Posted by: bridget | 5 March 2007

CPAC Debacle

At the CPAC conference this weekend, Ann Coulter snarked that John Edwards could best be termed a “faggot.” The liberal media was up in arms. The conservative blogosphere has not been without its critics. Michelle Malkin has an excellent post about the entire conference, and, most importantly, how Miss Coulter’s comment was the one moment that marred an otherwise excellent weekend. Mrs. Malkin eloquently expressed her standards for the conservative convention:

We expect CPAC to be a place where conservative role models speak with clarity, passion, and integrity. There are enough spewers of mindless filth, vulgarity, and hatred on TV, at the movies, and in the public schools. We don’t expect our children to be exposed to that garbage at the nation’s preeminent conservative gathering.”

While conservatives rightly want to protect one of their own, they forget that the moral high ground is worth defending. Headlines like, “John Edwards condemns Ann Coulter for acting like an Edwards campaign staffer at CPAC” make the point that the Left is hardly the bastion of civility. Miss Coulter, however, is capable of much more than is Amanda Marcotte; she is Ivy-educated, a former Law Review editor at UMich, and a satirical, brilliant commentator. She has insisted on intellectual discourse and is quite contemptuous of those who must resort to violence or childishness to make their point. Her latest comment lacked wit and intellect – two of her greatest assets.

Howard Dean and other Democrats are calling for Republicans to apologise for her. While conservatives should be clear that they do not approve of gratuitous slurs, they need not apologise for something over which they had no control. Furthermore, the civility with which the GOP conducts all its affairs, from writing to speaking to politicking, speaks for itself: our pride in being a meritocracy – the party of intellectual discourse and debate – is not our apology for Miss Coulter, but rather a chastisement towards a woman who can do much better.



  1. Nice summary. It is unfortunate that Coulter stooped to the level of an Edwards’ blogger. She could have made the point about the silly political correctness police in a much better way.

  2. Yes, Neil’s right.

    I had the same reaction that I accuse my wife of having anytime a flawed action by a child is pointed out, kneejerk, defensive and blinkered.

    So many other examples could have been used. It’s difficult to explain away her choice in this case, even if the comment was a wiseguy blurt, which she often does.

    All of us need a little tug on the reins now and then, no?


  3. Thanks for stopping in! :)

    As someone who eagerly awaits Thursdays because Ann’s new columns come out then, this was a tough one. Usually, when she skewers someone, it’s a very pointed remark – not something you would hear on a playground.

    Too bad she had to give ammunition to the Left.

    I agree re: tug on the reins.

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