Thanks be to Coulter

Letters to the Boston editor: November 2, 2007
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR  |  October 31, 2007

Thanks be to Coulter
Even appearing to defend Ann Coulter makes my skin crawl, but I must. It’s not “intolerant” to call on Jews to become “perfected” by becoming Christians, as the Phoenix stated in “Rent a War” (Editorial, October 19), and it’s not “anti-Semitic,” either, as others have claimed.

Coulter may be anti-Semitic; she certainly has made intolerant statements in the past, including that all Muslims should be forced to convert to Christianity. But an essential part of liberty is freedom to believe, and to voice the belief that your neighbors are mistaken in their most cherished beliefs, even that the Almighty has superseded their religion with one more perfect, as Christians do about Judaism, and as both Mormons and Muslims do about both Christianity and Judaism.
“intolerant” or an “anti-Semite” is itself an act of intolerance, since it puts social pressure on neurotic, empty-headed, and relentlessly attention-seeking Ann to keep her mouth shut.

Like that’s gonna work. The best way to deal with Ann is to ignore her. In no time at all, she’d surely strap on a suicide vest and blow herself up so that she could get her picture back on TV and her vile, shrill books back on the best-seller list.

The perverse fact is that politically correct power-mongers actually love it when people like Ann step out of line because they get to slap her around in public and make an example of her for the rest of us. I like and admire Ann for saying what she thinks, but I despise her for what she thinks and what she says.

Mike Christian
Haverhill

Law schooled
While I agree with the principles you espoused in your October 26 editorial, “Why Mukasey Stinks,” it appears they led you to confuse what you wish constitutional law to be with what constitutional law currently is.

You stated that executive privilege “has absolutely no basis in constitutional law.” That is absolutely incorrect. Executive privilege has a firm basis in constitutional law in various US Supreme Court opinions. In the most famous executive-privilege case, United States v. Nixon, the Court, while ruling against Nixon, nonetheless recognized the validity of various forms of executive privilege.

You also stated that Congress’s power is “superior” to that of the president in military matters, based on a “quick skim of the Constitution” (which, of course, is not the entirety of constitutional law). But that does not address the full complexity of constitutional law, which recognizes the president’s authority to act unilaterally in defense of the country in a variety of circumstances. (See Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company v. Sawyer.) Presuming you meant war-declaring powers specifically, it is important to note the complexity that all of America’s questionable and controversial wars have been supported by congressional resolutions and budgets. This does not invalidate your criticism, but it casts at least as much aspersion on Congress as it does on the president.

Of course, constitutional law is ever-changing, and we can help change it. But let’s not let passion lead us into oversimplification or misunderstanding of current constitutional law.

John Ruch
Jamaica Plain

Crying foul
Regarding “Chairmen of the Boards” (News and Features, October 19), if a hack like Matt Squire’s name is now etched in the history of music, I want nothing to do with it. Here’s a history lesson for Mr. Squire: emo did not start with pop-punk garbage like the bands mentioned in the Phoenix, but rather with the Revolution Summer and DC bands such as Rites of Spring and Minor Threat. Those bands were nothing like the trash with which you work and produce.

Max Gelber
Roxbury

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