02 September 2010
Clown of the Week: Ann Coulter
First, some disclaimers: I'm well aware that Ann Coulter is one of those political writers who plead immunity whenever called to account for offensive or obnoxious statements, on the ground that they are actually humorists. I also concede that those who share Coulter's particular sense of humor will be amused by her rescue of the President from the charge that he's a secret Muslim, since she clears Obama's name by declaring him an "obvious" atheist. It may also fall within the realm of humor for Coulter to claim that the only substantial evidence for Obama's professed Christianity is his past attendance at Jeremiah Wright's church -- which doesn't count as Christianity for Coulter, both because Wright professes that "liberation theology" that was anathematized and excommunicated by the authoritative Glenn Beck and because Wright allegedly hates particular groups of people. Of course, if hatred disqualified people from Christian communion it'd be a small religion, but Coulter is at least expansive enough in her condemnation to likewise interdict poor Fred Phelps and his congregation -- whom reactionaries love to kick in order to show that they're not haters. I'll even admit her right to question the sincerity of any self-proclaimed Christian's proclamation of faith. Accepting all these things, I'm still not sure if her claim that "all liberals are atheists" is a joke or the fervent outburst of an imbecile. Coulter's acolytes will probably appeal to the gnostic mysteries of the great woman's books for proof of her charge, but to mundane minds like mine the charge is so self-evidently false that it throws even her sense of humor into question. I'm going to make a wild guess that she bases the charge on some liberals' failure to respect certain rules set down in the Old Testament. I'll guess further that Coulter, like many Christians, feels more bound by those rules than by the instructions of Jesus of Nazareth. Any student of the Bible could easily set up a test of faith or practice that would exclude almost every Christian from the true religion. What makes Coulter's tests, whatever they may actually be, more valid than anyone else's is unclear. Still, on the assumption that the liberals-are-atheists claim is just as much a "joke" as anything else she writes, I give her the special designation of Clown of the Week rather than Idiot, though given her own rhetorical style, which encompasses calling MSNBC personalities "North Koreans" and dubbing one Obama supporter his "butt-boy," I could just as well anoint Ann Coulter the Anorexic Bottle-Blond Nazi Crackwhore of the Week. I just didn't think that was very funny.