My Problem with Ann Coulter

Disclaimer: This is not a Republican, party-line propaganda site. Far from it. I'm happy to hold conservatives' feet to the fire as much as I'll call the liberal media out for the liberal propaganda machine that they are. My hope is that if you are a party-line conservative or a liberal, you will be encouraged to assess the issues according to principle, not party.

I present that disclaimer because I find that I often have as much of an issue with extremist Leftist groups like the National Organization of Women as with conservatives like Ann Coulter.

Ann is a brilliant woman, a lawyer, who has done her homework. But, she also represents the most inflammatory segment of the conservative movement. There are many times that I completely agree with her ideas while, at the same time, being completely turned off because of her caustic, cutting tone. I realize that the sarcasm is part of the sell; she does it well. And, it can be hilarious, so long as it doesn't represent others who call themselves Christian or conservative.

I say all that to say that John Roberts appears to be passing every test from conservatives, moderates and most liberals. I wrote yesterday that I take comfort when groups like NOW and Planned Parenthood come out swinging. While I'm not necessarily taking comfort in Ann's disapproval of Judge Roberts, it doesn't make me nervous.

Today, all the players piped in on the Roberts nomination. Everyone lined up in their places. Democratic Chairman Howard Dean, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sen. Chuck Schumer, NOW President Kim Gandy, just to name a few, weighed in with their utter disgust of the president's pick. Hmmm...it's more comforting than I can express here. Knowing that those people hate Roberts brings such confidence in this man's values and character. By the same token, I find courage in everyone from Vice President Dick Cheney to Sean Hannity, Sen. John McCain and other more moderate Republicans and Democrats speaking on behalf of the nominee. Then, of course, our very own Layman made an excellent case for Roberts earlier on this blog.

If NOW and Ann Coulter are both unhappy about John Roberts, we can probably rest easy that the President chose wisely.


At 7/20/2005 11:20:00 PM, Blogger Layman said...

Ann is worried that Roberts will turn out to be another Souter. Souter's conservative credentials were vouched for by John Sununu. Obviously, that vouching meant nothing and Souter is now a reliably liberal Supreme Court Justice. And he did not "evolve" that way, he started out that way. I learned this in law school when one of my law professors told me about how he had come to clerk for Justice Souter. It seems that Justice Brennan had already selected law clerks for the term he was no longer able to fill. When Justice Souter took over Justice Brennan's seat, he simply took on Justice Brennan's law clerk's as hiw own. That is, he took on the law clerks of the most adamantly and activity liberal Justice the Supreme Court has ever known.

Is there evidence that Roberts may be a Souter? Other than the similar slim paper trail, the answer is no. Roberts worked diligently and exceptionally for Republican presidents when he could have been making much more money in private practice. Souter on the other hand, was a state court judge (New Hampshire) who had served only a year on the appellate court when he was nominated.

Roberts does have more of a paper trail than Souter, and it is conservative, though it does not approach anything similar to that of Scalia or Bork. In fact, it is probably similar (in size and sentiment) to Justice Thomas' paper trail when he was nominated. No one could accuse Thomas of being a Souter. He is in some ways more originalist and "strict" than Scalia.

Then there is the personal indicia of conservatism. He has regularly though not lavishly donated to Republican candidates for public office. Roberts is a Catholic and means it. He has adopted two children. His wife was the Executive Vice President of Feminists for Life for crying out loud.

But for me, the clincher was that Roberts and I have something very important in common. Not just being a lawyer, but we were both members of The Federalist Society while in law school.

Being a member of The Federalist Society is fashionable at exactly two law schools: Brigham Young and Univ. of Chicago. My alma mater, Loyola Law School, could not even come up with a faculty sponsor despite being the biggest law school west of the Mississippi. Also, my classmates took to calling me the "President of the Loyola Milita" because of my position with The Federalist Society (despite the fact I've never even owned a gun). I can only imagine how popular such membership was a Harvard Law School.

So rest easy. He may not be a Scalia or Thomas, but he will be a lot like Rehnquist (I suspect Roberts is more of an institutionalist than Scalia or Thomas).

At 7/20/2005 11:41:00 PM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

Thank you, once again, Layman. By the way, I loved the lawyer joke earlier! :)

At 7/21/2005 12:19:00 AM, Anonymous Sean said...

No need for the disclaimer. I'm conservatarian and thought you were a little too kind. To describe her as "Brilliant" suggest to me that this word is become as cliche' as it is in the UK.

