Tuesday, March 6
Ask not for whom the Volvo tolls . . .
Unless you've been locked in rehab with Britney Spears for the last week and been deprived of TV, radio, and newspapers during that time, you probably heard about the comment Ann Coulter made at a conservative political conference in which she basically called Democrat John Edwards a "faggot." Classy stuff, yes, but pretty much what we've come to expect from her.
As many of you know, on my previous blog I had a regular feature for a while called "Ann Coulter Is A Lousy Writer And She Isn't Even That Hot" (because, contrary to what the right wing will tell you, she is neither a good writer nor hot), basically picking apart each one of her syndicated columns week after week. It was fun for a while, then it got significantly less so -- mainly because she ran out of spurious, context-free "facts" I could disprove with less than five minutes of Googling and instead descended into 100-percent name-calling -- and I dropped it. Since then, Coulter has become more of a joke with each passing day, to the point where pretty much anyone who's not a total retard -- even those on the right side of the spectrum -- now recognizes that she is, at best, a shitty stand-up comic as opposed to an actual political commentator.
And honestly, as far as I'm concerned she's gone from being a dangerous cheerleader for the right to being a terrific asset for the Democrats. Whatever the far right wing thinks, mainstream American voters don't particularly want to throw their lot in with a side that can do no better than call the other party "faggots," and at this point every time Coulter opens her mouth she probably drives 10 moderates or independents into the Democrats' camp. So there's a part of me that hears stuff like that and smiles and thinks, Flame on, Annie.
Nevertheless, if you've ever decried the intractable political environment in Washington or the sorry state of political debate in this country -- and I have -- you kind of have to recognize that Coulter and people like her are the motor driving a lot of that. So there's probably a case to be made for marginalizing her as much as possible, for the good of the country if nothing else. That's where VolvoDrivingLiberal comes in.
VDL just happens to be a good friend of mine, and true to his name, he is both a Volvo driver and a liberal. He's also a dedicated diarist on Daily Kos, and over the weekend he put up this post listing the corporations that advertise on Coulter's Web site and how to contact them. VDL didn't even ask for a boycott, he just thought that these companies should be informed about where their ads are ending up and asked to account for it.
VolvoDrivingLiberal was even honored with a name-drop (or handle-drop) on CNN's "The Situation Room" over the weekend -- and now Verizon, Sallie Mae, and NetBank have all pulled their ads from Coulter's site. Obviously that's a great start, but there's still pressure to be applied, so click on over to VDL's post and e-mail some of those companies.
And before anyone even mentions it, no, this isn't a violation of anyone's First Amendment rights. Coulter still has the constitutional right to launch whatever slurs she wants; corporations, however, have no obligation to sponsor her. If anything, this is straight-up capitalism we're looking at here, because some of those corporations might find their reputations sullied by any kind of association with Coulter and would thus be interested in taking steps to avoid that.
Anyway, good job, my Volvo-driving brother. I'll update this post if I hear of any other companies making like Catholics and pulling out.