With a stunning display of logic, Ann Coulter recently observed, “If we’re in the middle of a college-rape epidemic, why do all the cases liberals promote keep turning out to be hoaxes? Maybe I’m overthinking this, but wouldn’t a real rape be more persuasive?”
She made that very same point on Hannity: “If we’re drowning in this epidemic of rape on college campuses, why are all the cases they keep giving us hoaxes? Could they give us a real one? And in fact, what it illustrates is an epidemic of false claims of rape.”
A Townhall promotion praised Coulter, exulting, “Ann Coulter slams the left for minimizing actual rape.” Funny, I don’t recall anyone on Townhall slamming Coulter for minimizing actual treason.
Minimizing Actual Treason
Ever since 9/11, Coulter has constantly and continually condemned liberals, calling them traitors. Her reward: accolades and best-sellers.
If “rape” has a specific meaning, so does “treason.” What exactly is treason? The Constitution defines treason thus:
“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.”
When confronted with the actual Constitutional definition of treason, Coulter blustered, “Right. I’ve heard that definition like a billion times since the book [Treason] came out.”
Then Coulter completely ignored that definition, adding, “I’m answering now to the question. … look, there are millions of suspects here. I am indicting an entire party. I am indicting the entire Democratic Party.”
Coulter’s Criteria for Treason
Nonetheless, Coulter has cried “Treason!” for years, using criteria at once elastic and evanescent. Treason, per Coulter, consists of rejecting any portion of the Republican Party’s agenda. Moreover, mere failure to applaud appropriately is treasonous in her eyes.
Treasonable offenses, per Coulter, include (this is a partial list to save space):
- Opposition to tax cuts
- Opposition to ANWR oil drilling
- Opposition to the new “Star Wars” defense system
- Opposition to racial profiling
- Opposition to invasion of Iraq
- Being a Democrat
- Being a moderate Republican
- Being a liberal
For those of you who think I am kidding, here are a few gems from Ann Coulter herself:
- “I think they are worse than Democrats. I mean there really is nothing so despicable as a weak-kneed Republican. They’re always trotted out when these Democrats are coming up with the most heinous, treasonous Whenever you hear, you know – ‘Even Chris Shays, even Lawrence Walsh’ – you know treason is afoot.”
- “Liberals are up to their old tricks again. Twenty years of treason hasn’t slowed them down.”
- “I think everyone should be patriotic Americans right now, which Democrats are not being. … Democrats [make] these obstructionist objections to reasonable domestic security measures. They refuse to pass a tax cut in order to pull us out of this recession. And they won’t let us drill in Alaska to preserve some mud flat. I would like the Democrats to be Americans.”
- “… in my next book, [I’m] going through 50 years of treason by Democrats.”
- “When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn into outright traitors.”
- “Democrats adore threats to the United States. Bush got a raucous standing ovation at his State of the Union address when he announced that ‘this year, for the first time, we are beginning to field a defense to protect this nation against ballistic missiles.’ The excitement was noticeably muted on the Democrats’ side of the aisle. The vast majority of Democrats remained firmly in their seats, sullen at the thought that America would be protected from incoming ballistic missiles. To paraphrase George Bush: If this is not treason, then treason has no meaning.”
But treason does have meaning – only not the meaning Coulter gives it.
Coulter has seemingly determined, through her own unique “strict constructionist” interpretation of the Constitution, that anyone who disagrees with her about anything is a traitor. Since most Americans at some point disagree with Ann Coulter on most issues then most Americans must be traitors.
If the emperor had no clothes then Treason (2003) has no traitors – at least no contemporary ones. In fact, for her book, Coulter had to go back to the McCarthy era to find any treason (thus necessitating making McCarthyism the “linchpin” of her book).
Coulter conveniently skipped Republican traitor Robert Hanson – “the Spy of the Century” – because he didn’t fit her thesis of liberal treachery. Likewise, Jonathan Pollard and Aldrich Ames are absent from her book because they fail to support her paradigm.
