"I do know that, first, you have to get mad." -- Howard Beale in "Network"
I recently mentioned Ann Coulter in a diary entry and was surprised to get some comments back saying things like "I cringe when she opens her mouth" and "she comes across as shrill and fighting for the sake of fighting." Let me address that and come to the defense of Ann Coulter, who I think is effective BECAUSE she's a firebrand.
I listen to Lefty talk radio periodically, for the same reason that the Allies in World War II monitored Tokyo Rose and Lord Haw-Haw: It's good to know what the enemy is thinking. Here are some things I've heard recently on the Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes and Ed Shultz radio shows. This is by no means a "greatest hits" list, this is just random stuff that I wrote down over a few hours:
Speaker of the House John Boehner is a drunk.
John Boehner's last name is pronounced "Boner."
America is a "broken twisted system that needs to be righted." (I don't think Randi Rhodes meant "right" in the political sense.)
Sean Hannity is "a liar ... the worst excuse for a journalist ever."
Author Jonah Goldberg is "that ugly little kid."
Blacks are not "given the same voting rights" as white people in today's America.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a "racist judge" and is "not afraid to be a racist."
The United States is "an oligarchy headed for fascism"
Republican judges are "neocon political hacks."
States like Mississippi are "dolts" who need "the adults" in the Federal government as overseers.
This is par for the course on the Left. This is the stuff of common conversation. Republicans and conservatives are spoken of (loudly) as racist bigoted evil top-hat wearing oligarchs who just want to get women barefoot and pregnant (preferably as teenagers), deny them abortions and send blacks out to pick cotton so the Republicans can... I don't know, deny them voting rights and health coverage or something. And if you disagree with that, you're a racist bigoted evil oligarch.
As I said, this is the stuff of everyday conversation on the Left. This is how they talk about us. These things are their background music, their "wallpaper." Then we wonder why we're losing. We have the emotional "volume" on 3, they have it on 11. The country is being dragged to the Left by the loudest voices. The herd does not follow logic, it follows sound, volume, emotion. That's why I think we need Ann Coulter, and more like her.
A couple of items ripped from the recent headlines, just to amplify the point:
The Democratic Party spokesperson (!), Graeme Zielinski, quickly apologized, but the amazing thing is that he still has his job.
Emory University's president, on the other hand, might lose HIS job over an innocuous and completely correct analysis of the "three fifths compromise" that got the Constitution approved in 1787:
"Wagner’s apology, 'To those hurt or confused by my clumsiness and insensitivity, please forgive me,' closely resembles a Soviet-era show trial where the already guilty defendant tries to save himself with a self-humiliating confession."
This stuff - these attacks, the constant shrieking, accusations, slurs, threats and intimidation - they have an impact. They have an impact not only on the people they're directed at (like Scott Walker and Emory University President James Wagner) but also on the people who witness them, and think to themselves "well, I don't want to risk something like that." That's why they're done. Not only to harass, but to intimidate, like a Mafia hit - very public, very brutal. So when someone is asked whether they support Al Sharpton, they'll answer "yes" even if they really want to say "no." So that the next time people go into the voting booth, they fear the "R" lever and will pull the "D" lever instead. So the next time the college president has to decide whether a conservative group should be allowed on campus, they say "no" instead of "yes."
That's why I think we need more Ann Coulter on the right, not less.