You're Soaking in It (2000)
Ann Coulter. Sigh...
In a sane world, Coulter's utterances would be seen and discussed for what they are: ravings. But it's an apocalyptic sign of how far national discourse has fallen that the Coulters, Falwells, O'Reillys, Limbaughs, et. al. are taken seriously and given national forums instead of being pushed out of the proscenium and into the backstage lunatic fringe. Coulter turns up on both the Today and Tonight Show as if she shares the same level of credibility as Edward R. Murrow. Like the fish that slowly becomes oblivious of the water it swims in, our discourse environment of whacked-out-is-the-new-normal has become status quo. We are unaware -- like the salon patron contentedly soaking cuticles in dishwashing liquid only to be informed by playing-a-hairdresser-on-TV Madge the manicurist that, yes, you're soaking in it.
Coulter's political shtick is easy to see through. At every opportunity, use outrageous, inflammatory hyperbole to sell books and increase her fame and wealth. In a case of mass transference where the
pot slinky black dress calls the kettle mourning clothes black, Coulter accuses the 9/11 widows of being guilty of her own modus operandi, since the Jersey Girls are "millionaires" who enjoy "reveling in their status as celebrities." Of course, it is Coulter herself who is "enjoying" the terrible deaths of the J. Girls's husbands -- all the way to the bank.
But Coulter's most hypocritical claim, spit out to Matt Lauer in an interview earlier this week, is that the Jersey Girls capitalize on the sentimentality of their husbands' deaths to insure a kind of infallible and irrefutable discourse. "How about sending in someone we are allowed to respond to?" whines Ann. Meanwhile, the right, in a case of wanting their yellowcake and eating it too, gives the public appearance of being divided over Coulter's venomous comments -- but it's a smoke-screen crock. Do a quick Google search on ANN COULTER JERSEY GIRLS and notice the stream of hits from wingnuttia defending Coulter. She does speak for them. Still, in an attempt to show that Republicans aren't wiping foam from the corners of their mouths, the handlers send forth the likes of Mary Matalin to defend Coulter's "larger point." So, in other words, Coulter can be rabid, but "godless" liberals (like the Jersey Girls "witches") deserve to be bitten.
Such bullshit. No one is stopping anyone from responding to the Jersey Girls. In fact, isn't that exactly what Coulter is doing again and again when she attacks and ridicules them? It would be nice, though, if wingnut responses used facts rather than relying on invective. If you seriously believe that George Bush has made the world safer for husbands like those of the Jersey Girls and sons like those of Cindy Sheehan, then bring it on. But let's see your concrete proof because current events don't look convincing. The Katrina debacle has yet to stabilize with news of FEMA's misspent $1.5 billion. The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the new Iraqi government wants to grant amnesty to terrorists who have killed American troops. New documents this week suggest the Pentagon lied about Cheney's role in awarding Hallibuton's no-bid contracts in Iraq. And with 27 dead (so far) in Iraq today, it seems unlikely that al-Zarqawi's (who represented less than 10% of the insurgency) assassination will slow the bloodshed. And let's not forget the Dubai ports fiasco. So, respond away.
But it's pointless, isn't it? What's really chafing the right wing's tinfoil these days is not the fact they can't "respond" to widows of 9/11 and mothers of Iraq. No, what they can't do is convincingly swiftboat them. Why? Because their grief is real. And so, since they can't argue, just as they can't govern, they resort to the Rovian playbook and fall back on the old Smear and Scare. It's all they have. The widows are witches who enjoy seeing their loved ones burned alive. The mothers speak out and are accused of "sinister piffle" for trying to "ventriloquize the dead," as Christopher Hitchins said of Cindy Sheehan.
Smear at will.
And once that fails, then Scare with Extreme Prejudice. The game plan for November is set to bludgeon the public with the tried and true fundie fodder of gay marriage and flag burning. And here's a sampling of what will not be discussed:
Stem Cell Research
The Patriot Act
Body Armor for Troops
2,500 Dead Being "Just a Number"
Torture and Prisoner Abuse
Misspelling bin Laden
Gutting Privatizing Social Security
Bringing It On
Turning the Corner
and so much more. No, it's safer to watch this drive of firing up the base with hot button non-starters. Yr. blogger believes BushCo doesn't want you to dwell on the incompetence and criminal activity laid out in the list above. After all, without red meat diversions, you might start to become aware of what you've been soaking in since 2000.