The Agony of Ann Coulter

By | 2017-04-21T00:03:07+00:00 April 16th, 2017|
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Ann Coulter was one of the earliest and most outspoken supporters of Donald J. Trump. She stood by him during his earliest campaign “scandals” and brilliantly advocated for many of Trump’s positions. Though controversial, Coulter has been an ardent advocate of conservative principles over the years. What’s more, she has been one of the few commentators who has consistently argued for stronger border protections; even before it was in vogue. As the president of DePaul University’s College Republicans in 2011, I had the honor of hosting Coulter. She was an interesting and engaging speaker and a pleasure to host.

In recent weeks, however, Coulter—along with many other of Trump’s earliest supporters—has taken a dispiriting turn in her thinking about the Trump Administration. Coulter castigates President Trump for what she describes as his “Syrian misadventure.” President Trump’s retaliatory strike against Bashar al-Assad’s air force in Syria strikes Coulter as a betrayal of his “America First” position.

Assad launched sarin nerve gas at his own civilians as part of his strategy for winning the Syrian Civil War. Because of Trump’s cruise missile strike, roughly 20% of Assad’s air force was decimated. Like so many other former Trump supporters who’ve come out against President Trump’s cruise missile attack, Coulter believes that Assad “is one of the least bad leaders in the entire Middle East” since he’s not a jihadist, as the Islamic State, al Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood are.

Of course, this view ignores the fact that Assad allowed al Qaeda to use his territory as a place from whence to attack American forces fighting in the Sunni Triangle of Iraq. It also ignores the fact that Syria has been a long-time client state not only of Russia, but more dangerously, of Iran. Indeed, Iran uses Syria as a place from whence to conduct its own jihad against Israel. So, the claim that Assad is not a problem for the U.S. is odd.

Also, Coulter asserts that President Trump got it wrong on Syria by reposting a series of tweets that Trump issued in 2013 claiming that the Obama Administration’s proposed strike on Syria was not in America’s interest. Coulter states that Trump in 2013 “was right on every point.” Of course he was. At the time. Coulter seems to forget that context is king.

In the first tweet listed, Trump wrote “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.” Given the irresponsible way Obama behaved in the Middle East, he needed Congressional restraint imposed upon him. Trump was also right to fret about the possibility of starting a wider war by striking Syria in 2013. Again, Obama was a mad bomber in the Middle East. There was nothing to suggest that once he started bombing Assad’s forces in Syria he would stop until he ousted Assad, just as he did to Gaddafi in Libya.

The Trump Administration, on the other hand, has insisted that it has no intention of invading Syria to depose Assad. Besides, at what was Trump’s strike directed? He attacked an air base that was far removed from most major civilian populations. There was no real chance of massive civilian deaths. Further, it was a proportional attack, meaning that it limited the chances of escalation with either Assad or his Russian and Iranian allies.

Throughout her piece, Coulter continues with the insinuation that Trump went all out Neocon in Syria. Really? If Trump went Neocon in Syria, we’d have up to 150,000 U.S. troops readying to take Damascus, topple Assad, and make Syria into a democracy. Trump would be making a case for his actions entirely on the basis of what was good for the Syrian people and have very little concern for whether the attack advanced American interests. Moreover, if Trump were a Neocon, he’d have designs to liberate all of the Middle East from dictators so as to remove the conditions that make radicalization possible (as so many Neocons believe).

What did Trump do following the Syrian attack? Oh, that’s right: he pivoted away from Syria and started talking with China regarding North Korea and with Russia about its support for Assad (as well as Iran). He also doubled down in helping our forces have a chance at killing the growing ISIS threat in Afghanistan.

Some Neocon.

The most troubling thing about Coulter’s piece is that it reads like something that Eric Erickson or Bill Kristol would write. After trashing Trump’s cruise missile attack (again, a cruise missile attack does not equal an invasion of Syria), Coulter turns to engaging in the unsubstantiated rumors of internal dissent within the Trump White House. She writes, “My nightmare scenario: Trump and Jared watching TV together and high-fiving: DID YOU SEE THE NEWS! THEY LOVE YOU! All Trump had to do was pointlessly bomb another country, and it was as if a genie had granted his every wish.” This assertion is bizarre.

