For me, "conservative" cheerleader and professional attention-seeker, Ann Coulter usually garners the kinda attention span usually reserved for a channel-surfing stopover on Sabado Gigante or one of those ouch-it-hurts-sports-injury gawkfests... in other words, she's a fly-by oddity. Or, oughta be.
I find her politics and personality wildly repugnant but at the same time I find her to be such a cartoon of a normal human being, that I can't be bothered to laugh at her, let alone fume about her. But I can only wish she'd remain little more than an occasional blip on my personal radar.
It's just that, every couple of months her inner fascist orbits a little too close to her inner child and she says something so outrageously offensive/stupid/titillating that it gets picked up and circulated 'round the blogoshpere, and sometimes the tv-o-sphere. And I become a little more familiar with Ann Coulter.
As I understand it, she's garnered a large following in America's "conservative" community. She's a perennial major player on the GOP punditry circuit where book deals, speaking engagements and TV appearances have earned her a very, very agreeable income. From there, Coulter plays to the baser instincts of the GOP faithful, oftentimes uttering statements (usually in the form of the defensible opinion--actual or calculated) that would get plenty of other media darlings publicly shunned for a lifetime or two. Tellingly, she's retained her seat in the Pantheon of "conservative" icons as much by explicit approval of those masses, as by implicit approval by the leaders of those masses.
Despite the repeatedly violent and vicious pronouncements vomited from the mouth of Ann Coulter, the GOP has yet to publicly denounce her; yet to claim she's gone too far. Whether it's bemoaning a missed opportunity to assassinate a "liberal" political figure, daydreaming of exterminating America's left-leaning citizens, or, now, the jocular, verbal emasculation of a Democratic presidential candidate, Coulter's words are met with a roar from the groundlings and ever more invitations from the elite.
The always excellent Glenn Greenwald writes about the phenomenon behind this tacit approval of Coulter and her peers by the GOP in today's column, The Right-Wing Cult of Contrived Masculinity. It's perhaps the most insightful, most damning post Greenwald's wrote yet. And that, my friends, is saying something.