I’ve been meaning to write about the GOProud/Ann Coulter/World Net Daily hissy-fit for some time, but every time I started, I got wrapped up in a giggling fit. I hope this time can hold it together this time.
It all started with this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, which chose to be extremely… er… “liberal” in who it accepted at sponsors. Their credo seemed to be “if you got the money and have at least some pretentions towards conservatism, come on down. We’ll put your name on the program and give you a table.”
Well, among the sponsors was the John Birch Society, which caused quite a bit of a stir. People asked the organizers why the Birchers were welcomed, and were told the above policy — and said the same rationale applied when a group of gay conservatives — an offshoot of the Log Cabin Republicans who called themselves “GOProud” — also sought to sponsor the event.
Author’s note: in an earlier article, I accidentally called GOProud “OutRight,” a name I think I invented by accident. I regret the error, but not too much — I think it would be a fabulous alternative name for them, and offer it freely if they ever get tired of “GOProud.”
That got GOProud shoved into the limelight, and they realized they liked it there. So they went to pull another PR coup. They’re having their annual convention soon, and figured they’d go all out (so to speak) and get a big name headliner to speak. A real headline-grabber.
Why not Ann Coulter?
Coulter is a major bomb-thrower on the right. The woman knows how to get headlines. (I once said I would love to see her nominated to the Supreme Court, purely for the pleasure of seeing her face-to-face with the Senate Judiciary Committee — and legally compelled to say exactly what was on her mind. I wouldn’t want her on the court, but put the hearings on pay-per-view and we could retire the national debt. But, as is so often the case, I digress.) Coulter accepted the invitation (for an undisclosed fee), saying that “a gig’s a gig” and leading to this hysterical poster for “HomoCon 2010.”
That news was enough for John Hawkins, of Right Wing News, to announce that not only did he approve of the idea, but he was willing to sponsor the event. His reasoning makes a lot of sense to me: “That doesn’t mean I agree with GOProud on every issue, but as Ronald Reagan said, ‘My 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy.'”
Sadly, that embracing attitude wasn’t shared by the ultraconservative World Net Daily, which had planned to have Ms. Coulter speak at their “Taking America Back” conference. If she was to speak at HomoCon, she wasn’t welcome at TAB.
Now, WND (sorry for all the abbreviations, but it’s getting tiresome to type them over and over) has been pushing their own irrelevancy for some time. They’re a leader in the “birther” movement, and that’s lost them a lot of credibility (presuming they ever had any) as people see them more and more of a bunch of nuts out on the fringe. (They might want to explore a merger with the John Birch Society — there’s a lot of overlap there, and the consolidation could help them cut costs.) And choosing to kinda-sorta pick a fight with Ann Coulter — whose columns they regularly run, and plan to continue to running — is a fairly dumb move. But then, they weren’t known as intellectual powerhouses to begin with.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Coulter will give her typical bomb-throwing speech at HomoCon. She won’t back off her opposition to gay marriage, but she will go out of her way to say a few nice things to her hosts (who’ve dubbed her “the right wing Judy Garland”) and encourage them to continue to push their conservative agenda, and she’ll be sure to toss a few barbs at the left (expect several expansions on the “our gays are more macho than their straights” theme). HomoCon will get considerably more attention than it normally would get, and fringe whackjobs like WND will go to great lengths to marginalize themselves and make themselves look like even bigger idiots than before.
In other words, it’ll be spectacular political theater.
And as a right-leaning member of the “straight, but not narrow” crowd, I hope someone (hey, C-SPAN?) airs Coulter’s speech, or it’s streamed online. I don’t think Coulter should ever be allowed anywhere near any positions of real power, but she pisses off the right people and is always entertaining. (And she’s not exactly hard on the eyes, either.)
You go, girl!