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There's an old saying: "It can take 50 years to earn a reputation, and 5 seconds to destroy it."
Apparently, the moral of that saying was completely lost on whichever CPAC executive(s) decided to provide Ann Coulter with a platform to speak upon at this confab, which she then used to call John Edwards "a faggot" (video here). It was also lost on those CPAC attendees who either applauded or laughed at it.
Actually, this terrible judgment goes further back than that --- to every one of those folks on the right who have provided Coulter with ever-larger platforms from which to express her incendiary, off-the-charts lunatic epithets like this.
Coulter was a time-bomb waiting to go off. And when she made that comment, when her fuse finally ground down to zero, the audience had a choice --- to applaud, or to boo. While a sizable number either sat on their hands or expressed gasps, they will be forgottten; the video of the many who hooped and applauded Coulter will live on, forever... especially in the leadup to the pivotal 2008 elections.
Just this week, I documented (here) how hundreds of seething leftarded lunatics expressed their collective regret on The Huffington Post that the Taliban was unsuccessful in its attempt to assassinate VP Cheney in Afghanistan this week, and how, upon being exposed by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, HuffPost administrators got busy surgically scrubbing these comments, turning what was a 19-page thread into a half page of vanila comments. I then documented (here) how Arianna Huffington's statement concerning these events was filled with easily-demonstrable deceptions and untruths.
Yet Arianna will be able to walk away from this entire sordid episode, unscathed, and smiling. Why? Because she is a leftist --- and as we've all been taught by the MSM, Hollywood, our educational establishment and the vast majority of America's intelligentsia, leftists always "mean well," whereas non-leftists are... just, well, "mean." And the MSM acted accordingly --- refusing to cover this HuffPost outrage.
This is not an isolated phenomenon, but rather is part and parcel of modern politics: the MSM lets leftists get away with gaffes and outrages that it routinely and gleefully crucifies non-leftists for commtting, and will keep before Americans' eyeballs for days, weeks or months on end.
This simply is how the game is played today. It is, of course, totally unfair, totally biased, and totally against the interests of the American people, and our national security. But it IS what it IS. (Or as Ayn Rand said, "A is A.")
The organizers of CPAC cannot have been unaware of this dynamic. Many of their noted (and worthy) leaders comment on it, often. Rush and Sean, those with the loudest megaphones, talk about it on a daily basis.
And yet, for all their virtues, both of them (particularly Rush*) have actively legitimized Ann Coulter, the right's equivalent of... well, someone beneath even Al Franken. (*his choice of her as his fictitious Vice-President on "The Half-Hour News Hour")
Now, the chickens are coming home to roost, thanks to the idiotic decision to give Ann Coulter a CPAC-provided platform, which she then went on to use to call John Edwards "a faggot" --- and to the decision of a sizable portion of the CPAC audience to applaud her, either enthusiastically or reservedly.
CPAC was about many things --- about "interviewing" presidential candidates, discussing the future of conservatism, and how its adherents can regain power in Washington, should they prove worthy to the voters. It was also about ideas for how they would fight the most important battle of our lifetimes, against militant Islamists who have declared war on America and other free nations.
Yet given the MSM dynamic that every CPAC member knows exists today --- that they will cover up for or ignore the most outrageous lunacy on the left, while fighting like vultures to expose and repeatedly cover any gaffes and outrages on the right --- what in the world did they expect would happen when Ann Coulter makes such a statement, on a CPAC-provided platform?It gives me no pleasure to point this all out --- but I anticipate that some prominent and lay conservatives are going to try to paper this over, or dismiss it as just being MSM bias.
You got it: the MSM is going to sink its collective teeth into not only what Coulter said, but the fact that there was significant appaluse.
And reality, being what it is, the MSM is not going to let go of this.
Coulter's comment will be THE defining "take-away" of CPAC 2007. Nothing regarding ideas, interpretations of where we are as a nation and where we should be headed, how to fight the war against militant Islam, etc.
No, it will be that Ann Coulter lambasted gays, and that CPAC members applauded her for it.
But if, KNOWING how the MSM game is currently played, CPAC execs and attendees STILL made a combined gaffe like this, KNOWING it was being broadcast on C-SPAN, then this lapse in judgment will serve to burn them for a long, long time. And rightfully so, in my opinion --- for what does it say about their judgment, in general, to say nothing of their values?
America has important issues and battles to address. The CPAC execs who gave Ann Coulter this platform, and the attendees who applauded her, just set back their ability to communicate with the American people on these issues and battles for a long time.
To mitigate this damage, CPAC should IMMEDIATELY issue a blanket condemnation of Coulter's statement, and assure Americans that they will never allow her a platform to speak from again. Period.
And so it begins... Ann Coulter, CPAC's execs and many of its attendees have now handed John Edwards and leftists in general a moral victory that they never could have obtained on their own (see here, and even on HuffPost, here). Get ready for days and weeks of this.
(This is all very similar to the moral victory that I contend Virgil Goode inadvertently handed CAIR and other domestic Islamists and terrorist front-groups, with his statements in late 2006... but we'll save that for another, future thread.)
And as any rational observer would have expected, Ann Coulter is not only refusing to apologize, she is stirring the pot even further, with additional, stupid, incendiary statements on her blogsite (here).
*Sigh*. This fiasco is going to have a very, very, very long shelf life for leftists and their allies in the MSM.
UPDATE 3: A REFRESHING BREATH AT "HOTAIR"
As a huge admirer of Michelle Malkin, it is good to see that she, too, is seeing this fiasco in the correct context, here. I only hope that when Monday rolls around, the conservative media will be as principled as Malkin is in denouncing Coulter, and hopefully will go still further --- by denouncing CPAC execs and especially the audience members who applauded Coulter. Hey, I'm an optimist --- I can at least hope.
UPDATE 4 - MARCH 5: MALKIN NAILS IT AGAIN
Michelle just keeps getting better and better - here. She is spot-on accurate in her description, and the impact that this is all having. I would have liked to have seen her say more about the wrong-headedness of stooping to the leftists' level of such hateful speech (no matter its context, which many are making sloppy excuses for), but Michelle absolutely nailed the rest.
Although I'm an optimist, I can already see this being a big factor in kissing 2008 away - NOT because of what Coulter said, but because of the incredible stupidity that is being shown by a sizable number of "conservatives" who are defending or even applauding her for it. Coulter and her acolytes are handing the left an early Christmas gift that they could not have been less deserving of, yet which they are going to squeeze, with their allies in the MSM, for every last drop, until election day 2008.
UPDATE 5: BLOWING MY OWN HORN -
See one stupid comment I got, which I responded to, at 2:45pm, below; this pretty much sums up my entire view on using such a word as "faggot" or any similar epithet in any kind of public setting, let alone the premiere conservative event of the year, being televised nationwide.
There are a bazillion things to justifiably criticize or condemn the left for; issuing hateful epithets against any one segment of Americans eclipses all of this, distracts from it, and will live on far after any virtuous discussion ends. Oh, and it also makes all those who applaud look like a bunch of bigots, which in fact they have demonstated themselves to be, vis a vis Coulter.
UPDATE 6: AYE AYE, CAPTAIN -
Captain's Quarters has nailed it --- read it all here.
UPDATE 7, MARCH 9:
See the leftist hypocrisy regarding Coulter's comment, and the MSM's deafening silence over it, here.
Original content is © Copyright 2007 by Jon Quixote. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org