Ann Coulter always amazes me with how easily she turns crass, obnoxious slurs into eloquent terms for a political debate. Except it still sounds crass and obnoxious.
As you might have heard, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter showed her insidiousness once again at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. At the end of her speech she made the following comment:
“I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.”
After a short pause, the audience then erupted in applause. Here's a video of the incident:
Now, I'm all for Coulter being able to say whatever she wants. It's her right. However, this sort of name-calling is exactly what's wrong with Coulter and politics today. First off, Edwards is not gay, so it has no basis in reality. Second and more importantly, the term is incredibly offensive to homosexuals and serves nothing more than to alienate them, especially when it's said publically at a Republican function. It's the sort of thing that doesn't belong in political discourse because makes a bloc of citizens within a democratic republic feel unwelcome. This should not happen. All citizens should feel welcome within politics.
Maybe Coulter doesn't know it's so offensive because she said the following in the Q and A session after the speech:
I do want to point out one thing that has been driving me crazy with the media -- how they keep describing Mitt Romney's position as being pro-gays, and that's going to upset the right wingers. Well, you know, screw you! I'm not anti-gay. We're against gay marriage. I don't want gays to be discriminated against.
I don't know why all gays aren't Republican. I think we have the pro-gay positions, which is anti-crime and for tax cuts. Gays make a lot of money and they're victims of crime. No, they are! They should be with us.
Coulter must simply be clueless. She uses a slur against gays, the audience cheers, and then a little while later Coulter can't understand why gays do not support Republicans.
At any rate, it's refreshing to see the leading Republican candidates for president denouce Coulter's statement. McCain's spokesman said, “The comments were wildly inappropriate.” Giuliani said, “The comments were completely inappropriate and there should be no place for such name-calling in political debate.” Romney's spokesman said, "It was an offensive remark. Governor Romney believes all people should be treated with dignity and respect."
Call me an optimist, but it's my hope that Ann Coulter has gone too far on this one, and her fifteen minutes of fame will come to an end. However, her brand of hate has become popular these days, and I'm fairly certain her fans will just eat it up like they always have when Coulter says something outrageous.
Read more from CNN.
Elizabeth Edwards, John Edward's wife, also has a great post on her blog about Coulter's statement.