When you see [Ann Coulter calling John Edwards a "faggot"] in such a context [at the Conservative Political Action Conference], you realize that she truly represents the heart and soul of contemporary conservative activism, especially among the young. The standing ovation for Romney was nothing like the eruption of enthusiasm that greeted her. One young conservative male told her he was single and asked for her cell-phone number. Other young Republicans were almost overwhelmed in her presence. "When are you going to get your own show?" one asked, tremulously. Then there's her insistence on Christianism as the central message for Republicans: "There are more people voting on Christian moral values than on tax cuts." This from an unmarried woman who wears dresses that are close to bikinis on the morning news. Hey, it's Democrats who are Godless. [emphasis added]and then loses his nerve an hour later:
The most painful thing for me was the sight of so many young people growing up believing that this is conservatism.
Conservatism is as conservatism does. Sullivan was right the first time: Ann Coulter really is the heart and soul of conservatism; her only sin is being too blatant about what the base of the conservative movement really believes.
There's a reason people such as Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, Charles
There comes a time when one has to say, "I approve of justice for the working class, but the slaughter of tens of millions makes it impossible to call myself a 'communist'." There comes a time when one has to say, "I'm all for spirituality, but the Inquisition, the Crusades, the persistent and present-day misogyny and homophobia makes it impossible for me to call myself a Catholic." Were it not for Godwin's law, I might provide additional examples.
There is no more room for principled and dissenting political Conservatism than there is for principled and dissenting political Communism. Andrew Sullivan is entitled to hold and express his views, but to label them "conservative" is to place himself in the same box as Coulter.