Nick Matzke posted Entry 2397 on June 21, 2006 02:17 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2392

York Daily Record columnist Mike Argento, who some say is H.L. Mencken reincarnate, takes on Ann Coulter here.

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Comment #107060

Posted by Dene Bebbington on June 21, 2006 5:35 AM (e)

I saw Ann Coulter on Newsnight (BBC daily current affairs TV programme) last night. She’s like Frasier’s wife Lilith, but without the intelligence and charm.

Comment #107081

Posted by Jim Wynne on June 21, 2006 8:32 AM (e)

Or as someone once described Detroit: “It’s Cleveland without the glitter.”

Comment #107083

Posted by Laser on June 21, 2006 8:36 AM (e)

Cleveland has no glitter. Oh, perhaps you mean the burning river?

Comment #107088

Posted by Jim Wynne on June 21, 2006 8:51 AM (e)

Laser wrote:

Cleveland has no glitter

Time to send that irony meter in for calibration, I think.

Comment #107099

Posted by Laser on June 21, 2006 9:25 AM (e)

Jim: No, I got the irony. I was using it as a segue for my favorite Cleveland joke.

Comment #107109

Posted by DragonScholar on June 21, 2006 9:56 AM (e)

I’ll say the article itself starts out overly vicious, but also addresses issues of Coulter’s lack of scholarship later on.

I think Coulter’s book is actually bad news for ID. Intelligent Design is now wed to a woman who slanders 9/11 widows and discusses invading other countries and forceably converting their inhabitants. It’s the kind of behavior that draws a definite contrast in people’s minds.

Comment #107111

Posted by Greg Peterson on June 21, 2006 10:03 AM (e)

This is a fine piece, and Coulter deserves every invective that can be hurled her way, but comparing this to something that H.L Mencken might have produced is wholly unmerited hyperbole. Mencken wielded with with the sharp subtlety of a scalpel; Argento is swinging a machete here.

Comment #107125

Posted by Ed Tillman on June 21, 2006 10:35 AM (e)

To paraphrase Dan Akryod “Ann, you ignorant slut…”

Comment #107129

Posted by Lynn on June 21, 2006 10:43 AM (e)

I love this guy! He was sheer joy throughout the Dover trial.

If anyone else found the link above unusable, you can also read this column on Argento’s blog at http://www.yorkblog.com/archives/argentos_front_stoop/

Lynn

Comment #107135

Posted by Popper's Ghost on June 21, 2006 10:57 AM (e)

I’ll say the article itself starts out overly vicious

How could anything be overly vicious toward Coulter? Let’s consider:

There is an irony buried deep under the vitriol, idiocy, slander, vileness, ignorance, stupidity and simply breathtaking inanity that passes for the contribution to the public discourse of an alleged carbon-based life-form that goes by the name of Ann Coulter.

That looks entirely accurate. The only thing I would quibble with is the “allegedly” hedge – there’s no reason to doubt that carbon-based life forms can have those attributes.

Comment #107142

Posted by DragonScholar on June 21, 2006 11:07 AM (e)

Popper,

Oh, I’m not worried about Ann’s feelings (if she indeed has any left). It’s two factors - I prefer my content and my rant more evenly distributed (there’s only so much you can say before I’d like to get to the main course), and it’s an image factor.

Coulter’s association with ID has handed the pro-science crowd an unprecidented opportunity to show the difference between the ID movement and science. On one side you have a woman who packs her books with lies and diatrabes. On the otherother you have people making honest inquiries into the way the world works.

Comment #107145

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on June 21, 2006 11:16 AM (e)

Jim: No, I got the irony. I was using it as a segue for my favorite Cleveland joke.

No, no, a better seque would have been, “Cleveland? Glitter? Oh, yeah, the burning river, that glitter.”

Comment #107149

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on June 21, 2006 11:23 AM (e)

On one side you have a woman who packs her books with lies and [diatribes]. On the otherother you have people making honest inquiries into the way the world works.

