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By Ted Hart
Half of the seats were empty at the Missouri Theatre on Wednesday for conservative commentator and best-selling author Ann Coulter’s visit.
Although few people showed up for Coulter’s 6 p.m. speech, there were even fewer protesting. Only two women showed up outside holding signs, one of which read, “Ann Coulter is not Mizzou.” Both inside and outside the theater, turnout was low for a speaker who is just as famous for her incendiary comments as she is for her eight New York Times best-sellers.
Introduced by Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder as one of America’s “greatest conservative provocateurs,” Coulter’s speech began with a nod to how great it was to be back in Missouri — she lived in Kansas City for a year when she was a law clerk — but after a nod to the scenery her speech was more or less a rehash of her talking points at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference.
The vitriol was in full force as she denounced the Obama administration and liberalism in all of its forms, her obvious modus operandi judging a sampling from the titles of her books: Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America, How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must), and Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism.
She denounced liberal jingoism and slogans. For any slogan like “Bush lied; kids died,” Coulter says, “If you think about it for 30 seconds, it makes no sense at all, kind of like an Obama speech.” Oh yes — Coulter’s biggest fish to fry this evening was Obama, whose economic recovery she has dubbed “the Carter years.”
“If he directs any more of his brilliance at the economy,” she says, “we might all be in bread lines, which could be very hard for me because I’m on the Atkins diet.”
Among her feistiest one-liners were:
- “The Democrats are like your degenerate brother-in-law who needs $500 for the rent … and then spends it all on crack and hookers.”
- “Obama has really fulfilled his campaign promise to bring us all together: We all hate Obamacare.”
- “Our bombs cost more than anything they could possibly hit in Afghanistan.”
- “Gaddafi became George Bush’s bitch (after 9/11)”
After her speech, Coulter fielded questions from the audience, which had her defending Mitt Romney’s conservative credentials and arguing for the importance of the War on Drugs. Much to the chagrin of the Ron Paulites in the room, Coulter says “Too many lives are ruined through the use of drugs” and that drugs are “morally corrupting.”
Despite the small turnout for the hour-long event, the majority of the audience was with her throughout her speech, laughing at her zingers and applauding wildly when she railed against “Obamacare.”
Coulter has made a name for herself for her colorful comments. After 9/11, Coulter wrote that in response to the attacks, “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” In 2007, she famously implied that the disgraced former presidential candidate John Edwards is gay, in much more graphic terms, of course.
Coulter didn’t hold any punches during her stop in Columbia. But, then again, she never does.
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