But remaining conservatism’s nastiest bomb-thrower is hard work in this political climate, with younger, hungrier comers forever nipping at Coulter’s heels. Just last summer, in fact, the political chattering class was wondering rather loudly whether Coulter’s shtick had lost its sparkle. For the first time in 17 years, liberals and conservatives observed, she had not been invited to speak at CPAC, conservatives’ annual love-in/dog-and-pony show. Meanwhile, her 11th book, the anti-immigration screed Adios America!, was garnering less liberal outrage—and fewer conservative laurels—than her previous literary offerings. (Both mainstream and social media greeted it with a yawn.)
In late June of 2015, New York magazine ran a piece titled “Ann Coulter Wants to Know Why She Doesn’t Make You Mad Anymore,” that opened with Coulter’s complaining to writer Annie Lowrey, “They’re ignoring me now!” and then walked readers through the fading of Coulter’s star. A few days later, Salon offered its take on Coulter’s diminution: “Sure, she’ll sell her books to the small group of people who can’t get enough of her bilious humor and hatred but her days of being a mainstream pop culture phenomenon are over. Everybody’s heard it all before.”
The discussion continued at least through March, when Wonkette asked: “[R]emember the heyday of the late nineties and early oughts [sic], when you couldn’t turn over a viciously nativist racist homophobic rock without finding Coulter underneath? Those days are—thank sweet baby Jesus in heaven—gone now, but Coulter’s hunger for the limelight isn’t, which means she has to keep hurling herself at the election news cycle in a desperate bid for relevance.”
As it turned out, this election was Coulter’s fastpass back into the limelight.
Specifically, Coulter aligned herself early with Trump and his hard-core immigrant bashing, and then commenced to smacking all of his primary opponents as gutless squishes. (Yes, even Ted Cruz.) While most establishment Republicans held their noses or made apologies for Trump’s uglier statements, Coulter went all in, pitching him as the only real man in the race, possessing a superhuman combo of brains, balls, and moral fortitude—like the genetically engineered spawn of William F. Buckley, Dirty Harry, and Jesus.
Once Trump snagged the nomination, Coulter really went wild. Last month, she started touring the country plugging her quick-and-dirty hagiography, In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome. And aside from an awkward day or two when it looked as though Trump might be dialing back the immigration bashing, she has consistently ramped up the adulatory rhetoric. As she tweeted mid-August: “I don’t care if @realDonaldTrump wants to perform abortions in White House after this immigration policy paper.” A couple of weeks later, she told Bloomberg’s Joshua Green: “My worship of him is like the people of North Korea for Dear Leader—blind loyalty. Once he gave that Mexican rapist speech, I’ll walk across glass for him.” In a podcast for Politico this week, she went even farther: “I worship him like the North Koreans worship the Dear Leader--yes, I would die for him.”