Cathy Young asks the burning question, Who’s meaner, conservatives or liberals?
Young produces plenty of examples from both sides, but focuses much of her attention on Ann Coulter, including this snippet: Her long rap sheet of hateful remarks includes this gem from a speech last year to the Conservative Political Action Committee:
“We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals by making them realize that they could be killed, too.”
I’ve long been baffled to see so many conservatives defend Coulter as a fiery and witty, if over-the-top, polemicist. Reviewing her previous book, Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, in The Weekly Standard, Christopher Caldwell lauded the “Menckenesque invective” of such apercus as: “Even Islamic terrorists don’t hate America like liberals do. They don’t have the energy. If they had that much energy, they’d have indoor plumbing by now.” There’s no accounting for taste, I suppose; but even if you regard Coulter’s rhetoric as funny, her consistent demonization of her opponents and her constant equation of dissent with treachery are not.
Young concludes that there is enough blame to go around:
If the conservative paradigm is that liberals are unpatriotic, if not downright un-American (and possibly also godless and libertine), then the liberal paradigm is that conservatives are at best uncompassionate and at worst bigots and fascists. Hannity has a point when he says that people who are outraged by Coulter’s crude stereotyping of Democrats often don’t hesitate to suggest that “the Republicans want to poison the air, water, kill children and throw children on the streets.” Not to mention abuse the elderly and burn down black churches.