Unable to unearth any actual contemporary traitors, Coulter redefined “treason” with rhetorical sleight-of-mouth to magically lead her audience to her preconceived conclusions.
Evidence be damned. If liberals aren’t really traitors they should still be regarded as such. Why? Because they are liberals. (Horror of horrors!)
David Horowitz Criticizes Coulter’s Analysis
David Horowitz gallantly (and laboriously) defended Treason while pointing out a number of flagrant flaws. A repentant Marxist, Horowitz recognized one glaring aspect of Coulter’s Orwellian constructs. Horowitz wrote:
“Equally disturbing was Coulter’s use of the phrase, ‘functionally treasonable’ – as in ‘[the Democratic Party] has become functionally treasonable.’ This is a problematic phrase on several counts. In the first place, ‘treasonable’ is not a word but seems to suggest ‘capable of treason,’ which is different from being actually treasonous. The distinction is important.”
“But ‘functionally treasonable’ is also disturbingly reminiscent of the old Stalinist term ‘objectively fascist.’ This was how people who swore their loyalty to the cause were condemned (often to death) if they deviated from the party line. Stalinists defined all dissent as ‘objectively’ treacherous. This is not a path that conservatives should follow. When intent and individuality are separated from actions in a political context, we are entering a totalitarian realm.”
We see here the very same totalitarian impulses which are reflected in Coulter’s musing over what she would do as “czar of the universe” or desire to be the “ayatollah of the conservative movement.”
William F. Buckley, Jr., Criticizes Coulter’s Analysis
Finally – after months and months of being unable to name a single contemporary traitor, Coulter did: the publisher of the New York Times.
Conservative giant William F. Buckley, Jr., responded, “But even as Ms. Coulter clearly intends to shock, why shouldn’t her reader register that shock? By wondering whether she is out of her mind, or has simply lost her grip on language.”
“What except that prompts her to come up with (or the Post to publicize) her syllogism? The man who heads the paper that employs an editorial writer who dangles the proposition that a thought given to moral equivalency is appropriate and humbling on September 11, 2003 is a ‘traitor’? That end-of-the-road word, bear always in mind, is hers. Coulter is a law school graduate and isn’t using the ‘T’-word loosely. The opening sentences of her article reject any such explanation. She means to charge that Sulzberger is engaged in traitorous activity. That, after all, is what traitors engage in.”
“The thought-process used here is everywhere in evidence in her best-selling book, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism. The book’s central contention is that liberals critically situated on the American scene aren’t fatuous asses – that’s baby talk. They are enemies of the United States and of American freedom.”
But that is precisely what Coulter wants to convey: “there are millions of suspects here. I am indicting an entire party. I am indicting the entire Democratic Party.”
When will the conservative movement and conservative media take Coulter to task for minimizing actual treason? Do conservatives no longer care what words mean? Have they, in Buckley’s parlance, “simply lost their grip on language?”
The renowned historian, Paul Johnson, observed:
“A man who deliberately inflicts violence on the language will almost certainly inflict violence on human beings, if he acquires the power. Those who treasure the meaning of words will treasure the truth, and those who bend words to their purposes are very likely in pursuit of anti-social ones. The correct and honorable use of words is the first and natural credential of civilized status.”
 Ann Coulter, “The College Rape Club, 12/10/14.
 Ann Coulter, Hannity, FNC, 12/9/14.
 Ann Coulter, Buchanan and Press, MSNBC, 7/25/03.
 Ann Coulter, YAF Conference, 7/20/00.
 Ann Coulter, “Mothers Against Box Cutters speak out,” 10/17/01.
 Ann Coulter, Hannity & Colmes, FNC, 12/10/01.
 Ann Coulter, America Now, 1/3/02.
 Ann Coulter, CPAC, 2/2/02.
 Ann Coulter, “War-torn Dems,” 1/29/03.
 Ann Coulter, Buchanan and Press, MSNBC, 7/25/03.
 Ann Coulter, Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terror, Crown, 2003, pg. 292. Quoting from Paul Johnson, Enemies of Society, Atheneum, 1977, pg. 259.