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Location: San Diego, California, United States

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter, whatever you think of her or her writing, presents her arguments well - if a little fiery - in making the case of the harm the left is doing to our society.

Read this column and tell me where she is wrong. No inuendo, please, just counter her statements with facts that prove her a right wing nut, which is what the left often says of her.

Take on the challenge!



Blogger Curt said...

Coulter is a master of provocation, but in this piece at least, I don't see a whole lot of arguments. She starts off by claiming that "liberals always play the victim" - a categorical statement that immediately says she is not interested in serious discourse.

She leads by saying that liberals have not challenged her thesis above; probably because they've got better things to do! Then she segues into Blago for a paragraph, apparently implying his shenanigans are keeping liberals too busy to take on Coulter?

Then we get a long section of Kennedy fixation, focusing mostly on events of 40+ years ago. Yes, Caroline Kennedy unfortunately had a tragic event in her family a long time ago. She made a poorly thought out decision to pursue the Senate seat, and then withdrew. I believe many folks on both sides of the aisle were glad she did.

Then we get to the one section of the piece that makes a point about gun laws, and mentions a study that I'd be interested in knowing more about.

Then she shifts over to talk about the election of a black man as President. I'm not quite sure what her point is here... she seems to be saying that all black Americans are in the 'victim class', and that's why it's no surprise that Obama got where he is, because of all the 'perks' of affirmative action. Presumably that's also why Colin Powell was successful.

I don't see Obama or Powell as playing the 'victim card' as they say; they are both men of achievement who operated under the rules that they grew up with.

Finally she brings up Obama's African father. I think she saying that it's ironic that Obama benefitted from affirmative action since his father wasn't a slave.

And all this somehow proves her thesis that "liberals always play the victim" and "oppress others"? I don't see it. She presses as many 'hot buttons' as she can, which is what provacateurs love to do. And now I think I've already spent way too much time trying to decipher Ann Coulter.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Good analysis, although I don't agree with most of your comments. If I were you I wouldn't spend any more time analysing this column, but I would continue to think about her points.

I'll pick one that interests me because of your answers:

"I don't see Obama or Powell as playing the 'victim card' as they say; they are both men of achievement who operated under the rules that they grew up with."

Please advise of OHB's achievements. You can kid the base, but don't kid yourself. To compare BHO to Colin Powell re achievements is silly.

BHO is our first "affirmative action" President and to deny this is silly. I think we are back to our semantic problem. Note I spell "affirmative action" with lower case. He did NOT use "affirmative action" nor did he play the "victim card".

He is our first black President because of "affirmative action" generated by the latent "white guilt" which is so prevalent among his base and even among some Republicans!

Do you really believe he would have become President if he hadn't been black! (Some people had their careers ruined by saying this, although it is obviously the truth - what a shame!). As I say above, you can kid the base, but don't kid yourself!

I would like to hear your thoughts on my comments above, as I have not heard them anywhere else, in my opinion because of the necessity of being politically correct with the MSM environment we have now. And that is scary!!

12:15 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

Let me try to understand your question: "Do you really believe he would have become President if he hadn't been black?" (Note that things that are 'obviously true' to you are not so obvious to me, which I guess is the reason we have these discussions).

I can take this two ways - (1) could a white man of the 'same background' win the Presidency? or (2) if somehow Obama was white but otherwise unchanged would he have been elected?

As a comparison point, let's take John Edwards. He was a one term senator, after being a lawyer (and making a good pile of money). How different is he from Obama? Not that far apart, I don't think. He was seen at one point as a viable candidate for President (and was chosen as VP in 2004). Wikipedia claims that he was on Gore's short list for VP in 2000, after two years in the Senate. Do you think this is a valid comparison?

I think it's pretty fair if not exact, and an indication that someone without a long career in politics can be in a position to be taken seriously as a Presidential candidate.

What if we twisted it around and asked, would John Edwards have become President if he were black? Obviously hypothetical and impossible to really answer, but perhaps it makes us think about what personality factors other than race are important in being seen as a viable candidate for President. Edwards was always seen as a bit too 'slick' and his downfall in 2008 seemed to validate that intuition.

