Soulless: Ann Coulter and the Right-Wing Church of Hate

( 16 )

Overview

"A word to those of you out there who have yet to be offended by something I have written or said: Please be patient. I am working as fast as I can." –Ann Coulter, 2006

Is she ever!

Ever since the publication of her Clinton-bashing debut, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, right-wing fire-brand Ann Coulter has made herself one of the most talked-about figures in contemporary American life—and has done so by issuing a near-continuous barrage of insult and invective, which has been ...

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Overview

"A word to those of you out there who have yet to be offended by something I have written or said: Please be patient. I am working as fast as I can." –Ann Coulter, 2006

Is she ever!

Ever since the publication of her Clinton-bashing debut, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, right-wing fire-brand Ann Coulter has made herself one of the most talked-about figures in contemporary American life—and has done so by issuing a near-continuous barrage of insult and invective, which has been described as "shameless," "cruel," "shrill, bombastic, and mean-spirited," "grossly inappropriate," "hate speech." She has called the 9/11 widows "witches" and "harpies," referred to Muslims as "ragheads," called Al Gore a "total fag," and said that both New York Times editor Bill Keller and antiwar congressman Jack Murtha deserved to die. Yet with each new statement—and each new book launch—Coulter somehow manages to co-opt the media as a megaphone for her attacks, while emerging from the backlash miraculously unscathed.

Until now. With Soulless, political commentator Susan Estrich takes on Ann and the "Coulter culture" she has created, exposing how the pundit provocatrice has downgraded our political discourse with her irresponsible rhetoric, personal attacks, and slanderous asides. Trawling through Coulter's history of often-violent public statements, Estrich asks which are more cynical: the pundit and her headline-grabbing drive-by character assassinations, or the networks who happily bring her back for more. Soulless also casts a light on "the Anns," wannabes like Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck, whose imitation Coulterisms coarsen our culture with every passing news cycle. And, most important, she challenges us—the readers, the voters—to remember that behind the huckster's rhetoric lurks a dangerous reactionary whose real agenda is wildly out of step with the American public.

As Estrich says, "She knows exactly what she is doing. And she is scary as hell because of it."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641861079
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/10/2006
  • Pages: 255
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Estrich has been called one of the most influential public intellectuals of the century. The first woman ever to run a presidential campaign, she was also the first female president of the Harvard Law Review and the youngest woman to be tenured at Harvard Law School. An accomplished attorney, she has represented clients including Leona Helmsley, Claus von Bulow, and Michael Milken. The author of several books, including The Case for Hillary Clinton and the national bestseller Sex and Power, she is the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law School. Estrich lives in Santa Monica, California, with her two children.

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Read an Excerpt

Soulless

Ann Coulter and the Right-Wing Church of Hate
By Susan Estrich

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Susan Estrich
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061246492

Chapter One

Godlessness

My book makes a stark assertion: Liberalism is a godless religion. Hello! Anyone there? I've leapt beyond calling you traitors and I am now calling you Godless. Apparently, everybody's cool with that. The fact that liberals are godless is not even a controversial point anymore.
--Ann Coulter

Welcome to Ann's world. And what a mean and nasty world it is. Here she is taking all the decent impulses that make Americans compassionate, hopeful, and generous--real Liberalism--and, with a total disregard for history and humanity, twisting them into the opposite of what they are.

How does she do it? An ounce of sophistry, a touch of misrepresentation, lit up with invective and some sly wit.

But she doesn't do it alone. Not even close.

She does it by using a media that's obsessed with entertainment. For them, long, blond, svelte Ann is the cutely packaged girl next door (if next door is Darien, Connecticut) who can impress the college boys by being able to talk dirty and nasty with the best of them. Venom is what she spills.

And why does she do it?

To amuse herself? So she claims: "Most of what I say I say to amuse myself and amuse my friends. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about anything beyond that."

It goesbeyond amusement, of course. Well beyond.

Ann is not harmless, an amusing conversationalist. Far from it. What she succeeds in doing is dividing us against each other, polarizing us whether we want to be polarized or not (and often we do not), playing to the lowest common denominator, and not only moving the ideological line to the right, but moving it downward in the process.

Social scientists argue, using polling data, that there is no culture war. Ann needs to create one in order to destroy the possibility that a decent progressive majority might ever triumph over the forces of hate.

The book Godless is Ann's latest call to arms for her hordes of true believers. What makes it different than the rest of her rants is that it plays the religion card.

In politics, that's a big card to play.

