Thursday, June 27, 2002

Oh, it's fine, fine day when I can read articles like Charles Taylor's snappy When Right-Wing Fembots Attack at Taylor's got far more chops and research than I to substantiate his feelings about Coulter's "work," so I've just collected some choice bits below. But I implore you to go read the whole article.

From When right-wing fembots attack at

The views of the CFs (conservative fembots) emulsify like a perfect mayonnaise, but what they share apart from ideological consistency is a uniformity of attitude. I don't know the social background of Coulter, Ingraham, Conway or Pinto, but I've encountered their type before. They are the essence of the white, privileged kids at the small New England college I attended during the conservative heyday of the early Reagan years. What characterized those kids and what characterizes the CFs is that they seem unaware that not everyone shares their privileged existence, or seem to believe that anyone who doesn't has only themselves to blame. It's a small world, after all, and the CFs are absolutely secure about their place in it and the rightness of their views.

Nobody does smug like Ann Coulter. Like the other CF sorority gals, she is always ready to flash a look of incredulity at anyone stupid enough to hold beliefs different from her own. It's a look of self-satisfied disdain, and she's got it down as perfect as Edgar Kennedy's slow burn. For all of her jibes at the snobbishness of liberals who patronize the people they purport to be championing -- and she is often quite right about that -- Coulter doesn't project a sense that she is speaking for anyone beyond her little clique.

"Slander" is not an argument for balance in the media or for civility in political discourse, even though it pretends to be. "Instead of actual debate about ideas and issues with real consequences," Coulter fumes, "the country is trapped in a political discourse that increasingly resembles professional wrestling." If you can read that sentence coming from the Chynna of the far right and not wet your pants with laughter, you've got more control than I do.

Getting mad at Coulter is exactly the reaction she sets out to provoke. Debating her on her "ideas" does about as much good as kicking a retarded puppy. She has no ideas and she's not a thinker. Here are a few of the plums awaiting any Little Jack Horner who sticks his thumb into "Slander":

* The "religious right" is a nonexistent creation of liberal paranoia.

* There was no conflict of interest when Fox News allowed Bush's cousin to call election night results.

* Rush Limbaugh's epithet "feminazis" is accurate because it refers only to the women who prefer abortion over childbirth.

* Television, newspapers, and magazines can inflict liberals on the public because, unlike radio, books and the Internet, they don't operate in the free market.

* "Liberals don't believe there is such a thing as 'fact' or 'truth'."

We all know that liberals hate Ann Coulter and her sisters. But what about conservatives? Do they really want to be represented by this nonthought, this conscious shunning of history? There's no reason conservatives shouldn't be as susceptible to media glitz as everyone else. So it's no surprise and no sin that the notion of young, glammed-up women touting conservative ideology holds some appeal for them. But the smugness and conspicuous lack of experience and seasoning in these telebimbos should give conservatives pause. Coulter and her brood could benefit from a little conservative ideology themselves. Arguing with them is like paying attention to disobedient children. They should be treated like spoiled brats who mouth off. Put them over the knee, paddle their fannies, tell them to wipe that smirk off their face and to speak up only when they've learned something about the world.

One note - in college, I dated one of those privileged, white, conservative girls who worked hard to become President of NYU's Young Republican Club. She believed in a somewhat more liberal - dare I say Mayor Lindsey-style - of Republicanism. After a few weeks of her attempting to steer the group to the middle of the road, the rest of the Young Republican Club voted to impeach and replace her. I laughed and laughed. She fumed.

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