Faux Populism

Andrew Sullivan points out that Ann Coulter’s hypocrisy in writing, “Liberals are already comfortably ensconced in their beachfront estates, which they expect to be unaffected by their negative growth prescriptions for the rest of us” when, in fact, she owns a pricey beachfront estate.

A fair point. The faux populism of the Coulters and Bill O’Reillys and Rush Limbaughs is annoying.

At the same time, wouldn’t it be preferable to make this point without making it quite so easy for would-be stalkers to find her?

Update: Rob Bluey emails noting that Sullivan has now taken down the link to Coulter’s property records. Good for him.

FILED UNDER: General, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Archives December 2006 August 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 [IMG Outside The Beltway | OTB] Look Through Your March 2003 Archives Game Faux Populism McCain Playing Catch-Up As Support Ebbs More on the Former Iranian Defense Minister C-SPAN Changes Copyright Policy after Pelosi Flap Conservative Media Stick With Coulter Caption Contest Marvel Kills Off Captain America

  2. ralph says:

    i’m sure someone out there knows where andrew sullivan resides. why not go to his counties real estate web site and do for him what he did for ann.

  3. andrew says:

    How exactly is that hypocrisy by Coulter? She’s not saying that it’s bad to own beachfront property or to be wealthy.

  4. Billy says:

    How exactly is that hypocrisy by Coulter?

    Because she’s creating a false meme of “us” vs. “them” by saying that “they” have beachhouses so “they’re’ not worried about the economy, when in fact, in Coulter’s case, “they” are “us.”

    I agree that she’s not being overtly hypocrtical in this case (unlike O’Reilly), but the implication is that Ann Coulter is a “normal” American like the intended reader, and that she worries about these things because she’s in the same boat with all of us. The very fact that the sole piece of evidence she presents to demonstrate that liberals don’t care about the economy demonstates an equal situs from Ms. Coulter belies what a vacuous personality she really is.

  5. Sam says:

    I can’t speak for O’Reilly or Culter, but Rush certainly doesn’t deny that he is rich and leads a very expensive life style. He does, however, make a lot of fun so called populists who live in 6.0 million homes or environmentalists who fly in private jets.

  6. James Joyner says:

    Rush certainly doesn’t deny that he is rich and leads a very expensive life style.

    True enough. Although he does spend a lot of time talking about liberal “elites” as if he’s not an “elite” himself.

    O’Reilly, especially, loves to present himself as a hardscrable Ordinary Joe, when he’s a Harvard-educated, multimillionare TV star. Nothing’s wrong with any of those things, of course, but pretending that you’re “one of the little guys” is a bit much.

  7. What? Bill’s not one of “the folks”?

  8. Mark says:

    Can one add Lou Dobbs to the list?

    God forbid if one day some reporter discovers his maid is an illegal immigrant…

  9. Steven Plunk says:

    This is far from hypocrisy. The likes of Coulter, Limbaugh, and O’Reilly preach personal responsibility and opportunity. The high life they live shows what opportunities are available and how hard work can pay off. They push pro-growth policies that mean even more opportunities for the rest of us.

    As far as faux populism, it’s where you came from not where you are at.

  10. Monica says:

    I thought Coulter’s point was that Dems want to create policies that could prevent the ability for the average guy to become wealthy while they’re already living that lifestyle and living it up.

  11. Patrick McGuire says:

    Seems to me that there are those who are only too eager to pick a fight with Ann Coulter, even if it means making themselves look stupid. The focus of Coulter’s comment had nothing to do with where the liberals live but rather their expectations that they won’t be affected by the consequences of their own preachings.

    I am suddenly reminded of an admonition from Rush Limbaugh when he said if one argues with an idiot it becomes difficult to tell the difference between two, so I will terminate my comments here.

  12. Travis says:

    There is no hypocrisy because they do not preach the transfer of my wealth to a government accounts that they will then manage. It has nothing to do with having nice things but rather having nice things and preaching self-sacrifice and austerity for others who don’t already enjoy their level of wealth.

  13. Bithead says:

    How exactly is that hypocrisy by Coulter? She’s not saying that it’s bad to own beachfront property or to be wealthy.

    Exactly so.

    Because she’s creating a false meme of “us” vs. “them” by saying that “they” have beachhouses so “they’re’ not worried about the economy, when in fact, in Coulter’s case, “they” are “us.”

