The Common Good

Dear Ann Coulter: Stop Making Sense

Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wylio http://bit.ly/GG5HsM.
Ann Coulter at the 2012 CPAC. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wylio http://bit.ly/GG5HsM.

I’m telling you, these ultra-conservative spokespeople are gonna ruin my reputation if they keep putting stuff out there I agree with.

First, Pat Robertson and I see eye-to-eye on the decriminalization of marijuana.

Then doomsday prophet Harold Camping concedes that his predictions for the end of the world not only were off the mark, but actually were hubristic and sinful.

Now spotlight-hungry conservative bully Ann Coulter and I agree on the state of the GOP.

You guys keep this up and it’s going to be really hard to blindly stereotype you.

Most of the stuff that comes out of Coulter’s mouth when behind a microphone is hateful, angry and divisive. But her recent insights about the prospects of a GOP brokered convention point out some serious flaws in the political-celebrity machine.

Basically if there is no clear winner when the Republican convention takes place, the delegates previously assigned to those candidates who earned them in state caucuses and primaries are released. And then the horse trading and deal making begin.

At that point, the nomination is more or less up for grabs. Though in theory one of the frontrunners throughout the primaries should prevail, anyone theoretically could come out of the convention with the nomination if it becomes brokered.

Which explains why Sarah Palin keeps talking about the possibility of a brokered convention. This would allow the possibility of a candidate like herself, who hasn’t put in the work of campaigning and hasn’t been vetted by the debates or media scrutiny to use her Alaskan charm and good looks to try and sweep in at the last minute for a play at the GOP nomination.

Coulter is right; the prospect not only is insane, but it also is a glaring sign of something broken in the political process. She rightly points out that such a possible outcome could be disastrous, holding up style over substance and marginalizing the entire process that got the still-standing candidates who got there in earnest. But in addition to this, she notes that such circus-tent politicking is a vehicle in itself to crank out more media celebrities that actually have no intention of doing more than using the system for their own personal gain.

So while the field of candidates is in disarray, someone like Palin uses the opportunity to grab some headlines, get pundits talking about her viability as the head of the party, and she gets tons of free media from it. All the while, her national platform for the brand that is “Sarah Palin Inc.” with the hope of increasing her speaking fees or maybe snagging another talk show or slot on one of the conservative talking head panels.

The process is not set up to propel celebrity to the front of the political pack. It also is not intended to make stars out of the erstwhile losers. Yet some have figured out how to game the system, and in doing so, they bastardize the entire thing.

Ann Coulter may be a venomous ideologue, but in this case, she’s dead-on. How we fix such a broken process is another question entirely. But steps one, as they say, is admitting you have a problem.

Christian Piatt is an author, editor, speaker, musician and spoken word artist. He co-founded Milagro Christian Church in Pueblo, Colorado with his wife, the Rev. Amy Piatt, in 2004. Christian is the creator and editor of Banned Questions About The Bible and Banned Questions About Jesus." He has a memoir on faith, family and parenting — PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date — hits book stores everywhere April 1. For more information about Christian, visit www.christianpiatt.com, or find him on Twitter or Facebook.

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