First, rumors of a feud between Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon are likely overblown. They’re made up by the media in a pathetic attempt to separate Trump from his supporters and to sow dissension within the highest levels of the Trump Administration. The media tried this also with other leading Trump advisers, such as Dr. Sebastian Gorka and Michael Anton.

Second, Coulter claims that the Syrian strike was “pointless.” Tell that to the Chinese who are moving rapidly to rein in North Korea, lest they find an American force sitting across from their border in newly liberated North Korea. Third, despite receiving a small bump in his polling, Trump’s overall approval rating remains 21 points below average at its one-month mark than any other presidency. This strike was about furthering American interests globally, not a cheap ploy for ratings as if his presidency were no different than a reality TV show. Coulter used to know that Trump knew the difference. Now, I guess she’s revealing her doubts.  

Coulter seems to have taken up the battle cry of several leading Leftists to claim that Trump’s “vulnerability” is flattery. According to Coulter, these pro-war Liberals and conservatives in the elite laid “it on thick with the Syrian misadventure.” Despite her avowed support for Trump early on in his campaign, Coulter has clearly embraced the elite’s view that Trump can be easily manipulated by playing on his ego. Coulter views Trump as the Left does: a superficial, malleable man.

Yet, if Trump were such a superficial person, would it not have been easier to run as a Democrat? After all, Trump was a wealthy Manhattanite who worked in the media industry. He knew about Left-wing bias in the press. He saw how Republican contenders got treated by the media. Just because Trump loves to talk about himself and likes a lot of gold, that does not mean that the man cannot understand when he’s being played. It does not mean that he will abandon that which he campaigned on at the first sign of praise from the media. I thought Coulter knew this.

Then again, however, for all of her anti-Neocon rhetoric, Coulter was a consistent supporter of George W. Bush’s handling of the Iraq War. At the height of the insurgency, when everything was falling apart in Iraq, Coulter routinely claimed that the war was going “swimmingly.” She famously called for invading Muslim countries in order to “kill their leaders and convert [their people] to Christianity.” Coulter was also a consistent supporter of Chris Christie. Further, she was a full-throated supporter of Mitt Romney in 2012. So, perhaps, her judgement is not as sound on Trump as I once thought.

Besides, the public agony of Ann Coulter (and other purported Trump supporters) over the President’s pinprick cruise missile strike in the desert is getting tiresome. They should know better. Trump is making America great again. He’s been president for under 100 days, and yet he’s fulfilled a great many of his campaign promises. President Trump has consistently proven that he is putting America’s needs first.

Can we stop agonizing and give the man a break?

About the Author:

Brandon J. Weichert
Brandon J. Weichert is a former Republican Congressional staffer and national security expert who now runs The Weichert Report, www.theweichertreport.com, an online journal of geopolitics. He holds Master's degree in Statecraft & National Security from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. He is also an Associate Member of New College at Oxford University and holds a B.A. in Political Science from DePaul University. He is currently completing a book on national security space policy due out next year.
  • I do not understand why people are accepting the report that Assad was responsible for the gas attack at face value. It strikes me that the default should be to presume it is a false flag intended to draw us into the war until definitively proven otherwise. For those who have followed the story (which is unfortunately way too few), we now know with near certainty that the 2013 Ghouta attack was a false flag perpetrated by Turkey. Why should we believe it was Assad? Because the MSM and our intelligence community, which was openly engaged in a coup attempt against Trump, say so? Are we also supposed to believe these same two sources that Trump is Putin’s puppet?

    • ralphy

      Very good points. There are more than a few, including Tulsi Gabbard and Eva Bartlett, who suggest Assad is in fact fighting a war against foreign backed jihadist terrorists and the idea that there are moderate rebels that the US should support, is a fallacy. According to Gabbard and Bartlett, who have both actually spent time in Syria talking to the people, (unlike the MSM bullshit squad), Assad enjoys broad based support from his own people. Hard to know where the truth resides in this mess.