Regardless weather I agree or disagree w/Coulter, she is as vitriolic and viral as an angry Hillary or a punked Gore. I admire her as much as I admire Scott Ritter (UN Weapon Inspector). I am convinced she has it in her head that right thinking people 'particularly men' (Thats another blog) think she is the liberal slayer. Truth is, she can barely hold her own when she can't frazzle her counter-part with insults and wise-cracks. She is a blow-hard, I wish she would get off my TV. I don't see what the media sees in her except for what she is.

At 7/21/2005 01:13:00 PM, Blogger Kiki said...

I found your site from Rachels site. Your comments are very interesting. I agree but also am wary if Ann Coulter and NOW are worried about the Presidents pick. I say worried because I want someone on the court who will vote consistently conservative and my little knowledge of Ann Coulter is that she is conservative.

I am afraid that our world is getting worse and worse and if the supreme court can decide our rights on so many issues than we need some conservative people with strong morals.

My thoughts are jumbled in my mind. My knowledge is limited. I hope I make sense and do it respectfully.

At 7/21/2005 02:57:00 PM, Blogger eric cumbee said...

Ann coulter is with out a doubt a very smart person, but she really needs to learn when to keep her mouth shut.

At 7/21/2005 04:04:00 PM, Anonymous Perkins said...

Ann Coulter is, from what I have heard of her, a fairly intelligent woman. But she is a little overly abrasive. She argues like a liberal. All passion and a tendency to raise her voice when she should be reinforcing her argument. She may have a point about Roberts, but heaven help the poor sot who decides to try and discuss it with her...

At 7/21/2005 04:17:00 PM, Blogger fetzer said...

I take Ann for what she is. She is very good writer who uses her sex appeal and acerbic wit to get noticed. There is nothing wrong with that in that she is marketing herself. I personally find it very entertaining if not enlightening and effective sometimes.

At 7/21/2005 05:15:00 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

She does write well, but to use your sex appeal and acerbic wit to get noticed in a way that portrays a negative image of an entire party, frankly, portrays her as selfish and a sell-out. There are enough critical name callers in politics, especially the Democratic party lately. The Repubs aren't innocent by any means, but I get dissapointed when anyone such as Ann Coulter, who is looked at by this nation(for the most part) as a conservative voice representing Republicans is acting like an opinionated teenager instead of an educated adult holding this country accountable to the principles of the constitution and our nation's foundation. My advice to Ann... be an example not an executioner.

At 7/21/2005 06:27:00 PM, Blogger Publius said...

i was sad to learn that ann is concerned about the president's pick. i tend to agree with just about everything she says (and, i admittedly have a bit of a crush on her :) ). with that said, her wit does occasionally make the rest of us conservatives look bad. however, i attribute this mostly to the society of political correctness we are up to our eyeballs in. people seem to have forgotten that satire and hyperbole are effective means of making a perfectly reasonable point. i wonder how we would react to a person like mark twain if he were alive today?

At 7/21/2005 06:36:00 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

I agree, but there is a way to use hyperbole and satire in a way that is still respectful and not crass. Still, you make a good point, we are too PC today trying to fluff things up and not step on too many toes instead of standing on true principle. Truth is like medicine, necessary for healing although hard to swallow at times. So, I admire how genuine she is, but there is also wisdom that can be used in communication.

At 7/21/2005 07:27:00 PM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

I think this is an issue of context. Ann absolutely has an appeal--and even a role--within conservative circles. She does an effective and entertaining job of rallying the troops/preaching to the choir, so to speak.

My concern has to do with the effect OUTSIDE of that role. Is she representing others who agree with the ideas but not the attitude? Are those who disagree going to give serious consideration to valid ideas in spite of the name calling?

I'm not even proposing that she change. However, if I considered myself "liberal," I highly doubt I'd buy or be persuaded by a book entitled, How to Talk to A Liberal...If You Must.

If we're going to reach people outside some conservative inner circle, then we need to find more dignified ways to communicate the truths we claim to believe.

At 7/22/2005 06:38:00 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Funny. I have posted comments on my blog with similar titles, bamely the problem I have with Rush, the problem I have with Hannity, and the problem I have with Laura Ingraham. As far as Ann Coulter is concerned, I had heard that she "blasted" Bush's choice for Supreme Court Justice, so I wnt to her site to see for myself. What I found was a lucid reasonable objection based on the fact that she, and we don't really know where John Roberts stands on the various issues we are most concerned about. I can't say I don't agree with that assessment, however I am willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt, and will assume he talked to Judge Roberts and was satisfied that he would represent the principles that most closely resembles Bush's own views. Let's not jump on either Ms Coulters bandwagon or Bush's until we know more.

I am sorry I haven't put a link in my blog to yours yet. It was an oversight on my part. I will do that right now.

At 7/22/2005 04:13:00 PM, Blogger Toad734 said...

I heard the reason she has such long hair is so she could be dragged around by the types of men she likes


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