Saturday, March 03, 2007

Nationally televised conservative political analysis

On March 2 Ann Coulter gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). She was introduced by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and several other Republican presidential candidates were in the audience. Vice President Dick Cheney also attended. She concluded her remarks with this penetrating political analysis:
Oh, and I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards. But it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word "faggot," so I'm -- so I'm kind of at an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards. So I think I'll just conclude here and take your questions.
Did Mitt Romney and other Republican Party notables walk out at this point? No. In fact, according to reports, there was enthusiastic and sustained applause from the audience.

These remarks were not simply hateful sentiments posted on an unofficial blog somewhere or sent as an anonymous email. These words were said in an official speech, introduced and attended by Republican presidential candidates. The speech was recorded and shown nationally by CSPAN.

And yet conservatives and Republicans still like to claim that Democrats and liberals are the ones who use hateful rhetoric.

The New York Times is now reporting that Senator John McCain of Arizona, Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts today (Saturday March 3, 2007) have all denounced Ann Coulter's remarks.

Of the major Republican candidates, only Mr. McCain did not attend, but he denounced her remarks on Saturday morning. “The comments were wildly inappropriate,” said his spokesman, Brian Jones.

Mr. Giuliani said, “The comments were completely inappropriate and there should be no place for such name-calling in political debate.”

Kevin Madden, a spokesman for Mr. Romney, said: “It was an offensive remark. Governor Romney believes all people should be treated with dignity and respect.”

Mr. Romney preceded Ms. Coulter at the event and mentioned that she was speaking later — he jokingly referred to her as a “moderate.” But he was not in the room when she spoke, Mr. Madden said.

I applaud the belated statements by the leading Republican candidates for president. A good next step would be for them to announce they will never again appear at the same podium as Ann Coulter or anyone else who engages in hate speech.


QuadCityImages said...

This is true to form for Republicans, of you ask me. The only problem is the cameras were there.

Having watched the clip, I do somewhat disagree with the "enthusiastic applause" phrase that's being thrown around though. I would call it more "awkward pause, then some cheers and applause."

It reminded me of the scene in Borat in the karaoke bar. He's singing his anti-semitic song, and you have a mixture of people. Some are enthusiastically agreeing and singing along, some are politely mouthing the words, and some are shocked and uncomfortable. I would be there was a similar reaction a CPAC, although the fact that anyone applauded that is telling enough.

The fact that the Dispatch prints her is one of my key reasons for ranking it 2nd to the Times.

Dave Barrett said...

Well, assuming that conservative Republicans are basically decent people you would imagine that at least some in the audience were made uncomfortable by the pure venom of those remarks, especially since they were not aimed at any of the policy or political positions of John Edwards. But, as I pointed out, no conservative or Republican has gone on the record disavowing or even regretting those sentiments.

As much as we might want to assume the basic decency of these people and imagine that at least some of them felt unexpressed dismay, there is no evidence to back up that conjecture.

thescoundrel said...

Neither party owns the market when it comes to foul speech and hate rhetoric. That is why I have quit them both. But the democratic blogs and forums I have read since I became a websurfer contain far more vile speech than the republican blogs I haave come across. And QC Images I wouldn't chide the republicans too much about how you perceive them to be racially intolerant. I have eaten and partied with the local Dem Party members. They are far more racist when the cameras are not around than any of the republicans I have partied with. The local Dems (and several I know and party with are party heirarchy)have no problem tossing around words like Ni**e* or S*i*. My late mother whom was a hard nosed Republican would have washed out the mouths of many members of both parties for some of the filth and disrespectful words that I have heard come from the mouths. Both parties could do a whole lot less back slapping and finger pointing and a whole lot more time cleaning up their own backyards.
As to Edwards he lost any value or right to claim the moral high ground when he hired and retained those two contemptible hate spreading bloggers. He could win the primary with the move but if he does those bloggers will push Independents away. Edwards even on the ticket will not get your party the brass ring you so desire.

Dave Barrett said...

You claim to not belong to the Republican Party, thus relieving yourself of the necessity of following your own advice to clean up your own backyard. How convenient for you.

My experience in terms of racists is very different from yours. All the fervent racists I have personally encountered have been Republicans. I don't doubt that you may have come across racists Democrats but the notion that the most blatant and hypocritical racists you have encountered are all Democrats is hard for me to believe. Which party had a Southern Strategy deliberately courting the white southern racist vote?

I would think that anyone would agree that the foul speech and vile rhetoric most in need of being denounced and "cleaned up" within ones own party if one is a decent person who disagrees with that sort of thing would be any such hate speech that occurred at official party functions, from the podium, delivered by people introduced by party bigwigs. I know of no recent incident of hate speech from the podium at Democratic Party functions in need of my attention. But this blog entry talks about one that any decent Republican should denounce. The ball is clearly in the Republican Party's court in terms of this business of each party cleaning up its own house.

When Republican have denounced and eliminated all their officially sanctioned hate speech and vile rhetoric and are ready for the next step in this process of eliminating all hate speech from political discourse let the Democrats know so that we can discuss joint strategy in that regard

Dave Barrett said...

One more point. You say people you party with use racial slurs when the cameras are not turned on. If I found myself in that position I would look for new friends and different parties. What kind of anti-racist are you if you have friends like that?