Friday, June 23, 2006

They Do Like Their Human Shields

Read Mark Steyn. I'm not a particular fan of Ann Coulter and on the whole, I think we'd be better off without her style of writing; but she has taken an unfair shot for some recent commentary about certain 9/11 widows who have staked out a strong anti-war position.

As Steyn writes:

"What crackpot argument can't be immunized by the Left's invocation of infallibility based on personal experience?" wonders Miss Coulter of Cleland, Sheehan, the Jersey Girls and Co. "If these Democrat human shields have a point worth making, how about allowing it to be made by someone we're allowed to respond to?"

Now that's a point worth making. As it is, thanks to Coulter cracks like "Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they'd better hurry up and appear in Playboy," even chaps on the right are doing the more-in-sorrow shtick and saying that they've been making the same basic argument as Ann and it's such a shame she had to go too far with her cheap shots because that's discredited the entire argument, etc.

The trouble with this line is that hardly anyone was objecting to the professional widow routine pre-Coulter. Well, that's not strictly true. Yours truly objected.

I despise the whole line of reasoning that says if you've suffered, your Left-wing views are unassailable. It shoves those who have suffered much already forward to absorb more and relieve the Left of the obligation of actually arguing their case. Loss is an absolute moral something, right? (Maureen Dowd is fading behind the Times firewall, mercifully, so that phrase is getting hazy in my memory.) It doesn't work for conservatives who suffer loss yet support the war. So it shouldn't work for the anti-war Left, either.

So let go of the grieving widows and parents and come out with your arguments up. We'll shoot, of course, but there will be no collateral damage.