An Open Letter from Conservative Bloggers to GPAC Organizers on Ann Coulter

One newspaper has pulled her column and she’s lost some ads from her website, but here’s an open letter from right wing bloggers about Ann Coulter’s comments about John Edwards last weekend.

I’d really like to see Matt Cunningham add his name to this list.

We engage our friends on the right in a debate of ideas.  While neither side can sway completely to another point of view, there has to be a place of compromise in the middle where points of view are respected an agreeable compromise can be achieved and we can all move forward.  This letter from conservative bloggers is a step in the right direction.

 

An Open Letter to CPAC Sponsors and Organizers Regarding Ann Coulter

Conservatism treats humans as they are, as moral creatures possessing rational minds and capable of discerning right from wrong. There comes a time when we must speak out in the defense of the conservative movement, and make a stand for political civility. This is one of those times.

Ann Coulter used to serve the movement well. She was telegenic, intelligent, and witty. She was also fearless: saying provocative things to inspire deeper thought and cutting through the haze of competing information has its uses. But Coulter’s fearlessness has become an addiction to shock value. She draws attention to herself, rather than placing the spotlight on conservative ideas.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2006, Coulter referred to Iranians as “ragheads.” She is one of the most prominent women in the conservative movement; for her to employ such reckless language reinforces the stereotype that conservatives are racists.

At CPAC 2007 Coulter decided to turn up the volume by referring to John Edwards, a former U.S. Senator and current Presidential candidate, as a “faggot.” Such offensive language–and the cavalier attitude that lies behind it–is intolerable to us. It may be tolerated on liberal websites but not at the nation’s premier conservative gathering.

The legendary conservative thinker Richard Weaver wrote a book entitled Ideas Have Consequences. Rush Limbaugh has said again and again that “words mean things.” Both phrases apply to Coulter’s awful remarks.

Coulter’s vicious word choice tells the world she care little about the feelings of a large group that often feels marginalized and despised. Her word choice forces conservatives to waste time defending themselves against charges of homophobia rather than advancing conservative ideas.

Within a day of Coulter’s remark John Edwards sent out a fundraising email that used Coulter’s words to raise money for his faltering campaign. She is helping those she claims to oppose. How does that advance any of the causes we hold dear?

Denouncing Coulter is not enough. After her “raghead” remark in 2006 she took some heat. Yet she did not grow and learn. We should have been more forceful. This year she used a gay slur. What is next? If Senator Barack Obama is the de facto Democratic Presidential nominee next year will Coulter feel free to use a racial slur? How does that help conservatism?

One of the points of CPAC is the opportunity it gives college students to meet other young conservatives and learn from our leaders. Unlike on their campuses—where they often feel alone—at CPAC they know they are part of a vibrant political movement. What example is set when one highlight of the conference is finding out what shocking phrase will emerge from Ann Coulter’s mouth? How can we teach young conservatives to fight for their principles with civility and respect when Ann Coulter is allowed to address the conference? Coulter’s invective is a sign of weak thinking and unprincipled politicking.

CPAC sponsors, the Age of Ann has passed. We, the undersigned, request that CPAC speaking invitations no longer be extended to Ann Coulter. Her words and attitude simply do too much damage.

 

 

  28 comments for “An Open Letter from Conservative Bloggers to GPAC Organizers on Ann Coulter

  1. March 6, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    I do agree that this letter is a step in the right direction, but as Brad Friedman wrote on the BradBlog:

    Where were they after she referred to Arabs as “ragheads” at last years conference and joked about “taking a shot” at killing Bill Clinton?

    Or when she joked about assassinating Justice John Paul Stevens? Blowing up the NY Times building? Bludgeoning Democrats with baseball bats? And claiming that 9/11 widows were “enjoying” their husbands’ deaths?

  2. Brennan
    March 6, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    If I may say something, as I signer of that letter. The point of the letter, was exactly what Mike Lawson stated, enough is enough. Her recent remark, was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, and this letter was crafted.

    Even in politics, despite its reputation, there needs to be boundaries, and ethics. That’s why the right is now asking that Ann Coulter no longer be invited to CPAC. We’ve had enough.

  3. March 6, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    There’s not much anyone can do now to change what Coulter has said in the past, but I think this open letter clearly states that enough is enough. Best of luck! I hope your message gets through to the sponsors and organizers.

  4. EliseS
    March 6, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Still, the cheers and the laughter of approval are forever recorded. The bigotry seems already instilled in the new conseravative youth.

