Brian is still trying to make a big case over Coulter referring to the famous quote about dismantling our intelligence service "brick by brick"
There are at least four hard copy references to it, according to Google Books. But Ann Coulter is still a liar , perhaps because she didn't ask Brian's permission. Why didn't Brian accuse the authors of those books of lying, instead of Ann?
Congrats to Gimme - I didn't think of Google Books. No prize yet though. There are four books listed.
First one - can't see the reference, so don't know how good it is.
Second one - tossed off one-liner reference, different date than used by the blowhards (1980), no citation for source.
Third - author David Horowitz, a huge liar. OTOH, footnote 79 looks like a good citation to Cal Thomas in LATimes in 1991. Best lead I've seen so far, but can't find the column in the LATimes archive.
Fourth - can't read the reference, so no idea what it says.