Ann Coulter’s Journey to Damascus

After a bizarre summer of exceptionally objectionable commentary and extraordinarily foolish statements,[1] Ann Coulter abruptly about-faced,[2] seemingly changing her spots.[3]

It was as if a hand from heaven reached down, deep down into the bottomless pit that Ann was digging herself deeper and deeper into, and grasped her hand, stopping her descent into oblivion; a hand that lifted her out of her own Ann-crafted prison of a pit and granted her freedom; a hand that granted grace to a person whose name means grace.

Damascus

Ann on Her Road to Damascus

What happened? Did Ann experience a conversion on her own personal road to Damascus? Did God grant Ann an epiphany? Was Ann able to see herself, her circumstances, and the world from a different (heavenly) vantage point. Is the new and improved Ann Coulter the result of a paradigm shift, a change in attitude and perspective, with a consequent change in behavior?

In a series of comments and commentaries over the past two decades, Coulter has previously dismissed Road to Damascus conversions as liberal propaganda devices. Coulter regularly contests those who claim “lifelong conservative” status but then dare to criticize her and she denies that conservatives can ever become liberals. (She must think it’s easier to become a faithful follower of Christ than to become a godless liberal, as she would put it.) Here are three examples from her writings:

  • “But liberals think they can fool normal people with their road-to-Damascus I used to be a Republican!’ conversion stories.”[4]
  • “[Supreme Court Justice John Paul] Stevens is more like a pre-road to Damascus Or maybe the late Justice William Brennan.”[5]
  • “I did not know the road to Damascus was this long, with so many opportunities for conversion.”[6]

Is Coulter on the very road she once pooh-poohed? If so, she should thank the hand that grasped hers and lifted her out of her self-made pit.

Analysis of Most Recent Ann Coulter Columns

Having seen Ann at her worst this summer, examining her ten most recent columns may give us insight into her current intellectual, emotional, and spiritual state of being. (My critique concentrates more on the literary quality of her writing than on the accuracy of her claims or the cogency of her analysis.)

8/20/14.[7] ***½ . This was Coulter’s first laudable column this past summer. It was an abrupt departure from her previous columns going back months. It was non-polemical, factual, and very tame for a Coulter column. Prompted by the Ferguson firestorm, Coulter decried “the old media’s standard for any police shooting of a black person is: ‘Racist until proved innocent.’” Coulter went point-by-point through the known facts of the Ferguson case and also encapsulated the long history of race hoaxes in America.[8]

8/27/14.[9] ****. Another non-polemical, factual column. As a Ferguson follow-up, Coulter explained how racial quotas in hiring police officers can be lethal. Her claim – “If the Ferguson police are forced to hire more minorities and women for the sake of diversity, the one thing we can be sure of is that more black people will be murdered, raped and assaulted” – is backed up by ample evidence. In lowering standards, everyone is accepted, regardless of how unqualified they may actually be.

9/3/14.[10] ****. Coulter debunks the myth of racial profiling for traffic stops, pointing out the flawed methodology in an oft-cited study: “As is usually the case with bogus race studies, the pivotal 1993 survey compared speed stops on the New Jersey turnpike to the population of all drivers on the turnpike – not with the population of all speeders on the turnpike.”

9/10/14.[11] ***½. Somewhat polemical, Coulter effectively makes her point: “Getting Obama to postpone a rancid idea [executive amnesty] isn’t something to celebrate. Yay! We did it! We forced him to delay doing something the country doesn’t want for SIX WEEKS! Every Republican candidate better be jamming Obama’s threat down the throats of their Democratic opponents.”

9/17/14.[12] ****½. One of my favorite columns[13] from a literary perspective. My favorite quote for its imagery: “Turn that into a mnemonic, sew it on needlepoint pillows, include it in your wedding vows, right-wingers. For the next six weeks, nothing matters more to the country than Republicans taking a majority in the Senate.” Second quote: “That means Republicans need to flip three Democratic seats to take a majority in the Senate. Hopefully, the GOP will take more than three, and store them like chestnuts for a long, cold winter.”[14]

9/24/14.[15] ****. A good, factual exhortation. Conclusion: “Republicans can win a Senate majority, take back the presidency, repeal Obamacare, build the Keystone pipeline, slash oppressive government regulations, end special tax deals and government contracts for the Democrats’ big donors, restore an honest IRS and nominate serious people to the federal bench. But they’ll never do any of those things if they can’t learn that mass immigration from the Third World is wildly unpopular with voters.”