No, the other side may well be forced to acknowledge (or denounce, or otherwise recognize) Coulter, but they’ll inevitably point to Richard Dawkins. Mind you, I’d say that still leaves our side way, way, way ahead, but the voting red-state Shrub minions would probably see it differently.

Comment #107153

Posted by k.e. on June 21, 2006 11:29 AM (e)

All that glitters is not Ann. (apparently a carbon based oxygen thief and a poxy-moron)

Scientology=Darwinism?

Tom ….show us the Monkey.

Comment #107173

Posted by DragonScholar on June 21, 2006 12:11 PM (e)

Bill Gascoyne wrote:

No, the other side may well be forced to acknowledge (or denounce, or otherwise recognize) Coulter, but they’ll inevitably point to Richard Dawkins. Mind you, I’d say that still leaves our side way, way, way ahead, but the voting red-state Shrub minions would probably see it differently.

Definitely the contrast leaves the pro-science crowd way, way ahead, but I do think that the proper image is also important. There’s going to be a chunk of the population that is glad to believe that all their problems are some Darwinio-Liberal Druid Occult Computer God Conspiracy of the Trilateral Comission. Its the ones not this far gone that we can hope to reach - and where the “incivility factor” can help us.

(I think Darwinio-Liberal Druid Occult Computer God Conspiracy of the Trilateral Comission is my new band name.)

Comment #107179

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on June 21, 2006 12:20 PM (e)

(I think Darwinio-Liberal Druid Occult Computer God Conspiracy of the Trilateral Comission is my new band name.)

Hey, if “Toad the Wet Sprocket” can take their name from a Monty Python sketch and get away with it (or did they get permission?), you’d better copyright that phrase quick before someone steals it!! ;-) (But first, do a spell check; it’s “Commission” w/ 2 m’s.)

BTW, best chuckle of the day so far, thanks!

Comment #107181

Posted by Shenda on June 21, 2006 12:30 PM (e)

Bill Gascoyne:
“No, the other side may well be forced to acknowledge (or denounce, or otherwise recognize) Coulter, but they’ll inevitably point to Richard Dawkins. Mind you, I’d say that still leaves our side way, way, way ahead, but the voting red-state Shrub minions would probably see it differently.”

From yesterday’s O’Reilly Factor poll at Fox News

Question: Do you approve of the personal attacks used in Anne Coulter’s new book?
Response:
Yes: 72%
No: 28%

Comment #107184

Posted by k.e. on June 21, 2006 12:48 PM (e)

hahahahahahahhahahahaha

28%

THE BACKWASH!!!!!!!

fatpp,twipppffff, ughhhh

Comment #107187

Posted by DragonScholar on June 21, 2006 12:54 PM (e)

Shenda,

Such polls are terribly biased, but the 28% is higher than I’d have expected, honestly.

I’d also like to see a poll asking if “personal attacks” from any well-known liberal commentator are acceptable. You’d probably get a reverse of those numbers.

Comment #107194

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on June 21, 2006 1:10 PM (e)

From yesterday’s O’Reilly Factor poll at Fox News (emphasis added)

Wow! It seems the choir agrees with the preacher. And your point is?

Comment #107195

Posted by k.e. on June 21, 2006 1:15 PM (e)

Wooops misread that :(

Comment #107203

Posted by fnxtr on June 21, 2006 1:40 PM (e)

DragonScholar:

Add it to the list:

http://www.brainwashed.com/bandnames/

Comment #107205

Posted by Shenda on June 21, 2006 1:44 PM (e)

Bill Gascoyne:

“Wow! It seems the choir agrees with the preacher. And your point is?”

Just a bit of confirmation for your statement: “…….but the voting red-state Shrub minions would probably see it differently.”

