“To get Bill Clinton to speak at the convention, Obama had to agree to carry his bags.” Ann Coulter September 5, 20012
Ann Coulter is an example of what is ailing our body politic and of the cancer that has invaded every cell of our political discourse. I have long believed that in an attic somewhere Coulter keeps a picture of herself, scared and twisted by all the cruelty and fatalist fantasy she has propagated, desiccated and decaying under the burden of the harm she has done.
In the tradition of Oscar Wilde’s malevolent Doran Gray, her poison seeps into the world around her like mercury into groundwater. Words have consequences, and hers are often devastating if by nothing other than the malicious ideas she and others like her continue to breed in the manner of maggots on a rotting corpse. She is never to be taken lightly.
Ms. Coulter is a disgrace, even to the Rightwing. She rose to prominence during the Clinton impeachment era. For anyone who doesn’t remember this fiasco it was a $42,000,000, taxpayer funded, small government proponent’s panty raid. She was the most acidic and over the top critic of the president. Her vehemence against Bubba and her obsession with his sexual conduct reminded me of Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, who did protest too much. Then as now I couldn’t help but wonder if the real source of her fury was the knowledge that at the height of his lascivious behavior Bill Clinton wouldn’t have touched her had she been the only female on earth – for the same reason he wouldn’t have put his hand in a canister of liquid nitrogen.
By contrast the Left has Rachel Maddow who wouldn’t for love or money consider abusing the much abused convention of protected political speech with slander, venomous attacks or pitiless vilification. She resembles no one so much as Edward R. Murrow who made it a habit of showing up, paying attention, telling the truth and not being vested in outcome. This is the sage’s road to enlightenment and the path by which they lead others.
Today, MSNBC enjoys some of its highest ratings owing to Rachel’s extraordinary work as anchor of both conventions. While Ann Coulter states that women should not have the vote and we struggle with people attempting to roll back the rights of women, can there be any greater testament to what a strong, brilliant and empower woman can achieve then Rachel Maddow. She is a credit to her sex, her profession and to women like me who stood up for women’s rights in the days when the motto of feminine success was, “tits up girls, public relations.” She is a credit to women like my grandmother who were beaten and jailed for the right to participate in the political process.
In a very real world way Ms. Maddow is representative of the stark contrast that President Obama elucidated in his speech last night. It isn’t just the difference between a gifted and socially conscious president and an inane elitist who thinks the world stops at the tip of his dick. It is also the difference between a decent and illuminated society where people like Maddow set the tone of political discourse and the fetid cesspool where filth purveyors like Coulter swim. It is the difference between the world being offered to us by the Radical Right’s bigotry and fear mongering and a world where greatness is admired rather than maligned by mediocrity; where honesty is a fixed value and thoughtfulness not ignorance informs the conscience of a nation.