    • Trinity Waters

      Just because you don’t understand doesn’t make his actions wrong. Do you really think that anything of import happens s in Syria without Assad’s approval or knowledge? Get real.

  • Peter63

    Mr Weichert’s arguments would be very convincing if President Trump had given all manner of positions to people who ardently support the themes which he championed throughout the election campaign – not only in his speeches but on his website and in his ‘Contract with the American Voter’ published last October.
    If only he had put Kris Kobach in charge of Homeland Security, had put a tough-on-Immigration person in charge of Customs and Border Protection, and so on.
    He HAS made SOME good appointments; but a lot of them cause his supporters (like me) to rub their eyes no less dispiritedly than Miss Coulter. Why is Kevin McAleenan appointed to be Commissioner of the CBP – to the groaning demoralization of the very body (ICE) which uniquely in its history came out for Candidate Trump last year? Why is Steve Mnuchin, that key alumnus of the Giant Squid (alias Goldman Sachs), the President’s chief economic adviser? I could supply a long list of more individuals who delight the Washington Swamp, being no threat to More of the Same Old, Same Old policies.

    • Dan Schwartz

      Mnuchin is SecTreas; Gary Cohn is DJT’s economic advisor. I voted for Jeff Sessions, err, his proxy Donald Trump… not Jared & Ivanka

      • Brandon Weichert

        Look, I know that they’re his kids, but Trump has overruled Ivanka on a big issue: global warming policy. And our economy has been doing quite nicely since DJT assumed power. I truly think people are reading into the Cohn-Dina Powell-Kushner stuff. Yes, the first two are Democrats. Yes, all 3 are by default globalists. However, in the case of the first two, they are financial sector people first. They care about the bottom dollar. They’re not going to push Trump too far away from his tax proposal and other issues that he campaigned on and got vociferous public support for. As for Kushner, he was a critical leader of the Trump media message. Again, I’ve always assumed that since Kushner came from Manhattan money, he’s likely a Democratic Globalist. However, he also is savvy enough to know what got his father-in-law elected and he won’t push Trump too far away from his original positions. What’s more, Trump is a bull in a China Shop, I don’t care what anyone says, I find it hard to believe that he is this malleable squid that will go with the winds of whoever is praising him. He survived for decades in New York (and later) international real estate. He’s no fool. He has his stances. He sticks to them, but for him, the details are always negotiable. That’s just my take and I think that all of this talk about how he’s somehow being manipulated by his daughter, son-in-law, and the Government Sachs crowd is just a bit much.

        • Peter63

          I MOST EARNESTLY hope you are right; but one has to bear in mind that with a Congress that does not really want Candidate Trump’s policies, a Mainstream Media vilely hostile to him, the bureaucracy aching to undermine him (their bloatedness is at stake), President Trump needs around him a team of tough persons each and every one of whom are wholly in agreement with his aims and who are able to conduct four years of government effectually under house-siege undaunted by every kind of obstacle confectedly put in their way.

          With the White House filled to the brim with Generals, is it likely that the Military-Industrial Complex is taking a back seat in this administration? Are those generals all Patton-types: tough men who go for positive results? Are not some of them people who have risen by talking up Political Correctness?

  • RAM500

    Coulter’s statements are all ads for herself. Nothing deeper than that.

    • Peter63

      This seems to me very unfair and untrue. Think of all the reviling she has put up with for years, and especially these past twenty months in her support for Trump the Candidate’s positions, and her concern for the USA not to become another Third World hellhole (see her book “Adios, America”).

      • Coulter has “grown” on the foreign policy front. She was a gung-ho backer of the Iraq War, but I thinks she gets the nationalist vs. globalist dynamic because of the immigration issues, and has come to realize that interventionism is part of the globalist issue cluster. Being an interventionists nationalist, which unfortunately describes a lot of the GOP base due to decades of catechizing on foreign policy, makes no sense. Tending to our own business is the logical expression of nationalism.

    • Trinity Waters

      Depends on how one views current events. Get outside yourself, maybe? Are you one to preach about depth?

  • CM DeNeve

    I agree we should all take a breath and wait see, and show some trust that Trump knows what he is doing in these very early days.

