To most people, funerals are solemn occasions. They are a time to set aside the routine quarrels and disputes and remember that death is the great leveler, that it comes for all of us. To remember those who have passed on, perhaps with a touch of humor or anger, but the important things to recall are how they lived their lives and what lessons their life — and death — can be imparted.
That’s most people. But to some, mainly those who revel in emotions over reason, who tout “feelings” as the ultimate arbiter, funerals are just another occasion to engage in their favorite sport — partisan politics.
I remember several years ago, when Senator Paul Wellstone died. I didn’t know much about the guy, but he as a United States Senator who died while campaigning for re-election. And I was disgusted when his memorial service was changed to an unannounced Democratic political rally. Vice President Dick Cheney, who constitutionally serves as president of the Senate, was firmly uninvited to attend, and several speakers urged the gathered mourners to honor Wellstone by voting for the Democratic candidate to replace him in the Senate. Then-governor Jesse Ventura stormed out in disgust at the tasteless display — and when a man who used to make his living walking around in a Speedo, sunglasses, and a feathered boa calls something tasteless, you know it’s bad.
Well, it’s not just the funerals of their heroes that these people hijack. It’s those of their opponents’ loved ones.
I don’t particularly care for Ann Coulter. I think she’s a bomb-thrower of the highest magnitude, and far more hindrance to her political cause than help. About the kindest thing I think I’ve ever said about her is that I think she would be a fantastic Supreme Court nominee (but NOT Justice), just to see her face-to-face with the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Fun political fantasy: a Republican committee member asking her “Ms. Coulter, I would like you to expound on your opinion of the Democratic members of this committee, with your justification for those opinions. And I would remind the witness that she is under oath tto tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”)
Recently, Ms. Coulter lost her father. And she wrote a column about him, and just how greatly he had shaped her life.
That public appearance was enough to inspire one of the fine members of the Huffington Post community to give Coulter a full-blown Fisking.
And as someone who’s done a bit of Fisking, it’s not even a good one. It’s filled with ad hominem (or ad feminem, to be nit-picky) attacks, with little substance. Oh, isn’t it funny to say that Ann Coulter is masculine. And gosh, it’s such a scream to say an FBI agent was a transvestite.
I have no doubt that Coulter will shrug this off. She’s made of stern stuff — and now we see that she comes by it honestly. And she’s always been superb at ignoring the attacks on her and remaining on the offensive (occasionally, VERY offensive) to stick to her points. That some pissant dipshit asshole over at HuffPo took the occasion of remembering her father’s life to take some cheap shots will most likely not even be a blip on her radar.
But we should notice it. And we should remember it.