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How (and why) does anyone defend Ann Coulter?

If you are reading this, you probably have heard something about pundit Ann Coulter's recent comments addressing the families who lost loved ones on 9/11.

Up to now, I haven't written about her comments. Not because I don't know where to start. I'm afraid that once I got started I I simply wouldn't know where to stop.

So I'll just say that Keith Olbermann speaks for me.

On the other hand, what I can't fathom are the comments from our friend Rosemary Esmay:

I saw her defend herself and I think that she made some really good points....Lots of people lost [loved ones] on 9/11 but these 4 women are acting as political operatives and using their 9/11 widowhood as a shield from debate/response.
First of all, I can't think of a single thing that Coulter said that would qualify as a "really good point."

As for these women using their pain as "a shield against debate/response," I haven't seen or heard that -- have you, Rose? If so, let's have it. As far as I know, no one (not even Coulter) has been prevented from saying whatever they want about these women.

You know what I think? I think that for years the exact opposite has been ocurring right under your nose, Rosemary.The Bush administration and its loyalists have used 9/11 as a shield against any criticism whatsoever of their policies and performance in office. Anyone who dares to criticise Bush has been labeled a terrorist sympathizer and a traitor, a coward, or worse -- now they get accused of (get this!) enjoying the sight of their husbands being burned to death. Is that one of the good points you think Ann Coulter made?

P.S. Rose: you call yourself the Queen of All Evil, but I think Ann Coulter just ate your lunch. And you didn't even put up a fight.

For those of you who would like to read the response from the women that Coulter attacked...

We did not choose to become widowed on September 11, 2001. The attack, which tore our families apart and destroyed our former lives, caused us to ask some serious questions regarding the systems that our country has in place to protect its citizens.

Through our constant research, we came to learn how the protocols were supposed to have worked. Thus, we asked for an independent commission to investigate the loopholes which obviously existed and allowed us to be so utterly vulnerable to terrorists. Our only motivation ever was to make our Nation safer. Could we learn from this tragedy so that it would not be repeated?

We are forced to respond to Ms. Coulter’s accusations to set the record straight because we have been slandered.

Contrary to Ms. Coulter’s statements, there was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive. There was no happiness in telling our children that their fathers were never coming home again. We adored these men and miss them every day.

It is in their honor and memory, that we will once again refocus the Nation’s attention to the real issues at hand: our lack of security, leadership and progress in the five years since 9/11.

We are continuously reminded that we are still a nation at risk. Therefore, the following is a partial list of areas still desperately in need of attention and public outcry. We should continuously be holding the feet of our elected officials to the fire to fix these shortcomings.

1. Homeland Security Funding based on risk. Inattention to this area causes police officers, firefighters and other emergency/first responder personnel to be ill equipped in emergencies. Fixing this will save lives on the day of the next attack.

2. Intelligence Community Oversight. Without proper oversight, there exists no one joint, bicameral intelligence panel with power to both authorize and appropriate funding for intelligence activities. Without such funding we are unable to capitalize on all intelligence community resources and abilities to thwart potential terrorist attacks. Fixing this will save lives on the day of the next attack.

3. Transportation Security. There has been no concerted effort to harden mass transportation security. Our planes, buses, subways, and railways remain under-protected and highly vulnerable. These are all identifiable soft targets of potential terrorist attack. The terror attacks in Spain and London attest to this fact. Fixing our transportation systems may save lives on the day of the next attack.

4. Information Sharing among Intelligence Agencies. Information sharing among intelligence agencies has not improved since 9/11. The attacks on 9/11 could have been prevented had information been shared among intelligence agencies. On the day of the next attack, more lives may be saved if our intelligence agencies work together.

5. Loose Nukes. A concerted effort has not been made to secure the thousands of loose nukes scattered around the world – particularly in the former Soviet Union. Securing these loose nukes could make it less likely for a terrorist group to use this method in an attack, thereby saving lives.

6. Security at Chemical Plants, Nuclear Plants, Ports. We must, as a nation, secure these known and identifiable soft targets of Terrorism. Doing so will save many lives.

7. Border Security. We continue to have porous borders and INS and Customs systems in shambles. We need a concerted effort to integrate our border security into the larger national security apparatus.

8. Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Given the President’s NSA Surveillance Program and the re-instatement of the Patriot Act, this Nation is in dire need of a Civil Liberties Oversight Board to insure that a proper balance is found between national security versus the protection of our constitutional rights.

-- September 11th Advocates

Kristen Breitweiser
Patty Casazza
Monica Gabrielle
Mindy Kleinberg
Lorie Van Auken

Comments

Ara,

If that's what she thinks, I'm curious as to why she wrote that at Dean’s rather than her own blog. "Cocoon of safety", perhaps?

Anyway, Republicans have basically only one way to power in this country since there is no widespread interest in their policies (other than transferring the cost of government to future generations, I mean). They succeed politically by smearing their opponents. That’s it. No smear, no Republican win.

Since Republicans have made smearing war heroes and mothers of dead soldiers acceptable, smearing the widows of the victims of Al Qaeda seems to be the only thing left that is generally considered bad form (except by Republicans, of course). But hey, they know where their bread is buttered and, so far, the public has been receptive enough to their turpitude to prevent them from changing their ways.

And if they stopped smearing people they'd have to win based upon their relative ability to govern. In other words, they'd lose. Since that's obviously the only thing that really matters to Republicans, they'll do anything to prevent it. And, really, is that sinking a great deal lower than they've already gone.

