I have been deeply fond of Ann Coulter since the 1990s when I first came across her weekly column in an issue of Human Events, a conservative magazine. I fell in full-blown love with her when, during an appearance on "Hannity and Colmes," she dismissively described John Kerry as "a kept man." Given that I had been saying basically the same thing for years, it was refreshing to hear someone else not only reach the identical conclusion but fearlessly state it.
Coulter is described as "mean-spirited" and "hateful" by those who consider James Carville and Alec Baldwin to be "articulate" and "thoughtful." But to those of us who sit on the right of the aisle, Coulter is the hand grenade that we lob back at the bomb throwers. Liberals simply cannot stand the fact that Coulter --- a strong, smart and attractive woman --- hoists them on their collective petard with practically every paragraph she writes. But hoist she does, and GODLESS, her latest work, leaves them with their undies flapping unhappily in the breeze.
What Coulter does in GODLESS is use a combination of fact, opinion and satire to expose the contradictions inherent in the gospels according to the liberal evangelists --- Marcuse, Marx, Lenin and Chomsky --- as promulgated by their contemporary humanist apologists. Coulter compares liberalism to a religion, one that worships denial as opposed to a divinity. It has a sacrament (abortion), a martyr (Willie Horton) and a priesthood (the NEA), among other things. This might be dry reading in the hands of someone else, but Coulter is a hoot. Everyone knows, for example, that Bill Clinton didn't rely on a "quick show of hands" to decide which women to hit on while on the campaign trail, but the visual image is hilarious. Since Coulter doesn't footnote the allegation, however, she's considered a bitch.
When discussing liberal infallibility, she points out that four women, rendered widows by the 9/11 terrorists, might be engaging in a bit of post-mortem gold digging. This causes the talking heads on the left to go bananas, as if an attack on the four was an attack on all, ignoring, of course, the accuracy of Coulter's limited accusations. Similar things have occurred when Coulter has analyzed the evolution of the left's current icon, that erstwhile Nobel Prize nominee Cindy Sheehan. We've seen this happen before. Liberals will take someone driven insane with grief, exploit them and then attack anyone who has the temerity to point out that they might not be a reliable spokesperson. It's no wonder that liberals hate Coulter; she not only points out that the emperor has no clothes, she also makes fun of the size of his equipment.
And in GODLESS, Coulter makes plenty of points. She notes that liberalism, though itself a religion, is tolerant of other beliefs, except, of course, for Christianity. Schools? You can pass out condoms but not prayer books. Liberals, as Coulter reports, will go to any length to protect creatures they regard as endangered, but they seem to forget about unborn children. Liberal martyrs? You have your murderers and rapists (Willie Horton) and your convicted cop killer (Mumia Abu-Jamal), to name but two. Coulter not only compiles the list of liberal offenses and checks it twice, but gives blunt, no-holds-barred analysis of how and why those liberal folks got so naughty.
GODLESS isn't going to change anyone's worldview, and it would be a mistake to think it will. Coulter is, however, an affirmative voice for those of us who live in the real world. And for those who are left, she is a porcupine who thoughtfully runs amuck through a hall of hot air balloons.
--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
It's almost over for Ann Coulter. And it isn't even her fault. Our soldiers keep dying in Iraq, and the White House can't give us a reason we can believe. Job creation is way down. The minimum wage hasn't been revised upward by the Federal government since the Republicans gained control of Congress, a dozen years ago. The rich get tax breaks; my tiny company has to pay $18,000 a year so my family of three can have health insurance.
It's hard to blame "liberals" for this. I mean, it happens; throwing pixie dust in our eyes is what the White House does. But if the polls aren't rigged, it's pretty clear that we no longer buy that spin.
This gives Ann Coulter a problem. How do you create a bestseller when people are tired of over-simplified tough talk, massive corruption and a President who needs more soldiers to die lest all the ones already dead died in vain?
Well, if you're Coulter, you use everything you've got.
Start with sex. Unless her photographs have been doctored, she's had her breasts done. (No complaint here; I'm just pointing it out.) And is her hemline rising? When she appeared on "Today," she wore a short cocktail dress that had to be like Viagra to male Republican viewers.
And then there's her mouth, both in interviews and on the page. Just when you think Coulter has taken shrill over the red line, she tops herself --- like attacking the "Jersey Girls," four 9/11 widows who are generally credited with forcing the government to launch the 9/11 Commission. In the book, she writes: "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." But that vintage Coulter wasn't extreme enough for the book tour. To make sure she got noticed, Coulter's promotion included this deep, substantive question: "How do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce these harpies?"
Let's take just a minute on this. Coulter makes outrageous claims --- but she has never met the Jersey Girls and is, to put it kindly, "channeling" what their feelings and motivations are. To which she would reply: "But this is satire. I am a humorist." Nice to have it both ways: sincere scourge on the attack, whimsical humorist when on the defensive. Alas, you don't get to pick and choose. This passage is neither funny nor, as far as the public record indicates, accurate. It's just Ann, being Ann.
Picking the wings off butterflies is a schoolyard game. Most graduate. Coulter did not. But then, how could we expect her to understand common human emotions, like marital love and marital grief? After all, no man has loved Ann Coulter enough to marry her. She's never had to tell a kid heartbreaking news. And as for...but discretion demands that I stop there.
At The New Yorker Festival a few weeks ago, editor David Remnick (the kind of "liberal" who once supported t