Ann Coulter’s op-ed yesterday in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger is kind of amazing. Calling out Chris McDaniel’s supporters for demanding a do-over in Mississippi, she indirectly decries the charismatic cult underlying his insurgency.
(S)ome McDaniel supporters can’t think about anything but winning this one primary. They don’t care that they’re gambling with a Republican majority in the Senate — or destroying McDaniel’s future prospects. (Which could come soon — Cochran isn’t getting any younger.) As the nation goes up in smoke, they act as if the future of the country is nothing compared to their color war at summer camp.
Not that I disagree with anything Ann says here, but when did she first notice that her faith-based movement was lighting the nation on fire? Was it when they demanded debt limit brinkmanship in 2011, or as they held the umpteenth Benghazi hearing without renewing the Highway Trust Fund? Does she perhaps sense now that all of this extremism by ‘real Republicans’ has actually hurt Republicans as a party, and diminished conservatism as a vital part of the American conversation?
Coulter does a fair job of showing the weaknesses in McDaniel’s case. But there’s something missing from her op-ed: any attack on the sense of racial entitlement that McDaniel’s schismatics have displayed. They think of themselves as ‘the real Republicans‘ (as opposed to squishy RINOs like Thad Cochran, of course) and believe very strongly in their neoconfederate messiah. For people who think God meant for them to win, the only reasonable explanation for the failure of God’s plan is an evil that must be exorcised. In this case, that evil is (mostly black) Democrats voting legally against the neoconfederate McDaniel. Coulter will not, or cannot, question that kind of narcissistic white privilege at work in her movement. If she did, she would not survive as a conservative voice.
Lawrence O’Donnell had E.J. Dionne, Jr. of the Washington Post on his show last night to discuss Coulter’s op-ed: