Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Coulter cloaca

Look, it's not as if Ann Coulter hasn't already revealed the quivering sac of pus she has for a soul, multiple times. And always, just when you think she can't crawl any lower, she turns around and does exactly that.

So her latest schtick in promoting her newest liberal-hate screed (titled Godless: The Church of Liberalism) really isn't any kind of surprise at all. It just means it's just time to fumigate again.

What she's doing is attacking the widows of the 9/11 victims who had the temerity to question Preznit Bush and, more horrifically, support John Kerry in the 2004 election. In the book, she writes:
These self-obsessed women seem genuinely unaware that 9/11 was an attack on our nation and acted as if the terrorist attack only happened to them. They believe the entire country was required to marinate in their exquisite personal agony. Apparently, denouncing Bush was part of the closure process. These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband's death so much.

Coulter's Bizarro World Reverse Projection Mirror is on display here, to wit:

This self-obsessed woman seems genuinely unaware that there was a flesh-and-blood human toll taken on 9/11, people to whom it really happened, and vicarious watchers like Ann Coulter, whose experience of it came from watching it on TV, act as if it happened to them too. In fact, the entire country voluntarily marinated in their exquisite personal agony; the families had no choice in the matter. Apparently, granting Bush the status of a demigod, and accusing anyone -- including the actual victims and their families -- who dared question him of "treason," was part of the closure process for people like Coulter. More than that, it made her a ton of dough. But now she's a millionaire, lionized on TV and in Time cover stories, reveling in her status as a celebrity and stalked by cream-pie throwers, all because she can attract attention to herself by impugning, in the ugliest fashion, the motives of people who lost their husbands, wives, parents and children on 9/11. In fact, as long as they don't have to confront people like the family members, people like Coulter (see also Michelle Malkin) positively love to talk about 9/11 and the victims ad nauseam as justification for every little jot and tittle of their right-wing enterprise; indeed, I have never seen such a cluster of soulless hags and cads enjoying other people's deaths so much. (Can anyone say "trifecta"?)

The projection on Coulter's part, in this case, couldn't have been made more clear than in the fact that what the 9/11 families fought the Bush administration over -- having an independent commission investigate the intelligence failures of 9/11 -- was precisely the opposite of self-absorbed grief, and was in fact predicated on the crazy idea that maybe the government should look at what it did wrong in order to prevent another similar terror attack. So who, exactly, is self-absorbed here?

As ThinkProgress [via Atrios] reports, Coulter was on NBC's Today show with Matt Lauer today, and he tried to pin her down on this passage. Of course, she deflected by accusing Lauer of losing his cool, which he didn't, but Coulter is a master of avoiding the question:
COULTER: To speak out using the fact they are 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 in somebody we are allowed to respond to. No. No. No. We have to respond to someone who had a family member die. Because then if we respond, oh you are questioning their authenticity.

LAUER: So grieve but grieve quietly?

COULTER: No, the story is an attack on the nation. That requires a foreign policy response.

LAUER: By the way, they also criticized the Clinton administration.

COULTER: Not the ones I am talking about. No, no, no.

LAUER: Yeah they have.

COULTER: Oh no, no, no, no, no. They were cutting commercials for Kerry. They were using their grief to make a political point while preventing anyone from responding.

LAUER: So if you lose a husband, you no longer have the right to have a political point of view?

COULTER: No, but don't use the fact that you lost a husband as the basis for being able to talk about, while preventing people from responding. Let Matt Lauer make the point. Let Bill Clinton make the point. Don't put up someone I am not allowed to respond to without questioning the authenticity of their grief.

Actually, what galls Coulter about people like the 9/11 widows is that her standard response to Matt Lauer and Bill Clinton or anyone else who might possess the audacity to question in any fashion the Bush administration or conservatives generally is to accuse them of "treason" or, at worst, of "having forgotten what happened on 9/11." And that response, of course, doesn't work so well when you're talking about families of the victims.

So let's just find a way to lash them anyway. Paint them as they did Cindy Sheehan, as a left-wing, self-serving kook.

Coulter's not the first to do this; Rush Limbaugh, you'll recall, attempted a similar smear job against the widows.

