Et tu, Coulter? (Repub Nutters Have Bush's Back)

Our story thus far: The politically right-wing, so-called-conservative Republican Party has obtained unprecedented power in the United States of America, having gobbled up top spots in courts across the land and both houses of congress, in addition to landing George W. Bush a second term as president of the country.

Now, secure in their supremacy, Republicans with so much as even an ounce of ethical morality and/or half a brain feel confident that occasionally they can speak the truth about the hypocrisy and financial absurdity rife within the Bush/Cheney Administration. However, not all True Believers of the supposedly God-loving, "normal guy" Bush are ready to hear any remarks of ill repute concerning their Beloved Leader. Thus, many conservative commentators have taken to sugarcoating their Bush jabs with left-wing/liberal jokes to help the medicine go down:


Alright, so I just read the updated version of "Kwanzaa: A Holiday From the FBI," an anti-liberal and anti-Kwanzaa screed by Ann Coulter, author of How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) and other grandiose wackiness loved by Repubs and loathed by Dems. Her unraveling of the possible truth behind Kwanzaa was originally written back in 2001, I believe, but the article gets passed around maniacally every year during the holiday season, and thus it's back once more. (Originally the column began by referencing President Clinton's Kwanzaa greeting; now it references Bush's nearly identical greeting) .

Good ol' Coulter is a funny writer. Witty. And she can be so lambastic, I often wonder if she's not a liberal secret agent determined to make the right look bad by proclaiming herself conservative while acting like a nut. (A brief aside: I was hoping that I'd just coined the term "lambastic" -- a combination of bombastic and lambast -- but it looks like this word is used frequently all over the Internet. Everywhere but in dictionaries, that is.)

For instance, I'm a far-left liberal. A socialist with certain libertarian leanings and a Green-party voting record. I live in NYC and work in the media and arts. And I don't have anything to do with Kwanzaa on a regular basis. So why does Coulter say this is "a holiday for white liberals, not blacks"? Who are these mythical liberals that the wide-eyed Republicans are always blathering on about?

Look, I'll admit this: The facts the author presents are little known by many, and thus should be discussed; she compiles the information nicely; and I love a good FBI conspiracy theory as much as Ann Coulter does.

But here's the rub: Although I'm not anti-Kwanzaa and I'm on the opposite side of the political spectrum from Coulter, I coulda written this very same article and would have had many of the same things to say (if I was in a cynical, paranoid, conspiracy-minded, "the FBI and CIA are behind everything" mood, which isn't rare, exactly).

The only difference in how I'd have written the piece is that I wouldn't have kept haphazardly throwing the blame on so-called liberals every three paragraphs. But I guess that's why Ann Coulter makes the big bucks: she can twist any topic into a liberal vs. conservative showdown. It's like butter on steak: it may not be healthy, but it just tastes so much better.

But wait.... Coulter keeps mentioning George W. Bush over and over again. She never says anything bad about him. And yet, I do believe she's implying he's part of the liberal conspiracy, isn't she? I quote: "Bush called Kwanzaa a holiday that promotes 'unity' and 'faith.' Faith in what? Liberals' unbounded capacity to respect any faith but Christianity?"

Yeah, that's right, she just took a statement made by Ye Conservative Republican Christian Leader G.W. Bush and, without taking a breath or a pause, twisted his words into a slap down of liberals, with the undeniable implication that Bush is the liberal getting slapped. Did you notice? What about when she called Bush's own words "patently absurd." Can she talk about a president like that?

Let's break it down and look at the actual Kwanzaa statement by Bush (an annual bromide that has been more or less the same for years now), and then put Coulter 's reply in context. Pretend this is a dialogue (the quotes are all real, but edited):

Bush: "I send greetings to those observing Kwanzaa.... The seven days of this celebration emphasize the seven principles of Nguzo Saba -- unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. As families and friends gather for Kwanzaa, Americans remember the many contributions African Americans have made to our country's character and celebrate the diversity that makes our Nation strong. May your commitment to family, faith, and community thrive during this holiday season and throughout the coming year. Laura and I send our best wishes for a happy Kwanzaa."

Coulter: "With his Kwanzaa greetings, [the president] is saluting the intellectual sibling of the Symbionese Liberation Army, killer of housewives and police. He is saluting the founder of United Slaves, who were such lunatics that they shot Panthers for not being sufficiently insane -- all with the FBI as their covert ally.... Faith in what? Liberals' unbounded capacity to respect any faith but Christianity?"

Brachish: "Now, Ann, that wasn't a liberal that just gave his blessing to Kwanzaa. That wasn't a Kennedy or a Clinton. That was George W. Bush a.k.a. Bush Jr. a.k.a. Bush II a.k.a. Nixon-Reagan-Lite. Be polite to yer captain, lady. You're not mad just because you heard that George's brother -- Gov. Jeb, the Republican hoped-for heir to the 2012 presidency -- believes in evolution, are ya?"

Anyway, it's good to know that Ann Coulter and her conservative Republican talk-show ilk are up in arms about a little-respected, marginalized holiday that was invented in the time of tie-dye.

For a while there I was worried that they might be getting bored with the nearly 25 years of Executive Branch power the Republicans have held since the 1970s -- so bored that they might start worrying about the massive deficit the Republicans have dug our country into, the unimpressive stock market, the stumbling U.S. businesses, the corrupt corporate leaders ("conservatives" one and all), or the war that's brought us neither safety nor profit (well, if you happen to have connections to the Texas oil industry you're up to your armpits in high-priced domestic oil money, thanks to our Mid East wars driving up Texas oil prices just like they always have and always will; but that's another story, one that certainly has nothing to do with Bush and Cheney's many domestic oil friends).

But no, there's no reason to worry about those things. Not when we can still bash the liberals for, uh, threatening to bring health care to both the rich and poor. Damn liberals. They so crazy.

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