Please Leave Ms. Coulter Alone

So, Ann Coulter is speaking at Carolina tonight, and I'm already getting the hives imagining the news coverage: the protesters, the earnest critics with their well-researched and relevant questions who will be brushed aside, the outraged haranguers lobbing their accusations only to have them turned into punchlines. Is there anything about Ann Coulter that should prompt anyone with any knowledge of history (or of patriotism, or of good manners, or of treason) to go out and see her speak?

Ann Coulter is a gab artist, a shockmeister, a quip machine. This is her schtick. She is not a stupid woman, she knows what treason is and isn't. In fact, she's so smart, she knows that most of us don't know what that word means, really, and therefore we can be persuaded to buy her book, and to read her homilies to the wonder and heroism of Joseph McCarthy. She's a con artist who wants you to be outraged, to be standing outside the building with your placards, to get up to the microphone and complain about her bullying and her poor scholarship and her disingenuousness. You who would accuse her, you who would call her out -- you are necessary to her act. You are both her straight man and her straw man, and your very presence lets her wink at her fellow travelers in the audience and mouth the words, "I'm significant."

Leave her alone. Let her preach to a crowd of the already converted. They're not there to be enlightened by her, or to learn anything new. They're there for the show. Don't let that carnival barker Coulter rope you into her tent. There's no need to go be the trained seal tonight.

Go see her, sure; go for a laugh. But don't take her seriously.



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