  • Live Free

    Trump was my LAST choice. I donated money and energy to most of his competitors. But, then, he was the “last man standing” who MIGHT preserve our Republic from the Hilldabeast–and that was enough to win my support. Then I saw the phenomenon of his candidacy, as he filled venues with tens of thousands of cheering, hopeful citizens, and I began
    to perceive he was truly something different.

    Now, months after his win, neither his friends nor his enemies truly seem to appreciate the emerging reality that he is playing “a long/complex” game. We have not had an outsider/business phenomenon like him since…forever. Ms. Coulter and other “supporters” do not trust the system/office of the Presidency” under this man enough to give him time to carry out his promises. The media is now acknowledged as a true “opposition party”–we can trust NOTHING they say: every opinion, every report, every statement is intended to cripple him. But even (former) friends and supporters seem to make 180 degree turns toward animosity and rejection without giving the man a chance. Let’s give Trump a chance. He’ll make mistakes; doesn’t everyone? But, with a little time we may see again and again that what critics believed were blunders were “chess moves” by a master BUSINESSMAN who has made AMERICA’S SUCCESS AND SAFETY HIS SOLE BUSINESS.

    • stephen duval

      Look at who Trump has surrounded himself with. Pence and Priebus, the Republican establishment. Flynn out, McMaster -Policeman to the world in. Cohn = Goldman Sachs, no more China currency manipulator.

      Ivanka Truymp and Jared Kushner appear to be liberal Dems.

      Jeff Sessions very good.

      Gen Mattis and Kelly at Homeland Security appear good.

      Bannon gets dissed by Trump. Kellyanne Conway does not get his support.

      Tillerson ?

      This is not a promising start for the Trump campaign agenda.

  • Dan Schwartz

    Ann Coulter is conflating Jacksonian Nationalism with Jeffersonian Isolationism. However, both are diametrically opposed to the putrid Wilsonian Progressivism of the Bushes, Clintons, McCains, and Rices (both of them) of this world.

    Please see Hamiltonians, Jeffersonians, plus Wilsonians and Jacksonians (December 2001) for a thumbnail description of the four schools, themes of foreign policy, originally defined by Walter Russell Mead.

    For more detail, please see The Carter Syndrome: Barack Obama might yet revolutionize America’s foreign policy. But if he can’t reconcile his inner Thomas Jefferson with his inner Woodrow Wilson, the 44th president could end up like No. 39, by Prof. Mead on 4 January 2010.

    • Jacksonianism can approach Jeffersonianism if it narrowly defines America’s interests and isn’t prone to see threats, or it can approach Wilsonianism if it broadly defines our interests and is prone to see threats. I think that Trump’s more well informed non-interventionist supporters realized he was not an ideological non-interventionists, but I think a lot of us believed there was good reason to hope his Jacksonianism would approach Jeffersonianism by more narrowly defining America’s interests.

    • Remember that neither Jefferson or Jackson had the ability to launch missiles at will.

  • Scott

    I like Ann however President Trump has kept his word on practically everything remember when it seems like he’s losing he always comes out winning nothing to worry about Ann nothing. Other than the Democrats that is.

  • Icarus

    Always count on Ann to be disloyal and flaky. It’s who she is. Totally untrustworthy.

  • Cobbett

    The US strike on Syria violates international law…Gas attack or not.

    • Exactly, it was act of war carried out without any consensus by Congress, thus a violation of the Constitution.

    • Trinity Waters

      Says one who was not gassed with Sarin. Lame.

      • Cobbett

        And you were?

    • rpmii

      Who passes this “international law”?

  • Kenny A

    First, the Bill Kristol, then Kevin Williams and Jonah Goldberg, then Mark Levin, and Joe Scarborough, and now Anne Coulter. Excommunicate all the right-wing pundits, one by one.

    • Anne Coulter was never a #NeverTrumper. The others were and are.

    • And How to Get It

      Which of those are right wing, save Ann….

