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WHY WE DON’T FIGHT! Our of our favorites, Kevin Drum, explains why we liberals won’t fight: // link // print // previous // next //
FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2006

WHY WE DON’T FIGHT: Another day, and the answer is in; yes, it’s clear, we’re all living a dream (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/17/06). We say that because—in an obvious case of cosmic misdirection—Kevin Drum seemed to post these questions yesterday concerning that silly Ann Coulter:
DRUM (8/17/06): There are a few people I don't bother commenting on, and among them is Ann Coulter. But it's not because she's so outrageous. It's because she's so juvenile. She's like Lillian Hellman but without the style or wit. What's the point? And why do people bother responding to her obviously contrived provocations?
Why do people “bother to comment” on Coulter? Clearly, Homer was right from the start. The immortal gods do rock with laughter as they gaze on us from Olympus. If you’re still resisting this fact, you’ve gone into deep, deep denial.

Why would someone “bother to comment” on Coulter? Kevin simply can’t figure it out. But Coulter has already answered that question. When she appeared last month at the Luce Institute, this was the first Q-and-A:
QUESTION (7/28/06): My name is —, I go to Harvard, and I’m interning at the Heritage Foundation this summer. I’m just wondering. In terms of how you speak, and your style, and in terms of being so “out there” and so fire-brand, what do you respond to people who constantly try to tell you, “Oh, you’re being disrespectful,” or “That’s not the way you should speak,” or “We should work on your tone?” How do you respond to those people?

COULTER: At this point, I say, “I’ve written, not four, but five [pause] massive New York Times best-sellers. So I think the message is getting out.”
To our ear, Coulter didn’t quite respond to the gist of that young woman’s question, but she certainly did respond to Kevin’s. Why would someone “bother to comment” on Coulter? Because she’s one of the most influential writers in the country? Because the landscape is crawling with people who don’t know they’re being played by her books? Because her message is getting out? We’d ask an obvious question ourselves: If we don’t bother responding to number-one New York Times best-sellers, what exactly do we respond to? What exactly are we saving our precious fluids for?

Perhaps we should cover our eyes like kids, then delight when the lady disappears! Clearly, we’re all living inside a dream when Kevin—whose work we greatly admire—asks such a puzzling question.

By the way: As a simple matter of progressive politics, average people deserve to be told when they’re being played by a major public figure. (We were raised by average people. We’re offended when we see average people get played.) It’s true—some people won’t respond to such efforts. But then, on the other hand, some people will. But our high-minded priests have their heads in the clouds. They’re too fine, too haughty, too special, too pure, to dirty their hands on affairs of this world. Why would we bother to comment on Coulter! Because her message is getting out? Because she’s been changing the world?

We’ve told you for years, and you all now see it. One side will fight—and the other side won’t. Their side won’t stop saying things which are false; our side refuses to say what is true. (We refuse to speak as a matter of principle!) Their side is stumping all over the country. We’re in the OC, taking in Jeopardy. Why would we bother to comment on Coulter? Because we care about things of the world? Because Coulterism is driving debate—and because Coulterism is phony?

A VISION, CONCERNING OUR PAST REFUSALS: Last evening, Pallas Athena came to us in a dream; she showed us what current career liberals might well have said had been “blogging” during Campaign 2000. Our liberal journals didn’t “bother to comment” then, either. Athena’s visit heightened our sense of what must have been in their minds:
ELSPETH REEVE, The New Republic: I giggled when I heard them say that Al Gore said he invented the Internet.

EZRA KLEIN, The American Prospect: How silly! No one I know believes the things they’ve started to say about Gore.

KEVIN DRUM, The Washington Monthly: That claim about Gore and the Net is so juvenile. Why would I bother to comment?
All the way back to the Whitewater pseudo-scandal (circa 1995), our liberal elites have refused to fight. This past week, they’ve stood in line to explain their high-minded motives.

FOR ANOTHER DAY: We had planned to turn today to aspects of Coulter’s performance at Luce. Coulterism is tribal—and pre-historic—and it’s important that we understand how it works. Alas! We bumped that plan in favor of Kevin’s comment—but we’ll return to it another day. Readers, Coulterism is powerful. We rubes all need to know how it works. We need to know how to respond.

Tomorrow, we’re off for a week in New Hampshire. We expect to post Friday the next.