You know what's chilling? Ann Coulter going to a town on Long Island that was the home of 34 of the 9/11 victims to do a book signing and being cheered (by 300 fans) when she publicly tore up a letter of protest from one of the town's selectmen.

That's cold.

P.S. She was doing a live broadcast for Hannity's show.

As for Rosemary, I'll let her speak for herself.

Be aware, however, that Dean's comments were quite a bit more moderate than Ro's.

I commented at Dean's because they posted about it, right after I heard her on Hannity and Colmes last night. Also, because everyone at Dean's was ripping her AND these were the same people that felt free to crap all over Mother Sheehan (Dean included).

I wasn't going to bother with it at my own blog at all. I see it as much ado about nothing.

Ooooh Ann Coulter said something politically incorrect. That's news?

I haven't seen or heard that -- have you, Rose? If so, let's have it. As far as I know, no one (not even Coulter) has been prevented from saying whatever they want about these women.

Yes, you guys do it here. We are not allowed to counter any attacks made by Murtha without you guys flipping out and screeching that he's a hero. Any counter we make is a smear, regardless of its truthfulness. I site Shep's comments in this thread as proof.

The left puts up victims to spout talking points and we are supposed to shut up and not respond because they lost someone.

If you want to jump in the political realm, you don't get to use your shroud of victimhood to stop responses to your trash talk. Don't like it? Don't do it. I'm not suppressing my right to free speech because after they used theirs they pulled the victim card. I'm not afraid of the race card and I'm not afraid of the victim card.

Bull.

I think "we can't respond because they are a victim" is bull. Mostly what it means is, "we don't have a response to what they say, so we bitch about them being untouchable."

If you say that because Murtha criticizes the war he "doesn't deserve to be called a Marine" or some such, that's a smear. When you don't attack the points that the 9/11 widows make, but instead say they "enjoyed the deaths of their husbands" who were "probably going to divorce them anyway," that's a smear. See the difference? Is that so hard?

And Ara's point about the administration using 9/11 as a shield is incredibly spot-on. Don't criticize the Commander in Chief - we're at war! Don't like torture? Don't you remember what they did to us on 9/11? (Repeat, infinite.)

”Any counter we make is a smear, regardless of its truthfulness.”

You mean like: “Murtha’s a dick”?

How about: “Murtha is an asshole”?

Or: ”I'll play Murtha's part... ALL MARINES, and by definition US MILITARY, are WAR CRIMINALS because some MAY have commited this crime. They're ALL MURDERERS, even those that alerted higher officers, because they're US MILITARY.”

http://www.qoae.net/posts/1149105852.shtml

Yeah, real truthful and useful criticism, there.

Rosemary, I’d try to educate you if I thought I could. The fact is, I doubt that you can still understand the difference between legitimate political criticism and a cheap smear within the context of American politics, at least. I mean, anyone who takes pleasure in indoctrinating her nine-year-old in partisan hatred, has probably lost the ability to ever think in a non-partisan fashion.

Indoctrinated in partisan hatred?

Please, spare me the indignation. I don't hate Democrats and I don't teach my son to hate.

The problem with my son is that he can read. He wasn't "left behind" and he reads Ara's blog and all your comments everyday.

You've taught him all he needs to know about Democrats, not me.

Rosemary, I’d try to educate you if I thought I could.

Another lefty that can't teach. Enough of that already!


Adam,

Sweety, there were facts in the comments. You have no way of proving that Murtha isn't a dick and I presented nothing else. Just commentary.

Rosemary:
"You've taught him all he needs to know about Democrats, not me."

Rosemary:
"You have no way of proving that Murtha isn't a dick and I presented nothing else."

Get that, Jake?

Rose:

He wasn't "left behind" and he reads Ara's blog and all your comments everyday.

Bwahahahaha! You made my day!

Pssst -- Jake: Do you know the difference between a Republican and a Democrat? The Democrat wants to take from the rich and give to the poor; the Republican wants to take from the poor and give to the rich.

All the rest is detail.

Tomorrow we'll talk about how Democrats believe one person gets one vote and how Republicans believe that one dollar buys one vote.

See you then my young friend.

Ara,

You made Jake laugh!

Shep,

He gets it. Trust me ( I know you can't but pretend you can just once).

BTW, I pay him a quarter for every swear word he hears me utter and sees in print and he wants me to thank you for quoting me. He just got 50 cents for the same stinking sentence.

”I pay him a quarter for every swear word he hears me utter and sees in print and he wants me to thank you for quoting me.”

Always glad to help with the delinquency (and enrichment) of a minor.

Seriously, I hope that Jake takes his partisanship tongue-in-cheek, the way you generally seem to mean it.

Otherwise, I admire your authoritative (and creatively enforced) parenting style. You are obviously raising a bright, engaged and liberal-minded young person. We can always use more of those.

Seriously, I hope that Jake takes his partisanship tongue-in-cheek, the way you generally seem to mean it.

He does. His personality is a lot like mine. He often says things hoping for a laugh or a reaction. He's very smart and very considerate.

He always, always tries to understand both sides and he makes his decisions after carefully weighing everything. That's why I told him that if he's going to read Dean's blog (and mine) that I want him to read opposing opinion blogs. I gave him a few to start with: Ara, Ezra, Drum and Talking Points Memo. He's added a few more to his list and he's pointed me to a few new ones. I don't want him growing up with only one viewpoint, I want him to be able to learn and decide for himself after he hears different views.

So, thanks for the compliment.

Jake -- make sure you check out the video I posted today.


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