Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ann Coulter

Rittenhouse gun

“Any positive comment about Rittenhouse on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter led to an immediate suspension. GoFundMe refused to allow Rittenhouse’s friends to raise money for his defense. People who did contribute were hunted down, doxxed and fired. The same people who wanted to give Guantanamo war criminals civilian trials think an American who refused to acquiesce in his own murder didn’t deserve legal representation. Kyle Rittenhouse is on trial so that no one will dare stand in the way of the left’s shock troops ever again.”

—Conservative performance artist Ann Coulter, doing that voodoo that she do so well, or something.

Once again, let me emphasize that an “ethics quote” is not necessarily an ethical quote, but rather one that raises important ethics issues. Coulter’s last sentence is so coulterish that calling this an ethical quote would be madness.

Kyle Rittenhouse is on trial because two people were shot dead and one wounded at his hands, and such events usually get citizens put on trial for something. He’s also on trial because prosecutors seldom have the courage and principle to refuse to prosecute when large portions of the community are screaming for blood, have approved of a hysterical riot sparked by an ignorant protest over a justified police shooting, and the news media is egging the hysteria on.

But buried in her usual hyperbole and deliberate flame-throwing, Ann has a point.

I’m proud to say that this is the first time Coulter has been mentioned here since 2017. She literally will say anything that will help her get publicity, generate college speaking gigs, and sell books, so there is no reason to take her seriously. Who knows what she believes, or if she believes anything? The last thing I wrote about Coulter was when she was stumping for Roy Moore to be elected Senator in Alabama: “Ann Coulter tweeted yesterday that it doesn’t matter if Moore is a theocrat, it doesn’t matter if the man who calls gays sub-human perverts is, in fact, a pervert himself; it doesn’t matter that he was kicked off the bench twice as a judge for ignoring the law….what matters is that he’ll vote for Trump’s wall in the Senate. Get help, Ann.”

No, she hasn’t gotten help, but she’s never been stupid, and sometimes she is useful because she publishes facts that the mainstream media withholds (I did use one of Coulter’s screeds as a reference point for a Breonna Taylor fact-check last year.) For example, in the Townhall essay that contains the quote above, Ann reminds us…

  • Joseph Rosenbaum, one of Rittenhouse’s victims, was out on bond for domestic battery and had been released from a mental institution the day he was shot. He was a convicted felon who had anally and orally raped five boys ranging in age from 9 to 11 years old. Yes, this information was too prejudicial to allow as evidence in the trial. Coulter’s point is, however, that the news media worked overtime to impugn Rittenhouse’s character, while pretending that those he encountered were just concerned, “mostly peaceful” protesters.
  • Anthony Huber, the rioter who swung a skateboard at Rittenhouse’s head, was also convicted of two instances of domestic violence. One involved a knife to his brother’s stomach and threatening to “gut him like a pig.”
  • Gaige Grosskreutz, the prosecution witness who shocked everyone by admitting under oath that Rittenhouse didn’t shoot him until Grosskreutz pointed his Glock at the teen’s head, is a career criminal with a rap sheet containing domestic abuse, prowling, trespass, two DUIs, felony burglary and two charges of carrying a firearm while intoxicated. Again, this is all irrelevant to whether or not Rittenhouse committed a crime, but the facts do put in perspective the media-driven narrative that the kid was a white supremacist vigilante on a mission to kill good and concerned citizens exercising their constitutional rights to protest an episode of police brutality and racism.

The rest of Ann’s rant contains her usual excesses. For example, right at the top she writes that Rittenhouse is being tried for “shooting three psychopathic criminals who were attacking him at the BLM/antifa riots in Kenosha last year.” That’s a dishonest characterization and Ann knows it, so she evokes Ethics Alarms Rationalization #22, “It’s not the worse thing,” adding, “That, by the way, is a more accurate summary of the evidence than anything [DA] Binger said.”

In an essay this week, Glenn Greenwald nicely summed up the malady infecting both Coulter and those her quote of the week assails. He wrote in part,

If you say that — after having actually watched the trial — you believe the state failed to prove [Rittenhouse’s} guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in light of his defense of self-defense, many will disbelieve your sincerity, will insist that your view is based not in some apolitical assessment of the evidence or legal principles about what the state must do in order to imprison a citizen, but rather that you must be a “supporter” of Rittenhouse himself, his ideology (whatever it is assumed to be), and the political movement with which he, in their minds, is associated….[T]hose who are incapable of assessing political or legal conflicts through a prism of principles rather than personalities assume that everyone is plagued by the same deficiency….since they base their views on whether Rittenhouse should be convicted or acquitted based on how they personally feel about Rittenhouse and his perceived politics rather than the evidence presented at the trial (which most of them have not watched), they assume that anyone advocating for an acquittal can be doing so only because they like Rittenhouse’s politics and believe that his actions were heroic.

In sum, those who view the world through a prism bereft of principles — either due to lack of intellectual capacity or ethics or both — assume everyone’s world view is similarly craven. It is this same stunted mindset that saddles our discourse with so much illogic and so many twisted presumptions, such as the inability to distinguish between defending someone’s right to express a particular opinion and agreement with that opinion. In a world in which ideology, partisan loyalty, tribal affiliations, in-group identity and personality-driven assessments predominate, there is no room for principles, universally applicable rights, or basic reason.

