Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Godless Religion

I've never been a fan of Ann Coulter. She always has been a bit too sharp-tongued for my taste. I do not, however, put her in the same league with blowhards like Rush Limbaugh. Coulter is very intelligent, perceptive, and demonstrates personal integrity. I do admire her for these attributes. What I don't like about her is her need to lace her book titles and content with shock catchphrases. These phrases are obviously meant to anger liberals to such a point, that the inevitable retaliations give her the publicity she obviously craves. In this regard, Coulter is the 'Madonna' or Michael Jackson of political satire.

I feel a strong need to opine on the onslaught of anger that is being spewed at this insightful woman. The reason I want to comment on this is the backlash against Coulter's newest book Godless: The Church of Liberalism just seems to exemplify the whole liberal vs. conservative conflict.

The title alone obviously qualifies as a "shock" title. It is obviously intended to ruffle feathers and stir up controversy. The title implies that liberals don't believe in God and that the liberal philosophy is in itself, a religion. I haven't read the book although I intend to (I'll wait for it to come out on paperback.) but I have read of it and watched and listened to several interviews with the author. Here are some of the assertions she makes:


  • "No liberal cause is defended with more dishonesty than abortion...To them, 2,200 military deaths in the entire course of a war in Iraq is unconscionable, but 1.3 million aborted babies in America every year is something to celebrate. "


  • "The thesis of 'Godless' is: Liberalism IS a religion. The liberal religion has its own cosmology, its own explanation for why we are here, its own gods, its own clergy. The basic tenet of liberalism is that nature is god and men are monkeys. (Except not as pure-hearted as actual monkeys, who don't pollute, make nukes or believe in God.)"


  • Liberals believe we shouldn't use DDT to save people in Africa because "that might kill birds"


  • "It's one thing if it's 'Tookie' but it's another thing when it's Marines, who are always guilty"


  • .. And of course, the now infamous


  • "These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."


  • I could spend much more time than I care to if I was to address each one of these comments. It is the last one that I'm going to discuss because it is the uproar concerning this statement that reveals the gross amount of liberalism that permeates the media.

    The statement strictly concerns four particular women, who lost their husbands on 9/11 and campaigned for John Kerry in 2004. Most of the reports I've seen on television, in the newspapers, and various web sites fail to mention this. They want people, who haven't read the book to believe that Coulter stated this about all 9/11 widows.

    I now notice that most web sites omit the first half of the quote. A week ago, the quote in its entirety was spread all over the Internet. Now, you will usually see just: "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much." Why is this? It's because the first half of the quote softens the blow as Coulter indicates how the widows have benefited from their celebrity.

    Ann Coulter was interviewed on the Today show by Matt Lauer. I could swear that whenever an author is interviewed on a show, the topic is going to be about the author's just-released book. This is similar to how actor's are usually on Jay Leno or David Letterman to promote the movie they starred in that is opening. So, you'd think that Matt Lauer would allow Ms. Coulter to say some things about her book. Instead, he begins the interview by challenging her on why Republicans are focusing on gay marriage instead of Iraq and gas prices. He persists in this kind of questioning and just plain hounds Coulter on this. Coulter clearly gets exasperated with him. Lauer clearly doesn't want to be a gracious host and seems to want to use this interview to just simply attack his subject. Coulter manages to sneak in a plug for her book 2 and a half minutes into the interview as she reminds Lauer that "there's an important book that comes out today, Matt." Lauer pays no attention to her and continues on with more challenges about Bush's approval rating, immigration, and more Iraq. He finally decides to move on to Godless 3 minutes and 45 seconds into the interview. Of course, he just goes on to attack her there too, particularly about the "broads" quote.

    I don't agree at all with Coulter's views on Darwinism. In fact, there's a lot of things she says I don't agree with. I do think she is cold dead on right on the "broads" quote.

    The thing about Coulter is that she is all about satire. Unfortunately, many don't understand this and choose to take her completely literally. That's not what satire is about. It's a semi-comedic form of expressing viewpoints by being extreme. George Carlin does similar stuff from the left point of view. It is common in Carlin's monologues to suggest that killing Republicans would be a good thing. Somehow, he doesn't get smacked around for his comments. I wonder why? (Just kidding, and by the way, Carlin is one of my favorite comedians).

