RUSH: Well, when everyone else was in Selma, Alabama, the Breck Girl had to be somewhere. You know, everybody has to be somewhere, and John Edwards decided he would go out to the University of California at Berkeley on Sunday, and while there, he ?called a janitors’ campaign for better wages at the University of California, Berkeley, a continuation of the civil rights struggle that began in the 1960s. Edwards sounded the civil rights theme to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the ?Bloody Sunday? clash between black voting rights marchers and police in Selma, Ala.”
Now, how much sense does this make? Everybody’s in Selma and the Breck Girl goes out to Berkeley and equates a janitors strike with what went on at Selma, Alabama, 43 years ago. ??This march for economic and social justice for the men and women who work at this university is a part of a bigger march in America for fairness and equality,? Edwards said during a stop on his current tour of college campuses. Responding late to a question from a reporter, Edwards said a remark about him by conservative author Ann Coulter reminded him of hateful speech against blacks he heard while growing up in the segregated South.? Now, the Ann Coulter remarks. I’ve been fascinated looking at the response. When I heard that this had happened, the first thing I did is I went to some blogs. They had a blog row at CPAC. Ann made these comments about the Breck Girl on Friday afternoon. Mitt Romney had introduced her. Mitt Romney is a Republican presidential candidate, as we all know.
I’m looking at the blogs, and the bloggers are uniform in their condemnation of Ann Coulter. ?This is disturbing and it’s distracting to the conservative movement. This is not what we’re about. It unnecessarily makes all conservatives a target for continuing attacks by the left,? and so forth and so on. Then some time passed and the bloggers began getting comments from their readers. After a couple of hours, I checked back, and the bloggers were mostly writing about how they were being excoriated by their readers for criticizing Ann Coulter; that finally somebody like Coulter had the guts to stand up and say what things are for, because the left gets away with this and does it all the time. The bloggers admitted that they were taking it on the chin from their readers in the comments of all their blogs from people who were very supportive of Coulter. I went to my own e-mail, and the vast majority of e-mail I got was, “Rah-rah,” and, “Right on!” I’ll tell you what I think this means.
There is free speech out there and there’s no question you can say what you want to say and you should be able to when you want to say it, but you can’t because of political correctness. I think that what inspired so many people to be supportive of what Ann Coulter said was — and I think this is something that Republican candidates need to understand. I’m sure many of you in this audience, not all of you, are fed up with the imbalance. For example, Bill Maher. Bill Maher can go out on his show on Friday night and basically say that it’s a shame that Dick Cheney wasn’t killed in the assassination attempt at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, that there would be a lot more people alive today if Dick Cheney were dead. He is asked if he really means it, and he said yeah. Even Barney Frank understood, who was a guest on the program. Even Barney Frank understood what Maher was saying. But take a look at the difference in coverage that the Bill Maher example got (hardly any) to Ann Coulter and her remarks about the Breck Girl. I think she might have been able to say it better. She might have been able to say that she was making a point about free speech and how you can’t say certain things without getting sent to rehab and this sort of thing.
I think what people misunderstand about the rank-and-file in the Republican Party is that they’re sick and tired of taking it on the chin day in and day out. The mainstream press can assault every one of our icons. The mainstream press, the Drive-By Media and the left, can assault every one of our presidential candidates. They can call George Bush “Hitler.” They can write movies on how Bush ought to be assassinated, do movies and produce them; write books on how Bush ought to be assassinated; can say that they wish Cheney had been killed — and there is no condemnation of it. There are a lot of people in the so-called conservative movement who are fed up with the docileness of Republican leaders in Congress, and even in the White House, who just sit by, don’t respond, and just take this stuff.
People are hungry for leadership and they want there to be a response, and they want fighters. I think that’s one of the reasons that Giuliani is looking good, frankly. Giuliani has shown a willingness to fight on those principles that he holds dear, such as terrorism and the Drive-By Media and a number of other things. Accordingly, the Drive-Bys are out trying to destroy Rudy today. There’s a story about his son Andrew thinking his father is a dud. His son thinks (paraphrased), ?Yeah, I never see my dad anymore since he remarried. He never comes to my golf tournaments.? Andrew is a great golfer at college. I think he’s at Duke. There’s an imbalance, and the rank-and-file of average citizens in the so-called conservative movement in the Republican Party just sits by and watches every one of their leaders get trashed with no response. The leaders don’t respond to it, and a lot of conservative media doesn’t respond to it.
So when somebody like Ann Coulter comes along and says what she said, they simply react to it. ?All right! Somebody’s fighting back! Somebody is saying something in return to these people and pointing out their hypocrisy.? I think that’s why the support that is there for Ann Coulter is there, because she represents something that the leadership of the party doesn’t provide them. The leadership of the movement these days doesn’t provide them an outlet for their own anger. You know, individuals are sitting out there roasting and frying and getting angry each and every day at the things that are in the Drive-By Media: the unfairness, the imbalances, the constant defense of the people who are invested in defeat of their own country. They’re never called on it. It’s never portrayed. The Democrats and the left in this country are never portrayed for who they really are in the Drive-By Media. The White House won’t say it and many of the Republican leaders in the House and Senate won’t say it. They won’t be critical of anybody. The Drive-Bys totally give Bill Maher a pass for wishing that Dick Cheney were dead, and saying that more people would be alive were that the case.
