Ann Coulter, Retard

So. There’s a recent kerfuffle over the fact that Ann Coulter used the word “retard” to describe President Obama.

Much has been made of the fact that she used that word, which hurts the feelings of some developmentally disabled people. As someone with a special needs child who’s had family members who were mentally retarded, I go back and forth on that word. Except here’s the tough reality: when I got my first job, it was working at a school for mentally disabled teens. And even back then (the mid-’80s) we had stopped using the term “mentally retarded” because it had already taken on pejorative connotations of “stupid.” And we all pretty much acknowledged that this was a losing battle, because if you pick almost any other common epithet meaning “stupid,” including “idiot” and “moron,” they mostly all used to be clinical terms for individuals with challenges. Even “dumb” used to describe deaf people and others who had difficulty speaking.

The better attitude, in my view, and as harsh as I know it sounds, is this: tell the mentally challenged to suck it up, get a thick skin, and show that they aren’t going to let name-calling bother them. So what I would have told Tim Shriver is this: don’t chastise her for using a bad word (which is after all just a word), but rather, to tell Ann Coulter that she’s the real retard.

Because when it comes right down to it, that’s what Ann Coulter is: a fucking retard. Not to mention a vile attention-seeking media whore.

And by the way, when I say “whore,” I must apologize to any honest working whores out there plying their trade without actually, y’know, hurting anybody. Whereas hurting people, it’s what Ann Coulter does for a living. Because I happen to know people who’ve met her, and know her, and they’ve told me that in private, she’s nothing like her media persona. That she’s even really nice and friendly. Which means her whole public image? It’s fake. She’s faking it. She’s vicious and angry just because it gets her attention and makes her money, helping her sell books, get TV and radio appearances, and speaking engagements, by feeding rage and hatred just to make money.

Making it perfectly appropriate to call her what she is: a vicious hatemongering media whore.

You know what? I’ve said I’ll vote for Obama this year, but I’ll make Mitt Romney a deal: if he will come out and publicly declare that Ann Coulter does not represent the Republican party and that she and her ilk should be shown the door and shunned forevermore by Republicans, I’ll vote for him, and every other Republican who does the same.

Because vicious retarded hatemongering whores like Ann Coulter should be shunned in polite society. Fuck her.

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  • Elizabeth Reid

    If Mitt Romney did that, I’d vote for him too. If either candidate was willing to publicly disavow the more vicious parts of their own parties, I’d be a supporter for life. It’d be brave, and honest, and a flat-out good thing to do.

  • suz

    I ditched the Dems a long time ago. Saw no point whatsoever in becoming a Repub; Ann and Rush are part of the reason why.

    The Party of Lincoln indeed. He would cry.

  • queenofallevil

    I’m a little tired but did you also write a post about this when Obama said his bowling skills were like watching the “Special Olympics”? Or when Rahm Emanuel called a bunch of people retards or do we only get the vapors when it’s Ann Coulter? LOL

    The Obama Administration lets 4 Americans die in Benghazi tells our forces on the ground/sea to stand down but we’re more concerned about the use of the word retard? Really?

  • Dean Esmay

    Suz: I’m an ex-Dem AND and ex-Repub. Also an ex-Libertarian. Also ex-Liberal. Also ex-Conservative. Also an ex-Feminist. Also an ex-atheist and ex-Protestant. Just call me Professor Ex. 😉

    Shedding old ideologies tends to be liberating. A little lonely, but liberating. 😉

  • queenofallevil
  • Sandi

    There was a time when Dean’s World was gunho in support for the military.

    Unbelievable to me is that it seems choice of noun to decribe a self centered ineffectual President is important. Yet only silence while this administration denies Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty requests for help 3 ( THREE ) times! Nor do I recall anything in the past posted on the Benghazi attack.


    Also Leon Panetta’s claim that “you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on” rings hollow as they had two drones, and live contact with Woods and Doherty. There a a fog of war on all battles, and besides the SEALS had a laser on the target that could have guided an air strike. If nothing else F16s or F18s ( an hour or so away ) would have helped disperse the enemy just with a flyover.

    Well I agree that Coulter use of “retard” is tacky, but you should know that shock is her calling card. The denial of military aid was worse than “retarded.” It was criminal and cost American lives.

    Sorry for the off topic rant, but tis no wonder this blog is dying.

  • maggie – labrat

    Are you kidding me??? Are you kidding me??? Ann Coulter? The epitome of the politics of hate? Have you listened to to any left wing media whores lately?

    Bravo Sandi and Queen – it’s so refreshing to finally find somebody else who cares about Benghazi.

