All right for me, but not for thee
So Ann Coulter apparently said we'd be better off if women couldn't vote, because women vote for social democratic policies. The left half of the blogosphere seems to think she's getting a pass because she's conservative, as rounded up by Ryan Avent:
Garance spots the loathsome Ann Coulter dreaming of a world where women can’t vote, and Ezra laments the hack gap–if we had more hackish Democratic firebreathers, this kind of thing would never, ever get a pass. Good point, Ez. Imagine, if you will, that a prominent liberal commentator, the kind who might appear at major Democratic speaking events with Democratic presidential candidates, said he longed for a day when whites or southerners couldn’t vote. You couldn’t get the volume dial low enough to tune out the Limbaughs and O’Reillys.
So I’ll do my part. This is despicable. Outrageous. We shouldn’t tolerate another moment of the conservative illiberality that loves torture, war, and xenophobia, and delights in racism, sexism, and homophobia. Denounce her statement, GOP candidates, or fear the voters. You know, more than you already should.
They seem to be missing the rather obvious point: Coulter isn't getting away with this because she's a Republican; she's getting away with it because she's a woman. If a conservative male had called for taking away the vote from women, Republicans wouldn't be able to get to the microphone fast enough to denounce him. They know where their political interests lie. Just like only white male southerners are allowed to complain about crackers (well, and Al Sharpton), and Bill Cosby has a lot more leeway to criticize black cultural norms than I do, Ann Coulter gets to fantasize about taking the vote away from women because she is a member of the class that would be disadvantaged.
Garance thinks that "The idea that today’s G.O.P. leaders are craven and idiotic enough to associate themselves with someone who could say such a thing will catapult women to the polls." I think this is extremely wishful thinking. If a man had said this, it might. But when a woman says it, you don't think "tool of the patriarchy"; you just think she's kind of crazy. And the political parties are crawling with all sorts of moonbats; have you read some of the stuff that comes out of the environmental movement? I mean, some of it is even stuff I agree with, but informal survey indicates that when I voice this agreement, most Americans think I'm . . . kind of crazy.
Just to be clear, I hate Ann Coulter as much as the next person, and don't criticize her more only because I can't bear to read anything about or by her. But I don't buy the notion that her looniness is protected by the vast right-wing conspiracy--and what she said isn't exactly a far cry from the "expel Jesusland" jokes I seem to recall hearing from quite a few liberal journalists after the 2004 election.
Update: what about her other crazy statements, asks a commenter? Good question. In the end, I think she gets a general pass because she's a woman; you certainly don't hear any male conservatives publicly referring to politicians as "faggots". Or maybe there's a generalized "Ann Coulter exception" that has nothing to do with her second X chromosome. But whatever it is, I don't think it applies to white male commentators.