A few thoughts:
1. Interesting that the story is still bubbling. It took the media a while to actually see the story as news. Why? First, because they think Coulter is a joke, and she is. But she's a joke who was recently on the cover of TIME, who gets paid tens of thousands of dollars a speech, has written several best-sellers, and was the most anticipated speaker at the biggest and most important conservative conference of the year. What she says is bs, but it matters. And it's not the job of the media to decide that Ann Coulter shouldn't be getting this much attention - she is a darling of the conservative movement, represents the values of many core conservative activists, including the religious right, and thus you simply cannot avoid reporting on her excesses as they reflect on the entire party.
2. Also fascinating that a large number of Republicans and conservatives are speaking out against Coulter. A number of the top conservative blogs have pretty much eviscerated her, as has, in the Reuters story, a conservative group that co-hosted the conservative conference Coulter spoke at this past weekend. Now, you could argue that this is just posturing - the conservatives know that Coulter's bigotry hurts their movement, so they criticize her whether or not they disagree with her. But I don't think that's true in all cases. Ed, at Captain's Quarters, has been quite vocal on this issue, and in a way that strikes me as completely sincere - he's not just worried about the party, I think he's offended by Coulter, period. Here's some of what Ed had to say:
Coulter sent an e-mail to the Times claiming that "it was a joke," and that she wouldn't think of insulting gays by comparing them to John Edwards. It's a non-sequitur. We know she wanted to tell a joke, because that's what she does -- insult people through comedic name-calling. She probably meant "ragheads" as a joke last year, too. That's not the point -- and she knows it.More from Ed:
I had heard at CPAC from a couple of the campaigns to expect announcements about Coulter's remarks. Frankly, a failure to condemn this remark would have been problematic for any candidate who attended the conference....
At some point, Republicans will need to get over their issues with homosexuality. Regardless of whether one believes it to be a choice or a hardwired response, it has little impact on anyone but the gay or lesbian person. We can argue that homosexuality doesn't require legal protection, but not when we have our front-line activists referring to them as "faggots" or worse. That indicates a disturbing level of animosity rather than a true desire to allow people the same rights and protections regardless of their lifestyles.I don't think all conservatives are as monnolithic as we think. They don't all love the religious right, and they don't all love hatemongers like Coulter. Or, more generally, not all conservatives are social conservatives. I think we forget that sometimes. It's a fact that we should welcome, and find common ground on, if possible.