Comment #107210

Posted by DragonScholar on June 21, 2006 2:00 PM (e)

fnxtr

Sadly, the submission form seems down. But there is an LJ community I may need to use to log Darwinio-Liberal Druid Occult Computer God Conspiracy of the Trilateral Commission.

(In my online group of friends, we often log nonsense sayings as “Band names.” Among them: Toast Hat, The Worlds Richest Marxists, and Full Contact Xenobiology. The latter of course a scientific description of the romantic activities of such SF heroes as Zap Brannigan and Captain Kirk)

Comment #107215

Posted by fnxtr on June 21, 2006 2:25 PM (e)

… or rishathra.

I will now adjust the bandaid on my glasses and clean my pocket protector.

Comment #107234

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on June 21, 2006 3:34 PM (e)

Mencken wielded with the sharp subtlety of a scalpel; Argento is swinging a machete here.
And the stupid b***h deserves every swing Mike send her way, I say.

Comment #107244

Posted by khan on June 21, 2006 3:56 PM (e)

or rishathra.

I will now adjust the bandaid on my glasses and clean my pocket protector.

Mr. Wu?

Comment #107247

Posted by Henry J on June 21, 2006 4:03 PM (e)

… and please ignore the large orange Kzinti behind the curtain…

Comment #107254

Posted by Coin on June 21, 2006 4:44 PM (e)

but they’ll inevitably point to Richard Dawkins

I think if they’ve maneuvered themselves into a situation where their best defense is to try to equate someone saying they don’t really like religion, with someone saying “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity”, that’s something of a bad situation for them all by itself.

Comment #107260

Posted by DragonScholar on June 21, 2006 5:12 PM (e)

coin wrote:

I think if they’ve maneuvered themselves into a situation where their best defense is to try to equate someone saying they don’t really like religion, with someone saying “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity”, that’s something of a bad situation for them all by itself.

To invert it, you’re already in a bad situation when you side with someone who says “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity”. One is either desperate, or one has put themselves in a bad situation by making a bad choice.

Comment #107261

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 21, 2006 5:14 PM (e)

Last night on the Daily show, Stewart had a guest who had written a book titled “The politcal fight club” (IIRC). She basically spent about 10 years documenting how the current political landscape favors extremists. Typically, moderates had better things to do than worry about hot-button issues, so gradually more and more extremists are being elected. Moreover, recent gerrymandering tactics (re-districting) have made incumbents damn near impossible to remove.

Coulter plays to the extremist side of things. I hate to say it, but the time for extremism is ripe, and she’s just playing to the crowd. The neocons recognized 30 years ago that the extremist fundy base was readily organizable and extremely motivated. Since then, they’ve been mostly proven correct on that aspect of things, even if the rest of their ideology has not.

there really is only one way to change this. Politicos like McCain, who have been moderate for years but jump on the fundy bandwagon as soon as they announce their intent to run for the presidency, instead need to play a leadership role, and point out the destructive nature of extremeism, both to the economy of the US, and to the very nature of the political process in this country.

Realistically, I can’t see any other way to stop the gradual decline in the quality and efficacy of our elected officials.

Somebody out there needs to bite the bullet and and actually play to the reality of the issues involved with running this country, rather than placate the extremists simply to maintain a power base.

that said… the author of the book on the Stewart show was asked if she was continuing her research in that venue.

to paraphrase, she essentially said no, after 10 years of researching politics on the hill, she now is researching evironmental degredation and whale populations, as she finds studying large scale environmental degredation far less depressing.

Comment #107264

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on June 21, 2006 5:39 PM (e)

The reason political moderates jump on the extremist bandwagon when election campaigning starts is that they have to win in the primaries first. Primary elections were initiated to put an end to the “smoke-filled-backrooms” of political conventions, where party candidates were selected. Political conventions are now meaningless rah-rah shows; the candidate has long been determined in places like New Hampshire and Iowa.

