Have you seen Ann Coulter’s latest black eyes? They’re not on her but on the people she hates the most: Liberals. With her newest mein kampfian tome, “Guilty,” Coulter has swung her metaphorical fists of fury at the faces of liberals everywhere, trying to bruise and batter them — not into submission but admission. An admission that they’re whiners. An admission that they’re hypocritical. An admission that they’re wrong about everything.
Subtitled “Liberal ‘Victims’ and Their Assult on America,” Coulter’s book features the kind of bromides and put-downs that have made this blonde skeleton a pop-culture fixture for more than a decade. A small example: Barack Obama is dismissed as a “Matinee Idol” who “insulted” his white mother by publicly identifying himself as black. Coulter complains that Obama and other famous Americans with mixed white-and-black ancestry (Halle Berry, et al.) “prefer to see the glass as half black.” Tah-dum.
Other groups Coulter has savaged include Jews, Muslims, 9/11 widows, and Vietnam veterans, but is it all just a game to Coulter? Is she a serious conservative intellectual – someone who, in the tradition of Disraeli (or even Ronald Reagan) wants to influence public discourse – or a kind of P.T. Barnum who does anything to be provocative, stay in the spotlight, and rake in millions of dollars? Let’s put it this way: When Coulter debated comic Bill Maher in a series sponsored by Madison Square Garden Entertainment, tickets went as high as $179.50. More people are realizing that Coulter’s barbs are big business. Those who once walked around with black eyes from Coulter include Bill Clinton (the subject of Coulter’s first book), anti-landmine activist Bobby Muller, and Dan Rather (who in “Slander” was charged with spreading false accusations against Republicans), but new Coulter targets (and critics) are taking a page from the playbook of Peter Finch’s character in “Network” and saying, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this from Coulter anymore.”
When Coulter visited the set of ABC’s “The View,” Whoopi Goldberg confronted her about her ideas on single motherhood (Coulter blames single mothers for spawning criminals) and other subjects, then – when Coulter began whining herself – Goldberg opined, “You can dish it out but you can’t take it.” Coulter had no adequate response. She can talk a good game, but Coulter’s inflated reputation is taking a pounding, and the black cocktail dress she likes to wear in public (see the cover of “Guilty”) has become the perfect symbol of Coulter’s new status: Skimpy ideologue.