04 Mar 2007 Ann Coulter at CPAC
I’m sorry to see that Ann Coulter once again made certain news coverage of CPAC would be focused upon her instead of upon the conservative movement’s goals and principles.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is one of very many co-sponsors of CPAC, and has been for some years. After Ann Coulter’s offensive speech last year, we telephoned the organizers and strongly suggested than Ann Coulter’s behavior was harmful to, and unrepresentative of, the conservative movement. We said we were considering pulling out our co-sponsorship because of Ann Coulter’s “raghead” comment, and asked them to not invite Ann Coulter to speak in CPAC 2007, or, at the very least, only invite her if she was told to can the offensive speech, and explicitly agreed to do so. I had 90 percent decided to stop our co-sponsorship for CPAC 2007, but the sponsor seemed to be taking our concerns about Coulter’s 2006 remarks seriously and with what seemed to us to be appropriate sympathy, so the National Center co-sponsored CPAC again this year.
(I am, by the way. under no illusion that CPAC’s main sponsors lose sleep over possibly losing the National Center’s co-sponsorship. We do pay a fee to co-sponsor, and all the fees paid by all the co-sponsors together do add up to quite a tidy sum, but I’m sure any one co-sponsor is quite expendable.)
As has been widely reported, Ann Coulter not only once again went out of her way to use a nasty epithet, she pushed her offensiveness up a notch, using a word that is even more universally reviled than the derogatory term she hurled last year.
So, CPAC’s sponsors either invited Coulter back without first getting her pledge that she would speak without using demeaning epithets, or they obtained her pledge, and she broke her word.
It would be better, in my opinion, to not have a CPAC at all than to have one that presents conservatism as a hostile, people-hating ideology. We conservatives have enough trouble overcoming the false things that are said about us without paying for a platform upon which we shoot ourselves annually in the foot.
Here’s a roundup of other conservative (and moderate) commentary on the Coulter situation:
“Ann Coulter Doesn’t Speak For Me,” Wizbang
“Coulter Said What? (Bumped),” Captain’s Quarters
“The Shame Of Ann Coulter,” The Moderate Voice
“Ann Coulter at CPAC,” Betsy’s Page
“Ann Coulter calls John Edwards…,” Right Thoughts
“Count Me Out,” Lone Star Times
“Ann Coulter Calls John Edwards The ‘F-word’,” Gay Patriot
“Coulter Needs A Rehab,” Riehl World View
“Apologizing for Ann Coulter,” MyDD
“On Ann Coulter, John Edwards, and Civility,” historymike
P.S. A hostile liberal blogger issues a challenge to conservatives:
Reality: [Ann Coulter] is your biggest star. The people you claim to speak for feel she speaks for them much, much more than you do — and they’re right. She is modern conservatism’s id — she’s the one who says what the rest of you would say if you didn’t feel it would cost you your standing as reasonable, responsible people.Want to prove me wrong? You cut her off. You boycott the sponsors of TV shows that still invite her on as a guest. You show up at her book signings and campus appearances and hand out flyers quoting her nastiest bon mots. You boycott CPAC next year if she’s invited, and demand that others do the same. Or if you have a problem with boycotts as a matter of principle, at the very least urge your fellow conservatives, on college campuses and elsewhere, to stop extending invitations to her, given the profound harm you say she does to your movement.
But you won’t do that, will you? In that case, shut the hell up, hypocrites, and acknowledge that while Coulter may be the bad apple in the family, your door is always open to her.
Addendum, 3/4/07: This post has generated a great deal of comment mail, most of it vile. I can clear up a majority of the issues made by correspondents (who self-identified themselves as liberals and conservatives in roughly equal numbers) with these responses:
1) No, I have never had sex with Ann Coulter. This seems irrelevant, but the question came up more than once.
2) Yes, I do lack male reproductive organs, but I have never considered that a cause for consternation.
3) Those of you who graphically described male-male sexual activities and aggressively claimed I have participated in same should have noted that a blogger named “Amy” is unlikely to be male. I thus consider it probable that these emails are less a comment about my thoughts on Ann Coulter at CPAC than a reflection of their authors’ own interests.
4) To AJ, who suggested I add three more links to other commentary about the Coulter-CPAC matter, and also told me that Freepers have been discussing this post (not very favorably), thank you. Here are the three links AJ suggested:
“Ann Coulter, Republicans and Teh Gay,” Dean Barnett, writing on Hugh Hewitt’s Blog
To those of you who wrote thoughtful letters (I interpreted that broadly; a person whose closing contained “better luck in your next attempt to destroy our republic” qualifed), thank you. I appreciate the glimmers of civility wherever they appear.
Addendum II, 3/5/07: In “Ann Coulter: The Britney Spears of the Right,” which, if its Google News placement is any indication, was drawing a good bit of traffic overnight, Cliff Kincaid reveals that Accuracy in Media has “announced that it will be discontinuing sales of books by or merchandise promoting Ann Coulter. We hope that other conservative groups follow our lead.”