Now, as for the timing of the statement. The thing at CPAC is an association of two conservative groups: The American Conservative Union the Young Americans Foundation. I think they had about 6,000 people that attended. All the presidential candidates showed up and spoke, except Senator McCain who attempted to have a private reception with the attendees but he couldn’t pull it off because there weren’t any ballrooms left at the hotel where they had the meeting. So he didn’t do well. Mitt Romney there was. Even Vice President Cheney was there. Sam Brownback was there. You had Giuliani. I’m leaving some out but they were all there. As such, this was not the same thing as, say, hosting your own radio show or making a speech of your own at a university or some group of people. There are some who are upset that the comment that Ann made took away from what should have been others who are stars of the show — the presidential candidates and so forth — and besmirched them. And, true to form, all of the candidates who were there (including McCain, not there) disavowed Coulter’s comments, distanced themselves from her — which is going to infuriate those I described earlier as being angry and spoiling for a fight, even more.
She could have chosen a better place to say it, rather than force these presidential candidates to have to disavow it and distance themselves from it. There’s no way that they were going to defend it. I don’t care what you want them to do or how you want them to act. If she says something like this when she’s making a speech at a college campus, there would be far less fur flying and so forth. Then there’s this aspect of it. Some of the criticism is that she besmirches the whole conservative movement by making herself an icon or an identity figure of the whole conservative movement. Other conservatives are saying this is bad. She chose to be selfish at CPAC and make something that was not about her, about her, and that’s bad, and so forth and so on. When you boil all of this down, I think what you end up with is a little bit of a conflict, because you have a number of people who clearly loved it and thought it was fabulous and want to hear more like it — and not so much more like it. They just want to hear somebody fighting back and somebody doing something to point out the absolute ridiculousness of the people on the left, and Ann Coulter did it.
To those who are worried that it taints the entire conservative movement, that is only because the Drive-By Media makes it so. That’s only because the Drive-By Media will pretend or portray that comment as typical. As you know, clich?s exist about conservatives: racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe. Now, those are all false. Conservatives are not racists. They are not bigots. They are not sexists and they are not homophobes. That is not part of conservatism. So if we’re going to suggest that somebody shut up and not say something because it only confirms those clich?s, then are we not acting defensively? We’re accepting the clich?s are believed, and so we’ve gotta do something not to confirm them. It seems to me to be a rather defensive way to go about this, which is, I think, another thing that a number of conservatives — just rank-and-file, average people — are offended by because they think: Why accept the terms defined by the left for us and then live our lives defensively?
We had this guy, Derek. He’s a nice guy, a caller from Detroit, a fan of the program, black guy. He said, ?I don’t think you’re a racist.? I’m supposed to be pleased by that. Remember when Jack Kemp and Algore debated in 1996? It was a presidential debate. Jack Kemp was the vice presidential candidate for Bob Dole. During a debate, Algore started talking about the racism and sexism and all these things that exist in the Republican Party, but he exempted Kemp. Kemp said, ?Thank you, sir,? rather than become outraged that his whole party had just been tarred and feathered by the vice president of the United States. People here that are fed up with this kind of accepting these terms, accepting these stereotypes, accepting these definitions, and then acting defensively; to go out and say that they’re not true or disapprove them. To disapprove them, you can’t talk about racism, sexism, bigotry, or homophobia — and as such, the left wins and shuts people up. Freedom of speech is what it is. Clearly there’s a double standard. Does it mean that we need a bunch of people on our side acting like Bill Maher in order to level the field? No, I don’t think that’s the way that you deal with this.
Here’s another thing. For the longest time — and I’m one of those people that’s been saying this, and I’m not sure that I’m still right about it. I could be very wrong. I’ve been under the impression that all the hate and all of the outrage — all of the despicable, unseemly comments about the president and the vice president and wishing they were dead and all these other things (you know what I’m talking about, from Michael Moore on down) — would eventually cause the Democrat Party big problems. It didn’t prove to be the case in the November elections. I was dead wrong about it. But I’m beginning to wonder now if it is a drag on the Democrat Party for these people to be acting the way they are. It could well be, too, that the majority of Americans don’t know that there’s this kind of hate because they don’t read blogs; they don’t read kook websites, and the Drive-Bys don’t report on this stuff as evidenced and witnessed here by the lack of coverage of Bill Maher’s comments on the hoped-for assassination or death of Dick Cheney. So it could well be that a significant number of Americans are just not aware of all the rage and hate. But the elected Democrats have not been short in content when speaking of hatred for the president and the investment in defeat. They own defeat of their own country.
So I don’t know where this goes and how harmful it really is. But I think it’s a mistake for anybody in the conservative movement to assume that one person with one speech or one comment speaks for the conservative movement. That is too defensive. Just because the left tries to tar and feather the circumstance that way, does not make it true. We can’t have our own speech codes enforced against people for the purposes of not offending somebody on the left or what have you.
RUSH: Anyway, folks, don’t worry about Ann Coulter. Her opportunities for exposure will only multiply because of this, and she’ll have her own (and has had her own) things to say about it and the intent that she made and the roots of it. Her point is that she was simply making a reference to Isaiah Washington having to go to rehab for using the F-word — the new F-word that’s out there — and that’s what a lot of people were offended by: the use of that word, pure and simple. I mean, there are certain words that a lot of people think you shouldn’t say in public. N-word, old F-word, the new F-word. When you throw it in there about John Edwards, a presidential candidate; he’s out there now raising money off of it. I have had this happen to me over the course of my stellar broadcast career, and don’t think Edwards is upset about this. He’s loving every minute. He’s out there raising what he’s calling Coulter bucks.