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Coulters dissembling starts on page one, with the very first claim in her book.
THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2002
WRONG FROM THE START: Unsurprisingly, Ann Coulters bald-faced dissembling starts on page one, with the very first claim in her book. She complains about the way the left calls Tom DeLay naughty names like the Hammer. (The Washington Times archive is full of examples of conservatives calling DeLay The Hammer. The Washington Post article which Coulter cites quotes Christian conservative Marshall Wittman calling DeLay Dirty Harry.) But Coulters quintessential, trademark dissembling is found in her follow-up claim. How badly does the left treat DeLay? Just because he believes in God, they even compare him to Hitler:
COULTER (page 1): For his evident belief in a higher being, DeLay is compared to savage murderers and genocidal lunatics on the pages of the New York Times. (History teaches that when religion is injected into politicsthe Crusades, Henry VIII, Salem, Father Coughlin, Hitler, Kosovodisaster follows.)
As usual, Coulter is baldly deceiving her readers. Because were familiar with the ladys bad problem, we looked up that quote from the New York Times. It comes from a column by Maureen Dowd, The God Squad, written on June 20, 1999.
In fairness, Dowd does spend five paragraphs on DeLay. She slams him for killing gun control legislation after the Columbine shootings. She criticizes him for statements he made at a rally of ministers. This is the season of cheap virtue, Dowd writes. Politicians are rushing to take Gods name in vain.
But thats the end of the day for DeLay. Guess which politicians shes directly discussing by the time she gets to that turrible quote? She isnt discussing DeLay any more. Shes discussing George Bushand Al Gore:
DOWD: The season of sanctimony isnt confined to the legislative branch. According to Time, George W. Bush decided to run for President at a private prayer service with his family last January: Pastor Mark Craig started preaching about duty, about how Moses tried to resist Gods call, and the sacrifice that leadership requires. And as they sat there, Barbara Bush leaned over to the son who has always been most like her and said, Hes talking to you, George.
Was the Times comparing DeLay to Hitler? More directly, it was comparing Al Gore.
Youd think W. would be aware of the perils of religiosity after he had to spend all that time clarifying his 1993 comment that people who do not accept Jesus Christ as a personal Saviour cannot go to Heaven.
In his announcement speech in Carthage, Al Gore joined the God Squad, intoning that most Americans are hungry for a deeper connection between politics and moral values; many would say spiritual values. Without values of conscience, our political life degenerates.
Faith is an intensely personal matter. It should not be treated as a credential or reduced to a sound bite. History teaches that when religion is injected into politicsthe Crusades, Henry VIII, Salem, Father Coughlin, Hitler, Kosovodisaster follows.
But so it goes on every page, all through Coulters pathological book. Meanwhile, Mickey Kaus thinks this is just fine. We have a strange question: Why is that?
A REAL PAGE-TURNER: Coulter keeps it up on page two. To cite just one example of several, she starts in on favorite mark Katie Couric:
COULTER (page two): Americans wake up to Americas Sweetheart, Katie Couric, berating Arlen Specter about Anita Hill ten years after the hearings.
The implication is clear; Couric wont stop flogging Anita Hill. And she wont stop berating Republicans. And so we looked up Coulters reference, a Specter appearance on the March 6, 2001 Today. The solon was there to promote a new book. Nice to have you, Couric said. What motivated you to write this book? And you guessed it; Specter cited his desire to discuss the Anita Hill matter:
SPECTER: Because I wanted to tell what is happening behind the scenes. I have been criticized for more than three decades for my work as one of the young staff lawyers on the Warren Commission where I came up with the single bullet theory, and I thought it was important to write it all down just exactly why I came to that conclusion and why the commission accepted it. I go into some of the background on the Professor Anita Hill/Justice Clarence Thomas controversy, take up some questions which never got to the public, such as why we never called Angela Wright, who was a young woman who had a story very similar to Anita Hills. I go into the background of what happened on Judge Borks confirmation hearing and one of the big concerns that I had about Judge Bork on his technical approach and lack of humanitarianism, when he upheld the decision which said that women who worked for a lead company either had to consent to be sterilized or to lose their jobs, which I thought was exactly wrong.
After one question on the Warren Commission and two more questions about the Bork hearings, Couric asked exactly one question about the Anita Hill case.
As well see, this gong-show dissembling litters this book. Why does Mickey Kaus seem to like it?
IN SIMPLE ENGLISH, THEY DID CLEAR BUSH: Some pundits are insisting that the SEC never cleared Bush of insider trading. Sorry, thats just Kafkaesque. It is true that, in 1993, the SEC told the Bush campaign that it shouldnt say that Bush was exonerated by its probe. But seven years later, the SECs internal documents emerged. Reviewing those documents, it is perfectly clear that, if were still speaking English, the agencys gumshoes did clear Bush. (You can review the docs yourself. Go to www.publicintegrity.org.)
Why was Bush investigated? According to the charge, Bush sold his Harken stock in June 1990 because he had insider knowledge that Harken was going to report unexpectedly large second-quarter losses. Unambiguously, the SEC found that Bush had no such knowledge at the time of his sale. In fact, the agencys gumshoes found that no one at Harken knew, at that time, about the size of the impending losses. [B]y June 22 (the date when Bush sold), no actual revenue or loss information was available for the second two months of the quarter ended June 30, one of the SEC summaries noted. The staffs investigation indicates that, at most, Bush was aware that Harken was forecasted to lose approximately $4.2 million in the second quarter. The actual loss turned out to be $23.2 million. The SEC docs assert, again and again, that neither Bush nor anyone else at Harken knew about these impending losses at the time of his sale.
So lets see. Bush is accused of selling due to insider info. The SEC finds that he didnt have that info. Go ahead and say they were wrong if you like. But were living in a Kafkaesque world if that means that they didnt clear Bush. (For the record, none of this has a thing to do with that 1989 Aloha transaction.)
In todays Wall Street Journal, Al Hunt lowers the bar for accusers. Whether [Bush] violated the spirit of the securities law in his 1990 Harken Energy transaction obscures a larger point, Hunt writes (emphasis added). So lets see. If youre accused of trading due to insider info, and it turns out that you didnt have that info, you havent violated the letter of the law, but somehow youve trampled its spirit. The last time we saw scribes playing this game, it involved a small spot known as Whitewater.
TOMORROW: More on Ann Coulters bad problem.