What others are saying

March 12, 2007

Everybody knows Ann Coulter's routine. She's less a conservative pundit than a professional provocateur, a rhetorical bomb-thrower who flourishes because she's adept at deploying catty remarks and stylized obnoxiousness for right-wing fun and profit. Last week - and not for the first time - Ms. Coulter went too far, calling Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a "faggot." She delivered this insult not at a fraternity kegger but to the Conservative Political Action Conference, one of the most influential conservative gatherings of the year.

Although some of the thousands in the ballroom laughed and cheered her witless slur, GOP White House hopefuls quickly moved to denounce her. Good for them.

It's encouraging to see prominent conservatives, post-CPAC, treating Ms. Coulter not as a victim of political correctness but as an embarrassment. Michelle Malkin, hardly a shrinking violet, lamented on her blog, "With a single word, Coulter sullied the hard work of hundreds of CPAC participants and exhibitors and tarred the collective reputation of thousands of CPAC attendees."

Using humor is fine, Ms. Malkin said, but Ms. Coulter's is a "tired old shtick."

- Dallas Morning News

For weeks, the Justice Department has been under fire over its sudden dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys at the end of last year. Critics accuse the department of removing able prosecutors because they took on politically inconvenient cases or simply to make room for administration cronies. Those claims cast a shadow over the federal justice system.

To dismiss so many U.S. attorneys all at once is hardly the norm, and it created suspicions of a hidden agenda: If they were performing poorly, why did the failures all escape notice until now?

In the case of Bud Cummins, who served in the Eastern District of Arkansas, there was no failure. His superiors admit they canned him to provide a job for a former aide to White House political adviser Karl Rove. Mr. Cummins said Tuesday that he also got a call from a Justice Department official warning that he ... would be wise to keep quiet. That lends credence to the worst fears.

- Chicago Tribune

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