Friday, May 23, 2008
Ann Coulter at UCI
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending an appearance by Ann Coulter at UC-Irvine. Of course, I wanted to observe and document any disruption that might have occurred at this "bastion of free speech" called UCI Irvine. The event was sponsored by the Young College Republicans and Young America's Foundation.(I would like to comment here briefly that the best thing the Republican Party has going for it at this moment in time is the Young College Republicans. They are still driven by conservative principles-unlike so many of the politicians that have been corrupted by power- and they are willing to put up with the grief they get on university campuses.) All in all, there were no real fireworks to report.
As we filed into the hall, a small group of students silently held crude (as in amateurishly drawn) posters criticizing Ann's previous comments about.....I actually forget what they said. Not important.
At any rate, the talk was supposed to begin at 7, but, as happens in our neck of the woods, Ann was caught in traffic coming down from LA. About 7:30, it was announced that Ann had arrived, and the moderators went through the preliminaries. As is their custom, one student read the California state law regarding disruption of our first amendment rights to hear the speaker. (Translation: We are not going to tolerate any disruption.) Another speaker thanked the administration and deans for their assistance in putting on the event-though they may not agree with the content. (chuckles from the audience). Then we had a short prayer and stood for the Pledge of Allegiance-all while I imagined the deans squirming uncomfortably in the back of the room.
At this point, the moderator asked all to give a big welcome to Ann Coulter! We stood and applauded...... but no Ann Coulter. What happened? Where was she? Had she been intercepted by protesters? By a gang of politically-correct deans? Finally, 2-3 minutes later, Ann entered the room in her signature mini-skirt, came onto the stage to rousing applause. (I should note here that the overwhelming majority of the audience was pro-Coulter, many of whom were adults.)
Without going into detail, Ann gave her customary talk humorously mocking liberals, Democrats, Obama (Baruch Hussein Obama), "my girl, Hillary", the news media, Islamic fanatics ("head-chopping savages"), all to laughs and applause- while the deans sat sullenly in the back of the room. She drew occasional gasps from liberal students when she spoke nonchalantly about nuking our enemies and waterboarding terrorists-all while the deans sat sullenly in the back of the room.
The line of the night? Ann referring to Obama being interviewed by a semen-splattered MSNBC commentator named Chris Matthews.
Then Ann opened it up for questions, and about 20 or so people, mostly students, lined up. Most of the questions were serious and well-thought out. Of course, a few students were critical, mostly concentrating on Ann's support for the Iraq war-innocent civilian dead etc. With all due respect to the poor students trying to nail Ann, they simply were not ready for Prime Time. Ann deftly and humorously tore them to pieces. One poor student awkwardly tried to ask about the damage President George Bush's"pro-Americanism" was doing to our relations with the rest of the world. Once the laughter died down, unflappable Ann basically told the audience that she didn't care about what the rest of the world thinks. She also stated that America owes a debt of gratitude to President Bush for responding to 9-11 with a war on terror and mocked Democrats and liberals for their opposition to wiretaps, Gitmo etc-while the deans sat sullenly in the back of the room.
I would guess that Ann probably got one of her easiest appearances at a college campus. In my view, it all came down to the fact that whatever our problems with Muslim students and administration indifference to that problem, we don't have the same kind of student body as say, Berkeley, Columbia, Harvard and.... well, I could go on and on.
No question, Ann is a tough cookie. She has taken all the shots and never gets unnerved or loses her sense of humor. A couple of times she admonished hostile questioners who tried to nail her on her statements that they must have walked in on the wrong lecture. Finally, a young gal asked her about her reported "friendship" with some liberal Democrat. Ann's response: "You gotta stop reading those supermarket tabloids, Missie"- or something like that.
All in all, it was a refreshing experience to see a sensible conservative speaker come to UCI and get an overwhelmingly positive response from the audience...except for you know who.