As bad as the old system was, at least the backroom dealings had the potential of selecting an electable moderate. The primary system all but eliminates moderates, since primary elections, with low voter turnout, favor extremist candidates, so that by the time the general election comes around, we’re left with a selecting the lesser of two evils. I don’t think I’ve ever voted for a Republican or a Democrat, as opposed to voting against their incumbent opponent.

Comment #107268

Posted by Coin on June 21, 2006 6:06 PM (e)

Bill, I may not have seen some of the same situations you have, but things don’t seem to work that way in the Democratic primaries from what I’ve seen at all. At least in the Democratic party the more likely result seems to be that the candidate gets selected who is least offensive to the largest number of the tiny diverse groups of people voting in the primary, resulting in a bland, featureless middle of the road candidate who once November comes no one finds interesting enough to vote for, but some people can find enough problems with to vote against. Or, for less well-publicized races, more often the seat just goes to whichever single candidate can manage to scrounge together a budget for the primary season.

But, of course, some of this may have to do with the problem that you can’t be extremist unless you actually have an ideology or something else to be extreme about, and the Democratic party right now is entirely without ideology, principles, direction, or any goals beyond “get re-elected”… so a bland, noncommital, vacillatory candidate may be about as close to the idea of a Democrat extremist as one can get.

Comment #107274

Posted by Anthony Kerr on June 21, 2006 6:31 PM (e)

If all this is true, and the religious right in America really does have all the cards, then how come Bill Clinton got elected…errr, twice?
Why can’t something similar happen again?
(Oh and BTW what were Bill’s stated views on evolution?)

Comment #107275

Posted by Troff on June 21, 2006 6:35 PM (e)

The redoubtable Mike Argento, unfortunately, made one factual error in his article. There is indeed already a cure for Ann Coulter.

The only problem is it leaves the practitioner liable for mannslaughter.

[bh-dmp-tschh!]

This, of course, may not be a felony, but will invite unpleasant attention. From the SPCA.

[bh-da-bm-tschh!]

Only kidding, folks. All the points made above are intended purely as humour. I think it’s unfair, grossly, to compare Ann Coulter to something cute or something worthy of being preserved.

[brrrrrrr-tschh!] Thank you, thank you. We’re selling copies of our latest MP3 from the station wagon out the back. Try the soyburgers with haloumi…. oh, and to Dene Bebbington: be fair. One can also look at Frasier’s Lilith and feel something other than repulsive - nay, explosive - nausea on purely aesthetic grounds.

Comment #107276

Posted by Coin on June 21, 2006 6:44 PM (e)

Anthony Kerr wrote:

If all this is true, and the religious right in America really does have all the cards, then how come Bill Clinton got elected…errr, twice?

1. The position of the religious right in American politics changed noticeably after 1994. (It changed again after 2000-2001.)

2. Bill Clinton appealed and pandered directly to southerners, somewhat negating the effect the power centers of the religious right would normally have.

3. The 1992 and to a lesser extent the 1996 presidential elections were three-way races including Ross Perot, somewhat complicating the effects factionalism might have otherwise had in the politics of those races.

4. Bob Dole really was just that unelectable.

Comment #107289

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on June 21, 2006 7:19 PM (e)

There is indeed already a cure for Ann Coulter.

The only problem is it leaves the practitioner liable for manslaughter.

In the spirit of Mencken, I invoke the other Great American Cynic:

“There are four kinds of homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy …”
AMBROSE BIERCE (1842-1914?), “THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY”

Comment #107300

Posted by Darth Robo on June 21, 2006 7:58 PM (e)

“… and please ignore the large orange Kzinti behind the curtain…”

I’m pretty sure that T. Kirk would have just quoted another famous James (007)

“Well, as long as the collar and cuffs match…”

To boldly go… ;)

Comment #107306

Posted by the pro from dover on June 21, 2006 8:11 PM (e)

If Dr. Bill Frist can diagnose a patient without doing a history and physical then The Pro (registered trademark) can do it as well. Ann Coulter is almost certainly a multi-pack-a-day smoker in order to achieve her anorexic physique. Her attack on evolution is an attack on science and the scientific method for no other reason than to rationalize her self-destructive behavior. Maybe she’ll get lung cancer or emphysema and become involved first hand with some actual biologically based scientific intervention. But as a faith-based believer in pseudoscience she’ll probably choose a naturopath with a supply of laetrile and an orgone box.