    The real irony is that the more the Left attacks Coulter, the more attention she creates, and hence: the more books she sells. Godless: The Church of Liberalism has been a huge seller.

    17 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    Do you say that she is all about satire because she has said that she is a satirist, or because you can't quite bring yourself to believe that anyone would say such things and sincerely mean them? If the latter, that's a poor reason - you should base your conclusion on what she says, not what you would like to think is true. If the former, though, where is the quote? Surely the claim that she is all about satire should be accompanied by a specific quote from her.

    Here, let me help - Coulter was interviewed in the New York Observer by George Gurley - someone who is sympathetic to her:

    "Coulter's defenders often claim that she is a "satirist," like Jonathan Swift, and doesn't really mean it when she talks about, say, John Murtha and fragging. Asked in the Observer today if really believes the things she says, Coulter replied, "“Yes, liberals would like to think that—as the entire country turns my way,” she said. “Let them comfort themselves with that little fantasy.""

    So, here we have it from the horse's mouth, so to speak: she was specifically offered the chance to make it clear that she is a satirist and doesn't really/technically mean the things she says. She denies it. You, it appears, are one of those "liberals" who would "like to think that" and who "comfort themselves with that little fantasy."

    Now, if it is true that Coulter is not all about satire, what is your position on her and her writings? Can you continue to support and defend her if she means everything she says? If so, then why bother saying that she is a satirist? If not, what will you do? Will you denounce her with the same strength as you have defended her?

    She's not a satirist. She's not joking. She's not pulling our leg. She's not having one over on us. She means everything she says and she's just as mean-spirited as her words make her look. Calling her a satirist is just a comforting fantasy used by people who want to benefit from her vicious attacks on liberals but don't want to be personally associated with her extremely vicious, violent, and eliminationist statements.

    I wonder, if she replaced "liberals" (and its forms) with forms of "Jews" or "blacks," would you be as willing to claim, without apparent evidence, that she's really a satirist? Just how far does a person have to go before you will disassociate yourself from them? How extreme and abhorrent does a person's statements have to be before you denounce them? Are you willing to try to excuse anything so long as it appears to benefit your political philosophy, or at least damage those you disagree with? That's so unprincipled, there are no words for it.

    Indeed, I'd call such a person worse than Coulter. At least she's sincere.

    Erik said...

    Have you ever read my site where she has said we should "assasinate" Bill Clinton? She said he's also a rapist. That's not satire that's a threat. She IS WORSE then Rush the only reason she has any type of forum to spew her hate is cause she is a extreme conservative republican. I gave an example she is on every talk show yet Liberal Air America Radio host Sam Sedar has a new book out called FUBAR and couldn't get on a show to save his life. I have so many of Princess Ann's pure and utter hate on my site I've lost track. That's not satire.

    Erik said...

    By the way congrats on your first non-me post on your site :)


    The fact you defend this sick freak bothers me. All she knows is hate like I guess all of the right wing.

    Robert E Wilson said...

    Okay, let me try my best to address all this.

    "Do you say that she is all about satire because she has said that she is a satirist, or because you can't quite bring yourself to believe that anyone would say such things and sincerely mean them?"

    I say she's a satirist because that is how I interpret her. That's my choice and obviously, not yours. I don't need her to openly state she is a satirist. As for your example:

    "Yes, liberals would like to think that—as the entire country turns my way"

    My interpretation of this quote is she is again, being satirical. She likes to pick on liberals and get them all fired up. Don't get me wrong. I do believe she means what she says at the same time. I understand this is not your opinion. That's okay, I'm not trying to change your mind and you are not going to change mine.

    anonymous said "Can you continue to support and defend her if she means everything she says?"

    erik said "The fact you defend this sick freak bothers me."


    What are you accusing me of defending? Her exercising her freedom of speech? I just read my post again (and I suggest you do the same). I think you will see I don't defend her a whole lot.

    "She always has been a bit too sharp-tongued for my taste."

    "What I don't like about her is her need to lace her book titles and content with shock catchphrases."

