Saturday, June 18, 2011

And Now a Word from the Other Half of the O'Reilly-Coulter Tag Team

Yesterday I posted a video of Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter on the attack against Ron Paul. In my post, I emphasised with amazement that O'Reilly didn't seem to really know who Keynes was. He mispronounced Keynes. He seemed to think Keynes lived in the 1700's. Just remarkable.

Now comes along a report from Porter Stansberry (via  Lew Rockwell) that Ann Coulter is just as clueless. Lew writes:
Investment guru Porter Stansberry met Ann Coulter at a dinner several years ago. He wrote about her:
Ann Coulter had never heard of the gold standard. She didn’t believe us when we told her that in 1933 FDR seized all of the privately held bullion in the country, then devalued the dollar – probably the greatest financial crime in history. She didn’t even know it was illegal for citizens to own bullion up until 1974. Bretton Woods? Coulter thought we were talking about tennis rackets. She told me flatly “I don’t know anything about finance or economics.” Not even the basics, like how inflation affects prices or the key role paper money and progressive income taxes have played in building the welfare state. We might as well have been talking to a horse. Ann just looked at us, her long face turned sideways with incredulity.

Lacking anything intelligent to say, she decided to simply insult us. “I was a libertarian as a teenager, but I emerged from adolescence…”

Good one, Ann. What a zinger. 
The more these people talk, the more it becomes evident that they don't know the basics of economics, much less hold any deep thought out views. They are a bunch of wind bags, who can spout out sound bites and that's about it.


  1. Come on, Mr. Wenzel; did this really surprise you? I don't know about you, but I figured this out as soon as that bag of bones opened her gaping pie hole (sorry if I offend anybody). Sure, she's great if you are driving at the clueless conservative core, but once you begin to add philosophy, ethics, and economics into the mix, she is lost.

    Read one of her books- it's as clear as day. She's a mouthpiece; and, she is apparently pretty proficient at that role ;). I would give my left arm to debate her on economics, because I know that she wouldn't know what I was even talking about, or where to turn. She's an idiot, and her arguments do not pass the sniff test of logicality. She attempts to fellate the conservative crowd with her arguments of illogical fallacies- that is her game.

    It really crawls under my skin that somebody like her is on TV while I could name at least 10 of my friends that deserve a far bigger spotlight. But, then again, she's a "big government" conservative.

  2. Of course there is no substantive attack from Coulter in her quote here, because she has only been programmed to attack the left.It is wonderful to me when the main stream media attempts to stifle libertarians. This shows that there is genuine concern that the current political paradigm is weakening.

  3. Why don't libertarians try and start a new TV news channel? Anti-state, 24/7. Would that be feasible? I think there's definitely a market for another "right leaning" TV channel.

  4. I tried to post this before, but it didn't go through.

    I did go back and read Coulter's article (as opposed to the video) and the point she's making is really a bit different from what comes across from the video. It's made my revise my response.

    What she's saying is if libertarians are so opposed to any form of government intervention, why is it they are OK about going along with Social Security and Medicare (as Paul does), showing flexibility there, but they are unwilling to be flexible about something dear to conservatives - marriage.

    Her point is that libertarians pander to the left-liberals on what's dear to that group, but never do the same to conservatives.

    She is accusing him of inconsistency and rather opportunistic inconsistency at that.

    I hope libertarians won't just fall back on "she looks like a horse" as their rebuttal.

    Why not engage with conservatives and their fears, instead of adding to the usual partisan name-calling?

    Just my thoughts.

  5. Robert,
    You should hear Schiff interview coulter earlier this week. She embarrassed herself; quite funny, yet also sad I guess.

  6. Why would the oligarchs want smart people in these positions? Nope, only idiots will do.


    You did see this, didn't you?

  8. Lila,

    Ron Paul doesn't go along with SS and Medicare. He merely argues that because government spending must be cut, military spending should be cut first. Then, the governments should phase out SS and Medicare by allowing people to opt out. Therefore, Coulter is misrepresenting Ron Paul's position.

  9. Lila,

    Just to be clear, Porter Stansberry made those comments about Ann Coulter in 2007.

    And, like Nathan said, Ron Paul isn't really pandering to the left. He is prioritizing. The fact is, even most conservative/Republican voters want their Social Security and Medicare. Ron Paul has said openly that we should be able to "opt out of the whole system."

  10. @Nathan

    Yes, I know that's Paul position and I think Coulter knows it too.

    I think what she's saying is if he can go with a phased-in, reasonable approach there, why can't he likewise go with a more gradualist approach on other issues. Is that just pandering?

    It's a fair question.

    I don't know what Paul's reasoning is on that.

    For myself, a good explanation might touch on several things:

    1. The tactical reason: cultural conservatives are in a minority...especially in terms of mainstream approval. People who want money from the government are in a majority....and have high-status support.

    2. There's the second pragmatic consideration.There are fewer chances that marriage will collapse overnight because of some policy position, but there could be drastic widespread and sudden economic fall-out from cutting SS and Medicare first.
    Marriage is not a life-and-death survival least, not now. The other is.

    3. Relatedly, cutting SS and Medicare gives an excuse to war-mongers not to cut the military budget, where it can be cut reasonably. So it would lead directly to a great loss of life.

    4. An affirmative government assertion of what marriage is about isn't really going to accomplish much good even for social conservatives.

    So declining a hypothetical good (possibly improving the state of marriage) and choosing a real good (decreasing the loss of life in war by cutting back on the military) is both right and politically smart.

    Isn't that more likely to make conservatives consider Paul than name-calling?

  11. @Lila. What Nathan said, and also Ron Paul has consistently stated -- and I'm pretty sure he's the first major Republican figure to do so -- that SS and Medicare are unconstitutional. However, he has also stated that it will be impossible to unravel these monstrosities by himself unless the minds of the people people change and re-embrace liberty. He has suggested starting this process by letting young people opt out of the program.

    Personally, I wish Ron Paul's statements were stronger and called for a definitive end-date for SS/Medicare, but I understand the political ramifications. Even while disagreeing with him on specifics, I still recognize Ron Paul as infinitely better than any other Republican candidate currently running or conceiving a run for president.

    Ann Coulter recognizes that TPTB want her to distance herself from those "freedom-loving idiots" that could endanger TPTB.

  12. Ann Coulter started out as a very sharp and brave commentator on a number of cultural issues.

    Then she turned into a demagogue. But even her demagoguery always has enough of a barb of truth in it to make her critics livid.
    I don't have any reason to think her positions aren't sincere....even if hyped to the nth degree. That's the way lots of people on the right (and left) think about libertarianism. They think it panders to "greedy hippies", and never takes difficult positions on money or sexuality.

    "Less taxes, more sexual freedom, down with government, up with people," you'll admit, is hardly a difficult pill to prescribe...

  13. Bert - why don't libertarians start a religion? All anti-state, all the time. All voluntary - cop beats your friend up? Come over. Prick local businessman leans on the municipal government, to pass laws that hurt your business? We are here for you. Assholes in Washington send your kid to war, tell him to die for them? Join the opposition!

    Let's get those people into the doors, assembly hall style - let them discover the beauty of liberty! Form a people as fanatical about liberty as North Koreans are about their "great leader". Difference being, that over there, they act from fear. Here - love.

  14. Actually, Will Grigg has the best rebuttal to Ann on government intervention into family life: