Another Right-Wing Groupie
August 30, 2002
Well, maybe it's time to weigh in on Anne Coulter (after
better commentators than I, such as Gene Lyons, have gotten
in their very good licks). She is, after all, such an easy
target. How many bleached blonde pit bulls are there in the
world of conservative journalism?
In the same cheap shot fashion as she employs in her latest
book, "Slander," I could suggest that her remarks about Katie
Couric could simply be projections of her own sympathies.
Having described Couric as the "affable Eva Braun" of American
liberalism, could it be that Coulter is envious? Eva Braun,
having been the mistress of one of the past century's best-known
fascists, could be a role model for Coulter. Could it be that
Coulter wishes, mightily, to be the mistress of one of this
century's best-known fascists? Is there some hidden, prurient
interest on her part? Does she have less-than-family-values
designs on Ashcroft? Or, dare I suggest, Bush?
What few commentators on either the right or left have done
is identify Coulter for what she is--a right-wing groupie.
Those on the right have expressed dittohead wowness for her,
and those on the left have attacked her facts, her citations,
ad infinitum, but there's simply no point in doing so. Her
scholarship is awful, but that's typical of the right. What
she does, in print, and in public appearances, is drip copious
quantities of mindless appreciation of right-wing politicos
in the same way that groupies and various other hangers-on
of rock stars exude appreciation for the objects of their
The groupie is an outsider wanting very much to be an insider.
Being close to power, to the groupie, is a little like having
some of the power rub off. Groupies are, essentially, irrelevant,
but are occasionally useful to the people with power, or fame,
or, when those other qualities are lacking, notoriety. Groupies
cannot distinguish one quality from another, and will seek
out, and suck up to, anyone who has more media exposure than
Anne Coulter would very much like to be at the center of
power. But, as a groupie (and, therefore, by definition, a
nonentity to the powerful), she's never going to find herself
in such a position. I shudder a bit to think what government
would be like with Anne Coulter in a cabinet position, but
I can take some heart in the realization that she isn't likely
to be offered one. After all (and, yes, I will probably use
the phrase "after all" quite a bit), even Bo Derek got a presidential
appointment from Dubya to the board of directors of the Kennedy
Center, and poor Anne was stiffed again. There is a pecking
order, even among right-wing blondes.
More seriously, Coulter has made a name for herself simply
by pushing the envelope. Being outrageous has always gotten
some media attention (anyone doubting that needs to recall
that Tiny Tim got on "The Tonight Show" with no other talent
than an acute recognition of outrageousness). The few thousand
Freepers love her, but maybe the rest of American society
ought to apply the dinner table rule to Anne Coulter. If she's
invited to dinner at your house, about how long could you
stand her spouting about killing liberals with her mouth full
of roast beef and mashed potatoes?
The point is that Americans, largely, are fairly moderate
in their views. Given a middle, they will always take the
middle. Even though commentators such as Coulter occupy the
airwaves and their attention, they will, eventually, gravitate
to someone with more rational and moderate views (after all,
if they are coerced to approve of the killing of all liberals,
they might have to approve of the wasting of some of their
relatives and neighbors, of whom they might otherwise be rather
fond). The last election clearly demonstrated that Coulter's
side isn't winning the hearts and minds of all voters. After
all, Coulter is, finally, a propagandist very short on facts
and long on opinions and misquotes.
More troublesome, of course, is that Coulter's talks to campuses
are often sponsored by The Federalist Society, which strenuously
denies that it has any political agenda. Let's put it this
way... I don't think The Federalist Society has ever sponsored
any talk by the Dalai Lama or Martin Luther King or Bill Clinton.
They have their agenda and Anne Coulter is a groupie for them.
Woe be to The Federalist Society if the public ever connects
their legal opinions to the intellectual paucity of Anne Coulter's
Her comments are meant to be inflammatory, in the same fashion
as Hitler's were intended. Coulter, at no time, is inviting
discussion. Her comment about Timothy McVeigh, the Murrah
building bomber in Oklahoma City, was, "My only regret with
Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
It takes little deconstruction of that remark to realize that
her view is that any disagreement with the right wing is a
waste of time, and that destroying the source of that disagreement
is wholly agreeable to her. Hitler could not have made his
points more simply.
In short, Anne Coulter is an Eva Braun wannabe, nothing more
than a Hitler groupie. Eva Braun complained to Hitler that
she was always hidden away when the people of power and influence
were invited to Berchesgarten, and the same is true of Anne
Coulter and the right wing today. They are happy to reap the
benefits of her acid tongue, but they don't want to be seen
with her, let alone be seen embracing her in public. Not Bush,
not Cheney, not Rumsfeld. Not even Richard Perle has puckered
up and kissed her in public for the cameras. She's just not
one of the power elite, and the power elite is never going
to admit her to the club. She is, after all, a groupie, not
a member of the band.
In another time, and in another political milieu, Coulter
would be laughable. Which is another way of saying that when
that other political milieu arrives, Coulter will become irrelevant,
and will be relegated to performing some more privately masturbatory
function for the right wing. Her media exposure now is not
due to the quality of her writing or her grasp of contemporary
societal issues, but rather, that she is the media darling
of the far right, and the far right has some considerable
influence in the press these days. The right wing has been
in attack mode for almost thirty years, and Anne Coulter is
simply the right wing's latest pit bull in that attack in
favor of their interests.
So, folks, cut yourselves some slack. The woman's views aren't
worth expending any effort in rebutting. She's a groupie.
When some one of your acquaintances quotes her, serious as
a heart attack, just laugh and say, "Anne Coulter is a fascist
groupie." Your assertion will likely be more fact-based than
any wild-assed comment Anne Coulter can come up with.
When someone else comes along capable of spewing vitriol
with more force, or volume, Anne Coulter will quickly fade
into anonymity. And, it's likely that Coulter, having set
the upper limits of societal tolerance for mindlessness, has
helped to encourage the next right-wing dumb blonde to mark
all the nastiest adjectives in her thesaurus, and who, using
them, will bump Coulter off the heap of right-wing commentators.
When General Patton said, mindful of Shakespeare's "Coriolanus,"
that "all glory is fleeting," he wasn't kidding.
punpirate is a writer in New Mexico who thinks that Jane Birkin
was a much nicer professional groupie than Anne Coulter, though
no more relevant.