10/1/14.[16] ****½. Engaging and light-hearted, Coulter debunks several liberal myths: guns, domestic violence, Obama death threats. Coulter writes: “The theme of all these liberal fantasies is that the greatest threat to women, minorities and liberals are right-wing white men with guns – especially on a Super Bowl Sunday. (Referees are beheaded at soccer games in Brazil, but liberals are terrified of America’s national sport.) White men are even threats to themselves, should they be foolish enough to purchase a gun.”

10/8/14.[17] ***. Clever (in using other people’s words to speak for her), on point, but minimalist effort. Relies heavily on Washington Times’ comment board and incorporates her own witty remarks. Conclusion: “The Republican leadership has got to choose between their voters and their donors. They can’t have both – at least as long as the donors keep big-footing the conservative base on immigration. No amount of money in the world is going to help a candidate who’s allowed to sell only crap.” A minor quibble: “crap” is an unladylike word to use.

10/15/14.[18] *****. Superb, factual, well-reasoned, incisive, non-polemical. Coulter on Ebola: “It’s becoming increasingly clear this is just another platform for Obama to demonstrate that we are citizens of the world. The entire Ebola issue is being discussed – by our government, not the United Nations – as if Liberians are indistinguishable from Americans, and U.S. taxpayers should be willing to pay whatever it takes to save them.” And: “And now we’re going to have to let in entire families with Ebola, because the important thing is – actually, I don’t know why. It’s some technical, scientific point about fences not working.”

10/22/14.[19] ****½. Another top-notch column. Coulter on Obamacare: “As we now know, under the ‘Affordable Care Act,’ your only options are: (1) Take the crap-ass, high-priced/no doctor Obamacare plan; or (2) go bare, and risk being bankrupted by an expensive medical problem. Either way, the price will be astronomical.” One minor quibble: “crap-ass” is an unladylike word to use.

Dramatic Improvement

Almost overnight, Ann’s commentary dramatically improved. Despite a few rough edges, most of her ten columns were commendable, engaging, edifying, and enjoyable. They represent a much improved literary style and craftsmanship.

The question remains, what of Ann’s underlying character traits. Veracity and integrity are non-negotiable in journalism – and in living a Christian life. Let us pray that the quality of Ann’s character come to match and exceed that of her craft.

Update: With the close of the 2014 election cycle and the advent of winter, Coulter appears to have reverted to her old, unconverted self. Beset by delusions of grandeur, Coulter again wants to dictate to the American people whom they can nominate for President.

Endnotes:

[1]       “Ann Coulter Screws Up Again” at http://t.co/IfJD3YVG3o.

[2]       “Ann Coulter Takes on the Racial Grievance Industry” at http://t.co/YgG2rpgZIc.

[3]       “Ann Coulter at Her Best” at http://wp.me/p4jHFp-2u.

[4]       Ann Coulter, “The Devil is Out of Details,” 5/5/05.

[5]       Ann Coulter, “Stevens: ‘I Never Left Sanity. Sanity Left Me,” 4/14/10.

[6]       Ann Coulter, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, Crown Forum, 2006, pg. 140.

[7]       Ann Coulter, “No Facts, No Peace,” 8/20/14. It’s title – “No Facts, No Peace” – accurately expresses the reality that lies and deception ruin relationships (personal, professional, familial, communal) and wreak havoc in all areas of life.

[8]       “Ann Coulter Takes on the Racial Grievance Industry” at http://t.co/YgG2rpgZIc.

[9]       Ann Coulter, “Would it Kill You to Hire More Cops? (Yes),” 8/27/14.

[10]     Ann Coulter, “Speed Kills Racial Profiling Study,” 9/3/14.

[11]     Ann Coulter, “Get Angry Now,” 9/10/14.

[12]     Ann Coulter, “Your ‘To Do’ List to Save America,” 9/17/14.

[13]     Apart from final sentence which contains elimination rhetoric.

[14]     “Ann Coulter at Her Best” at http://wp.me/p4jHFp-2u.

[15]     Ann Coulter, “GOP Bordering on Victory,” 9/24/14.

[16]     Ann Coulter, “You Can’t Keep a Good Myth Down, 10/1/14.

[17]     Ann Coulter, “GOP’s Big Idea: Let’ Not Have a Wave Election,” 10/8/14.

[18]     Ann Coulter, “We’ll Tell You How Dangerous Ebola is After the Election,” 10/15/14.

[19]     Ann Coulter, “Jeanne Shaheen’s Ebola Opportunities Team,” 10/22/14.

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