Culture

The Lessons Lost in the Aftermath of Ann Coulter’s F-Bomb

For all of those folks outraged at Ann Coulter’s “f-ing Jews” Tweet during the last Republican debate, I have one simple question: Where were you in 2007 when Ann Coulter expressed the belief that Jews needed to be “perfected” into Christians? There are two cardinal sins goyim can commit: Using the phrase “f-ing Jews” and proclaiming a belief that Jews need to convert to Christianity. Ann has broken both. So, what’s the difference between 2007’s offense and today’s?

Apparently, timing is everything.

My good friend and former editor David Swindle’s theory goes something like this: Ann is both comedian and pundit, using sharp wit to draw attention in order to extrapolate upon a political point. Sure enough, Ann responded to her viral critics with an attempt to start a discussion on Republican pandering towards Israel. Hers is a point well made: Republicans constantly pay lip service to Israel in an attempt to woo Evangelicals and Orthodox Jews. However, the reality is that Israel is a drop on their bucket list of political priorities. Israel is a budgetary line item best mentioned in the press during counter-attacks on peacenik Democrats. What’s worse, Ann’s f-bomb or W’s support of the Gaza pullout and subsequent election of a Hamas government in 2005?

But that was then and this is now, an era in which we receive and express outrage in 140 characters or less. Which is why the 2004 study illustrating a link between illegal immigration and anti-Israel views tweeted by Ann was sadly ignored. An essential point missed because, like, what does Israel have to do with Mexico? Most conservatives are too busy connecting Ann with Donald Trump and Donald Trump trends higher than Israel and Mexico combined.

Which leads one to ask, was Ann’s “f-ing Jews” a clever way to address the Republican/Israel/immigration trifecta by feeding off of the buzz created by Trump’s anti-Semitic supporters? Perhaps. The woman is in tune with the conservative world, after all, and let’s admit her timing couldn’t have been more precise. As a Jew I’ll agree that the phrase “f-ing Jews” is the equivalent of the N-word: You just don’t say it. To paraphrase Walter Sobchak, 5,000 years of persecution, you better believe you don’t drop the term “f-ing Jews.” But, I’ll also agree with my fellow Jewish conservative Ben Shapiro: Ann Coulter is still a better supporter of Israel than the pro-Obama Jewish hypocrites currently mocking her. And that is another point lost in the mire of the f-bomb.

 

I don’t agree with Ann’s support of Trump. But I can’t think of one single conservative with whom I agree on everything, because that’s what adults do: Critically think, not idol worship. Which is why Sarah Rumpf’s echo of the conservative declaration “Ann broke my heart” is especially absurd.

“For many young female conservatives, Ann Coulter was our Conservative Supergirl. With a wit that seemed faster than a speeding bullet, her clever chatter buzzed as if she were an Aaron Sorkin character brought to life. Seeing the utterly fearless way she eviscerated the hypocrisy of the left was a thing of joy.

Better yet, she was cool. Not some stodgy, frumpy “church lady” like from Dana Carvey’s SNL skits, but stylish and sleek with her long blond hair and penchant for black leather skirts and sky-high heels. She was snarky and hysterical and fun, our Republican Barbie Warrior Princess, and I adored her.”

Adoration is meant for girls playing with Barbies. Why? Because they live in the realm of fantasy, much akin to that Aaron Sorkin television wonderland Rumpf apparently idolizes. This is politics, not ComiCon. There is no LARPing in Congress or role-playing on the front lines. What’s the best way to avoid having your heart broken in the cold, hard world of politics? Leave your iconography at the church door.

Rumpf’s essay panders to political correctness with a vapidly chummy, pseudo-Christian right wing “let’s just all get along” attitude. She reasons if we quit dropping nasty comments about “China and Mexico” and the “f-ing Jews” the Internet will be a nicer place. ‘Murica, and all that. In fact, Rumpf, a self-proclaimed Christian, doesn’t even care if Coulter is anti-Semitic, a highly hypocritical tack to take in light of Coulter’s Christian-oriented “perfection” commentary. Rumpf has no desire to address that sticky issue. (I guess she’s too busy giving out daisies.) Instead, she clarifies that she only cares that Coulter’s comments inspired Tweet-rage:

The firehose of hate streaming from the angriest bowels of the Internet has been too strong these past few days (and past few months in response to her immigration comments) for Coulter to have plausible deniability. Coulter may not hate the Jews or Mexicans or any other non-WASPs, but her tweets have encouraged and emboldened those who do.

Jonah Goldberg’s essay at NRO “encouraged and emboldened” Twitter users with anti-Semitic views. Does Rumpf, an avid anti-Trumper, believe Goldberg should’ve just kept his mouth shut and played nice, too? What kind of Coulter fan is Rumpf, anyway? One that watched her Barbie in sexy heels on mute for the past 15 years?

I once observed that Ann’s “sarcastic jabs often got her into more trouble than her actual argumentation.” The problem isn’t Ann, it’s us. Instead of using jabs to make an argument, we’ve traded in arguments for jabs. Ann is not made for those who’ve pandered down the Twitter hole. Nor is she designed for those seeking to worship idols instead of cultivate their own opinions. Conservatives who aren’t afraid to think critically can still pull the meat from the fat of Ann’s arguments. Did Republican candidates pander to the same old tropes in that debate? Yes. Are they ignoring the realities of immigration policies, in particular the impact they have had and will have on American political attitudes towards Israel? Yes. So, what’s your f-ing problem, again?

Despite what my PJ colleague Rick Moran thinks, Ann is far from over. She not only took advantage of the Right’s seedy underbelly of anti-Semitism, she called attention to their faux anti-Israelism to boot, and all while addressing the issue of illegal immigration. And in the world of social media, we would have missed all of that if she hadn’t Tweeted about the “f-ing Jews.” That’s sad commentary, indeed. For the rest of us that is, not for Ann.