On the other angle, the question is did Obama's 'blackness' on the balance win him extra votes that a white candidate of similar stature would not have gotten?

At the early stages of the Democratic primaries, the conventional wisdom was that Obama had no real chance, that Hilary had it wrapped up. The Obama campaign ran a very strategic battle, with the initial win in Iowa as a key turning point. That win did establish for many people that he did have a shot.

From that point on, it was a close race that could have gone either way. Interestingly, the Obama win of the nomination did not come from overwhelming popular vote victories in the big states, but instead from a combination of small state victories and strategic wins of the caucus states. So it's not as if the majority of Democrats immediately gave Obama their vote (due to "white guilt" or any other reason).

In the general election, McCain suffered from 'Bush fatigue' certainly. He didn't always come across well in public speaking. I believe the choice of Palin did not gain the GOP ticket too many votes that they would not have gotten already. But even given those factors, it does not seem like it was a sure thing that Obama would win.

For certain, many people saw it as a 'good thing' for a black man to win the Presidency, and yes, I'm sure that for many people there is some sense that it 'makes up' for past injustices. But that's not the same thing as claiming that any black candidate can win, or that "white guilt" will lead the majority to vote for a black candidate.

He won about 10 million more votes that John Kerry did 4 years earlier (McCain got about 3 million less than Bush in 2004). Some of those votes came from people who wouldn't normally vote, but came out to vote for a black candidate, but it's hard to say how many. (Some of the votes came from people who wouldn't normally vote, but were tired of Bush/GOP).

Long answer to a short question, and I suspect you won't like my answer much, but there it is.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

You overanalyze!

I don't dislike your answer, just don't agree with much of it! But I cherish the discussion.

BHO has achieved very little compared to other Presidents who have won election going back to FDR. Can you name one who had less or even comparable experience?

He was elected because he is black. This is so obvious, but so politically incorrect, that no one will say it! Could you explain this to me?

I certainly don't think that "any" black man could win. For instance, if a conservative black man - Colin Powell or Ken Blackwell or Michael Steele - "white guilt" from the left would not surface due to stronger feelings against conservatives.

BHO is our President and gets all the respect and support that he deserves, but part of that is not kidding ourselves as to why he is there!

By the way, has everyone forgotten that BHO was selected by Ted Kennedy et al as a viable black candidate for President back in 2004? At that point it was certainly not his achievements!!

3:20 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

Yes, perhaps I do overanalyze. I'm just not willing to settle for 'obvious' as a form of explanation.

I don't disagree on your question about level of achievement as compared with previous presidents. But I notice you did not comment on my suggestion of John Edwards as a comparison point.

My belief is that Obama would have become a footnote if things had not gone well for him in Iowa. Your made an earlier comment about 'fooling the base' but I don't believe people were fooled - I think serious voters took a long time thinking about whether this man, despite a weak resume, was a reasonable choice (not only 'could he win?' but 'could he do the job?'). There were many ways he could have 'failed' that standard (for example, one debate disaster might have been enough), but he did not. So to reduce it all to saying he was elected "because he was black" does not suffice.

Obviously we will all find out whether that was a good group decision or not...

8:24 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Just as you overanalyze, I tend to underanalyze. A personality trait - I am a bit lazy!

Saying BHO was elected "because he was black" does not discount all the positive things about him and his campaign. It is only saying that if he wasn't black, all those other things would not have gotten him elected President. And there was much positive: great speaker from a prepared text, good looking, fine family, good campaign, etc.

I disagree with your thesis that voters evaluated this man - over a long time or not - because of the protection of the MSM. Or do you believe they aggressively researched his relationships with Reverand Wright, Bill Ayers, his Chicago land deals, et al? No one was given a chance to evaluate him.

And my theory is because he is black and the MSM led the "white guilt" contingency!

Re: John Edwards. He supports my point: if he had been black, he very probably would have been our President at some point. Great speaker from a prepared text (and off the cuff, a plus), good looking, fine family, good campaign, etc.

8:34 AM  

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