ann coulter

As every single one of us rational human beings knows, Ann Coulter is an absurd woman. Professional troll, taunter and overall terrible person, Coulter has never been especially popular around these parts. One of our excellent readers summed her up quite perfectly: “Ann Coulter is like a fifth grader who swears loudly on the bus to make all of the third graders think she’s cool.”

As a result, whenever I hear her name about to come on in the news, I just sort of expect that she’s about to spew the language equivalent of pink slime. Prepare the skillet, folks, because lo and behold: this assumption was correct.

While on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show last night, Coulter went on several different rants regarding the New York newspaper that recently published names and addresses of local gun permit holders. From mental illness to abortions, the New York Times to rent-controlled apartments, the extreme right’s favorite crazy lady holding an “END IS NIGH” sign managed to touch on an almost remarkable number of issues in an unremarkably irritating manner. But the best came when she related the gun control topic to abortion:

“Why can’t we get a record of women who have had abortions? They get money from Planned Parenthood; they get money from Medicare and Medicaid, much of these are tax subsidies. I think mothers might want to know what other women on the street might be willing to murder a child.”

First of all, not every person who has ever had an abortion gets assistance from Planned Parenthood, Medicare or Medicaid. Many, many women who have had the procedure done have paid via insurance or out-of-pocket. Second, Planned Parenthood doesn’t give people money, it gives them treatment. Third, why would other mothers want to know who’s had an abortion on their street? What are they going to do, have them arrested? Convert them to a different stance? Publicly shame them? (Actually, that last one is most likely option.)

Personally, I was not a fan of that newspaper publishing the addresses of gun owners. While I don’t have any desire to own a gun and I support stricter legislation, I think it’s wrong to publicly post the addresses of people who have likely done nothing to deserve such scrutiny. It’s not the same as a sex offender registry or revealing the addresses of those who have committed other crimes; it just seemed like a very misguided attempt at sensationalism. But in that line of thinking, if it’s wrong to publish the names of gun owners who have not done anything legally wrong, isn’t it wrong to suggest the publication of women who have had abortions?

Yes, I get that she was using this as a misguided analogy for her outrage against the publishing of gun permit holders, but it still makes me angry for two reasons:

  • Suggesting an idea along those lines, however facetiously, will always rile somebody up. Anti-abortion folks are extremely sensitive, even violent, regarding the issue and popping this idea into the mind of somebody who may be capable of achieving it is unwise, to say the least.
  • She’s comparing abortions to weaponry and murder. Obviously, most anti-abortionists will say this is somehow accurate, but if you’re reading The Gloss, you likely know that we hold a pretty pro-choice stance on the subject, and we certainly don’t equivocate abortion to violence.

As with most issues along these lines, I am sure there will be plenty of backlash against her comments (like so) as well as quite a bit of support regardless of the ridiculousness of what she’s said. In a way, though, I think Coulter is like Todd Akin in that her extreme views and statements are actually making it less appealing to support socially conservative ideals such as reducing reproductive rights and barring gay marriage from happening. The more preposterous her suggestions and statements, the less accepting sensible people will be of them — even those who are on the fence.

She also goes on to insult single mothers, insist that New York is “letting” the mentally ill walk and “defecate” in the streets of Manhattan, and somehow relate the subway pushing incident to, um, gun control. Now, while I could go on a whole spiel about how and why mental healthcare is shit in this country, as well as why the issue of homelessness has nothing to do with anybody “letting” people be homeless (because not having a house is like a permanent vacation, woo woo!), I think we can all just watch this video once, feel appalled, then hope the Internet will “defecate” it out of view where it belongs.

Photo: Fox News