Conservatives often whine and moan that the "drive-by media" is against them... against us, as a nation.
"All media except Fox News, that is.
ALL media including regional and local news producers, staff and reporters."
That's the accepted mantra. (And in my experience this is inaccurate regarding the local and regional media.)
Chief among the voices chanting such national sentiments is Ann Coulter, attorney, writer, somewhat-iconic conservative political commentator. She's Fox News' fox. (Or at least someone there used her as the archtype for their many blonde-babes.)
Her most recent controversial comment about "sodomy" does not arrive on the national stage in a vacuum. Coulter is a wordsmith and a soundsmith. Each sentence she presents in formal or informal debate is intentional and positioned, choreographed as dancing letters & sounds that have maximum impact.
This week the US Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8. Fundamental to the arguments asking that these laws be struck down, is the concept of "standing".
Here's what that means: whenever a defendant in a law suit appeals a negative decision to the next level of court, there is a given understanding that they were "hurt" in some fashion by that negative decision. They have "standing before the court", thus allowing them to appeal the case...even to the US Supreme Court.
In the case of DOMA, President Obama's administration has refused to defend the position of the federal government in favor of defending traditional marriage. There simply is no one to stand in front of the court, so others take up the case, favoring traditional marriage. California's Governor Jerry Brown has taken the exact position as President Obama on his state's proposition and so the issue of "standing" is left ambiguous, in both cases.
The expectation by many observers is that these two negative court decisions (against traditional marriage) may well be allowed to stand, because there is no one of proper "standing". It's a very real possibility/option for the Justices to use if they collectively decide to dodge the higher caliber bullet: whether gays can be legally married.
We'll see how that plays out.
The application of that technical issue to my feelings about Ann Coulter is that she does not represent me, my conservative beliefs or my faith in Christ.
She has no "standing" on my behalf in the court of public opinion.
I experience her as a sarcastic, bitter, rude and uncaring person. Philosophy aside, I don't believe she's authentic as an individual. Smart? Sure. A good actress, yep. An authentic person? I've seen no proof of it. Her toughness has an unanticipated sheen of malevolent anger to it. She's like a bright bully.
A few years back Ann Coulter came to Boise, ID as a stop on a speaking tour. We paid to see and hear her, and weren't much impressed on either level. I felt like I was at a one-liner convention. She did not impress my bride or me. The crowd went wild, though, at some of her hard-bitten comments. Susan and I simply shook our heads and left at Ann's last laugh-line.
It's almost as though politics is not real life to political commentators like Coulter and others. Good publicists and make-up artists can photo shop much - everything but words. And words wrongly written are pre-bullets, shelled in disrespect and loaded with the gunpowder of arrogance.
Those who practice such verbal vivisection often fail in their basic humanity - to treat others as they would wish to be treated. I know, because I was once there.
I don't care how intelligent the most liberal OR conservative proponent of an idea is, if she does not have love, she is like a banging gong - noisy and without proper pitch; like a mouthy-silent soulless spirit. And it does not need to be that way. God's hand of mercy once extended and acknowledged changes all of us. It changed me. It can change Ann Coulter.
But today Ann Coulter has no standing in my life.
- Dennis Mansfield