I'm sure you've all read about Ann Coulter's appearance at the annual meeting of CPAC, the influential Conservative Political Action Committee. After an introduction by Mitt Romney, Mormon family man and paragon of all conservative virtues, she said, "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." None of the Republican presidential candidates, who had assembled to pander to the far right wing of the party, had anything to say at the time and, so far as I can tell, neither did any of the far right, white, male bloggers who has assembled to drool at the alter of the false goddess Coulter.
Also silent on her comment was Adam Nagourney of The New York Times who filed a long story on the event for Saturday's paper. Nagourney, however, blots out most of his demerits by filing a second story, entirely on Coulter's comments in which manages to get all of the Republican front runners to issue the condemnation that they failed to give at the time of the actual offense. No doubt they were all shocked--shocked, I tell you--into complete silence. Let's keep in mind that all of the three front runners were for gay rights before they were against them.
A spokesman for John McCain, who was not at the event, said this morning. “The comments were wildly inappropriate.”
Rudy Giuliani said, “The comments were completely inappropriate and there should be no place for such name-calling in political debate.”
A spokesman for Romney, who was closest when the Anne-bomb went off, said, “It was an offensive remark. Governor Romney believes all people should be treated with dignity and respect.”
Coulter denied saying such a thing, even though she did, on tape, and said that the thing she didn't say was just a joke that we aren't cool enough to get, even as she took another, similar, cheap shot. “C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.” The second cheap shot was just as unoriginal and sophomoric as the first.
At this point, is anyone really shocked that Ann Coulter, presented with a hot microphone and an audience of panting young males, chose to take a cheap shot and dismiss it as humor? If nothing else, Coulter is predictable. The only surprise is that she chose to go after Edwards instead of Clinton or Obama. Nagourney and other reporters should have this story saved as a fill-in-the-blanks template: Coulter appears somewhere, takes an offensive cheap shot, liberals are outraged, her hosts are shocked, Coulter shrugs it off as a joke and schedules her next appearance to perform the exact same act she has been performing fo almost ten years.
Her act is old. It is predictable. It no longer has the power to shock or to outrage; it's just tiresome. All she does anymore is remind us of something that we have all known for years: conservative humor is no laughing matter.
Update - Mick Arran has a very nice analysis of just what makes this Coulter kerfluffel different from previous ones.