The XX Factor

A Tale of Two Pundits

Only once or twice a year do I allow myself to add to Ann Coulter’s undeserved publicity heap by acknowledging her existence. Unbelievable as she always is, as she always strives to be (rather than, say, lucid), it’s usually her lesser-known rantings that push me over the edge.  

With her, I try to employ the “ignore her, like you do the obnoxious, untalented kid hellbent on ‘performing’ at family functions” rule: pointedly leave the room and simply refuse to return until the nightmare is over. But her defense of Carl Paladino simply asks too much of those who understand the words hypocrisy and charlatan without principles .

I suppose homophobes had to respect Paladino for at least going on the record with his hatred of gays . Of course, they’d then have had to despise him for his craven, self-serving about-face , but not Coulter. Girlfriend is downright double-jointed when it comes to maintaining her visibility, her ludicrous earnings, and in supporting conservatives regardless of what they’re up to or what they’re made of. 

She’s neither bothered by Paladino’s comments, nor sees any hypocrisy in his groveling retraction.  She sees only business as usual because that’s all being a public intellectual means to her: money, power, fame, and “her” team winning. If anyone in public life has ever been more blatant in their contempt for intellectual or moral consistency, shown less respect for the American people, or been any more irresponsible than she, please, please don’t point them out to me. I don’t think I could take it.  

On O’Reilly Monday, Coulter waxed profound thusly about Paladino: “[She] said the candidate was just giving his socially conservative audience the red meat it wanted. ‘He’s speaking to Hasidim … it’s like being in Chicago. You say, “Go Cubs.” ’ ”

“Go Cubs”?

I just deleted the paragraph exlpaining what’s wrong with that picture. I won’t insult your intelligence. I’m not Coulter.

Anyone but Coulter would be nonplussed when Bill O’Reilly , after vainly trying to get her to admit Paladino’s comments were a blanket condemnation of gays and not just “left-wing activists,” could only remark: “I think everybody but you in the world agrees this ain’t gonna help the guy.”

Were I in the market for a female conservative, Coulter would so not be she. Heather MacDonald would be. She’s so good, she makes my liberal heart quake with second thoughts and bouts of “she’s got a point there.” 

MacDonald wastes her time with historical analysis , statistical regressions , and responsible use of her public pulpit . This is why she’s not famous; she makes everyone work too hard. She also rips her own fellow travelers new ones when they go Coulter. Check out the scalpel she takes to Dinesh D’Souza’s bizarre “Obama is an anti-Colonialist channeling the father he never knew” tripe: “Forbes magazine has now ’ fact-checked ’ Dinesh D’Souza’s infamous September 27 cover story, ’ How Obama Thinks ,’ and has uncovered one ‘slight’ misrepresentation, it says, of an Obama speech on the BP oil spill.  Such a ‘fact-checking’ feint is irrelevant to this travesty of an article; you can’t ‘fact-check’ a fever dream of paranoia and irrationality.  Sickeningly, while ‘How Obama Thinks’ is useless as a guide to the Obama presidency, it is all too representative of the hysteria that now runs through a significant portion of the right-wing media establishment. The article is worth analyzing at some length as an example of the lunacy that is poisoning much conservative discourse.”

And that’s just her intro. 

MacDonald shakes my liberal soul because she’s brilliant, hard-working and devoted to the (secular) truth but also because she appears to be all brain and no heart. It’s not enough–it’s almost criminal–to work so hard to prove that most inner-city criminality is related to the catastrophic absence of black fathers, for instance, but then stop there. Are there no reasons–apart from black amorality–why this is so? Did the effects of four centuries of structuralized anti-black racism disappear with the stroke of the pen that signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

MacDonald has eyes but can’t see that while blacks should just shrug it all off and hie themselves off to an affirmative action slot in college, lots just might not have the psychological, social or emotional werewithal to do so. It took America quite some time to make us this crazy and people like MacDonald (and this lady ) just can’t understand why we “refuse” to just shake it off.   

I admire the hell out of MacDonald–fear is, after all, the ultimate sign of respect–but I think she needs to see the Wizard for one of those medallions he laid on the Tin Man.

But her over Coulter? Any day, y’all. Any day. Not even close.