I enjoy listening to Ann Coulter, partly because I usually agree with 80 to 90 percent of what she says and partly because of the guilty pleasure I get from much of the other 10 to 20 percent. However, watching the replay of her speech explaining to the Young America’s Foundation why Hillary Clinton is preferable to John McCain, I found that those percentages were reversed. Moreover, though I did take guilty pleasure from her attacks on McCain, it became increasingly difficult fully to enjoy the spectacle of Coulter attempting to persuade college-age conservatives that a McCain defeat at the hands of Clinton would be just fine.
Fortunately, judging by the questions, at least some of the college-age conservatives were skeptical. Indeed, Coulter seemed to be backing off by the end of the Q and A session — even to the point of allowing for the possibility of being persuaded to prefer McCain — as it became increasingly evident that her position is untenable.
For example, in response to a question about Iraq, Coulter responded that McCain wants to close Gitmo and end waterboarding. But Clinton wants to close Gitmo, end waterboarding and, more likely than not, get out of Iraq without having won. McCain wants to close Gitmo, end waterboarding, and win in Iraq. How is that even a close call for Coulter?
Similarly, when asked about judges Coulter reminded the audience that McCain was part of the Gang of 14, and added that there was no assurance McCain would appoint judges like John Roberts (whose nomination Coulter was no fan of at the time) and Samuel Alito. But McCain voted in favor of Roberts and Alito, and (though I disagree with the Gang of 14) supported restricting filibusters of Bush nominees to exceptional cases. Clinton voted against Roberts and Alito, and thought there should be no restrictions on filibusters of their nominations and the nominations of like-minded appellate court judges. Again, this seems like a no-brainer for conservatives.
I also noticed that Coulter frequently praised Mitt Romney yesterday. But, if I recall correctly, when she spoke at the National Journalism Center last fall, Coulter found little to like in any member of the Republican field. It’s understandable that Romney looks better to her now that McCain has moved to the forefront. McCain may likewise look better to her if Clinton or Obama is elected.
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