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    14 February 2006

    Instapundit gets hammered by Greenwald

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    I mean just pounded.

    Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds accuses me today of "degrad(ing) the blogosphere" because I wrote a post at Crooks & Liars observing that Reynolds had done nothing to denounce the violence-advocating and epithet-spewing remarks of Ann Coulter at last week's highly prestigious Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and I encouraged C&L readers to e-mail Reynolds and ask why this was. As I documented here, the CPAC is one of the most important Republican events of the year, and its invited speakers along with Coulter included Dick Cheney, Ken Mehlman, Bill Frist, Newt Gingrich and Reynolds himself.

    As I explained in the C&L post, my belief that Reynolds has an obligation to either denounce or defend Coulter's comments is largely based on the fact that Reynolds routinely lectures Democrats on what he claims is their obligation to denounce "extremists on the Left" – even when the extremists in question are totally fringe and inconsequential figures who have nothing to do with Democrats, and – unlike Coulter here – don't have huge throngs of followers and aren't invited to be the featured speaker at the most important political events of the year. I specifically cited this post from Reynolds self-righteously taking Democrats to task for their grave moral failure in remaining silent about that oh-so-significant, long-standing icon of the Democratic Party, Ward Churchill.
    Republicans have been playing this game for years. They wildly inflate the importance of fringe, extremist figures and then -- every time one of those individuals makes an intemperate remark or comment that can be wrenched out-of-context and depicted as some sort of demented evil -- they demand that Democrats ritualistically parade before the cameras and either condemn those individuals or be branded as someone who is insufficiently willing to stand up to the extremists "in their party."
    Republicans have spent the last five years courting the most extreme and radical elements of their party, while the media allows them to present a mainstream and moderate face to the public. While we were given John McCain, Rudy Guliani, and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the prime-time speakers at the GOP Convention, Republicans cowtow in the dark to figures like James Dobson, Pat Robertson and Coulter. It is time that they either embrace those alliances in the open or repudiate them.
    Now, having said all of that, Reynolds' condemnation of Coulter, once he was finally prodded into making it, is quite potent and clear. He says that Coulter inflames the divide between Muslims and the West and therefore, because winning hearts and minds is our most important objective in the war on terrorism, Coulter is "objectively pro-terrorist." I can't quibble with that.

    But that leads to a rather glaring question, which is this: why is someone so extreme, hateful, and destructive so wildly popular among Bush followers; why is she continuously treated as a respectable and important figure among "conservatives"; and why have so few of the prominent Republicans who participated at the CPAC not condemned her, ever? If one is a supporter of Bush, as Reynolds is, aren't those rather pressing questions?

    Go read...

    Reynolds' record

    Posted by Geoff

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