    "I don't agree at all with Coulter's views on Darwinism. In fact, there's a lot of things she says I don't agree with."

    Other than in her right to express herself, the one other point I defend her is the "broads" comment.

    "I do think she is cold dead on right on the "broads" quote."

    I stand by that statement. Before I ever heard it from Ann Coulter, I was thinking pretty much the same thing. That is, how certain victims are being made celebrities because their victimhood was supposed to make them untouchable, which they kind of were - until Ann Coulter came along.

    "I wonder, if she replaced "liberals" (and its forms) with forms of "Jews" or "blacks," would you be as willing to claim, without apparent evidence, that she's really a satirist?"

    I know you're trying to trap me and it's not going to work. The trouble with your "wonder"ing is you say "without apparent evidence". Coulter does support her statements. Whether or not you agree with them is another matter. She calls liberals "Godless" because they believe in abortion, because they believe in Darwinism as opposed to the Bible, because they'll defend OJ Simpson and Tookie Williams, yet assume a white cop killing a black man in the line of duty is automatically guilty of racism and murder.

    Erik said...

    More Coulterisms: "John Walker Lindh should be executed "in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too." The one who said "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." The one who said "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee." The one who said that Congressman John Murtha was "the reason soldiers invented 'fragging.'"

    By the way a couple of note the 9/11 widows which she attacked were BUsh supporters UNTIL BUsh stonewalled on the 9/11 commission and refused to testify under oath. The church she claims she goes to in the book never heard of her. She is being investigated for voter fraud. I guess she is a typical republican.

    Erik said...

    And your views on her are wrong. She is another in a long line of hate filled republicans. YOu also fail to address why it's ok for her and any right-winger to threaten as she has the Supreme Court, The New York Times, President Bill CLinton. Most people do that go to jail.

    Robert E Wilson said...

    Where does it say she "threatened" anybody. Just saying So and So should die is not a threat. If it was, a lot of us would be in trouble.

    Anonymous said...

    "I say she's a satirist because that is how I interpret her."

    Why? Do you interpret her this way? Is there a *reason*, or did you flip coin?

    I don't "choose" not to interpret her as satire. I simply fail to find any reason to think that she intends her material as satire.

    I also don't "choose" not to interpret her as writing Kabuki theater. Why? Because I don't see anything in her material that would justify such an interpretation.

    What, exactly, do you see in her material that justifies your interpretation?

    "I'm not trying to change your mind and you are not going to change mine."

    Don't assume that I am closed-minded, though I'm sorry to read that you are. If you could provide some substantive, sound reason to justify interpreting her as satire, I'd reconsider my position.

    Presumably, no amount of evidence, logic, or reason would get you to even consider reconsidering your position. That's sad.

    "What are you accusing me of defending?"

    You are defending her statements as acceptably by labeling them as satire. Presumably, you would denounce at least some of these statements if you though they were sincere. Or...?

    "The trouble with your "wonder"ing is you say "without apparent evidence". Coulter does support her statements."

    I'm talking about the absence of "apparent evidence" that she intends her material as satire. Obviously.

    So my question stands: if she made similar claims about other groups, would you continue to defend her as a satirist or not? If not, why not? If so, why?

    Erik said...

    Where are the threats?? We SHOULD assasinate Bill Clinton. That's a threat. We SHOULD poison the Supreme Court. That's a threat.

    William Wilson said...

    "Where are the threats?? We SHOULD assasinate Bill Clinton. That's a threat. We SHOULD poison the Supreme Court. That's a threat."

    Threat? Those are NOT threats. Those are OPINIONS.

    Now, if I said something like "Bill Clinton should be shot, and I have the right rifle to do it.", that could be interpreted as a threat, since I am implementing a course of action. Just saying that something should be done (We need to clean up the air/stop the war/stop eating meat/topple our government and replace it with an even more messed up syatem from Berkeley think tanks) is just that, saying something. It means nothing much, just hot air (which, I believe (MY OPINION) that Ann is full of). Get it straight.

    Robert E Wilson said...

    Anonymous

    "Why? Do you interpret her this way? Is there a 'reason', or did you flip coin?"