I guess that is the real Ethical Quote of the Week.


Pointer: Bad Bob

17 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ann Coulter

  1. I can’t stand to read Coulter anymore. I’m not sure why I ever could.

    But I do think, if you could somehow get past the eye-rolling hyperbole, she has occasionally made some points worth thinking about. The thing that I took away from this is that we are coming to a point where threats of violence and business consequences are motivating companies and service entities (legal, accounting, banking, etc.) to refuse to represent or even do business with certain disfavored people, even where they have no legitimate interests at stake.

    It’s disturbing to think that the available pool of legal representation may be shrunk by direct threats of those with an interest in the outcome of a trial, and frankly, that’s exactly what we’re seeing. We see law firms backing away from disfavored clients, banks refusing to continue their accounts, and companies tainting the jury pool with hot takes. And wonder of wonders, it all goes only one way politically.

    I wonder if the Left has considered the fact that if they ride this tiger too long, it’s likely to turn and rend them?

    • I wonder if the Left has considered the fact that if they ride this tiger too long, it’s likely to turn and rend them?

      Of course not. Forethought is not one of their strengths, to say the least.

      For evidence, I would simply point to the judicial filibuster, packing the Supreme Court, eliminating the regular filibuster, the $4.9 trillion reconciliation bill that just passed the House, the Covid vaccine mandate, and more. What could ever go wrong with any of those things? How could those precedents possibly be abused?

      Unless, of course, those evil Republicans somehow stole an election in every single state and got back into power.

      Speaking of the filibuster, I know I am not the only one who can remember when it was two-thirds and not a paltry 60 votes.

    • She’s a provocateur extraordinaire, but she’s really, really good at it and can be hilariously funny at her best. Sure, she goes over the top. But as Jack notes, she’s at least one part performance artist. I think her tongue is usually firmly planted in her droll cheek. She says outrageous stuff with a twinkle in her eye as if to admit, “I can’t believe I’m getting away with even saying this.” Compare her to Adam Schiff or Robert Reich or Steven Cohen from Tennessee or Maxine Waters or Al Sharpton and she’s having a ball because she’s giving it right back to assholes like they are. Trump did the same but much less effectively and eloquently.

  2. I thought Coulter was an attorney. Evidently I am misinformed. I also stopped listening to her years ago because she is too shrill.

    • Her piece on Olbermann’s college degree was gold, an in-your-face retort to Olbermann’s Baldwin-esque style. And I loved Keith on ESPN with Dan Patrick. Best duo this side of West and Ward.

    • I’m a little less thrilled. One of the few conservative firebrands steps over a line and gets drilled while the hundreds of lefty lunatics get a pass simply by virtue of their massive numbers and ubiquitousness and the toady media. The right needs to not be so God damned principled and virtue signaling when it comes to conservative pundits. Friendly fire is not a good thing. When does the left ever “call out” (their annoying phrase) one of their own? Never. They spin and cover for each other. This was my point when I pissed off HT. A little bit of “This is just Ann being Ann. Birds gotta sing, etc.” is in order.

      • OB
        I have reconciled myself to knowing that intersectionality will ultimately fracture under the weight of disparate self interests as each “marginalized” group seeks the lion’s share of power. I expect, like grains of sand, the power associated with intersectionality politics drift away in the wind.

        We are beginning to see evidence of that now. Evaluate the demographics of voting results. True intersectional power requires everyone have a common set of ideals and beliefs. The American experiment was founded on intersectionality such that then the differences were more ethnicity based instead of race of sexuality basis. If all those different nationalities that populated what became the United States could have not found the common ideals of individual liberty, inalienable rights and self governance we would have gone the way of so many failed states.

        The current crop of intersectionalists do not want to find common ground they want to use other groups to swell their relatively small ranks so that they may have sufficient voting power to gain more power. This is why they use military terms such as allies, or nonsensical undefined terms like people of color. All people are people of color. The only difference is what color. It has become apparent to me that once in power different groups focus only on their parochial interests and neglect or undermine their “allies. As has been proven over and over again, power corrupts; this is what is today’s intersectionalist’s Achilles heel.

        What is important for all of us to hang on to with a death grip are those ideals of individual liberty, inalienable rights and self governance and let the materialism of parochial interests beat themselves up in their quest to be the decision makers for the rest of us

        • Well and good, Chris. But it doesn’t help to have a few firebrands out there to high light the absurdities of the whacko totalitarians.

          Remember Michelle Obama’s “When they go low, we go high.” Hah. While her husband was talking about bringing a gun to knife fight.

          Unilateral disarmament is not a good long term plan.

  3. Apparently now that he’s been acquitted, GoFundMe will allow Rittenhouse to raise money for his defense.

    That he no longer needs.

    • Well, he could use it to fund a civil suit against GoFundMe for chilling his ability to acquire legal representation, something he has a right to.

      Wouldn’t THAT be poetic?!?


        • Do they have an obligation to be consistent in how they apply the policy?

          I.e. if they ban it for Rittenhouse but allow it for another defendant facing criminal charges.

          And, even if they have that obligation, is it legally actionable if they don’t apply it consistently?

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