Unlike Bruce, I have only recently become a fan of Ann Coulter.
I knew her when we were both in law school, she at Michigan, I at U-VA and while impressed with her intellect, I was irritated by her schtick, playing the leggy blond right-winger who said outrageous things. She used her looks as did Helen, daughter of Tyndarus (later of Troy), Cleopatra and Evita, to advance her career, especially as they (those looks) contrasted with the pock-marked, pot-bellied stereotypical outspoken conservative who also said outlandish things.
In an ideal world, her commentary would be beyond the pale. She says some things which are deliberately provocative, but her commentary is no less provocative than that which passes for serious liberal thought on the editorial pages of our nation’s major dailies and on cable TV.
We are, however, not living in an ideal world. We live in a world, at evidenced by the attacks on the Tea Party when some in the media report as news inaccurate stories about racist conservative activists, activists who exist only in the heads of Democratic Congressmen and their various and sundry echo chambers.
I had an insight about Ann about the time last year I heard her speak at David Horowitz’s birthday celebration. (I went not so much to hear her speak, but to honor David, a man I have long respected.) I realized that in the world as it is — and not as we’d like it to be — she is an ideal conservative spokesman (no spokesperchild she).
What Ann does is just throw the left’s broadsides on conservatives back at them, returning with a playful smile what lefties send out with a self-righteous scowl. She mocks in good fun and to make a point.
I thought of Ann today when Byron York was looking into the left hyperventilating over Rush Limbaugh responding to the president’s attack on him, calling his Administration a regime: “By using the word ‘regime,’ Limbaugh was doing something he does all the time: throwing the language of the opposition back in their faces.”
In short, Coulter’s “schtick” is a lot like Limbaugh’s.
Ann, I apologize for not getting you before. I was holding our side to a higher standard. Sometimes in the current media atmosphere, you have to respond in kind to get heard. And to make a point.