(cross-posted at daily kos)
i wrote the following after reading michael kalin's op-ed piece "why jon stewart isn't funny" in friday's boston globe. i found his piece intriguing, but thought it could use just a wee bit of tweaking, so i decided to tighten up his essay. i'm sure he won't mind.
(note: non-subscribers may view kalin's article by logging-in as firstname.lastname@example.org with the password dailykos.)
why ann coulter isn't funny
not by michael kalin | march 4, 2006
the selection of ann coulter as the host for february's annual conservative political action conference undoubtedly marks a career milestone for the aspiring queen of drive-by punditry. unfortunately, however, the ascension of coulter and her hate-speak into the public eye is no laughing matter. coulter's ever-increasing popularity among young angry white males directly correlates with the declining rationality of conservative thought in america. coincidence? i think not. let me explain.
meet the young college republican, a not-fictional-enough composite of the typical apostle of ann coulter. born just outside richville, he attended silver spoon high school where he played an integral role in buying the school's debate championship. his doctored 3.8 grade point average and dubious array of extracurricular activities earned him a scholarship to bob jones university, where he majored in political science and enjoyed toilet-papering jewish synagoges. throughout his formal education, the young college republican stayed up-to-date on national politics through a steady diet of right-wing talk radio and even led a petition to protest the appearance of michael moore at cannes.
many of coulter's die-hard supporters might use this persona as proof that her little black dresses engage sexually-frustrated viewers who otherwise could not be reached. this argument, however, fails to consider the ultimate career path of the young college republican: upon graduation in 2004, he accepted a prestigious job as a blogger at pajamaline media. and as he bloviates on washington's daily political squabbles, the young college republican gives a significant annual contribution to the k street project.
the irony of this portrait is not that blogging corrupts young souls (although one could argue otherwise), but rather that the young college republicans who adopt politics out of a craven self-preservation often represent our country's most hypocritical minds. coulter's daily dose of political polemics characterized by puerile epithets leads to a "holier than art thou" attitude toward national service in iraq. people who possess the bile, sanctimony, and self-centeredness of these apologists for coulter would never choose to enter the military. content to remain hunched behind their orwellian plastic keyboards, these bright leaders head straight for their one-bedroom kitchen-offices.
observers since the days of newt gingrich have often remarked about america's unique dissociation between conservatives and citizens of "outstanding character." unfortunately, the rise of corporate media and the domination of television faux news give coulter's goebbels-esque voice a much more powerful influence than critics in previous generations. as a result, a power-mad sociopath who may have become the richard nixon or george w. bush of today instead perceives politics as an escape from national service, rather than a powerful avenue for personal aggrandizement.
most important, this disturbing cultural phenomenon overwhelmingly affects potential leaders of the republican party.
the type of folksy banality muttered by soon-to-be-impeached-president bush deeply resonates with ann's demographic. according to a survey by somebody, not a single member of her audience identifies himself as iraq-bound. at a time when our flagging military desperately need inspired recruits, coulter's self-conscious hate-speak pervades the conservative punditry.
although coulter's comedic shticks may thus earn her some laughs at the conservative political action conference, her routine will certainly not match the impact of her greatest irony: ann coulter undermines any remaining integrity that republicans in america might still possess.
i sent a copy to the globe.