Ann Coulter

Washington is full of "Katrinas in a cup" — political brouhahas that flare up on weekday afternoons like scattered thunderstorms. They're full of rumblings and lightning, but over in a few hours. That's how the latest clash between a presidential hopeful and a controversial political pundit will be remembered.

I think the terms "controversial" and "political pundit" are synonymous in this context, because that's the nature of these pundits' jobs — to poke and prod at their ideological opponents to expose the soft underbelly of their hypocrisy. Apparently, what Ann Coulter has written about her husband really has Elizabeth Edwards more furious than a Category 5 hurricane.

But set aside for a moment who said what and what's out of bounds and think about the ramifications of these political fistfights. 

There's no question Coulter is controversial and occasionally says things that might make Don Imus blush. But what Mrs. Edwards did yesterday was equally calculating and politically motivated. Let's face it, her husband is a distant third or fourth in most polls, and needs all the sparks he can get. The one question I have is: Why have we been seeing more of Elizabeth Edwards lately than her husband? Surely he's not out getting his hair cut!

It’s tempting and facile to draw comparisons with the left; that's because they do it so much more regularly and get away with it.

Don't believe me? How many movies has Michael Moore made full of half-truths, straight lies and innuendo that character-assassinate? Ann writes a few books that humor a limited audience and the wife of a man who ran for vice president is crying foul? Just look at the show she was on — "Hardball"! Chris Matthews didn't wince. He was tallying his ratings for the night.

So I say let Americans — poll watchers and non alike — read Ann Coulter's views and judge them accordingly. Judge them harshly, even boycott her books and protest her appearances, but don't tell her to stop.

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