Skew­er­ing ev­ery­one who de­serves it

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. - By Ray V. Hartwell III


Ann Coul­ter is back, as brash and de­light­ful as ever in her take­downs of lib­er­als, hyp­ocrites and Repub­li­cans bent on de­feat. In “Never Trust a Lib­eral Over Three — Es­pe­cially a Repub­li­can,” Miss Coul­ter col­lects and up­dates about 90 of her col­umns from the past dozen years, in chap­ters group­ing the ar­ti­cles by topic. As in her pre­vi­ous out­ing, “Mugged: Racial Dem­a­goguery from the Sev­en­ties to Obama,” the au­thor joy­fully doc­u­ments the dis­hon­esty of Democrats, skew­ers the main­stream me­dia’s im­per­vi­ous­ness to facts and rips as­sorted Repub­li­cans for re­peat­edly play­ing into the hands of their po­lit­i­cal ad­ver­saries.

From the in­tro­duc­tory chap­ter — “Will This Be on the Midterms?” — Miss Coul­ter stresses that Repub­li­cans must em­u­late the Democrats’ sin­gle-minded fo­cus on win­ning. Lib­er­als “never give up,” their “pushi­ness pre­vails not only in his­tory, but in ac­tual pub­lic pol­icy.” For there is, she writes, “no per­ma­nent vic­tory on any is­sue with lib­er­als.” Ei­ther we “vote and vote and vote and vote un­til they win, and then we never vote again,” or “lib­er­als lose — and they bring a law­suit to get what they want by ju­di­cial de­cree.”

Con­ser­va­tives, Miss Coul­ter ob­serves, “need to adopt the smart things Democrats do … .” Democrats “rule their base with an iron fist,” and they run can­di­dates who can win with the rel­e­vant vot­ers. Ac­cord­ingly, “An­thony Weiner isn’t al­lowed out of New York City,” and Democrats run “far-left Bar­bara Boxer in Cal­i­for­nia.” Cru­cially, “can­di­dates who have to get elected in places other than New York in­vari­ably project a ‘Leave It to Beaver’ nor­malcy.” Seek­ing elec­tion to the U.S. Se­nate from Arkansas, Mark L. Pryor ran ads “show­ing him read­ing the Bi­ble and pray­ing with his fam­ily” and “claimed to be pro-life, pro-Sec­ond Amend­ment, pro-mil­i­tary spend­ing, and pro-Iraq war.”

Miss Coul­ter ad­vises Repub­li­cans that win­ning “ap­plause from a small slice of en­thu­si­asts while alien­at­ing in­de­pen­dents ac­com­plishes noth­ing.” In this vein, she opines that Tea Party can­di­dates lost not be­cause “they were too bud­get-cutty,” but be­cause “they were too into mus­ing about rape.” Miss Coul­ter con­cludes that the les­son of the W. Todd Akin and Richard Mour­dock losses is “not to stop be­ing con­ser­va­tive; it’s to stop be­ing stupid.” That’s be­cause “we’re not Democrats. We don’t get pro­tected by the me­dia.” Th­ese and other “un­forced er­rors” may well have cost the Repub­li­cans a Se­nate ma­jor­ity.

In ad­di­tion, the Repub­li­can Party “has no nat­u­ral de­fense mech­a­nism against char­la­tans and sabo­teurs, be­cause pol­i­tics is not what Repub­li­cans think about ev­ery sec­ond.” Miss Coul­ter ar­gues per­sua­sively that Repub­li­cans have been “screwed by cam­paign con­sul­tants fleec­ing deep­pock­eted can­di­dates rather than do­ing the hard work” of win­ning elec­tions. And the “con­ser­va­tive base turned against [Pres­i­dent] Bush for his years of big spend­ing, fol­lowed by his push­ing amnesty for il­le­gal aliens, af­ter get­ting re-elected in 2004 with a Repub­li­can House and Se­nate.”

Miss Coul­ter urges Repub­li­can lead­ers to unite, get a grip, and win. “Elec­tions mat­ter,” she coun­sels, be­cause “life is a horror when lib­er­als are run­ning things.” Her book pro­ceeds to of­fer plen­ti­ful ev­i­dence in sup­port of that as­ser­tion, a sort of “soup to nuts” re­view of di­vi­sion, dis­trac­tion and de­cep­tion by the left, of­ten met with lit­tle more than feck­less dis­or­der in the ranks of Repub­li­cans.

Char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally, Miss Coul­ter is nei­ther vague nor in­di­rect in her ad­vice to con­ser­va­tives. Thus, Repub­li­cans should not “pri­mary” an in­cum­bent “in or­der to mod­estly im­prove the can­di­date, and very pos­si­bly lose the seat.” But she makes an ex­cep­tion for any elected Repub­li­can who fa­vors “giv­ing the Democrats 30 mil­lion new vot­ers with amnesty.” Also, con­ser­va­tives should not re­spond mildly and with equiv­o­ca­tion (e.g., there are “fringes” on both sides) to vi­cious lies, as when “lib­er­als ac­cuse cheer­ful, law-abid­ing Tea Party ac­tivists of be­ing vi­o­lent racists.” Repub­li­cans “who pre­fer to come across on TV as won­der­fully mod­er­ate … should find another line of work and stop de­fam­ing con­ser­va­tives with their ‘both sides’ pab­u­lum.”

Miss Coul­ter dis­plays no sym­pa­thy for Repub­li­cans who claim to be con­ser­va­tive but take po­si­tions that be­lie those claims and be­tray the party’s base. Mike Huck­abee “pro­moted giv­ing in-state tu­ition in Arkansas to il­le­gal im­mi­grants from Mex­ico.” John McCain sup­ported amnesty and retroac­tive So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits for il­le­gal aliens, and “free speech-crush­ing cam­paign­fi­nance laws,” while op­pos­ing the Bush tax cuts and drilling in Alaska. Gov. Jeb Bush fa­vored “driver’s li­censes for il­le­gal aliens,” four years af­ter the Sept. 11, 2001 at­tack “in which all four pi­lots had used Florida driver’s li­censes to board the planes.”

Com­bin­ing her lawyerly and literary skills, Miss Coul­ter presents us a book packed with facts that sup­port her tren­chant ob­ser­va­tions on a broad range of topics. For con­ser­va­tive read­ers, this book is an in­for­ma­tive read and a use­ful ref­er­ence. Lib­er­als will find grudg­ing re­spect for their tri­umphs, which are de­scribed in stark terms not usu­ally en­coun­tered in the main­stream me­dia nar­ra­tive on such mat­ters. Ray V. Hartwell III is an Alabama na­tive and a trus­tee emer­i­tus of Wash­ing­ton and Lee Univer­sity.

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