Comment #107311

Posted by Keanus on June 21, 2006 8:34 PM (e)

I think Bill Gascoyne is right in asserting that presidential primaries replacing smoke filled rooms (and the current approach to redistricting) is a major factor in the rise of extremism. It is also bizarre for the entire country to have ceded the right to nominate our presidential candidates to basically two state, New Hampshire and Iowa. A candidate who wins those finds the money faucets turned on full blast. Personally, I think we should have national primaries all on the same day, compelling the candidates to appeal to a much wider base and to work the entire country. Yes, I know some would approach that like Gore did the national election in 2000, but I suspect the influence of the extremists in both parties would be greatly reduced, and those of us who don’t live in New Hampshire or go the caucuses in Iowa would get a voice.

Comment #107499

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 22, 2006 5:48 PM (e)

Ah well, if elections could REALLY change power relationships, they’d be outlawed anyway. (shrug)

Comment #107517

Posted by Shalini, BBWAD on June 22, 2006 7:01 PM (e)

[Maybe she’ll get lung cancer or emphysema and become involved first hand with some actual biologically based scientific intervention.]

She shouldn’t be allowed to.

Comment #107518

Posted by Shalini, BBWAD on June 22, 2006 7:03 PM (e)

[I think Coulter’s book is actually bad news for ID. Intelligent Design is now wed to a woman who slanders 9/11 widows and discusses invading other countries and forceably converting their inhabitants.]

Hmmm….over at Uncommonly Dense Dembski was FAWNING over her book.

He must be seriously deprived and desperate.

Comment #107521

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 22, 2006 7:25 PM (e)

naw, it’s just that his head is swelled because the Coulterbot praised his minimal input on the manuscript.

He’s simply hoping that if enough people connect him with Coulter, his own books will sell more copies.

simple economics (combined with some serious delusional thinking).

Comment #107727

Posted by Jonesy on June 23, 2006 10:29 PM (e)

Coulter is irrational and… a side show, but there is some stuff she’s right about. Alot of the people that enjoy her shtick and vote the way she does is because they are rebelling against how far liberalism has moved left in the last couple decades: there’s political correctness, radical feminism, anti-americanism, etc…. Its the mirror image of her, and just as bad imo. Unfortunately, evolution gets tied to that also and is tarred in some peoples minds as well, because the left is secular.

I guess I do sort of agree with the opening post in that moderation is the answer on one side or the other. But I would rather put it this way, that liberalism has to get back to its roots and away from all this leftist nonsense. The audience for Coulter will dry up then.

Comment #107732

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 23, 2006 10:45 PM (e)

We have leftists in the US?

Where?

I haven’t seen any since 1969.

Comment #108011

Posted by wamba on June 24, 2006 8:10 PM (e)

Tom ….show us the Monkey.

Hey now, this is a family-friendly blog.

Comment #108259

Posted by Indigo on June 25, 2006 2:31 PM (e)

Coulter is one of the strongest arguments against evolution.

http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/4656/coultertv3nr.gif

Comment #108265

Posted by Lou FCD on June 25, 2006 2:44 PM (e)

indigo wrote:

Coulter is one of the strongest arguments against evolution.

I tend to think of her as one of the strongest arguments against there being any hope for civilization.

Comment #109197

Posted by Howard on June 29, 2006 5:43 AM (e)

I tried just reading one page from that book…I had to stop. I hadn’t laughed that hard since watching some of “Dr.” Dino’s lectures.

Amazing people actually believe her garbage.