Friday, June 16, 2006

The Obligatory ECW Ann Coulter 'Godless'* post

Since the release of her book 'Godless' and the controversy that it has generated, Ann Coulter has been on pretty much every major talk show and has been discussed on all those she hasn't personally appeared on. From The Factor to The Tonight Show, she's popping up everywhere and now that it's been announced that her book will debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list you can expect to see more of her.

I don't much agree with the methods she uses to get her points across but for the most part it's hard to disagree with those points. The one causing the most fuss right now is over her choice to attack the Jersey Girls use of their husbands deaths on 9/11 for political gain. I have to say that when she delves into the hypothetical family lives of those women and questions how happy they really were prior to their husbands deaths I think she has passed from what is acceptable fodder for political debate into an area of personal matters which is not really necessary. In some cases this type of things may be acceptable and relevant, but with regard to these 4 women, it's really just mud slinging on Coulter's part.

That being said, her point about liberals clinging to 'victims' to use as human shields is a very valid one. Even watching the debates on the various program she appeared, almost without fail the more left leaning panellists start to use the "well they lost their ____" line to defend the people Ann is attacking, thereby validating her point. Also interesting is the number of those same panellists who proudly admit to not having read the book but feel superior enough in their ignorance to debate it's finer points (flashbacks of Bernard Goldberg's treatment over his last book).

Yes, in a free and open society we are all able to question the beliefs of anyone we choose, but by enlisting the aid of people who have suffered tragedy liberals intentionally capitalize on the sympathy we all feel for them to shield their ideas from truly open discussion. Any dissenting opinions or valid attack on the persons credibility is instead manipulated by the left to appear as a heartless attack on the person. That way any real debate is squashed and the left can get their message out unfettered by any need for facts.

What I find oddest about this behaviour is the outright hypocritical manner in which the left adhere to the very rules of decorum they demand of everyone else. While thousands of people with a similar story to tell may come out in support of a conservative proposal, they are generally dismissed out of hand so that the lone dissenter can be given all the attention and treated as an expert due to their experiences. Just take a look at the entire Sheehan fiasco. Cindy Sheehan's opinions represent a very small portion of military families who have lost loved ones in the Middle East, and even in her own family only her and her sister seem to share their particular view of the war and the President, yet she is treated like a super star amongst the far left and almost elevated to God -like status while all the pro-Bush families are ignored.

The same can be seen in their selective choosing of military voices to glorify. Look at their handling of the swift boat vets last campaign. While by definition they also served in Vietnam (and most for far longer than Kerry's handful of months) they were dismissed as partisan hacks for daring to challenge Kerry, who in contrast was presented as a war hero of the highest calibre. It didn't matter that many, if not most, of their allegations could not only not be disproved but in many cases had substantial proof, while at the same time many of Kerry's own recollections defied all logic and in some cases the very fabric of space/time. And I may take some flak for this but while deservedly a badge of honour I fail to see how a purple heart on it's own, in any way elevates a soldier to hero status. The story as to how the award was received is what makes the hero but the badge itself, as it can be handed out to anyone requesting one for even the most minor of injuries (as clearly shown by Kerry himself), does nothing but indicate you were in an recognized military zone and got injured. In Kerry's case as soon as he got the minimum number required for redeployment state side he was on the next plane home ( for the record I believe the total amount of time in recovery for all 3 purple hearts Kerry received was about 1 day as at least 2 only required a small bandage and no down time).

This is much the same as the way Jack Murtha's honourable military service from 20 years ago is trumpeted by so many on the left while the opinions of active military personnel or retirees with much more impressive credentials are ignored. Not to dismiss Murtha's service, but many people of all educational levels, political leanings or ideologies have served in the military and while just the fact you served may help give you a boost in most peoples books (although oddly enough it is most often seen as a negative by those on the far left unless you side with them) it is your actions today that define you, not only those of 20 years ago.

So I guess to get back to my original point, for those on the left who are like to point out the lack of voices criticizing Coulter for her personal attacks on the Jersey Girls and the like (although there are in fact plenty of people that take Coulter to task for her over the top rhetoric), I guess my response is this; there are many on the right that truly disagree with Ann's 'in your face' style, but it's such a constant buzz that we kind of drown it out. If it comes up in a discussion we'll address it but otherwise we just try and ignore the buzz and focus on the points. She is just a political pundit after all and not an elected official so her personal actions are not something others have much control over. Her vitriolic personality would probably not land her in my top ten people I'd like to meet but if you can cut through all that, she can have some pretty interesting things to say.

*just had to qualify this post with her book title because knowing Ann's tendency to be way to outspoken I'm sure there will a future call for another "Obligatory ECW" post involving her.


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