  5. March 6, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Hugh Hewitt has even gone and condemned her remarks. I am glad they have taken a hard line on this outrageous comment. But remember it took some protesting from our end of the spectrum. One thing I noticed, especially after the John Paul Stevens remark, was the silence from our side, the lack of outrage from our side.

    If we don’t hold their feet to the fire of stupid things people on their end of the spectrum say, they will continue to cheer and laugh when Ann Coulter feels she make make a remark like that.

  6. Brennan
    March 6, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    A few more things. First of all, Thank You Maria. Second to EliseS, Michelle Malkin, and other Conservatives, responded to it, calling it disgusting, or the sort. To Claudio, Michelle Malkin’s post basically condemning the remark, came out long before Howard Dean ever demanded an apology. She was at CPAC, and blogged as soon as it was over, saying “no laughter from this corner”.

    Thanks.

  7. Northcountystorm
    March 7, 2007 at 2:14 am

    Props to the conservative bloggers for denouncing Coulter crude comments. It was long overdue but better late then never.

    Liberals and progressives who complain about some on the right never getting above the belt need to be ready to self-police on their own side of the political divide. While not matching certain elements of the right for out and out nastiness and never getting near Coulter who is in a league of her own, some on the left revel in hateful rhetoric, whether it be aimed at President Bush or his family, Jews, Catholics, Christian leaders, Arnold, or a host of others. Most on the left are caredul to maintain a certain amount of civility even when throwing high and inside. When they(and their conservative coounterparts) do this their opinions and comments stand a much better chance of being evaluated on the merits .

  8. March 7, 2007 at 8:19 am

    After reading the letter and giving the whole matter — what Coulter said, her explanation — I agree wholeheartedly with this letter’s criticism of Coulter. I wouldn’t go so far as imposing a life-time ban from speaking at C-PAC. If Coulter turns over a new leaf and pulls back from being shocking for the sake of being shocking, there’s no reason she shouldn’t be invited to a future C-PAC. But that should be based on demonstrated change, not just promises of change.

    Personally, I’ve been indifferent to Coulter. I’ve never read her books and I can count on one hand the number Coulter columns I’ve read. She’s never been my cup of tea. I only have so much time to read conservative opinion and I just don’t get much from her stuff — so I don’t read it.

    Red County/OC Blog is conservative, but I’ve worked to ensure the comments are open to all readers to express political opinions across the spectrum in a reasonably civil manner. If Coulter’s remark at C-PAC had been posted as a comment on Red County/OC Blog, it would have been deleted, and if she kept it up, she’d have been banned.

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    March 7, 2007 at 9:19 am

    Matt — then by yoru standard, she will be banned for a long time. Coulter defended her remarks on Hannity & Colmes and likened the use of the word to a school yard taunt akin to “wuss” or “sissy.” She refused to apologize for liberals not getting the joke.

    But I do agree with you based on your history and past examples that her comments would have been banned from your blog.

  10. Americano
    March 7, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    I must say that the socialist movement to silence people here in the Land of Opportunity is beyond bizarre.

    From now on we should refer to this country as the Land of Apology as we, except for minorities and Bill Maher apparently, must apologize for saying what we feel. From Anne Coulter, to Tim Hardaway, to Michael Richards, and the list goes on. Funny how no one has denounced those who claim George Bush is a Nazi, or university professor’s who preach hatred of America and publish jihad websites. Nor has anyone denounced Iran, or Chavez for their rants on US soil (sake for a few).

    It is absolutely no wonder why we, America, is losing the propaganda wars. We have become a country of whiners, apologists, and dare I say faggots – in the sense that we are wimps.

    We cannot speak freely, we can not even disagree with behaviours we find repulsive and immoral, and we cannot continue down this tragic path without facing serious consequences.

    The stifling of voices, of ideas, and of free thought is un-American. If you do not agree with Anne Coulter – don’t listen to her. But don’t deny her freedom to speak as she wishes.

    For those truly upset with Ms. Coulter, I’d like you to view a recent incident at the campus of UC Irvine where Muslim students vociferiously declared they were waging a verbal jihad in America and death to Israel noting that soon Israel would no longer exist. Which is more offensive? Anne Coulter using the word faggot or Muslim Americans vowing to wipe Israel off the map?

    Based on the reaction to Coulter’s comments, it looks like Michelle Malkin is wrong. This is a school yard level discussion and there are much more important things to talk about.

    By the way, where was CAIR to denounce Anne? Where was Al Sharpton? Jessie Jackson? Hmmm, strangely absent were these great champions of the people.

  11. March 7, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Americano,

    Don’t mistake a denouncement of what she said with an attempt to take away the rights of any individual to say such a thing.

