“What did you expect? ‘Welcome, sonny?’ ‘Make yourself at home?’ ‘Marry my daughter?’ You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the New West. You know — morons.” — Waco Kid, Blazing Saddles
Ann Coulter believes she’s been treated rather shabbily by the common clay of this nation since riding in on her high horse for a three-city speaking tour.
First, the self-styled, mean-spirited, conservative bigot from south of the border claimed that she was the victim of an alleged hate crime.
Then the inflammatory author and TV commentator got into a verbal sparring match with a few students angered by her vilification of Muslims.
On Tuesday, she was shouted down by “threatening” protesters rumoured to be armed with “rocks and sticks and tar and feathers.”
Chased from the Ottawa podium, Coulter was chastised then by a member of her own conservative posse.
Morons, all of them. At least, that’s what we’d expect Coulter to say. Oh wait, she’s already said as much on her blog.
But Canadians are smart enough to tell debate from hate, and they’ve heard enough of Coulter’s crude, cruel remarks and racist taunts this past week to know where she stands.
Francois Houle, vice-president academic at the University of Ottawa, has borne the brunt of Coulter’s insults since he wrote a letter warning her that Canadian law makes provisions for hate speech. Coulter cried foul, leaking the letter to the media and claiming it constituted a hate crime.
Conservative activist Ezra Levant, whom Coulter has hired to prepare a human-rights complaint against the “A-Houle,” said the letter inflamed the “un-Canadian” protesters who forced Coulter to cancel her Ottawa speech, embarrassing the university and its student body.
For her part, Coulter relied on her pat response to criticism, needling students with schoolyard taunts about their average IQ (zero), writing off the university as a “bush league” institution and referring to Ottawa as Indian for land of the bed-wetters.
In an amusing aside posted on a Maclean’s magazine blog, Craig Chandler, executive director of the Progressive Group for Independent Business, got himself uninvited to Coulter’s speech in Calgary tonight — an event he once planned to host — by Coulter herself after he denounced her on TV.
Wow. What does that say about Chandler if a conservative icon wants nothing to do with him?
Coulter plays the role of absurd, tactless political professional to a T; innocent female Presbyterian victim of hate, not so much.
As the former, Coulter never lacks for an insult, taunt or racial slur, especially if you’re a Jew, Muslim, Canadian, homosexual, liberal, woman or the other groups she fears.
Vanity Fair writer Andrew Cohen sums up Coulter’s tactics best: “cruel, offensive, bullying, but kidding, just kidding!”
It must be terrifying for Coulter to live in a society in which everyone is the enemy and her own social class — the white, wealthy, Cornell-educated elites who own homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach — will become a minority in the United States within her lifetime.
Once Coulter runs out of insults, though, all that remains is ignorance and the tedious recital of black and white absolutes far removed from the grey reality most of us deal with daily.
How do we support our families, raise and educate our children or govern ourselves in this complex world? Coulter doesn’t have a clue.
Coulter wraps up her speaking tour at the University of Calgary tonight. After enduring a week of insults and bullying, the common clay of the New West should have a few choice words of their own for Coulter before running her out of town, white cowboy hat in hand. Happy trails, Ann.
Cameron Kennedy is an Advocate editor.