Monday, August 25, 2003

Nice try, Bill

You know I respect Bill Maher, but the man, frankly is just getting it wrong here:

She is not afraid to say something that will make people boo, and we need more of that. People are such panderers. They're such babies about that. They want to reinforce people's prejudices. I certainly don't agree with everything she is, but I admire that. And the older you get, at least for me, the more I adore the quality of acceptance in people. And Ann and I understand that about each other. We have a great time, we're not dating. People want to always put the sex factor in everything. No, it's not about that. It's about acceptance. It's about OK, I don't agree with everything you say, you don't agree with everything I believe, but we accept each other. (Link via Counterspin.)

I don't think anyone has a problem with Ann Coulter's willingness to say difficult things. I certainly don't. What disgusts me about Coulter is that she's simply a bullshit artist who makes facts fit her view of the world. She's intellectually dishonest. She says liberals have to resort to name-calling and then calls the Kennedy family a bunch of "heroin addicts, statutory rapists, convicted and unconvicted female-killers, cheaters, bootleggers and dissolute drunks." She looks at Patty Murray's thoughtful attempt to explain bin Laden's appeal and accuses her of siding with the enemy (while not mentioning conservatives who really did blame America first. She's a liar. She's an embarrassment. As Gen. George C. Marshall biographer Prof. Mark Stoler wrote, when I asked him about Coulter's bashing of the Nobel Prize winning hero, Coulter's "smear and diatribe" was a "terrible commentary on the state of our nation."

He's right.

Contrary to what you might expect, I have plenty of conservative friends. What allows me to respect them and, I think, for them to respect me is our unwillingness to bullshit one another. We try to stick to issues when we argue and we don't just make stuff up out of whole cloth. That's what our country needs, but, as I've mentioned before, many conservatives are unwilling to debate honestly.

Again, Bill, I don't mind if you like Ann Coulter, but don't act like she's being brave by saying things that other people boo. She's a liar, pure and simple.


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