    Coulter has the right to call Edwards names, and she has the right to suggest that the New York Times Building would be more useful if a bomb exploded in its lobby. And she has the right to claim to be the father of Ann Nicole’s baby if she wants to. Nobody here on this page has suggested otherwise.

    What we have done, and what the dozen conservative bloggers in this letter have done, is say that enough is enough, and she should no longer be recognized as a credible talking head that all too often has acted as a spokesperson for the conservative party of this country.

  12. Dan Chmielewski
    March 7, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Americano — you have a short memory; Ari Fliescher told americans to “watch what they say.” Soliders at Walter Reed have been told not to speak to the media about conditions there. Dick Durbin compares conditions at Guantanamo Bay to Nazi Germany and Sean Hannity now says Durbin called our troops Nazi’s even though that is not what he said. The right wing has said Bill Maher lamented that Dick Cheney wasn’t killed in the Middle East last week when that’s not what he said. Take a good hard look at the stiffling of speech from yourside of the aisle. Pot or kettle?

    If yo want to see some hate speech, read some of the pro-Coulter comments on the conservative blogs. My point here is not to silence Ms. Coulter, but to lament the lack of respectable discourse in this country. Liberal is not a dirty word. Neither is progressive or Democrat.

  13. Northcountystorm
    March 7, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Americano—read my previous post. Condemming hateful speech and conduct is a bi-partisan responsibility. I’ve condemmed Ward Churchill as well as Anne Coulter. I’ve let people know that the anti-Catholic bloggers recently departed from the Edwards campaign were as offensive to me as the sick people who carry anti-homosexual signs outside of funerals of our servicemen and women. And the offensive speech and conduct of a few anti-war protesters aimed at our men and women in uniform is as repulsive as some of the anti-immigrant taunts directed at kids that I’ve heard by what I’m hoping is a minority of those who favor a more restrictive immigration policy. Its not a choice of what is more offensive as you portray above(I find both Coulter and the radical Islamasist’s who want to destroy Israel to be offensive) . It’s that while people in this country are allowed to make fools out of themselves with their stupid, hateful comments, the rest of us should not hesitate to criticize or even condemm the fool.

  14. Lib Hater
    March 7, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Oh Please….

    Tell me the standards you have for unacceptable or outrageous speech – then compare them to what liberals/radicals like Michael Moore or Barney Frank or Jesse Jackson say and they would be off your list of respectable pundits to speak at your liberal conference.

    Lets all agree that Edwards does look like a sissy boy – it’s a fact. The slag for describing him – the “F” word will get you a trip to “rehabilitation” that’s the joke.

    Is she an elected official? no… is she entertaining? yes. Why don’t you rally the troops and get Bill Maher removed from ever appearing in the LA Times?

    Again what are your standards?

  15. Dan Chmielewski
    March 7, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    And Ann Coulter has a noticable Adam’s apple, a deep voice for a woman and “man hands.” What’s your point again?

     

    The joke isn’t funny.

    Is there a sissy boy look?

    Barney Frank is an intelligent Congressman, though he is arrogant (but then so was Don DeLay)

    Ann Coulter has also called Bill Clinton a “latent homesexual” and Al Gore “a total fag.”

  16. Lib Hater
    March 7, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    Barney Frank ran a male brothel out of his apartment in DC – had sex in the congressional gym while leaning up against George Bush Sr. locker – but that’s not why he wouldn’t be invited to a liberal conference under your rules of speech,

    Frank declared that President Bush was engaged in genocide against black Americans for the way FEMA handled the disaster relief – he called our president a mass murderer? Does that qualify as an outrageous un-funny comment?

    She theorized that Clinton’s non-stop philandering may be covering up his being a latent homosexual. Is that so far fetched, totally out of the realm of possibility??? Did you ever crack a book on psychology – the theory does match Bill Clinton to a tee.

    Why do you think Clinton can’t stop sleeping with other women?

    Oh yeah Al Franken wrote a sketch on SNL where he called Chelsy Clinton a “dog” ho ho funny

  17. Dan Chmielewski
    March 7, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Barney Frank didn’t run the male brothel out of his apartment; it was his then boyfriend. Barney Frank is always welcome at *any* event I host. Rep. Frank would be right about the way the president handled and continues to handle the situation in New Orleans.

    I got an A in psychology and non-stop philandering is quoite a charge. Yes, it is too far fetched.

    I defer to big Bill on your question.

