Friday, June 09, 2006

The Two Marks

Today's American Spectator carries not one, but two defenses of Ann Coulter's remarks about the 9/11 widows, who had the temerity to tepidly criticize the Bush administration on occcasion. Mark Gavreau Judge latches on to the bizarre notion that to ever describe the death of a loved one in any detail makes you a moral monster:
But the more I saw the Jersey Girls' press release, the more that fissure widened . . . Before the list came this: "Contrary to Ms. Coulter's statements, there was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive. . ."

I read that, and a thought came to mind. I tried to push it away, ignore it. But I simply could not get that line out of my mind: "there was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive."
. . .

What person describes the death of a loved one in such detail?

Think about it. Think about people you've loved who have died, and how they died . . . Ten years ago, my father died of cancer. I can hardly bring myself to say the word, much less describe what he looked like and went through in the last months. When I meet someone who had a loved one suffer a similar fate, the conversation always trails off when we mention our common story. One of us will mutter, "it's a terrible thing," then change the conversation.

Curse me, I know I'm going to hell for this: Why did the Jersey Girls describe the deaths of their husbands with such startling precision?


What is he talking about? "Great detail," "startling precision"? The statement from the press release is descriptive, but hardly constitutes "startling precision. By invoking his father's death, Judge undermines his whole point. He doesn't use "great detail," but he is using the death of a loved one to make a political point in a fashion far less defensible than the "Jersey Girls." I pay little attention to the policy notions of 9/11 widows, but the 9/11 attacks had obvious political consequences. But Judge invokes his father's death to come to the aid of Ann Coulter.

Judge's point is further undermined by the companion article by Mark Golblatt. Golblatt leads off by describing the death of his mother with, you guessed it, "startling precision." "She spent the last two weeks of her life in a hospice, under heavy sedation but still gasping for air and coughing up phlegm." Goldblatt's article almost has a point. He argues that being a 9/11 widow gives one no special policy insight. I say "almost" because Coulter didn't simply denounce the views of the 9/11 widows, she questioned their basic human decency. Which is what she, and many other commentators, does. Her political schtick involves taking the rightwing line and describing anyone who crosses it as a traitor and as an evil person. It does nothing to advance the political debate in this country, and I can't imagine why the two Marks would dredge up the bones of their own loved ones in order to defend such a repulsive person.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I, too, can see the violations in Ann Coulter's rhetoric. Yet, at the same time, something in me roots for her.
She is the Dirty Harry of the right. She may not have the world's most powerful debating gun, but at least she's shooting back which is more than 80 percent of the Republicans are doing.
And when you watch the left lobbing shells in from all of its many entrenched positions destroying the country with the help of whatever it is exactly that george bush represents, it's just better to go down shooting, even if that "shooting" grazes the carcasses of political sacred cows who are handed a megaphone to say "OUCH."
In other words. in a fight you can't always rely on reason, strategy and the fact that your position is valid. You need to show some blood and guts if you expect others to follow you into battle.

Rex said...

Is anonymous insane. Their comments both are hoplessly irresponsible and out of touch with reality.
Been a while since I saw Dirty Harry but was he a left winger? LOL! And I thought he blew away REAL bad guys, which Coulter is an example of, not the so called Jersey Girls who are true victims of American Imperial bombast and greed unlike the mouthy vehicle of hate with long legs who may have been inspired by forgetting the 'u' in the midst of her name.
If only there were a left. Not one firing indiscriminately as anonymous seems to favor but with real ideas and power. I don't see a left that could take out a lemonade stand, so to see that they can and are destroying the country is a fantastic idea.
So if you can't always rely on reason etc. LOL that covers all sides, does it not so I guess we all need to make as much blood and gut each other as fast as possible.
Great! The terrorists have got it right. Somehow anonymous senses it but can't admit it.

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