Catching Up With Ann Coulter in Napa Valley

Right-wing republicans who write books calling liberals traitors and defending Joe McCarthy are hardly synonymous with northern California. An outspoken constituency of virulent leftists exists in the Golden State, and three-time bestselling author Ann Coulter threatens their popularity more than they’d ever willingly admit.

The stories of her books being hidden by disgruntled left-wing shopkeepers are rampant, and in fact, San Francisco’s notoriously liberal City Lights Bookstore, despite its endless kvetching about the evil of banning books, has banned her books. (In the interest of fairness, the bookstore maintains that while it has room for pictures of near-naked men and the works of noted freedom-lovers Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, it simply has no space for New York Times’ bestsellers.)

Always one to venture into uncharted territory, Coulter recently came to Napa Valley on a speaking engagement at the swanky Silverado Country Club.

In approximately 45-minutes, Miss Coulter outlined to her audience a flawless case for racial profiling, firing Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, and never again allowing a Democrat into the Oval Office. She defended her most famous line, “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity,” matter-of-factly explaining that when Islamic crazies give up wanting to kill Americans, she’ll give up wanting to convert them.

Coulter reiterated her support for Operation Iraqi Freedom, the “18-month rush to war,” and called President Bush’s performance “magnificent.” In an effort to elucidate the ever-mysterious foreign policies of liberals, she interjected a line from her latest bestseller, Treason: “Liberals’ attitude toward a swamp is that we have to go around killing mosquitoes individually only after proving the targeted mosquito is about to bite us. Otherwise, we might make the mosquitoes mad.”

She spoke of Rep. Dick Gephardt’s (D.-Mo.) “girly-girl, eye-poking attack” on the White House after September 11, and praised Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, noting that his fierce response to the terrorist attacks may have forced quite a few Muslims to drop out of flight school. Recalling a speech Teddy Kennedy made in which he said that the Bush Administration’s policies were “adrift,” she noted that that is an adjective which might also be used to describe a certain car, flying off a certain bridge…

Airport security was also a hot topic. She scolded Secretary Mineta, for, as she writes in Treason, he is “something Bush should have been pilloried and denounced for.” She reminded us of the day in June 2002 that former Vice President Gore was searched by airport personnel, and explained that this was “a purely religious act. It is the purposeless fetishistic performance of ritual in accordance with the civic religion of liberalism.”

Following a rather lengthy question-and-answer period was a reception during which fans had the opportunity to have their books signed, get their pictures taken, and meet the lawyer-turned-pundit. Having admired her since Slander, but never actually having met her, I can now happily report that she is just as affable and gracious as one could hope. She was absolutely charming and utterly unaffected. She showed tremendous enthusiasm and seemed to be truly delighted to be in the position she’s attained for herself. As expected, the Left’s contention that she is some sort of right-wing monster who runs around America burning Korans and brainwashing unassuming Americans is patently ridiculous. It is for this reason, at least in part, that she is so dangerous to liberalism.

For years, liberals have relied on the idea that conservatives are mean. Joe McCarthy ruined lives, they say. Phyllis Schlafly wanted women to have back-alley abortions. Ronald Reagan put the world on the brink of nuclear war. A vast right-wing conspiracy planted Clinton’s DNA on an intern’s dress. Rush Limbaugh was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing. John Ashcroft threw innocent Islamic mothers and fathers into terrifying death camps at Guantanamo Bay. George Bush wants to kill Iraqi children.

But then there’s Ann Coulter.

She’s intelligent, she’s educated, she’s popular, she’s successful, she can’t be mentioned without her looks being complimented, and, most importantly, she’s right. Few agree with everything she says, but no one can argue with the facts she presents. That is an accomplishment which can be attributed to very few, especially in the world of political punditry, and it is a true threat to the American left.