The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, February 06, 2003  

I Still Have Much to Learn

Some readers and fellow bloggers may think I’m snarky -- and may actually call me that -- and I’ll admit the language here has been pretty tough lately, but I still have much to learn, as evidenced by the latest column from the High Priestess of Snark, Ann Coulter.

This is, after all, a woman who has built a second career -- her first, as an attorney, having fallen by the wayside, thereby generating eternal hosannas from judges and lawyers coast to coast -- spewing groundless snarkiness toward anyone to the left of Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

Anyway, here’s Coulter’s latest bile, a pathetic attempt to join the Mickey Kaus-directed Beta-Girl media campaign against Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.):

Poor Kerry was just on the verge of figuring out whether he was for war with Iraq or against war with Iraq when he was told he hadn’t figured out his own last name. Kerry was shocked to be told that, despite years of allowing himself to be passed off as an Irish Brahmin, both his paternal grandparents were Jewish and his real name is Kohn. Upon reflection, however, Kerry said there were signs he missed, such as his longtime, recently requited desire to marry a rich shiksa. And now Kerry will need time for the healing process.

As is her wont, Coulter is confusing fact with faction.

Sen. Kerry in fact has figured out his last name: It’s Kerry, the name his paternal grandfather legally assumed nearly 100 years ago. It’s the name the family has been using for four generations now. I don’t know what about this is unclear to Coulter or what about it she thinks is unclear to the Kerry family.

Moreover, Sen. Kerry didn’t pass himself off as an “Irish Brahmin,” itself a transparent contraction of terms, something Coulter would have learned had she actually read the article on this subject in Sunday’s Boston Globe.

Worse, though, is that Coulter seems to be implying Sen. Kerry -- “shocked,” she says, exaggerating the sentiments the senator expressed last week -- was embarrassed to learn that, had his grandfather not changed it nearly 100 years ago, his family name would have been Kohn. And Coulter’s gratuitous insult at Sen. Kerry’s marriage to Teresa Heinz, along with the use of the epithet “shiksa,” is beyond the pale, but par for the course. The last insult does, however, shine new light on Coulter’s sly reference, earlier in the same article, to that most tired of clichés, “Upper West Side liberals.”

By the way, if you have access to Lexis-Nexis, why not take a few moments to deconstruct another ludicrous line Coulter threw up this morning: “For one year, I don’t believe the Times has managed to interview a single person who supports war with Iraq in a nation ablaze with war fever.”

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