Ann Coulter’s words say more

Conservatives should object her discriminating comment about John Edwards.

Over the weekend, the Conservative Political Action Conference took place in Washington, D.C. Thousands of people attend the annual conference to hear lectures from conservative scholars and politicians. Normally, an event like this wouldn’t make big in the news. However, Ann Coulter’s speech at this year’s conference is making headlines.

In her speech endorsing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Coulter said she wanted to remark about the Democratic candidate John Edwards but wouldn’t because “you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.’ “

The remark is so filled with bigotry it’s surprising anyone would have the gall to say it in public, even if they believe it in private.

Coulter has built her conservative mouthpiece reputation by being a jerk. Shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, she wanted the United States to fight terrorism by killing civilians and carpet-bombing cities. She later accused several Sept. 11 widows of enjoying their husbands’ death because of the publicity. Coulter’s remarks have been so vitriolic that she has earned the nickname the “Coultergeist,” a reference to the 1982 horror movie “The Poltergeist.”

It’s easy to diminish the importance of talking heads like Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore. People say their opinions don’t count for much, or that they’re a carnival attraction more than anything else. But these people are popular because their words have traction. It’s not as easy to downplay that aspect.

The most disturbing part about the incident was not her remarks; it’s that her remarks were met with laughter and applause.

Not all conservatives agree with this type of rhetoric, but it’s not readily apparent. Romney has distanced himself from her words, but he and other conservatives should do more than that. If they want the country to believe that banning gay marriage and other conservative proposals are anything more than thinly veiled discriminations, they should be the first people objecting such comments.