    As for the current group of jokers: they allowed a “reporter” who was a gay male prostitute to regularly attend White House press briefings; they had regular phone conferences with Rev. Red Haggart (snickers anyone), and they condoned Rep. Mark Foley’s “do I make you horny” IMs to underage pages. You have to go back 20 years…I can go back 20 weeks.

    Did you think it was funny when Bush looked under his desk for WMDs as part of the congressional correspondents dinner? I’m sure the families of the soliders thought it was hysterical.

  18. think123
    March 8, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Speaking of Ann Couter, check out the video art piece featuring her at http://www.dreamies.com.
    There’s a bunch of movies there, this one is March 8 titled “Horseplay”.

  19. March 8, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Ironic name- “Libhater.” I thought these so-called conservative Christians did not believe in hate. You have to laugh at their constant demonstrations of hypocrisy.

  20. March 9, 2007 at 12:03 am

    “Lets all agree that Edwards does look like a sissy boy – it’s a fact. The slag for describing him – the “F” word will get you a trip to “rehabilitation” that’s the joke.”

    Fact or opinion, what does what someone looks like have to do with politics?

  21. EliseS
    March 9, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Looks matter, yes. My life-long Democratic mother-in-law had doubts about Kerry because he “looked like one of the trees from the Wizard of Oz”…sigh.

  22. Dave
    September 20, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    She’s provocative alright, but much of the time I find that people are misapprehending her, usually due to either a lack of information about what she’s mocking or a lack of sense of humor.

    The faggot bit was a send-up of the fact that some actor on a medical show was actually sent to rehab as a result of his getting in a shouting match with a gay fellow cast member and calling him a faggot. Ann said “I’d say something about John Edwards but it turns out you have to go to rehab if you use the word faggot”.

    multiple levels of mockery, none of which involve her selecting the word ‘faggot’ out of the blue and casually tossing it at JE with no underlying reason. That is something high school boys and drunks do, not 40 year old women with good incomes and black cocktail dresses. Faggot is a juvenile word, chosen by an actor in his 20′s to insult another actor with whom he was arguing. She used the word to make a point about liberals, not to try to make America believe Edwards is a homosexual. The word was contextually related, not chosen at random as the media then went on to represent for weeks.

    Just like the bit about wishing Edwards would die in a terrorist attack– it was a jab at Bill Maher’s cruel remarks over Dick Cheney. She rightly wanted to know if it was okay to wish that on Democrats, since liberal TV people were now openly wishing it on Republicans. TV people claimed for weeks that she actually wished Edwards would die in a terrorist attack! Do you people have any humor or insight left?

    You guys need to open your eyes. Liberals would absolutely crush us if they get the opportunity. They’ve declared war. The conversation is out there, and Ann Coulter is one of the people bringing this to our attention. You can wave a flag of civilisation and politeness all you want, but that will just get you in the gulag when it’s all said and done.

    I wish I was kidding even a little.

  23. Dave
    September 20, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    my antispam word this time was GOP Stinks–

    and sadly (as I’m in it), it does these days…. :-)

  24. Dan Chmielewski
    September 20, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    That’s not what Bill Mahr said. And she caled Bill Clinton a latent homosexual and Al Gore a “total fag.” She does have a nice Madam’s Apple though

  25. Dave
    September 20, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    and btw, if hillary clinton can call General David Petraeus a liar, and Tom Lantos can say that even before PEtraeus has said a single word (is there such a thing as calling someone a future liar?), then Coulter calling Edwards a faggot is small potatoes, especially since she had an actual contextual reason for using that word and there is NO REASON for the liberal insult to Petraeus.

    You guys need to lighten up and prioritize. Ann COulter is not a threat to American security or conservative ideals. She’s just an indelicate female. Not married too.. but that’s just a coincidence.

  26. Dave
    September 20, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    IT wasn’t Mahers exact words, but it certainly was his implication, which he and everyone else on the show and in the live audience enjoyed very much.

    Semantic games. HE meant it even if his words weren’t precisely that.

    I’ve wondered about ole’ bill myself. And Gore seems obvious to me. :-)

  27. Dan Chmielewski
    September 20, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    No, I saw that show; it wasn’t his implication at all, but it was the reaciton from the right wing afterwards.

  28. RHackett
    September 20, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    What was pathetic was how the Bush administration hid behind Petraeus. The purpose of the military is to be an instrument of policy. It is civilians who determine policy by constitutional mandate. This administration sent the good general to pimp its policy since it knows few but the hard core are willing to accept it any longer.

    The general was a good soldier who did the orders of his commander of chief. I feel sorry for him that he allowed himself to be used in this manner. His reputation will be forever stained as a result.

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