Friday, June 23, 2006

# Posted 9:06 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

DISREGARD THE FOLLOWING POST: It is about a quiz that compares quotes from Ann Coulter to doctored quotes from Adolf Hitler. Except some versions of the quiz (including the one I took) don't let you know the quotes were doctored. Many thanks to Blar for bringing this to my attention. Someone should bring it to Matt's attention as well.

ANN COULTER & ADOLF HITLER: CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE? This clever quiz lists 14 quotes and asks you to identify whether they belong to Coulter or Hitler. After Matt Yglesias announced that he got 12 out of 14 correct, I had to try it. Sadly, I only got 9. Moreover, it took me a while to decide on my answers.

Interestingly, of the 5 answers I got wrong, 4 were Hitler quotes I attributed Coulter. Only 1 was a Coulter quote I attributed to Hitler. That may be just chance. Or it may indicate that almost nothing Coulter said was so horrible that I was inclined to attribute it to Hitler, rather than my fellow American.

In contrast, it would seem that I have such a low opinion of Coulter (none of whose books I read) that I attributed four of Hitler's sayings to her. Maybe she isn't as crazy as I thought. Either that, or the quotes themselves aren't that bad, so I figured they weren't Hitler's.

FYI, none of the quotes has anything racist or anti-Semitic in it. If you didn't know that half of them were from Hitler and someone just asked you "Who said it?", Hitler probably wouldn't even make your top five.

Anyhow, if you have a minute, why not take the quiz and report your score below, along with your political affiliation and whether or not you've read any of Coulter's books.

UPDATE: Some of Matt's readers are reporting their scores, too. One even has a very simple and effective trick of figuring out the answers. Most of Matt's readers are making nasty remarks at Coulter's expense. Some go far enough to demonstrate that Coulterism is alive and well on the left.
(15) opinions -- Add your opinion

For the record, the "Hitler quotes" were actually modified Hitler quotes, with "Jews", etc. replaced with "liberals". This host of the quiz makes that clear. That, rather than your opinion of Coulter and Hitler, is probably responsible for your tendency to attribute Hitler quotes to Coulter rather than the reverse.

I also got 9/14 by the way, also without knowing that the Hitler quotes were modified, and also with more errors in attributing Adolf quotes to Ann than the reverse (though I don't remember if it was 4-1 or 3-2).
Thanks, Blar. Knowing that, the whole quiz strikes me as pretty dishonest. In fact, I might have to say that whoever came up with the quiz out-Coultered Coulter. I can only imagine what Coulter would say if she found out about this.
Clarification posted at about 11:15pm.
I'm not sure if modifying the Hitler quotes makes that much of a difference to the basic point, although it certainly is bad form not to note it. The important thing is the vile style of rhetoric, and making it target liberals rather than Jews does little to change that.

Also, I don't think that you're grasping the essence of Coulter when you turn her name into a verb and an abstract noun. I have had (fortunately) little contact with her work, but she seems to specialize in accusing broad swathes of people with deep character flaws based on minimal evidence, and wishing them ill (as in the quiz quotes, and even in her attacks like the one against the 9/11 widows that are ostensibly directed at particular individuals). Neither of your uses (people saying nasty things about Ann Coulter and people publishing the Coulter-Hitler quiz with dodgy modifications and sourcing) fit this model very closely.

Personally, I don't want to imagine what Coulter would say about this, or anything else, really.
Read "Treason," which is probably her best. Anyway it attacks much conventional wisdom about 20th century history.
'Treason' is quite good.
Blar, I will have to defer you on the precise definition of Coulterism. But if you accept the broader definition of it as extreme partisan demonization, I think my use of the term is appropriate.
Lots of whining and hand-wringing, but nobody addresses the truth of the statements in the quiz. Telling, very telling.
Aside from being a sucker, Yglesias has been taken for a ride. He's just like all those fools who paid for the "director's cut" of Farenheit 9/11. Matthew is dedicating vast acres of bandwidth to Ann Coulter. In so doing, she's the one who is laughing all the way to the bank, not Matt.

There truly is a sucker born every minute.
David, I don't think I'm owed deference here - I don't have any qualifications to be judged on beyond the merit of my arguments - but I think that you're missing an important fact. To the extent that Coulter is being demonized, she's being demonized for her Coulterishness, not for her politics or her political affiliations, so it's not really "partisan demonization".

Chris, there is a counterargument to your "why not just ignore her?" argument here, expanded on here.

Anon, the point of a Coulter-Hitler quiz is obviously not to provide cogent arguments against them, and their rhetoric doesn't form cogent arguments to begin with, but here goes.

First we have "Liberals have a preternatural gift for striking a position on the side of treason...Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy." This is obviously false. Just look at the two most prominent attacks against America, Pearl Harbor and 9/11. The President during Pearl Harbor was a Democrat, FDR, and he took us to war against Japan (and the other Axis powers) after that attack rather than allying with them. And under Democratic leadership, with our Allies, we fought that war until our enemies surrendered unconditionally. After 9/11, the Congressional votes authorizing military action against Afghanistan were near unanimous (just one vote against out of 519 cast), and public support for military action was also up over 90%. Clearly, support for a military response was high among liberals, both in Congress and in the public at large, and almost all of those who did not want a military reaction favored some other kind of response against Afghanistan and al-Qaeda. During the 2004 Presidential campaign, one of the most repeated liberal criticisms of Bush was that he had failed to capture Osama bin Laden.

I see no reason to go on. If you want more detail on what's wrong with Coulter's statements it looks like there are some links in the posts that I directed Chris to, though I'm not sure if they respond to the particular Coulter quotes that appear in the quiz. I'm not sure where to direct you for refutations of the (modified) Hitler quotes.
Using FDR as an example might not be all that useful any more. The current crop of Democratic leaders aren't even Lyndon Johnson material, much less FDR.

It's great that Democrats voted for war in Afghanistan. They voted for war in Iraq, too, but how much of that was principle, and how much was election fear? I think the real principles are coming out now.

In the past few years, in every situation involving the war in Iraq or the more general war on terror, the position of the Left on these issues usually seems to coincide with the position of the enemy. That might not be treason, but it isn't helpful, either.

Incidentally, during the last twenty years of the Cold War, I remember that the Left seemed to always come down on the side of the Soviets and their various "revolutionary movements" around the world. Not treason either, but just saying.
Incidentally, the Left's obsession with bin Laden is less about fury at the terror leader, and more about taking shots at the current administration. Note the dismissive and sometimes even hostile responses when Zarqawi was taken out.
I did know that the Hitler quotes had been obfuscated. I have read no Hitler, and almost no Coulter, and I still got 14/14. It's really not hard.
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