Last week, during an appearance on the CNBC program The Big Idea, right-wing shock-pundit Ann Coulter described her ideal vision of American society. It was, she said, New York, as the city appeared in the midst of its 2004 Republican national convention: "People were happy. They're Christian. They're tolerant."
When host Donny Deutsch asked the obvious question -- "So it would be better if we were all Christian?" -- Coulter said yes. When Deutsch, who is Jewish, told her he thought this was anti-Semitic, she declared on behalf of Christians: "We just want Jews to be perfected."
I'll leave it to others to debate whether Coulter was being anti-Semitic or merely crude and flippant. That isn't really the point. The real scandal isn't what Ann Coulter said on CNBC. The real scandal is that she was on television at all, and that she has a syndicated newspaper column, and gives speeches all over the United States.
Ann Coulter is an embarrassment. And the people who should be most embarrassed are self-described conservatives. Whenever liberals want to make us look like bigots and mental cases, all they have to do is trot out one of Coulter's whoppers, and the job is done.
This is an 800-word column, so I don't have space to rehash every appalling thing Coulter has written or said. But the highlights include her description of Al Gore ("total fag"), John Edwards ("faggot"), Muslims ("ragheads," "camel jockeys," "jihad monkeys"), her suggestion that said monkeys should stick to "flying carpets" instead of travelling on commercial airlines, and her next-day reaction to 9/11: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." (MORE)