Coulter as bellwether

So at the CPAC conference this weekend, Ann Coulter called John Edwards a faggot.  Specifically, she said this:

Oh, and I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards. But it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word “faggot,” so I’m — so I’m kind of at an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards. So I think I’ll just conclude here and take your questions.

Dave Neiwert, who has literally written books about this kind of shit, has this to say, but you really should read the whole post (and in fact just read Orcinus every day):

Coulter’s underlying logic is simple: Bigots are just people with different ideas, not hateful misanthropes whose beliefs are innately poisonous.

Expect to hear a lot of iterations of this. Already you can see it having an effect on the campus level, where right-wing acolytes of the Coulter School of Pseudo Fascism have been holding “Find the Illegal Immigrant” games or “South of the Border” parties, and mock MLK Day parties, and the like. Bigotry, with this crowd, is “edgy.”

Greenwald also remarks on a related point:

    But we should, at the very least, be able to have a moratorium on all of the scandals driven by their claims to be so offended and upset when anonymous commenters on a blog say mean things, or when bloggers use curse words, or when Senators transparently botch a joke. The ugliest and most obscene sentiments are openly expressed not by their blog commenters or even bloggers — though that is true — but by their most admired and successful political leaders, the ones whom their presidential candidates desperately seek to embrace and for whom their most committed throngs cheer wildly.

Unfortunately, I think Greenwald misses an important nuance to the dynamic at work here: The endless accusations of ugliness and “unhinged” behavior on the left are actually part of the right’s general projection strategy, of which Coulter, Limbaugh, and Malkin are the chief heralds. These accusations are not only flung in the face of reality, their very purpose is to obscure and distort it — and to justify the right’s own behavior.

After all, since liberals are so clearly unhinged — as Howard Kurtz will happily parrot for you — it’s only natural that they get their faces slapped a little in return, right?

An important vocabulary phrase here is Overton window.

As a side note, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Dave Neiwert curse as much as he does in this post.


6 thoughts on “Coulter as bellwether

  1. Ananth

    I have a question about what makes something a facist bigotry… If i were to throw a theme party, say a gangster rap video, and people dress up like hooligan from NWA videos is that facist bigotry? How about dressing Irish for St Patty’s day themed parties? Obviously people who dress like gardeners at a south of the border party are showing some form of racism, but is a south of the border party itself facist?

    Just asking is all…

    Also, Pedro, you know it is a 100% certainy that he is pardoned on January 19, 2009, right?

  2. pedro

    Yup yup. I’m just hoping that its done by a shameful George Bush the night before some hopeful Democrat takes office.

    That’s the promise of Fitzmas. The TRUE Fitzmas miracle. :)

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