Reminder: Ann Coulter is probably faking it

Ann “Coultergeist” Coulter is out with a new book, ¡Adios, America! The Left’s Plan to Turn our Country into a Third World Hellhole. If you didn’t know better, the title may leave you confused as to whether she means that America is doomed, or that the conservative firebrand is immigrating to Mexico.

Unfortunately, it isn’t the latter.

The book is, predictably, a racist screed against the “browning” of America — going after the latino community for attempting to destroy America from within. Aided and abetted by the Democratic Party, of course.

In an Q&A with Fusion on Tuesday to promote the book — not to Fusion’s latino audience, but to the conservatives who salivate every time she says something racist to a latino’s face — Coulter called Mexicans more dangerous than ISIS militants, described Mexican culture as “deficient” and refused to give an audience member a hug when asked (the audience member noted that when she posed the same question to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the avowed racist manned up and gave her a hug).

I could go into the rest of the details in Coulter’s book, but I won’t. Her ideas do not deserve to be taken seriously.

What’s more, there’s reason to believe that they aren’t supposed to be taken seriously. As Chris Sosa documented in Salon two years ago, the Ann Coulter we know is, in all likelihood, the original — and far more devoted — Stephen Colbert.

For starters, Coulter’s past belies her image as a caricature of Liz Cheney and the aforementioned Arpaio. As Sosa writes:

Most people aren’t aware that Coulter had a career as a journalistic voice and lawyerprior to her current incarnation. She helped found Cornell University’s student paper the Cornell Review, obtained a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and practiced law in New York City. Her work as a litigator for the civil liberties organization Center for Individual Rights and assistance in crafting deportation legislation with Sen. Spencer Abraham may give an idea of her ideology.

Later in her career, she realized that throwing debasing rhetorical bombs — “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building” or “Like the Democrats, Playboy just wants to liberate women to behave like pigs, have sex without consequences, prance about naked, and abort children.” — was a conservative goldmine. All ten of her previous books have hit the bestseller list of the very newspaper she loves to hate, and her latest is unlikely to be an exception.

Read Coulter’s work as committed satire, and she makes far more sense. Sosa again:

Is Ann Coulter genetic? (

Ann Coulter, via Shutterstock

While liberals had a collective meltdown, [these quotes] could be attributed to Lisa Lampanelli with no fanfare whatsoever. It’s a matter of context. Ann Coulter had found the perfect recipe: treating news spaces as comedy platforms where she could deliberately make ridiculous statements to infuriate liberals who would be too dense to notice what was going on. But her performance requires equal condescension to conservatives, without whom the Coulter brand would disappear. Coulter knows her performance hurts the right, and she clearly doesn’t care.

Sosa goes on to articulate how Coulter’s absurd use of circular citations in her endnotes serve as a literary middle finger to serious readers, how her affable and poised backstage persona doesn’t match her derangement when the cameras start rolling. What’s more, Coulter counts Bill Maher and Joy Behar as close personal friends — both comedians who, as Sosa notes, “find large swaths of the American public stupid beyond repair and make a living out of taunting them.”

When Stephen Colbert hit the stage, liberals across the country took pleasure in being able to laugh at a caricature of conservative movement — and at the conservatives who didn’t get the joke. But Coulter was doing Colbert’s act long before he hit the airwaves; she just kept a straight enough face that no one’s ever been sure whether to laugh.

Serious or not, Ann Coulter’s a joke that isn’t funny. Whether her intentionally insulting, racist invective is the literary equivalent of clickbait or industrial-strength performance art is irrelevant: People are going to use ¡Adios, America! as another excuse to hate brown people, no matter what Coulter truly believes.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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