What all of this obscures, of course, is the reality: that what the 9/11 families succeeded in doing was making the 9/11 Commission happen. That was the extent of their "treason." That, and backing John Kerry.

Moreover, I noted some time back, their story isn't one of partisan hackery. Several of the widows, including leader Kristin Breitweiser, were in fact Bush-voting Republicans on, and immediately after, 9/11. What turned them against Bush was how hard his White House fought even having a 9/11 investigation, as they explained when they came out for Kerry:
Gathering at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, the widows announced their endorsement of the Massachusetts Democrat for president, a move made "in good conscience and from our hearts," as former Bush supporter Kristen Breitweiser told the news cameras. "In the three years since 9/11, I could never have imagined I would be here today, disappointed in the person I voted for, for president," she said. Added fellow Jersey Girl Patty Casazza: "It was President Bush who thwarted our attempts at every turn."

The widows made this political turn for one reason only: Bush fought the formation of the 9/11 commission for a year, and continued to fight its work throughout. Moreover, their intimacy with the details of the commission's findings led them to recognize the Iraq war for the abomination it is:
"Unfortunately, before the work in Afghanistan was complete ... this administration moved our most precious resources, America's sons and daughters, into Iraq, without the support of our allies. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and that is what we learned from the 9/11 commission's final report," said Lorie Van Auken of East Brunswick, N.J. "Sept. 11 was an enormous intelligence failure, and yet nothing was done to fix our intelligence after 9/11, and that same intelligence apparatus took us into Iraq. So it's doubly frustrating to learn that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11."

There was an added reason, beyond their bipartisan background, that the 9/11 families had so much credibility: they had been extraordinarily persuasive in their testimony to Congress, which was built not on emotional appeals but a devastating factual case regarding intelligence failures:
On Sept. 18, 2002, when much of the public was still sympathetic to the Bush administration position that the attacks could not have been foreseen or prevented, Breitweiser gave a statement before the joint House-Senate investigation into intelligence lapses; it may have changed the course of history.

In a concise, straightforward manner, she laid out the facts far more effectively than had any senator or representative on the panel. She asked how, for example, the CIA could fail to locate hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid al-Midhar, who had entered the United States despite being on a terrorist watch list, when one was listed in the San Diego phone book and both roomed with an undercover FBI informant. The day after her presentation, the White House -- once firmly against an independent commission -- reversed itself and endorsed the idea. And it was the 9/11 commission that would later find no operational ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, one of the key reasons Bush gave for invading Iraq.

Breitweiser posts occasionally still at Huffblog, including a devastating retort to Karl Rove for his Coulteresque attack on liberals last year:
Karl, you say you "understand" 9/11. Then why did you and your friends so vehemently oppose the creation of a 9/11 Independent Commission? Once the commission was established, why did you refuse to properly fund the Commission by allotting it only a $3 million budget? Why did you refuse to allow access to documents and witnesses for the 9/11 Commissioners? Why did we have to fight so hard for an extension when the Commissioners told us that they needed more time due to your footdragging and stonewalling? Why didn't you want to cooperate so that all Americans could “understand” what happened on 9/11?

Since the release of the 9/11 Commission's Final Report, have you helped bring to fruition any of the commission's recommendations? Have you truly made our homeland safer by hardening/eliminating soft targets? Because, to me rebuilding a tower that is 1,776 feet tall where the World Trade Center once stood seems to be only providing more soft targets for the terrorists to hit. Moreover, your support for the use of nuclear energy seems to be providing even more soft targets. Tell me, while you write your nifty little speeches about nuclear power, do you explain to your audience how our nuclear plants will be protected against terrorist attack or infiltration? What assurances do you give that nuclear waste will not find its way into terrorist's dirty bombs and onto our city streets? And, how do you assure your audience that the shipment of radioactive material will not become a terrorist target as it rolls through their own backyards?

No wonder the Coulters of the world hate people like this. They have a tendency to shatter their Bizarro World anti-realities.

I'd kind of like to see Ann Coulter up on a stage with Kristin Breitweiser, but I'm afraid it might signal the end of the universe or something, sort of like anti-matter and matter: anti-reality meeting with reality. The problem is that Coulter, no doubt, would then just call out her thugs.

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