Tuesday, June 06, 2006
To Summarize the Book: Anger, Projection, Self-Loathing
How can an unprincipled person think he/she is acting in a principled manner? That's easy: when you believe that your way is the only way and God is on your side, then anyone who disagrees with you and who supports a different party is not a member of the princpled opposition: he is on the side of the Devil and it's okay to dehumanize that person (not surprisingly, one of Coulter's heroes is Joe McCarthy). In trying to destroy a poltical opponent, you're doing God's will. Jerry Falwell probably didn't think he was being an asshole when he sold worthless smear tapes at a high price to his flock (using fraudulent infomericals); he thought he was in battle with Satan. That's the nature of the manichaean worldview: it fosters what Max Weber called "the ethic of ultimate ends."
While Coulter demonized liberals in general, there is something about Frank Rich that causes Coulter to become particularly nasty.
That's why in Godless, Coulter had no compunction about unceremoniously lumping Rich in with mass murderers in Godless. Exact quote (no, I'm not making this shit up):
They [liberals] have an irreducible fascination with barbarism and will defend anything hateful--Tookie, Mumia, Saddam Hussein, Hedda Nussbaum, abortion, The North American Man/Boy Love Association, New York Times columnist Frank Rich.
This God-is-on-my-side mentality is probably what allowed Coulter to justify in her mind her libel of Rich in her book (ironically titled) Slander.
Even though I am considered to be "godless" (note to Coulter and her apologists, I didn't endure major pain to get the AUM tattoed on my body for kicks), I try to adhere to what Weber called the ethic of responsibility. The ethic of responsibility posits that the means to an end affects the end itself. That's the whole thing about karma--something that Coulter and her friends on the sectarian right certainly don't condone (in fact, Coulter's friend Pat Robertson thinks this kind of thing is demonic and should be kept out of the country (check out my conversation with Hannity about this).