Liberal hysteria about conservative speech always follows the same pattern; I call it “The Five Stages of Conservative Enlightenment.” There are public denunciations, demands for apologies, letter-writing campaigns, attacks on the sources of your income, and calls for censorship. There will be lots of wailing, but no facts refuting the point behind your hysteria-inducing statement. Liberals prefer denouncing people with idioms—over the top, gone too far, crossed the line, beyond the pale—not substance. Whose line? Whose pale? It almost makes you think they don’t want to talk about the substance.
But it turns out that Americans often disagree with liberals. And they seem not to like bullies. Or, for that matter, crybabies. Interestingly, these often seem to be the same people. When liberal censors are unable to persuade Americans not to support you and fail at their attempts to cut off your sources of income, they will accuse you of doing what you do “for the money.” Every time Larry King interviews a guest denouncing me as a moneygrubbing demagogue, he pockets about $28,000.
For one or another remark, I’ve been denounced by Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John Kerry, Senator Tom Daschle, Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Jack Reed, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Frank Lautenberg, more than fifty Democratic House members, and Republicans like Governor George Pataki, as well as a slew of sissy Republican presidential candidates. Oh also, of course John Edwards for a joke about John Edwards.
In the midst of the hysteria over my having “gone too far,” it will be announced that the target of my cruel joke has emerged triumphant, whereas I have finally been vanquished. And then you will never hear from my human punch line again, but I will return to utter another allegedly career-ending statement another day. Don’t believe me? Okay, how many times have you seen me on TV this week? How many times have you seen Max Cleland or Kristen Breitweiser on TV this week? I rest my case.
As if it’s never been done before, conservatives will be produced to denounce me. In 1998, I wrote High Crimes and Misdemeanors, the first of my five New York Times bestsellers. National Review promptly gave it a rotten review, prissily recommending that Clinton critics like me would “do well to examine their own sense of public decency.” Yes, someone actually cited “public decency” to criticize a critic of Bill Clinton. I’ll just pop out for a sandwich while those of you blessed with the gift of irony ponder that for a few minutes. I personally preferred the liberal Economist magazine’s review, saying High Crimes and Misdemeanors “reads like the closing argument of a long trial by a prosecutor who plainly hates the guilty bastard at the defence table.”
I have been attacked steadily by some conservatives, generally known as “my competitors,” ever since. So the novelty of being attacked by a conservative is beginning to wear off. The novelty of elected Democrat officials claiming to investigate me has also worn off. Soon after High Crimes was published, I received fake subpoenas from Democratic congressmen, demanding information for the impeachment hearings.
On November 16, 1998, Representative John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), ranking minority member on the House Judiciary Committee, sent me an official, subpoena-like letter on committee letterhead, demanding all my correspondence or communications with various of my friends for the prior four years, including George Conway, Jim Moody, and Lucianne Goldberg. Conyers is now the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which should help you sleep well tonight. He is violently opposed to listening to the conversations of terrorists, but believes the government should be able to demand copies of Ann Coulter’s birthday cards. Scratch a “civil libertarian,” find a fascist.
I wrote back:We got the president safely impeached, though sadly not removed from office. I had written a bestselling book to help move that process along, but I was still waiting—and continue waiting to this day—for my check from Richard Mellon Scaife so that newspaper columnists like Gene Lyons who called me a “Scaife-funded blonde” wouldn’t be liars.
Thank you for your correspondence. I wish you the best success in your impeachment inquiry.
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that your committee is looking into impeachment of the president. I do not believe you have authority to impeach a private citizen for expressing her First Amendment rights by writing a book critical of the president. For that reason, I have no intention of complying with your burdensome, irrelevant and harassing request that I produce, inter alia, phone records, e-mails and birthday cards exchanged with several of my friends and acquaintances since 1994.
If it’s any help, however, I believe that you should be able to obtain the same information from Terry Lenzner or another of the president’s private investigators.
Before the publication of my second book—and number one New York Times bestseller—in June 2002, it was widely proclaimed that my career was over. Finished. Kaput.
“DOES THIS MEAN THE END OF ANN COULTER?” —Alex Kuczynski,
New York Times, November 8, 1999
“ANN COULTER SEEMS TO HAVE FALLEN BY THE WAYSIDE, NO
LONGER ENTICING VIEWERS WITH THE BASIC INSTINCT RIDE OF
HER MINISKIRTS AND FATAL ATTRACTION STARE.” —James Wolcott, Vanity Fair, February 2001
And with every statement that brought my career to a crashing halt, I continued to write bestsellers. (Thank you, readers!) My career has been “finished” so many times, I’ve practically made a career out of ending my career. I don’t know how else to get this message across to right-wingers: Liberals aren’t that scary anymore! Please stop apologizing. The current generation of Republicans seems to be stuck in 1973, living in abject terror of a cruel swipe from the moribund mainstream media and hoping to win recognition as a “thoughtful” conservative. If Adolf Hitler were discovered alive and well and living in the Amazon somewhere, a Republican consultant would advise him to denounce me. Liberals would say, “Okay, he’s not so bad. Sure, he’s responsible for the deaths of millions of people, but he’s right about Ann Coulter.” The mainstream media would try to help him—maybe portray him as a victim. Except that no one’s watching their TV shows anymore.
Perhaps there are Young Republicans who can learn. So let me stress this point: You don’t want to be a member of their club. We are in a tooth-and-claw battle for our nation. This is no time to parse, nuance, or clarify words. Liberals don’t rely on words. They judge us on a jurisprudence of epithets. Fight fire with fire. Just call them traitors and let them sort it out.