  • Any_House

    Ann’s comment about Trump and Kushner high-fiving reveals what really bugs her — that Trump is now listening to Jared Kushner more that Steve Bannon. Coulter is a huge supporter of Bannon, as both of them are white supremacists whose #1 goal is the get the dirty foreigners out of our country. Anything that diverts attention away from building the wall or deporting thousands is an unworthy goal. The less that Trump makes Bannon and Coulter happy, the better President he will be.

    • What, exactly, have the “dirty foreigners” ever done for this country? The answer is – nothing. America’s problems are due largely to the invasion of European ideology starting at the end of the nineteenth century. The leading “thinkers” in America today are largely immigrants and the descendants of immigrants from Eastern Europe who came here and went into academia.

    • And How to Get It

      That’s insane.

  • Michael Schwenk

    Forget it, it’s over.

  • Matt

    I don’t know if Trump is playing 3 dimensional chess, as I’ve heard it said, but I certainly think there were multiple layers to make this decision at this particular time. You have to look at the totality of the circumstances. First and foremost, Assad slaughtered woman and children with chemical weapons. I think you have the moral high ground when you use a proportional strike against somebody who purposely killed children. Second, this was sending a message about Obama’s “red line” – Trump was very clear that while Obama’s red line was not a line at all, the red line for Trump was using chemical weapons on civilian population- the red line is back and the US was going to enforce it. Third, with the Chinese president in our country and discussing what to do about North Korea, it was important for Trump to make sure Xi went back to CHina with the understanding that the US can take significant military action, that would hurt a bad actor like Assad, without invading the country. This was sending a message to China that the US would strike the chubby psycho in North Korea, if need be, if China didn’t take significant steps to reign him in. China seems to have gotten the message. There is no message if there no bombing in Syria- the message would be Obama-esque rather than Trumpian. The recent MOAB usage in Afghanistan was sending a similar message. And fourth, all of this military action at the beginning of Trump presidency, is probably so that Trump doesn’t have the spend the remainder of his 4-8 years posturing and puffing his chest out to get Assad and Kim and even Putin to take him seriously. They should take him seriously. Its America first and part of American First is making sure the world takes American resolve seriously again. The message has been sent. So while I get Ann’s point and I would agree if we were “nation building” again, that is not this and THIS was necessary to send the correct message that Trump is not Obama and an America under Trump is very different than America under Obama.

  • America should never have been in Iraq and should not be in Korea either. Blaming Syria for harming American troops who illegally invaded and destroyed Iraq is morally blind. We cannot escape the fact that it is the United States which is to blame for what is now happening in the Middle East. I wish Americans would grow up and finally take responsibility. The Germans did and the Russians did. When will the US? Meanwhile, the Chinese hope that North Korea will take the path of Vietnam with something akin to Doi Moi. This will not happen so long as US forces are stationed in South Korea. There should be no talk of war with North Korea. President Trump’s feet are being held to the fire because he is supposed to put a stop to American military adventurism which harms America and the world. There is little room left for mistakes

  • The problem with this article is in the third paragraph – did he? No one really knows for sure what happened in Syria, particularly not that sarin gas was used. As for the missile strike “decimating a third of the Syrian Air Force,” that doesn’t seem to be the case. The media was claiming they knocked out the air base but missions were flying from it the next day. It appears that the Syrian rebels may have set the world up and that Trump committed an act of war based on supposition. Ann Coulter and others of us who supported the president have reason to be disheartened. I’ve not given up on him but he has severely disappointed me with his rash action.

  • Beauceron

    I am not pleased with Trump’s actions in Syria– or NK for that matter– but they aren’t deal breakers for me.

    There was one reason to support Trump in my opinion, and that was immigration.

    If you wanted smaller government, Cruz was a better option. If you like the GOP establishment’s moderate, whimpish road, than Jeb! or Rubio would have been much better presidents.

    What set Trump apart was his stance on illegal immigrants and mass immigration.

    So far he’s earned a B from me on that. I suspect, however, that he has rushed into the arms of the GOP establishment and his Democratic advisers. And they love mass immigration– so I expect him to betray his voters on this issue in the coming months.

    Then I will be cheering on the impeachment crowd as loudly as any fevered, spittle flecked Leftist.

