In my never-ever-wrong opinion, Ann Coulter is an advocate for repulsive and wrongheaded positions of all sorts. She also frustrates legitimate progress in political matters by utilizing a tone and attitude that drags discussion into the icky mud of hatefulness.
Nonetheless, she is a person. Her father died recently.
Do you know what might be worse than being Ann Coulter? Utilizing her icky mourning strategy as a launching pad for your own vitriolic anti-Coulter article. That's Chris Kelly for you.
It's hard to imagine that anyone could be more despicable than Ann often is, but Chris has managed to do just that. "Ann Coulter Kills at Her Father's Funeral", which appears at The Huffington Post, is damn near as reprehensible as any Jew-perfecting, faggot-calling, liberals-are-sub-human smarminess Coulter has ever vomited onto the page.
Incensed at her use of a family death to mock Ted Kennedy (twice!) and describing her as "Ophelia with her violetless garlands, crossed with a real fucking hack", Kelly dissects Coulter's obituary/memorial article about her father and his death. Chris inserts his own not-so-humorous asides along the way.
Kelly, as you might guess, isn't the only person beating on Coulter for penning a politicized obit. The jackasses at Democratic Underground are piling on, too. Here are two standout comments about the John Vincent Coulter piece:
"No doubt he secretly wished his semen went onto the bed sheets instead of spawning that horrendous, awful thing known as Ann." "Sounds like good riddance to me. Too bad there wasn't a family plan."
Someone Dugg the Coulter article and the comments feature more of the same ugliness:
"What a better place this world would be if this man had been born sterile." "Death was the only way to escape your Medusa like gaze! I hope you're next you hateful cow!"
You might anticipate that participants at the History Channel Discussion Board would be a bit more reserved. You might be wrong. "Tweaking" Coulter's comments on activist 9/11 widows, a HC boarder notes:
"It's interesting that she's one of those millionaire broads who has turned into her own personal grief-arazzis. I've never seen anyone enjoying their fathers' death so much."
"Her father really sounded like a pig. It was enlightening to find out who raised her. It explains a lot. I'm glad someone decided to post this, and that I read it. Showing what a mean spirited person she is, her final toast to her father was to hope for some people to die. My what fine lessons he taught her."
Follow me here...
One. I dislike almost everything Coulter has to say as much (if not more) than most people.
Two. One of the reasons I dislike her articles and comments is because they are delivered with a lack of civility. Rational argument and legitimate exploration of ideas disappears in attempts at "witty" name-calling, "humorous" insult, "biting" honesty and all of the other bullshit that really amounts to pure nastiness.
Three. Being an asshole in response to someone perceived as an asshole doesn't really improve the overall quality of political discourse. When you fight fire with fire, you usually end up with a really big fucking fire.
Four. Many mamas have given lectures that included warnings against "stooping to their level". There's a reason everyone's received one of those speeches before.
Five. It's very difficult to persuade people to your way of thinking when you are on record as being a huge prick.
In other words, leave Ann Coulter alone on this one. You might find the obit distasteful, but nothing she could have said in that column was quite as distasteful as beating up on someone who just lost a parent. What you might see as an inelegant bit of opportunism may very well be AC's attempt to follow the Shakespearean recommendation to "give sorrow words". Bill knew that "the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break", after all.
Death is a tough thing, people. Even if you're Ann Coulter. Despite rumor to the contrary emanating from some circles, she is a human being. When a human being's dad dies, it is not a fun time. It is a very sad time. It is a very stressful time. People react different to death. Brett Favre ran out and played a great football game when his dad died. Others take two weeks off and disappear from view. Some cry and slip into a period of serious reflection about mortality. Some write political columns in which they unsuccessfully try to be funny.
If you're not some crazy who actually believes in perfecting Jews, forcibly converting Muslims, etc., temper your reaction to Coulter's column. Show the kind of humanity you might think she lacks. Don't send her hate mail. Send her a casserole. Don't write something hateful, express your condolences.
Do it sincerely. Someday (if they haven't already), your parents are going to die, too. That's gonna be a very shitty time for you. You wouldn't like having someone spit in your face while you're shoveling dirt over the grave, would you? Don't spit in Coulter's.
In addition to being A Nice Thing to Do, holding your fire has a few other advantages. It demonstrates a commitment to a more humane political discourse, which might someday lead to a space where real debate and rational decision making transpires. It underlines your ability to empathize and sympathize with others (which, anti-Coulter folks usually trumpet as a good thing).
Mainly, though, it's A Nice Thing to Do. Isn't that enough?
Ann, if you happen to be reading this, please accept my condolences. We can get back to arguing later.
There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.
John Gregory Brown
Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery
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