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Much Ado about Coulter and Cheney

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So, Dick Cheney almost gets killed and some on the left think his death may have been a good thing. Meanwhile, political-shock artist Ann Coulter insinuated John Edwards is, in her words, a faggot. Wow. Astonishing.

I am neither surprised nor particularly scandalized that some lefties would welcome Cheney’s demise. Many on that side of the divide have made it pretty clear that they hate the man with an unlimited and unhinged passion. It’s hardly setting a new precedent for the same folks to ponder the positive implications of Cheney’s death. So what? It’s not like they’re advocating the VP’s assassination. That’d be a story (and a nice trial, too).

As for Coulter, I try never to mention her name simply because I don’t want to be, in even the smallest way, an enabler for an attention-aholic. The woman thrives on being brazenly intolerant. She’s so over-the-top that some mistake her rhetoric as comedy. But until she starts going on stand-up tours and stops promoting herself as a pundit, calling her brand of speech “comedic� is like call the piss-Christ “artistic.�

Coulter hardly crossed any new lines with her faggot comment. Now, if she’d called Barack Obama the n-word, we might have a real controversy. But given that Edwards is not actually homosexual, calling him a gay slur is just, well, weird. Offensive, sure, but no more so than most of the blather that tumbles from her mouth.

I’m not saying these people shouldn’t be condemned for their idiocy. I’m just questioning why so many people are acting so shocked. I don’t mind someone like Justin (who is a one-man political hack busting machine) calling these people out. But these stories have generated a silly amount of mock-outrage in the blogosphere and in the media.

If so many commentators, amateur and otherwise, are really interested in improving the quality of discourse in this country, maybe they should stop tolerating so many snakes in the grass. It’s disingenuous to wait until our veins run with venom before declaring we should do something about all these serpents.

Either stop letting the political snakes be a part of the dialogue or stop acting so shocked when unfunny provocateurs are humorlessly crass or when enraged Cheney-haters are depressed the man didn’t die.