Welcome to Ann's new worldview: A politicization of God.

Look at the opposition. They have no God.

Look at us. We do. God is on our side.

It's classic stuff. When all else fails, they bring in God. Remember what Lincoln said: "Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right."

Ann's view is not Lincoln's. What's clear to everyone except Ann is that the president has failed. The war in Iraq has failed. So what do we have in Ann's world? We have God taking sides, with certain religions preferred over others. Want to guess which ones? You might not be right. And it was just Republicans and Democrats in politics last time I checked; now you have Ann putting God in the mix.

Ironic, wouldn't you say? Here we are, facing religious zealots in the Middle East, and what is the answer? We're arguing about who has God on their side--the Right or Liberals? Do we learn nothing?

First she said liberals were biased.

Then she said we really were traitors.

Now she says we're Godless.

It's a trilogy.

Slander/Treason/Godless. Ann does it all. Attack the New York Times. Defend Joe McCarthy. Declare God to be on your side. Of course.

If Alan Dershowitz hadn't written a book called Chutzpah, Ann could have done it.

This is what Ann writes: "Liberalism is a comprehensive belief system denying the Christian [and Jewish] belief in man's immortal soul. Their religion holds that there is nothing sacred about human consciousness."

No God.

The Episcopal Church "is barely even a church" in Ann's view.

I bet you guessed Episcopalians came out on top. Only at the country club.

"Everything liberals believe is in elegant opposition to basic Biblical precepts."

Nonsense!

In one sense, in the writerly way, Ann uses God as a gimmick. Religion is the spine of her new book. She admits this. She uses God as the organizing principle for her attack.

"Of course liberalism is a religion. It has its own cosmology, its own miracles, its own beliefs in the supernatural, its own churches, its own high priests, its own saints, its own total worldview, and its own explanation of the existence of the universe. In other words, liberalism contains all the attributes of what is generally known as 'religion.' "

By trying to turn liberalism into a religion, Ann makes the old attack feel fresh and clever: Hello again to Willie Horton and partial birth abortion; hello again to gay bashing and good-bye to evolution. Liberalism isn't just liberalism, it's a religion. Teachers aren't teachers, they're priests. The schools aren't schools, they're temples. Abortion isn't abortion, it's a sacrament. . . . Got it?

But God is more than a gimmick for her here. What better source of new political energy than that old standby, religious fervor, particular with a little Muslim-hating and a lot of Charles Darwin thrown in? You can hate liberalism a lot more if it's Godless, after all--and if God is on your side, not to mention signing you up to vote with the help of Reverend James C. Dobson's Focus on the Family, and telling your kid what to think in schools.

Using God is not a new idea in politics. It brings me back, most recently, to the days at the turnstile in the Houston Airport at the 1992 Republican Convention. I had gone to Houston to work for ABC News. This was the convention where Ronald Reagan would be the moderate, where Pat Robertson would give his memorable Religious Right speech, where the platform committee would fight about references to Lincoln. But before any of that happened, I got off the plane, walking very carefully, on doctor's orders, because . . .



Continues...

Excerpted from Soulless by Susan Estrich Copyright © 2006 by Susan Estrich. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    I regret giving this even one star

    This is just Estrich wishing to be Coulter. Estrich is jealous of Ann's ability to succinctly and sharply say what the majority of America thinks. Black cocktail dresses and intellectual writing belong in Ann Coulter's world. Estrich can't pull off either.

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2008

    Funny... Looking!

    This book totally mis-represents Ann Coulter. While Estrich talks about her liberal buddies in the summary, that is the closest to the truth she gets, but says it's false! I might also be more inclined to buy it if she looked half as good as Ann Coulter

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2008

    Not Even Close

    I suppose this is supposed to be the Liberals answer to Ann Coulter... but it's not even close. As most Liberal speech is, it's heavy on the hyperbole, light on the facts.

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2009

    Is $4.00 too much?

    Is it any wonder that the book only costs four bucks? This is the same reason liberals fail in talk radio and want so badly to reinstate the Fairness doctrine.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2011

    Excellent review of a hateful woman and her lies

    The only reason that this cook has such a low scaore on here is that Ann Coulter has so many sheep who blindly buy into her garbage. Anyone who listens to a word that comes out of that woman's mouth is as hateful and evil as she is and will surely burn in hell along with her. She is the most godless person in America.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 21, 2010

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    Posted October 31, 2009

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    Posted August 6, 2009

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    Posted October 31, 2008

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    Posted February 20, 2009

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    Posted December 17, 2008

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