By now you know that Ann Coulter called John Edwards "the F word" at the annual CPAC conference. What is surprising about the situation--since her saying it is not surprising at all--is the vehemence with which many rightosphere bloggers have rushed to her defense. Not to say that what she said was fine, but to shriek about how the Left is full of hypocrites who don't shout down Amanda Marcotte and Bill Maher but who expect the Right to shout down Ann Coulter.
Rightie Darlings~isn't conservatism supposedly founded upon the concept of personal responsibility, individual effort, a higher moral and ethical expectation of fellow citizens? Isn't that what you always accuse Dems of lacking? So why, when this would be your golden opportunity to show us all how it's done--conservative moral theory in practice--you choose rather to point the finger at the Left for doing the same thing. I mean, didn't your Mom always tell you, "I don't care what Ann's mom says is fine. I'm saying it's not fine. Discussion over!"
If you truly believe in your principles, then shut her down. You're not impacting her free speech; she'll always have the right to say what she wants, in whatever book she publishes, to any audience who'll pay to hear her. But you'll be on record that people--all people--are responsible for their words and their actions. How is it that Dems who oppose the war in their speeches are accused of giving aid and comfort to the enemy, but a conservative who uses a foul word (and let's be honest, a truly damaging stereotype, using the F word to mean weak or effete or fem) in political discourse is somehow just exercising her rights to free speech? Last year, she called Iranians "r&*heads." Why does the first constitute treason and yet the latter two constitute constitutionally protected speech?
I suppose it all depends on who you're maligning, doesn't it? If you malign the war effort, you hate the troops. If you malign John Edwards or Iranians (who are NOT Arabs, btw), you're just being funny and people are taking themselves too seriously.
In real life (or at least in my house growing up), one rarely gets the opportunity to excuse bad behavior by pointing out the bad behavior of others. One rarely is excused from charges of hypocrisy by pointing out the hypocrisy of others. In real life, people are expected to accept the consequences of their actions. No amount of "but Kelley was smoking too! Jason skipped school too!" got me out of my adolescent-era punishments. My mom had her house in order, whether my friends parents' had theirs in order or not.
It seems to me, therefore, that CPAC's Mom needs to call Mr. and Mrs. Coulter and tell them that little Annie can't visit anymore.