    Nonsense. Coulter, unlike the left, isn’t making the judgement that being rich is bad. The left’s been working on that socialist assumption for longer than either of us has been alive.

  14. Billy says:

    Nonsense. Coulter, unlike the left, isn’t making the judgement that being rich is bad. The left’s been working on that socialist assumption for longer than either of us has been alive.

    THIS is nonsense, and a claim that disproves itself. If “liberals” make “the judgement that being rich is bad,” how can rich, beach-dwelling liberals expect be insulated from policies that will punish… rich beach-dwellers?

    What Coulter does is really play on two things. First, that all “liberals” fall into the much-derided “liberal elite” (untrue), and second, that this liberal elite favors policies that would punish similarly situated rich folk without impacting the liberals themselves (flat out impossible). Either that, or that the liberal elite favors policies that hurt poor, red-blodded americans (debatable, but no more true than to say the same thing about conservatives).

    The real problem with Coulter’s diatribe is that the sole evidence for indicting liberals as elitists absolutely applies to her situation; THIS is hypocracy, in that she implies that the crime is in having beach houses. I mean, if you have a beach house, you should be pro-life and for a Christian state, right? Otherwise you’re a hypocrite, right?

  15. Bithead says:

    As a freind says, aptly:

    …”the rest of us” in her reference goes to people who aren’t agitating for wholesale evisceration of the West on the Sacred Altar of the Divine Mosquito, like the DiCaprios of the world. Get it? The hypocrisy here is not in her mansion: it’s in how the DiCaprios of the world live while they’re telling “the rest of us” how we should exist in caves without even the comfort of animal skins for warmth. Coulter is not one of them.

  16. Bandit says:

    Geez Billy, except that everything you wrote is wrong or a lie you’re dead on – I missed the part where the column said all libs live in beachfront homes or that all rich people should believe in God. Maybe I missed it or I’m not loaded or something but I don’t think it’s there.

  17. ken says:

    James, you will never be as popular among conservatives as Coulter or Limbaugh. Yeah you fall into your conservative ideology once in a while and say something really stupid. But you are smart enough to keep some balanced perspective on most of your commentary.

    When the current crop of leading conservative pundits are long gone James, you are not going to replace them. There will be just another set of demagogues doing and saying the same things.

    This has been the history of conservatism in America. Look it up.

  18. Billy says:

    Maybe I missed it or I’m not loaded or something but I don’t think it’s there.

    That’s the thing about “implication” – it takes SOME mental capacity to make the necessary inference.

  19. Billy says:

    …”the rest of us” in her reference goes to people who aren’t agitating for wholesale evisceration of the West on the Sacred Altar of the Divine Mosquito, like the DiCaprios of the world. Get it? The hypocrisy here is not in her mansion: it’s in how the DiCaprios of the world live while they’re telling “the rest of us” how we should exist in caves without even the comfort of animal skins for warmth. Coulter is not one of them.

    This is fine if it’s limited to the DiCarprios of the world. The problem with Coulter is that she conflates Leo with union electricians, because they’re “liberals, which is excatly the kind of thing that demonstrates the facile and unserious nature of her commentary.

  20. Bithead says:

    Oh, I dunno.
    When you can de-link the union membership from the radical left, give me a call.

  21. Billy says:

    When you can de-link the union membership from the radical left, give me a call.

    Apparently the union laborers you know are very different people than the ones I know.

  22. Wayne says:

    Billy

    “That’s the thing about “implication” – it takes SOME mental capacity to make the necessary inference.”

    Has it ever occurred to you that your prejudice may cause you to see implications that are not there?

    How about addressing what she actually wrote first then you can continue on the pretense that you can read her mind.

  23. JohnG says:

    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/AnnCoulter/2007/02/28/let_them_eat_tofu!

    Read the original article, and then try to explain how Coulter’s big house is in any way hypocritical as to what she wrote.

  24. Pug says:

    As far as faux populism, it’s where you came from not where you are at.

    True enough, and Ann came from the mean streets of Greenwich, Connecticut, a well known hotbed of populism.

  25. Bithead says:

    Apparently the union laborers you know are very different people than the ones I know.

    I doubt it. It’s more likely that your perception of such people is skewed by your own world view.