The political geography of the mainstream

Ann Coulter’s column today is an outstanding defense of Justice Janice Rogers Brown against the assault on her by liberal politicians and their megaphone at the New York Times: “The ‘mainstream’ is located in France.” In its combination of analysis, satire, ridicule and humor it is classic Coulter.
Coulter notes the political utility of the liberals’ rhetorical strategy in stigmatizing nominees such as Justice Brown: “Fortunately for liberals, soccer moms hear that a nominee is ‘extreme’ and ‘out the mainstream’ and are too frightened to ask for details. (Ironically, based on ticket sales and TV ratings, soccer is also out of the mainstream.)”
She observes that we should probably not defer to Senator Kennedy as an arbiter of “the mainstream”: “Teddy Kennedy, who might be well advised to withhold comment on a woman’s position relative to a moving body of water, has described Brown as ‘out of the mainstream,’ adding, ‘Let’s just hope this one can swim.’”
Coulter challenges the imputation of extremism to Brown by the assertion that she is “outside the mainstream.” Coulter writes: “What the Times means by ‘mainstream legal values’ is: off-the-charts unpopular positions favored by NAMBLA, the ACLU and The New York Times editorial page.” Having itemized the position that place Brown “outside the mainstream” positions of these popular outfits, she writes, “I guess if your ‘mainstream’ includes Roman Polanski, Michael Moore, Howard Dean and Jacques Chirac, then Brown really is ‘out of the mainstream.’ This proverbial ‘stream’ they’re constantly referring to is evidently located somewhere in France.”
Coulter concludes with a detailed analysis of a case in which Justice Brown’s dissent is used as an example of her extremism. Coulter demonstrates that, on the contrary, the dissent vindicates Justice Brown’s fidelity to First Amendment principles. All in all, a bravura performance.
SUPPLEMENTARY READING: The Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial today: “Brown gets borked: Her problem is that she’s too qualified — and black.”

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