Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Is it Getting Hotter in Here, or Is it Just Me?
Time magazine has put Ann Coulter on its cover this week--the week of the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, regarding which Coulter said she wished Timothy McVeigh had hit the New York Times or the Washington Post. (How do you like your liberal media now, Mr. and Mrs. Oklahoma?) I'm not linking to the article because I don't want Time to have the traffic, and you can find it yourself easily enough. Here's my spin:

Coulter's politics are the worst sort of wingnuttery, but what makes it even worse is the obvious sadistic delight she takes in the cheap cruelties she inflicts on her targets. She offends me both as a liberal and as a person who's largely opposed to cruelty, but she offends me most of all as a writer. The woman flat sucks. If there's ever been a more frequent user of straw-man polemics than Coulter, I don't know who it would be. When I read her, I can scarcely follow her thinking. You can't see how her premises lead to her conclusions, at least until you understand that the conclusions aren't the point: the cheap and cruel invective is. It's ironic that Coulter would get Time's cover at a moment when there's lots of talk about bloggers who only want to crack wise and smear people, and who possess not a shred of journalistic credibility. There's no difference between Coulter's act and the kind of random and unsupported character assassination the big bad bloggers are supposed to be all about.

The only commentary you need to read on the Coulter cover is Digby's.
He points out that giving Coulter the mainstream stamp of approval that Time's cover represents is further evidence that we're like frogs in the proverbial pot of hot water, who are getting boiled to death one degree at a time. Ten or 15 years ago, Coulter's act would have been shunned anywhere other than a John Birch poetry slam. Now her political philosophy--which is essentially that liberals should be lined up against the wall and shot without the benefit of trial--is considered rational discourse. And that only raises the bar for what's considered irrational. Frogs, water, hot, hotter.

When Michael Moore made the cover of Time after Fahrenheit 9/11, the article inside questioned whether his schtick was good for America. Time apparently asks no such questions about Coulter. And where many of his fellow liberals were happy to take out after Moore, practically no conservatives will do the same with Coulter. While a few condemned her post-9/11 remark that she wanted to invade Muslim countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity, that's ancient history--and clearly forgotten. And four years later, we have to look at Coulter's horseface glaring at us in the checkout line, and we're left wondering yet again where the "sensible" conservatives are--the grown-ups who will stand up and stop the madness.

Maybe William of Occam was right. Maybe the simplest explanation for their failure to appear is the most likely to be right. Maybe they're like unicorns. Maybe they don't exist.

Your Homework Assignment: Overdue shout-out this morning to Dustin at Point Progression. Due to some horrible failure of taste, he links to this blog, and he posted a link recently to an online quiz called "What age do you act?," which I'm stealing. Your assignment, Aneurysm reader, is to take the quiz and report your results via the Comments section.

Hot damn, I got a 32.

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