The Devil and Miss Coulter

It’s so, like, OMG.  As some of those young conservatives who applauded the news that Ann Coulter will too speak at the GOPRoud convention would say.

Great.  Joseph Farah says Ann is being seduced by “materialistic libertarianism.”  Ann says Joseph is a “publicity whore” who’s trying to get hits for WND by posting her email correspondence with him.  (Farah wins the Smorgasbord of Syllables trophy for this one, but I don’t think that represents much of an informational triumph.)  Neither comes off well here:  Farah looks like Mr. My Tent Is Smaller Than Yours No Matter What, and Coulter like she left her manners in the overhead storage compartment on her last airline trip.

This.  This!  This is exactly what we need as we edge closer to November, the national debt spirals, Obama takes his imperialism for granted, and Iran closes in on a bomb!  A conservative circular firing squad!  Yeah, that’s an idea we’ve never had before!  Quick – write that one down!

Because you know this is the way to appeal to the Tea Partiers, the independents, the libertarians, the Paleos and the ConCons – all those folks who’ve been deserting GOP candidates and losing interest in conservatism-as-usual because it seems to spend all its time whining that life is too much like the Bar Scene From Star Wars, and YOU – yes, you, over there, you with the ‘tude – are the main thing that’s cluttering it up.

I don’t care what the left thinks.  The left will interpret everything in the worst light.   (The left is, perforce, muted in this case, because Ann Coulter’s stand involves addressing a gay group.  The snark factor has to be moderated.)

No, it’s the obvious, off-putting waste of time – and the internecine bad faith – that incidents like this project to uncertain voters and people trying to find their political way.  And it’s so unnecessary.  Both actors in this drama could have taken the exact same stands without turning it into a public slugfest.

Guess what.  There are conservatives who believe homosexuality is wrong, and who, while they have no desire to sic the civil authorities on gays, nevertheless disapprove of gay-themed politics, period.  There is a very, very large number of these people.  They aren’t going away.  Conservative candidates can’t win without them.  Joseph Farah knows his readership and the political audience he’s trying to reach with his conference.  Get over it.

And guess what.  There are conservatives who don’t care, aren’t sure, or positively disagree that homosexuality is wrong.  Get over that.  The point of conservatism is that it’s not government’s job to go around grading people on this topic.  And you know what?  Most of the conservatives in this second category have philosophical problems – like those outlined by Robert S. McCain – with gay-themed politics.  They’re willing to join forces with gays who espouse conservative political goals (some of them, of course, are gays), but that doesn’t mean they endorse a radical “gay” agenda.

The common thread running through conservatism is the rejection of [fill-in-the-blank]-themed politics.  This is what they like to call, in the negotiating trade, common ground.  There’s way more common ground between Yay-Gay-Cons and Boo-Gay-Cons than there is disputed territory.  Just as there’s a lot of common ground between libertarians and social conservatives on abortion, if we break it down as an issue of federalism, judicial activism, and government funding.

We aren’t going to locate and focus on this common ground if we go around throwing hissy fits at each other every whipstitch.  David Frum and Mark Levin had something similar going last year, and man, was it a colossal waste of time.

Joseph, Ann, to your corners for a time-out.  So you don’t agree on this one, and your professional connection may not continue.  Deal.  Apologize (in private; I so don’t want to know), hug, and come out smiling.  There are much more important things to spend time on.  Really.