I am calling once again for conservatives to reject the Coulterization of politics (read my previous posts on this topic). Ann Coulter brings public discourse to new lows on a regular basis, and Christian conservatives in particular should have no part of it. The latest example appears in an exchange that Coulter had with Elizabeth Edwards (wife of presidential candidate John Edwards) on “Hardball” with Chris Matthews. You can watch a video of the encounter, or you can read the following transcript of the exchange:
Elizabeth Edwards: You wrote a column a couple years ago which made fun of the moment of Charlie Dean’s death, and suggested that my husband had a bumper sticker on the back of his car that said ask me about my dead son. This is not legitimate political dialogue.
Ann Coulter: That’s now three years ago
Elizabeth Edwards: It debases political dialogue. It drives people away from the process. We can’t have a debate about issues if you’re using this kind of language.
Ann Coulter: Yeah why isn’t John Edwards making this call?
Chris Matthews: Well do you want to respond and we’ll end this conversation?
Elizabeth Edwards: I haven’t talked to John about his call.
Ann Coulter: This is just another attempt for â€“
Elizabeth Edwards: I’m making this call as a mother. I’m the mother of that boy who died. My children participate — these young people behind you are the age of my children. You’re asking them to participate in a dialogue that’s based on hatefulness and ugliness instead of on the issues and I don’t think that’s serving them or this country very well.
Chris Matthews: Thank you very much Elizabeth Edwards. Do you want to — you have all the time in the world to respond.
Ann Coulter: I think we heard all we need to hear. The wife of a presidential candidate is asking me to stop speaking. No.
Transcript from “Hardball with Chris Matthews” (June 26, 2007)
My posts on Ann Coulter:
Ann Coulter Needs to Repent (part 1) (June 7, 2006)
Ann Coulter Needs To Repent (part 2) (March 6, 2007)
Rejecting the Coulterization of Politics (June 28, 2007)
Coulter dodged the question and insinuated that Edwards, as “the wife” is not a significant participant of the public discourse.
Is it fair to say that Coulter is too much Paris Hilton and not enough William F. Buckley?
The whole exchange was distasteful. Coulter regularly uses the most vituperative of rhetoric.
At the same time, Elizabeth Edwards claimed she was calling, without the knowledge of her husband or her husband’s campaign, only out of a desire to foster civility in public debate. That claim was disingenuous at best and a bald-faced prevarication at worst. Within a matter of hours the Edwards campaign was using the exchange as a fundraiser on its website.
The whole little scene was nothing more than the latest in the ugly Kabuki of American politics. At its core, the interchange revealed that Coulter and Edwards were after the same thing… more money.
coulter is merely pointing out the seeming apparancy that these folks (the edwards and the 9/11 group, cindy sheehan, etc.) are using their tragedy as a way to make more money for their causes. although no one can judge their motives, this is what they are doing. they are exploiting a tragedy for political gain. kudos to ann for having the guts to point it out.
Kudos to Ann for anything? Andrew, you’re kidding, right?
If you want to talk about politics, talk politics. But claiming that Obama is a terrorist because his middle name is Hussein is a slap in the face to intelligent dialogue everywhere. Making fun of Hillary’s chubby legs instead of her platform is downright ignorant. And virtually all of the comments she’s made about Edwards have been disgusting.
She’s the Michael Moore of the right. And I don’t like Michael Moore, either.
I can’t stand Michael Moore. But he makes MUCH more effort to deal with issues than Ann Coulter does. Paul is right, she is disgusting.
Since when has American political dialogue ever been intelligent, enlightened, or more than barely civil, Paul? From what Himalayan aerie have you recently descended? 😉
One of my hobbies is reading pre-Civil War American history. American politics of that time was tatamount to mud wrestling with dysenteric pigs. People who think that somehow American political discourse has fallen from its former high standards need to pick up a book or two.
Well said. Hopefully people will see how destructive her approach is.
I agree. The presidential elections of 1800, 1828, and 1840 were much uglier than anything we have seen in recent years. It is hard to believe some of the things were said in those elections (the main difference was that most candidates relied on surrogates to make their attacks – kind of like George W. Bush).