    I’ve been losing my lunch listening to Obama running around the country talking about trust while he and his adminstration have been spewing bald faced lie after bald faced lie and contorting themselves into pretzels trying to maintain the narrative.

    When the hell did you drink all that koolaid and lose your perspective Dean?

  • Sandi

    “Making it perfectly appropriate to call her what she is: a vicious hatemongering media whore.”

    For every Ann Coulter there is a public figure on the left who is just as vicious.

    I’m sure I could find examples worse than Coulter, but why bother, and so what? There are plenty whoring on both sides, and to point at just one side reeks of bias. It is better to leave it alone rather than give light to either side.

  • Dean Esmay

    I don’t consider use of the word “retard” more than annoying, for the reasons I already stated. I consider Coulter’s use of the term in this context, especially her repeated and continually using it over and over in response to a mentally disabled man who asked her to stop to be just more of typical Ann Coulter, and I advise him and others to recognize that Coulter is the real retard. If Rahm Emmanuel (who is a giant douchebag and a near-complete asshole scumbag by the way) said it over and over again I’d be calling him out on it too.

    Anyone who’s been reading this blog for more than a few years knows I have always been hard on Coulter, since she’s a shallow, stupid, insulting, antagonistic, dishonest, manipulative media whore bitch–and I’ve always said so.

    I grow rather weary of people claiming I’ve “changed” when nothing I’ve said on a subject like this one is in any way different what I would have said 5 years ago, or 10 years ago–which I in fact DID say multiple times. (It’s rather like all the regulars to this blog who were shocked, SHOCKED when I said I favored national health care, when I wrote multiple times on this blog right on the front page that I thought so as early as 2003, said it during the 2004 election cycle, and said it repeatedly all throughout President Bush’s term. That would be the same President Bush who I not only campaigned for in 2000 and 2004, but who I am proud to have supported and still think was a fantastic President who was wrongly hated and who I still admire the shit out of (and I don’t give a damn what any lefty thinks of me saying so–I miss him and if he were running this year he’d have my vote, again).

    As for supporting the military: my support hasn’t changed, but my faith that the American people will stick by their commitments was shattered by the end of Bush’s term. Despite the incredibly low casualties and massive successes of the Iraq effort (which remains something every American *should* be proud of and is our greatest achievement as a nation since the end of the Cold War), I finally came to accept that Americans are essentially pussies. I no longer believe any Democrat or Republican will do what needs to be done on matters like those under discussion here. There isn’t much else I can think to say about it, except I don’t buy partisan hype that Obama has abandoned the military.

  • Scott

    but I’ll make Mitt Romney a deal: if he will come out and publicly declare that Ann Coulter does not represent the Republican party and that she and her ilk should be shown the door and shunned forevermore by Republicans, I’ll vote for him, and every other Republican who does the same.

    And yet, you’re voting for the guy who took a million dollars from a guy who is a vicious hate-monger (Bill Maher) who calls women (and the female children of women) “sluts” and “cunts”. Double-standard much, Dean?

    Who is supported by vicious hate-monger Ed Schulz. Who is now working (again) with vicious, racist, anti-semitic hate-monger Reverend Wright. I could go on…

  • Scott


    When I heard the Leon Panetta quote about not deploying forces without knowing what’s going on I only thought about how Obama deployed forces during the Libyan uprising without knowing who we were supporting, where they were and what their plans were. We also didn’t know if we were hitting civilians, rebels or Libyan army. And he did it without even notifying Congress, meaning he yet again broke the law.

    So it’s a giant load of Bullshit from this President to say “we don’t deploy forces without knowing what’s going on.”

  • Dean Esmay

    Ask me to actually tell you what I think of that talentless low-IQ hatemonger Bill Maher. Or better yet, some time ask me to tell you, at length, just exactly what I think of Michael Moore–it’s tame by comparison to what I said about old Ann.

    Here’s a suggestion: break out of the binary. Acknowledge the Stockholm Syndrome that is the nature of liking either Democrats or Republicans, at the national level anyway. They’re both sick parties full of sick fucked up people with a few decent people here and there. So choose your poison, because poison’s what you’ll be swallowing either way.

    If Romney wins, I get to listen to 4-8 years of “Obama lost because: racism!” and if he loses I get 4 more years of pseudointellectualist revisionist history of America, crap misreadings of the Constitution, and ranting from people who think they know what the word “capitalism” and “socialism” mean but clearly do not. Oh thank you so much, such a buffet of choices: shit sandwich or shit soup! Thank you thank you!

