The Jersey Girls

Mark Gauvreau Judge has some second thoughts to his knee jerk reaction to Ann Coulter’s latest work. Mark tells the story of why and how he came to re-think Coulter’s “questioning of the 9/11 widows in Godless hysterical and heartless.”

To inspect the details of death, reveal them, announce them, is often the province of the propagandist or social activist. It’s the gun control advocate who announces at the town meeting, “My son’s brains were splattered all over me.” The seatbelt champion showing slides of bodies in pieces. The reporter who will pick over every drop of blood spilled at Haditha. … Saying our husbands died because we weren’t prepared just doesn’t pack the same punch as: they burned alive, and Bush could have prevented it — and may cause more of it. One is philosophy, spirituality, and love of country. The other is politics.

This is the value of a sharp and biting idea if it reveals a truth. Coulter hits enough of these (creationism is an example of an exception) that she can stay out of the Koz Korral of conspiracy nuts and other wackos. When an idea can help someone see, can cause someone to re-think their original reaction, and can highlight a truth, then a service has been done.

There is a related example in some expressing outrage that photos of al-Zarqawi were released by the US Military. These outrage seekers are making an issue (point one) by covering over basic distinctions (point 2) of an alleged atrocity (point 3). There is good case to be made that releasing the photos of dead enemy leaders in a respectful manner is not an atrocity but necessary to quell rumor mongoring to the point that he’s not really dead. The outrage seekers take a you can’t win position by either condemning the proof or alleging the “he’s not really dead” position depending upon the circumstances.

These kinds of tactics do deserve appropriate inspection. Coulter caused many to do this about the Jersey Girls. It means that a mantra of victimhood is no longer an a priori immunity from criticism of the polemics or politics presented under that cover. This has got to be a positive and constructive development.

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