    • Trinity Waters

      You’ve got spittle already.

  • msher_1

    Ann, you are usually so smart. What’s up with this freak out? This was a non-involved strike as could possibly be. It was as much a message to China, N. Korea, Russia and Iran as anything. Wait to see what happens before you give up on Trump. It is MSN which gets hysterical and starts projecting. Not usually you. If and when Trump actually puts us into Syria, you can freak out then, and I will join you. Was your support which seemed so ardent really as shallow as this.

  • WalterWinchell

    No agony here,she’s absolutely right,he’s abandoned his “America first” platform for the neoconpoop strategy “Israel First”.

  • hamburgertoday2017

    I like Ms. Coulter (‘In Trump We Trust’ is going to be a book that people will look back on to understand the Trump Phenomenon). However, I do think that almost every Trump supporter (and detractor) are reading the tea leaves *way* too soon and reacting *way* to strongly to what they *think* they are seeing there. It’s been just a little over *3 months*. At the very least (barring exceptional circumstances), there will be (at least) *4 years* of President Trump. With various forces arrayed against his candidacy and Administration, there are few historical precedents to use to understand what *exactly* we are observing in its *entirety*. Some of the President’s appointees may be a matter of expedience due to the fact that the Republican Establishment as well as the think-tank/academic communities are unlikely to sources for personnel. Some of these appointees may be a disappointment, others not. If Bannon or Conway are ‘forced’ out, then I’ll start to worry. Alot.

  • geokstr

    “…if Trump were such a superficial person, would it not have been easier to run as a Democrat?”

    Trump undoubtedly saw that the Red Queen had the Marxist Party nomination sewed up, and correctly gauged that it would be much easier to win with a mere plurality in the GOP primary, where, as is their custom, approx. several hundred RINOs and conservatives were splitting the vote. So then life-long NY liberal Democrat stole the life-long conservative positions of Ted Cruz, and the Democrat media gave him a couple billion in free PR to help make his dishonest and sleazy character assassination of Cruz and his family stick. Meanwhile, that same media ignored Cruz except for repeating Trump’s hourly “lyin’ Ted the Canadian” smears and as always, picked our candidate for us..

    Even 538.com, hardly a Republican site, estimated that in a two-way race, Cruz trounces Trump in delegate votes and state wins. A brilliant debater, he would have crushed Hillary in all three debates, too. Yet as vulnerable as she was, Trump bumbled and stammered his way to ties in the debates, and just barely pulled out a win in November.

    Instead of a brilliant, principled Constitutional expert who would have had a well-thought out plan of attack long before the inauguration and hit the ground running, we got Trump, who is bumbling and stumbling and now even tacking left.

  • And How to Get It

    Great article. I love Ann as well, but sometimes she (and Laura Ingraham) get a little too persnickety…

  • Bad Wolf

    The Iranian/Syrian/Hezbollah/Shiite Islamofascists hate the US and the ISIS/Al Qaeda/Saudi & Emirate Islamofascists and vice versa. The US should let the two opposed groups of Islamofascists kill one another. More elimination of Shiite Islamofascists is a good thing. More elimination of Sunni Islamofascists is a good thing. Let them kill each other. It may make sense to sell weapons to both sides so they can kill each other even more efficiently. Only when they extinct each other will peace and prosperity have any chance to develop in the region. I support Trump in general but it was a mistake to waste any effort supporting either side in the dispute and Coulter is right that it is a worrisome sign that Trump, who seemed to have escaped the stupidity of the NeoCon positions is not getting sucked in.

  • RPDC

    You guys have got to get this “moving comment box” thing rectified. In case you aren’t seeing on your end, it’s the “Related Posts” section with scrolling stories of different heights.

  • bradydog286

    It was proven Dan. Before they had the chance to ID it marker, they had front-row seats to the whole event through the magic of radar and videotape. As for the article; 100% spot-on. I have an unhealthy love for Ann but I am perplexed at her inability to understand the man who she pulled the lever for. This action was absolutely 100% compatible with his well-advertised comittment to Make America Great Again