Depending on your viewpoint Ann Coulter is either a hot, conservative pin-up with a brain and wicked sense of humor or a loathsome, half-witted telebimbo who slings sarcastic mud at liberal ideals.
Coulter was the featured speaker at UWM last night, sponsored by the College Republicans. The crowd was warm and friendly, many sporting Tea Party buttons. The lack of protestors was expected with, as 30 UWM security and Milwaukee Police officers searched attendees and fanned out throughout the room.
After a brief introduction by WISN 1130AM radio host Vicki McKenna, who referred to Coulter as “a community organizer we can all respect and a sister of Liberty,” she took the stage to a standing ovation.
Coulter opened by thanking Wisconsin for beer and Joe McCarthy, “and we should repeat history and throw back a PBR and throw the commies out of Washington,” this fall.
From there she moved through her usual mix of snarky one-liners, including “Barack Obama is working toward being the first and last black president,” “Cap and Trade legislation, or as it’s also know, put a new tax on everything beginning in 2010,” and “Obama is just like Clinton without the stains on the carpet.”
A call for 20-foot walls the length of our southern border to keep illegal aliens out drew big applause from the audience, as did mentions of President Ronald Reagan and swipes at CNN and MSNBC.
After 25 minutes of schtick, Coulter took questions from the audience. At first they were reluctant and she asked if she would have to criticize her own speech. Most of the questions were softballs about Sarah Palin’s chances in 2010 (Coulter feels she shouldn’t run, but remain a cheerleader for the conservative cause), her early political influences (Milton Friedman, William Simon and Barry Goldwater), political up and comers (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie) and her opinion on President Obama’s “surrender” tour (she said it was in line with Democratic foreign policy and Obama’s need to be liked).
“Obama needs to learn you can’t make people like you, but you can make them fear and respect you,” Coulter said in response.
She was challenged by two questions, one on U.S. policy toward Israel and on gays in the military and in the Republican party.
When asked why the United States continues to support Israel, described as a military police state with archaic tribal rules by the questioner, she admitted her lack of knowledge on the topic, adding that Israel is an ally and even though they are imperfect we can’t go against our friends.
As for gays, Coulter rambled and stumbled with her answer discussing the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, that the military isn’t calling for a change to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and that homosexuals and even women in the military have had a detrimental effect on our fighting ability. But she quickly added a Jerry Seinfeld “not that there’s anything wrong with that” mea culpa when she realized how decisive her remarks were.
She added that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people should flock to the Republican Party because homosexuals tend to have higher incomes, are victims of crimes and are reviled by Muslim radicals.
“We want to cut your taxes,” she said, while Democrats want to spend it on women and children; “One party wants to punish criminals, while the other says let’s try to understand them,” and “We want to stop Muslim fanatics, and you know what they do to gays.” She added that today’s Democratic Party has also eased off their support of gay marriage and military service, to be just like Republicans on those issues.
“So they (gays) have to be Republicans,” she said.
The audience ate up her answers and floor show, and as entertaining as she was for the choir, she offered little real policy debate or insight on today’s important issues. Instead of being sponsored by College Republicans, she should be on the Bonkerz comedy tour.
There was a small, hidden protest to Coulter’s appearance by the Milwaukee Zombie Coalition. In a small garden between Lubar and Bolton halls, approximately 20 “zombies” danced to Michael Jackson’sThriller and smoked cigarettes. Earlier, zombie spokesperson and UWM student Kyle Schulz said the protest was to oppose the “hateful ignorance represented by Coulter and her supporters. As zombies, we protest Coulter’s wanton destruction of perfectly good (and most likely delicious) brains.” Unfortunately, the only people who knew of the protest against Coulter were members of the press who had been alerted earlier in the day.
Coulter is the author of seven New York Times bestsellers, including Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America and If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans; a legal correspondent for the right-wing news site, Human Events, and a frequent guest on network and cable news programs.