For the life of me, I can't figure out how conservatives pick their heroes. When a whackjob like Al Sharpton jumps on the liberal train, we all sort of keep him at an arm's length-- we're liberals-- we kind of have to accept everybody, even if we don't like him.
But conservatives embrace the most bizarre people. David Koresh was a guy who was having sex with children, and kept bombs and machine guns in his compound (the ATF agents that he and his people murdered were trying to serve a warrant for illegal weapons). He gunned down 4 Federal agents in cold blood, and bizarre conspiracy theories notwithstanding, apparently burned dozens of people to death rather than be arrested. And yet he's a big poster boy for the right.
Then there's Anne Coulter. When I first heard her statements, I thought that maybe she was a political Andrew Dice Clay-- making fun of the right by spouting bizarre, outrageous anti-liberal comments. But it's apparent that she believes the shit she shovels.
My friend Jim just emailed me this-- an article and a C-SPAN clip of Anne Coulter at an appearance before the American Conservative Union, who, when asked about Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards stated:
"I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards."
Here's a link to the actual clip: http://thinkprogress.org/2007/03/02/coulter-edwards/
Truth be told, when I saw Coulter on Letterman's show a few months ago, I wondered if her bizarre behavior was mental illness-- her statements and behavior remind me of my brother's wife, who has severe bipolar disorder, or the destructive manic behavior of some of my heroes who suffered from bipolar disorder, like folk singer Phil Ochs or activist Abby Hoffman-- behavior that alienated them from friends and followers, as they grew increasingly difficult to contend with.
But you'll notice the behavior of the crowd-- they cheered.
In 1992, I remember watching, on television, the infamous Pat Buchanan speech at the Republican Convention where he spouted bizarre far-right crap. As the crowd cheered, I remember turning to my roommate and telling him "Oh. My. God. The Democrats are going to win the election." I had the same feeling watching that clip.
The Republicans continue to be hijacked by a group of Third World Style kleptocrats who, every election, bait and switch the religious Right for support. I think that we can safely say that the Republicans have alienated a good chunk of their mainstream, who simply want lower taxes and safe streets. Bless you Anne Coulter for hastening that along. And please wait until December, 2008 to get help.