The pinnacle of Republican nastiness bared her ugly soul at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday night. Not satisfied with 3rd grade insults about fat Al Gore, “half-white, half-black” Obama or even “half trash” Clinton – Coulter plunged to a new low slurring John Edwards and homosexuals alike with convoluted natterings about “rehab” and ‘f*ggots’. The sad news for the country is that there is no rehab for what ails Ann Coulter.
Democrats reacted with a round of predictable outrage. John Edwards called the remarks “un-American and indefensible”, Chairman Dean called on Republicans to denounce the ‘f*ggot’ remark. My question is… why bother? Will these conference participants, who chortled and guffawed at these ugly slurs, suddenly regain their sense of moral decency? What of the other outlandish remarks and political scheming over the course of the last two months?
One of the first acts of Senate Republicans, in 2007, was to block the non-binding Iraq resolution from going to the floor for debate and the infamous “up or down” vote. Not just once, they actually prevented this vote twice. Essentially, Republicans proved their willingness to filibuster legislation as important to the American people as the escalation of the Iraq War. Now that is “un-American and indefensible”.
After blocking every effort to bring any Iraq resolution to a vote, they then turned around and blamed Democrats for a lack of progress on ending the war. There is literally no legislation Democrats can get through the Senate on Iraq, but Republicans have somehow managed to frame the issue as a failure of Democrats. They even dare to play chicken on troop funding, challenging Democrats to end funding of the war when they know full well they would filibuster it if Democrats tried.
Not only would they filibuster, they have also proven they will disparage and malign anyone proposing an alternative Iraq policy that is based on an exit strategy. As they challenge Democrats to end funding, Vice President Cheney accuses Speaker Pelosi of supporting terrorists by stating her plan will “validate the al-Qaida strategy”. Another scorched earth smear campaign is rolled out and the media falls in line by indicating Cheney and Pelosi are equally culpable, calling it a “war of words”. The fact that Ms. Pelosi responded to an unscrupulous attack on her character is mysteriously lost on the front pages, much like Osama mysteriously and repeatedly replaces Obama in major media outlets.
The media’s complicity is not new, of course, as the Swift Boat episode of 2004 clearly demonstrated. Now that a prime contributor to that fiasco has been nominated to an Ambassadorship, how is it that there is no questioning by any major media outlet? Can one imagine if a Democrat were to nominate George Soros as an Ambassador? Once again, as in the case of ‘heckuva job Brownie’, we have a nomination whose key qualification is being a “Bush crony”.
The Republicans clearly haven’t learned a thing from the November election. They have absolutely no intention of setting either a new tone of respect in Washington or a new responsiveness to the American people. Indeed, it’s more of the same. More of the same in Iraq. More of the same in Congress. More of the same ridicule and mockery. More of the same win at all costs power politics.
Would Republicans denouncing a juvenile smear indicate the scales had miraculously fallen from their eyes? This has been their style since they called Roosevelt a Communist in the 1930’s and 40’s. No public denouncement would convince me they intend to change. In fact, it’s insulting to even give them the opportunity to apologize, as many times as they’ve proven this is their preferred modus operandi. Haven’t they used up their three strikes by now? The sorry fact of the matter is, Ann Coulter’s remarks are the ripples Republicans send out into the world. It’s What They Do.