The Rules: Know your enemies. Know their weapons.
Know how their weapons are used. Know their ammunition.

See, the riff on Ann Coulter is that she is so over. Everyone knows that the reason she says the 'outrageous' things she does just to get more money, more publicity, more fame, more attention, yada yada yada. This may be true, although it has nothing to do with the fact that to many ears she is a 'woman that speaks the truth' and they find her a voice of reason in a world - their own - that's going mad. It doesn't even matter whether or not she shares this belief.

Ann Coulter used to be a valuable weapon in the right wing arsenal, someone who could be called upon to give the money quote, smile sweetly, and ask 'What?' Those days are gone, and Coulter has crystallized into something more valuable. She's no longer the gun; now she's the bullet. It doesn't matter that her brand of punditry is now something that many venues would prefer to keep at arms length. Now she's in through the outdoor.

An example. Let's take that good looking FOX anchor John Gibson, nice boy, wouldn't hurt a fly if it didn't deserve it. He has a new story, and he's wearing his tut-tut face. "It seems that the ever outrageous Ann Coulter created quite a stir yesterday when she implied that Democratic candidate John Edwards was a quote faggot unquote". And then... just can't say faggot enough, particularly when you combine it with the words 'John Edwards'. Because even respectable journalists will all agree (1) that it's important to analyze the political milieu that legitimizes a Republican spokeswoman calling an opponent a faggot at a major party gathering, and (2) it's fun to be able to say faggot on TV (gosh, it's fun to say it even if the best platform you've got is NewsMax). Now, of course, bonus points can be earned via an earnest discussion of whether Coulter calling Edwards a faggot was nearly as bad as Bill Maher saying that Cheney should be assassinated, and double golden bonus points go to anyone who inquires about the language police and their efforts to muzzle our God given right to call Edwards a faggot.

And all of these deep thoughts and thoughtful discourses mean absolutely nothing, except... Would you draw us a Venn, Al?

For many people - myself included - the word 'faggot' will forever be linked to the name 'John Edwards'. It's so easy. You do understand that repetition is the most effective means of mass brainwashing, don't you? I mean, don't tell me that you've been... Oh. I get it. Go back to sleep.

There is a bit of a movement at the moment among certain (presumably) well-intentioned liberals who would like to protect us all from the harsh reality of hate speech in public political discourse. Target number one is Coulter, and the strategy is to destroy her media support. Nice sentiment, folks, but there's more than one place to buy your bullets.

Six months hence, take it John Gibson. "Conservative blogger Charlie Johnson of Little Green Footballs has created quite a stir with his assertion that Hussein Obama is an arrogant nigger. But is it really any different to call Obama an arrogant nigger than it is for radical left wing bloggers to say that President Bush is worse than Hitler?"

The Rules: Know your enemies. Know their weapons.
Know how their weapons are used. Know their ammunition. Make sure that they never hesitate to keep their weapons out in the open where you can see them.