  • Scott


    The point isn’t that you’ve criticized Maher and the rest of the haters on the Left; the point is that you’ve conditioned your vote for Romney on him calling out the haters on his “side” while not demanding that Obama call out the haters on his side one of which has contributed a million dollars to his campaign.

    That’s the double-standard. If the critical point was calling out the asshole haters you’d vote for neither. In fact, since you’re voting for a man who took money from someone who is as bad or worse than Coulter says that this isn’t a serious issue for you.

  • ArnoldHarris

    If the president of the United States can publicly label his election opponent as a “bullshitter, then I can see no reason why one of the main opposition commentators cannot label the president of the United States as a “retard”.

    She was not elected to appear and be presidential. He was.

    Also, it has become quite evident, from mountains of evidence from Washington insiders and other now piling up, that Obama and his White House gang have been consistently lying about how four Americans in an American diplomatic mission in Libya came to be murdered while Obama’s government withheld the armed assistance that most likely could have saved their lives.

    Are American armed forces personnel or veterans such as myself seriously expected to ignore or forget official treachery such as that? Not a chance, Dean.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  • roylofquist

    Dean, Dean, Dean – all the faces you see on the tube or in the papers are actors. The better the shtick the more they make.

  • jaymaster

    I don’t begrudge anybody their shtick.

    But if you want to play pecker match, wanna talk about Bill Maher? Keith Olberman? Al Sharpton?

    When it comes to the “r” word, I was actually kicked off a cooking site a couple years ago because I talked about how the key to making good bread and pizza crust was using a technique called “retarded fermentation”. This is where you slow down the rise by fermenting the dough in the refrigerator.

    You wouldn’t believe how much flack I got for using that word! And it wasn’t my term. I got it from a popular bread baking book. To this day, I can’t think of a better word to use.

  • Scott


    When it comes to taboos, whether words or actions, most people don’t think; they react. It’s too risky to think and to come to a logical conclusion about whether the action or word in question is taboo or not. Just the fact that it is perceived as being taboo is enough to initiate a disgust response in people and those who don’t register the disgust are now suspect.

    Look at the way the word “niggardly” was reacted to years back on blogs. Dean’s smart enough to know what the word means and brave enough to let a word perceived by ignoramuses as being taboo through.

    But most people are either to ill-educated or to cowardly to stand up to the New Puritanism that is The Left’s Political Correctness. Hell, even Bill Maher, he of “Politically Incorrect” is part of this New Puritanism.

  • jrogge

    People got all up in Obama’s shit for saying “Special Olympics”. People also got offended by the supposedly racist Biden statement. The opposition always complains and then turns around and does the same thing. Because in the end, it isn’t about having principles, it’s about making the opposition look bad in any way you can.

    No one holds themselves to the standards that they hold public officials. Those that do are few and probably better than any public official that ever ran. After all, public officials do represent the bulk of the population. Our public officials are the best and brightest of the greedy masses.

  • jokem

    I have mixed feelings about Ann Coulter. I think there is a cultural
    language bias that forbids saying anything that might offend someone.
    This has the effect of censoring speech in the truth has to be
    suppressed for fear someone might not like it. Ann does not follow
    that rule. I am not sure I like her pejorative epithets she is fond
    of spitting out, but there are times I have to say she is ‘right on’.
    Often this is because she said things no one else is willing to say
    for fear of being vilified.

  • Dishman

    After much reflection, I am leaning towards the rhetorical bomb-throwers as serving a necessary role in our discussion.

    The role dates back to Thomas Paine.

    Perhaps the conversation would be improved if we generally recognized them as actors with a schtick.

  • John Eddy

    Going to hop in just long enough to vouch for Dean’s disdain for hate-mongers and demagogues regardless of their political affiliations. He was merciless on Moore and Maher and continues to be… except both of them are currently pretty impotent. (For that matter, Coulter is SO last decade…)

    His choice to vote for Obama is just that, HIS choice. I disagree with him, but if we parsed out the fine points of our decision-making processes we’d probably find much we agreed on and just a few things that led us in one direction or another. Such is the American body politic.

  • Dean Esmay

    Thank you John.

    Party A has a problem with there being a bunch of assholes in their midsts. Party B however has the same problem. I must choose A or B. I must therefore assess the leader of Party A and Party B separate from the asshole factor because they both appear to have an abundance of assholes and playing the “who’s got the most assholes?” game isn’t very interesting to me.

    As someone with a child who will probably be called a “retard” multiple times in his life, I was annoyed by Coulter, who I normally otherwise try to ignore. In fact, I admit that half my irritation may have come from the fact that she managed to come to my attention again, when I prefer to keep her and her ilk out of my daily media consumption.

