The faggot factor

One can almost imagine the conversation between right-wing garbage mouth Ann Coulter and her agent:

Listen Ann honey, it’s time you got off your bony ass and did something outrageous and nasty to spur interest. Your book sales are down and both a dead stripper and a has-been rock star with a shaved head and tattoos get more ink.

Telling Ann Coulter to do something outrageous is about as necessary as telling a male dog to hump a leg. Coulter approached the task like a bitch in heat, choosing an opening round of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington to say:

I would comment on John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.’

Yup. That did it. News of Coulter’s words screamed through the cable news channels and blogosphere faster than a report of an Anna Nicole resurrection. For a while, the video of her uttering the gay slur topped replays of Britney bashing in K-Fed’s car windows.

Yet Coulter’s faggot factor provides the irony of ironies because she raised it at CPAC, a longstanding Washington gathering of rabid right wingers that traces its roots back to an organization founded by one of Washington’s most notorious gay Republicans – the late Terry Dolan, founder of the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) and a victim of AIDs.

Like Coulter, Dolan pursued the homophobic agenda of conservative Republicans with a straight but hypocritical face. While NCPAC pumped out press releases calling homosexuality a sin, Dolan cruised Washington’s gay bars and sought out "bareback" (unprotected) sex – a reckless lifestyle choice that cost him his life.

Coulter’s gay-bashing is also suspect, considering she pals around with right-wing gossip monger Matt Drudge, whose own choice of sexual partners is fodder for tabloids and liberal bloggers.  Others have wondered if Ms. Coulter herself is equal opportunity when it comes to sack time.

Now Coulter claims her comment was a joke but you have to remember that this is the same woman who, at the launch of the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, thought it was funny to say we should either force all Muslims to become Christians or just kill them.

Humor is not among Coulter’s mix of social skills – assuming she has any in the first place. Her stock in trade is meanness and arrogance against anything that doesn’t fit into the narrow world of the rabid right.  Whether the bile that spills from her mouth like vomit is sincere or a public-relations contrivance spurs countless debate but her nastiness makes her a favorite for the ultra-right who feels that hate is an effective political tool.

Yet hate is not exclusive to the right. Politics thrives on creating hate, ignorance and fear. Conservatives want their followers to hate the left. The left breeds hate towards the right to raise money and advance its agenda.  Rush Limbaugh advances intolerance towards differing views to advance his views. So does Al Franken. Today’s political environment promotes confrontation as the only viable alternative to rational thinking and the lost art of compromise.

Ann Coulter is a practiced, professional purveyor of the politics of hate. Like so many other pros on both the right and the left, she is a natural by-product of a political system out of control.

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