    Simple logic. Coulter wants to promote her beliefs. She likes attention. She likes to antagonize her opponents. She has found a way to accomplish all of this and make good money at the same time.

    Yes, this is an interpretation. To me, this interpretation fits the reality.

    "I also don't 'choose' not to interpret her as writing Kabuki theater. Why? Because I don't see anything in her material that would justify such an interpretation."

    I'm fine with that. That's your "choice".

    "Don't assume that I am closed-minded, though I'm sorry to read that you are. If you could provide some substantive, sound reason to justify interpreting her as satire, I'd reconsider my position.

    Presumably, no amount of evidence, logic, or reason would get you to even consider reconsidering your position. That's sad."


    This is all such a subjective "what you feel in your heart" type of issue. You seem more pragmatic about this where you need to weigh evidence but I don't think that's the case. It's my guess that you internally made your decision about whether or not her statements are satire and see everything that has come hence, as evidence to support your belief.

    I'll freely admit that my beliefs about this are more "gut feeling" than anything. I don't consider myself "closed-minded". On stuff that's much more important than this silly issue, I've turned nearly 180 degrees on a few things.

    "You are defending her statements as acceptabl[e] by labeling them as satire. Presumably, you would denounce at least some of these statements if you though they were sincere. Or...?"

    Anything and everything Ann Coulter, you, I, or anybody else says would be acceptable with very, very few exceptions. Yelling "movie" in a crowded firehouse (he, he) or making a direct statement about intending to commit a crime ("I will kill Bill Clinton") would be examples of exceptions to that rule. What country do you live in?

    "So my question stands: if she made similar claims about other groups, would you continue to defend her as a satirist or not? If not, why not? If so, why?"

    Don't confuse the issue. I keep stating that I don't fully agree with Ann Coulter. All I am defending is her right to say what she says. It seems to me that you think she should be censored because she says things you feel are unacceptable. The real gist of my post, as you obviously missed, is not really about Ann Coulter, it's more about how the media is treating her.

    It also seems to me that she must be hitting close to the mark. Otherwise, you guys wouldn't be so alarmed by her statements.

    And Erik, as my brother correctly points out, wishing, wanting, or hoping harm or death on someone does not constitute a "threat". If Coulter ever said "I am going to kill Bill Clinton" or "I am going to hire someone to kill John Kerry", that would be a threat.

    Erik said...

    I think you interpret her as satire cause you agree with what she says which puts you in line with what you claim you dislike which is Hail Hannity, The Drugie and O'Idiot.

    Erik said...

    And I guess you can't fight your own battles anymore either?

    Robert E Wilson said...

    "And I guess you can't fight your own battles anymore either?"

    What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

    Erik said...

    Let's see. I've said how she is threatening Bill Clinton and The Liberal wing of the Supreme Court and back it up with the quotes. You say that's not a threat but don't back it up with anything and your brother is defending what you say. That's what I mean.

    Robert E Wilson said...

    Your statements are utterly ridiculous. You obviously do not know what the word "threat" means. My brother speaks his own mind. He is as welcome as anyone to agree or disagree with me.

    YOU HAVE NOT GIVEN ONE (1) SINGLE EXAMPLE OF COULTER THREATENING ANYONE. WHY DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THIS?

    Grendel T. Troll said...

    Erik said:
    Let's see. I've said how she is threatening Bill Clinton and The Liberal wing of the Supreme Court and back it up with the quotes. You say that's not a threat but don't back it up with anything and your brother is defending what you say. That's what I mean.

    Whoa, here. The fact that I was "defending my brother" is coincidental. I read the blog, saw the comments, and posted accordingly. It was my own opinion, no others involved.

    As for the threat concept, remember: SHE DID NOT IMPLICATE ANY COURSE OF ACTION ABOUT HER OPINIONS! NO THREATS INDICATED!! You have yet to address this. Instead, you attemped to smokescreen by trying to discredit my brother via my post. I do not appreciate this. I do, however, recognize you as a liberal, who is used to this course of action when you are nearing defeat. Please stop using the obvious tools and stick to the thread and ADDRESS THE ISSUE .