    Anyway, I reluctantly decided to support Party B this cycle, but my support is wavering and reluctant. Because my support is wavering and reluctant, I identified one thing the candidate of Party A could do to change my mind: become the “no more assholes” candidate.

    Now there are in fact several other things Romney could do that might make me change my mind. He could, for example, come out in support of repealing VAWA, which is atrocious legislation that should more properly be called the Violent Woman Enabling and Child Abuse Encouragement Act. He will not do so, and neither will Obama. Oh well. I must therefore make my decision based on something else.

    As it happens I had a talk over coffee with The Queen and her husband on Friday night that convinced me I should look closer at this Benghazi thing so I will, although I admit to being wearied by it.

  • Dean Esmay

    Dishman: I grant that professional assholes probably serve a useful role. Our particular system is flawed in this area because I’m pretty convinced that it encourages propagation of a greater level of assholes and greater overall level of venom than other systems. Despite the intent of the framers, the development of a two-party system is embedded in the Constitution. The framers claimed to hate political parties and yet before the end of George Washington’s first term we had two major parties, and we’ve had two ever since (not the same two, but always two). Look hard at the design, and two parties are an inevitability–accidentally so, but inevitable nonetheless. During times of great turmoil a third party will occasionally pop up as a factor, but this is like an engine that occasionally backfires: the state of equilibrium will always be two parties until we hold a Constitutional Convention and completely change it.

    I actually do–quite seriously–believe we need to hold a Constitutional Convention, because our much-revered Constitution was wonderful and still contains wonderful things, but it contained flaws from the beginning, and at this point the structural framework of the government itself is creaky; it has not scaled well for a nation of 50 states and 300+ million people. Things like the Bill of Rights don’t need to go, but we need to re-examine the governmental structure itself; I frankly think we need a unicameral legislature, to reform the judiciary to make it more accountable to the electorate, and we probably need to do away with the executive branch as a separately-elected entity, or at least greatly reduce its scope and power; if we must have a President, we should probably have one whose job is more ceremonial than functional.

    I don’t see a Constitutional Convention happening any time soon, although see the odds of our having one within the next 50 or so years as fairly high actually. Although the current governmental design has proven remarkably resilient, I see so many destabilizing factors on growing trends that it’s not at all out of the question for us to reach a point where we decide “OK, time to restructure the whole thing; some of the tools of the OS are still valuable, but the kernel needs to be rewritten.”

    Anyway, yes, assholes serve a useful function, so my desire for the “no more assholes” candidate is mostly a pipe dream. Still, I see a class of people who have discovered that being an asshole isn’t merely a useful function, but is a way to make themselves wealthy, and the more provocative they are the more wealthy they become. I call such people media whores, and they cause revulsion in me.

    I recognize a certain hypocrisy in my statement, in that I can be an asshole and I even think being an asshole is sometimes necessary and even admirable in some ways. But one of the reasons Dean’s World is not as popular as it once was is that, among other things, I only act like an asshole these days when I sense that I can accomplish something useful by being one; I otherwise prefer not to, and although sometimes I lose my temper and become an asshole unintentionally, I try to recognize that and reign it in most of the time. This makes me less popular, oddly enough, because it doesn’t drive people to the site saying “what’s this asshole going to say today?” (There are several other factors outside my control that make this place less popular than it once was, the biggest being the development of other forms of social media that have made blogs overall less popular; things like Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr have eroded the blogosphere, as has the propagation of more blogs than there once were.)

  • John Eddy

    A Constitutional Convention would be a disaster- if we were lucky it would only be the size of the EU constitution and as byzantine. Every special interest group in the nation would be looking to enshrine their pet peeve as a Constitutionally guaranteed right, and I can pretty much guarantee that what would result out would be a list of what the government will allow as opposed to what the government is allowed- a very stark contrast we should do everything humanly possible to preserve.

  • Dishman

    A useful role, yes. I’m not particularly advocating anything here.

    I see them as being an upgraded version of monkeys with typewriters, in that occasionally they throw out something useful.

    Whoops. I just compared Ann Coulter and Bill Maher to monkeys. My bad.

    It wouldn’t be quite right to say that I worship adversarial relationships, but it wouldn’t be completely wrong, either. I see them as a very useful tool for overcoming bias and limited information in pursuit of fact and truth. I’m particularly fond of the non-violent ones, though I see places for violent ones as well.

    There are drawbacks, of course. Some of them you’ve noted. Also, sometimes they change from non-violent to violent.