NEVER TRUST A LIBERAL OVER THREE — ESPECIALLY A REPUBLICAN
By Ann Coulter
Regnery Publishing, $27.95, 374 pages
Ann Coulter is back, as brash and delightful as ever in her takedowns of liberals, hypocrites and Republicans bent on defeat. In "Never Trust a Liberal Over Three — Especially a Republican," Miss Coulter collects and updates about 90 of her columns from the past dozen years, in chapters grouping the articles by topic. As in her previous outing, "Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama," the author joyfully documents the dishonesty of Democrats, skewers the mainstream media's imperviousness to facts and rips assorted Republicans for repeatedly playing into the hands of their political adversaries.
From the introductory chapter — "Will This Be on the Midterms?" — Miss Coulter stresses that Republicans must emulate the Democrats' single-minded focus on winning. Liberals "never give up," their "pushiness prevails not only in history, but in actual public policy." For there is, she writes, "no permanent victory on any issue with liberals." Either we "vote and vote and vote and vote until they win, and then we never vote again," or "liberals lose — and they bring a lawsuit to get what they want by judicial decree."
Conservatives, Miss Coulter observes, "need to adopt the smart things Democrats do ." Democrats "rule their base with an iron fist," and they run candidates who can win with the relevant voters. Accordingly, "Anthony Weiner isn't allowed out of New York City," and Democrats run "far-left Barbara Boxer in California." Crucially, "candidates who have to get elected in places other than New York invariably project a 'Leave It to Beaver' normalcy." Seeking election to the U.S. Senate from Arkansas, Mark L. Pryor ran ads "showing him reading the Bible and praying with his family" and "claimed to be pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-military spending, and pro-Iraq war."
Miss Coulter advises Republicans that winning "applause from a small slice of enthusiasts while alienating independents accomplishes nothing." In this vein, she opines that Tea Party candidates lost not because "they were too budget-cutty," but because "they were too into musing about rape." Miss Coulter concludes that the lesson of the W. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock losses is "not to stop being conservative; it's to stop being stupid." That's because "we're not Democrats. We don't get protected by the media." These and other "unforced errors" may well have cost the Republicans a Senate majority.
In addition, the Republican Party "has no natural defense mechanism against charlatans and saboteurs, because politics is not what Republicans think about every second." Miss Coulter argues persuasively that Republicans have been "screwed by campaign consultants fleecing deep-pocketed candidates rather than doing the hard work" of winning elections. And the "conservative base turned against [President] Bush for his years of big spending, followed by his pushing amnesty for illegal aliens, after getting re-elected in 2004 with a Republican House and Senate."
Miss Coulter urges Republican leaders to unite, get a grip, and win. "Elections matter," she counsels, because "life is a horror when liberals are running things." Her book proceeds to offer plentiful evidence in support of that assertion, a sort of "soup to nuts" review of division, distraction and deception by the left, often met with little more than feckless disorder in the ranks of Republicans.
Characteristically, Miss Coulter is neither vague nor indirect in her advice to conservatives. Thus, Republicans should not "primary" an incumbent "in order to modestly improve the candidate, and very possibly lose the seat." But she makes an exception for any elected Republican who favors "giving the Democrats 30 million new voters with amnesty." Also, conservatives should not respond mildly and with equivocation (e.g., there are "fringes" on both sides) to vicious lies, as when "liberals accuse cheerful, law-abiding Tea Party activists of being violent racists." Republicans "who prefer to come across on TV as wonderfully moderate should find another line of work and stop defaming conservatives with their 'both sides' pabulum."
Miss Coulter displays no sympathy for Republicans who claim to be conservative but take positions that belie those claims and betray the party's base. Mike Huckabee "promoted giving in-state tuition in Arkansas to illegal immigrants from Mexico." John McCain supported amnesty and retroactive Social Security benefits for illegal aliens, and "free speech-crushing campaign-finance laws," while opposing the Bush tax cuts and drilling in Alaska. Gov. Jeb Bush favored "driver's licenses for illegal aliens," four years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack "in which all four pilots had used Florida driver's licenses to board the planes."
Combining her lawyerly and literary skills, Miss Coulter presents us a book packed with facts that support her trenchant observations on a broad range of topics. For conservative readers, this book is an informative read and a useful reference. Liberals will find grudging respect for their triumphs, which are described in stark terms not usually encountered in the mainstream media narrative on such matters.
Ray V. Hartwell III is an Alabama native and a trustee emeritus of Washington and Lee University.