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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ann Coulter

That her books are so widely read tells us how depraved our society has become — so declares NYT columnist David Carr. I'm old enough to recall how the shootings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy by lone gunmen revealed what a "sick society" we had become. Odd (in that non-surprised yet amused kind of way) how the left's citation of social pathology is ever so so selective. (The number of abortions per year? Why, that's just women's autonomy in action.) But Ann Coulter's extraordinary literary success tells us nothing less than that the end of times can't be far off. Carr's calculus:
Without the total package, Ms. Coulter would be just one more nut living in Mom's basement. You can accuse her of cynicism all you want, but the fact that she is one of the leading political writers of our age says something about the rest of us.
Festive phrase, "total package." Carr seems to be saying: Coulter would be easily dismissed except for her talent (she graduated cum laude from Cornell in 1984, then finishing in the top ten percent of the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an editor of The Michigan Law Review) and her beauty (Ann "knows her way around a black cocktail dress"). Otherwise, she's got nothing going for her. Hey Davey, consider this: Coulter is a master satirist in the spirit of Swift, who understood that "satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own." Like, when the walking, talking self-parody Charlie Rangel calls Coulter a "cartoon." Meanwhile, David Klinghoffer gets the main idea precisely right: "If Coulter commits any indefensible excesses, they are small beans compared to her substantive, incisive, important main point," found here.