I am a little late to the game with this, but it looks like Ann’s new marketing scheme is working fabulously:
New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton accused commentator Ann Coulter of making a “vicious, mean-spirited attack” on outspoken 9/11 widows whom the television pundit described as “self-obsessed” and enjoying their husbands’ deaths.
Coulter writes in a new book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” that a group of New Jersey widows whose husbands perished in the World Trade Center act “as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them.”
She also wrote, “I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.”
Clinton, who has felt Coulter’s criticism over the years, responded on Wednesday.
“Perhaps her book should have been called ‘Heartless,'” the senator said. “I know a lot of the widows and family members who lost loved ones on 9/11. They never wanted to be a member of a group that is defined by the tragedy of what happened.”
First off, it kind of goes without saying that Ann went over the top, and made statements that were rude, offensive, and obnoxious. But what did you expect? It is Ann Coulter- she makers her living doing just this sort of thing- throwing red meat to the lunatic fringe. I think what she said was wrong, but I think in the bash Coulter train (which I am proud to join), something is being missed in her NBC Today Show comments:
Coulter: “To speak out using the fact that they’re widows. This is the left’s doctrine of infallibility. If they have a point to make about the 9/11 commission, about how to fight the war on terrorism. How about sending somebody we’re allowed to respond to? No, no we always have to respond to someone who just had a family member die…”
Lauer: “But aren’t they the people in the middle of the story?”
Coulter: “…because then if we respond, ‘Oh you’re questioning their authenticity.’ No the story is…”
Lauer: “So grieve but grieve quietly.”
Coulter: “No the story is an attack on the nation…”
Lauer: “And by the way…”
Coulter: “That requires a foreign policy response. That does not entail the expertise…”
Lauer: “And by the way they also criticized the Clinton administration for their failures leading up to 9/11.”
Coulter: “Oh not, not the ones I’m talking about.”
Lauer: “No they have.”
Coulter: “No, no, no. Oh no, no, no, no.”
Lauer: “But is your message to them just grieve…”
Coulter: “No, no they were cutting commercials for Kerry. They were using their grief in order to make a political point while preventing anyone from responding.”
Ann is on to something there, but she is too dimwitted or partisan to recognize that it isn’t just the ‘left’s doctrine of infallibility,’ but the NJ wives represent a trend that seems to be popular on both sides of the aisle- the NJ wives are exactly the same as Cindy Sheehan was for ‘the left’ and Terri Schiavo’s parents were to the wingnut right. As I wrote about Cindy Sheehan:
I haven’t written about Cindy Sheehan because it is just a tragedy. She has lost her kid, is grief-stricken, so I figure it best to just leave her alone. Fair enough.
However, it is understandable that her new-found activism, along with her aligning herself with the radical anti-war left and staging media events with no purpose other than to attack the President, should be seen as opening herself up to criticisms of her political positions. It is also fair to state that many on the left have chosen her as a symbol to bludgeon anyone who still supports this war. The prevailing opinion from the left appears to be that Sheehan is the perfect weapon, someone whose viewpoints are simply not allowed to be challenged, someone who can be used at will to not only galvanize support for the anti-war movement, but to attack the President, the President’s policies, and anyone who chooses to continue to support the mission in Iraq. And no one is allowed to say anything to counter that- the President and those who still support themission are supposed to just sit there and take it, lest they be accused of attacking a grieving mother.
It is the same damned thing, just a different tragedy as the motivating force. It is the kind of crap that MoDo was trying to peddle with her absolute moral authority nonsense:
Selectively humane, Mr. Bush justified his Iraq war by stressing the 9/11 losses. He emphasized the humanity of the Iraqis who desire freedom when his W.M.D. rationale vaporized.
But his humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.
In other words- anything the Jersey 4 or Cindy Sheehan states, from a policy standpoint, should be listened to because they are coming from a position of personal sacrifice. If you refute (or try to) their arguments or their policy positions, why, you are attacking a ‘grieving mother!’ That is what certain political operatives are trying to do, and it is nothing more than an emotional appeal that should be ignored. If the GOP found 4 relatives of people who had died in 9/11, and parents of soldiers killed in Iraq who were all wild and enthusiastic supporters of this administration, would their sacrifices make their political opinions ‘infallible?’
Of course not, as that is absolute nonsense. I don’t want you all to think that ‘the left’ is the only group that seems to do it- both political sides seem to be as cynically manipulative with this sort of thing. It just seems like this happens more now with ‘the left’ than ‘the right,’ which I would guess is because ‘the left,’ at the moment, is operating from a position of no power. They don’t control the WH, Congress, etc. However, if you doubt both sides do it, think back to how many times we saw poor Terri Schiavo’s parents wheeled out in front of the cameras to show that we absolutely must change longstanding laws and policy decisions because they were grieving.
So, yes, Ann Coulter is a vicious shrew who made a boatload of nasty comments about people who have gone through hell and deserve, if nothing else, to be treated with a dose of compassion that the heartless columnist Coulter seems to be unable to muster. But at the same time, Coulter is on to something- we, collectively, have got to stop using tragedy in attempts to make bad ideas somehow seem better. It is unseemly, it causes bitter divisions, and worst of all, it doesn’t let the best ideas come forward. It advances the most emotionally fraught arguments assume positions of dominance, and if we have learned ANYTHING over the past few years since 9/11, hysteria and emotional appeals are no way to run a government.
*** BTW- could you all please quit emailing me asking why I am running a Coulter ad? I am not. I don’t use an advertising service that gives me the choice to pick advertisers, I use a pj media feed, and apparently my evil corporate masters have signed a contract with Coulter to put her ads into the rotation.
*** Update ***
Apparently can ask to have the ad removed, but I am not going to- I would run an ad for Code Pink or Michael Moore or whoever. Unlike Charles barkley, I would draw the line at the KKK and groups like that, but I really don’t think the Coulter ad is a big deal. I haven;t even seen the damned thing yet, so I have no idea how frequently it procs, but I am betting not too often.