Trump super-fan Ann Coulter raised eyebrows today with her comments to The Daily Caller in which she expresses extreme dissatisfaction with the God-King about whom she wrote her last book titled, In Trump We Trust. While this was not the first time Ann has expressed pangs of buyer’s remorse, it is clearly the most dramatic indication that it is at least theoretically possible for one of his prominent media sycophants to finally have the scales fall from their eyes (it is very important to note that her close friend, and fellow Trump cheerleader, Matt Drudge featured the interview prominently on the Drudge Report). While I applaud Ann for being willing to at least seriously entertain the prospect, against her own self-interest, that she and the rest of the Trump cult were duped into supporting an unqualified, liberal, conman for president, I also have a couple of serious issues with how appears to be rationalizing the not-so-distant past. In short, it seems like she is trying to build an illegitimate emergency escape hatch to avoid any real accountability for how catastrophically wrong it appears that she was about Trump. Let me first say that I don’t know Ann that well. I have met her several times and interviewed her extensively once. About the most interesting interaction I ever had with her was having her basically sit on my lap while devouring Nicorette gum as a bunch of Andrew Breitbart’s buddies were packed in a small booth in a diner at late-night gathering during CPAC. I mention this because, before her infatuation with Trump, I have always been at least a little conflicted about Ann. In fact, I had come to believe that there were actually two Ann Coulters. One is the smart conservative who really believes what she says and wants what is best for the country. The other is the insecure woman who desperately wants attention and money. It was pretty obvious to me that when Trump burst on the presidential scene in mid-2015, essentially using Ann’s book on illegal immigration as a template, that the “bad” Ann had completely overtaken the “good” version of her. If indeed she is trying now to pretend that she didn’t really succumb to the tempting whispers of the devil on her shoulder, however, then that is wrong, and she needs to be called out on that. The path through which she seems to be attempting to dodge responsibility for the consequences of her Trump lust appears to be via two basic, and very flawed, premises. The first is that there was no other choice but to let Trump try to save America. The second is that there was ever even a reasonable chance that he could succeed in making the country “great” again, or even doing much of what she and his adoring fans were so sure that he would. She now claims that “Trump was our last shot… What choice did we have?” This is a total fallacy. There were plenty of legitimate, qualified, conservative options in the primary who would have been just as “tough” on the border, for instance, as Trump was ever going to realistically be. They just wouldn’t have sold nearly as many books for her as Trump did. Basically, Ann seems to be claiming that since the Earth was going to be imminently hit with a giant meteor, that there was no risk in having a guy with no knowledge of how to fly be the one chosen to try to knock the asteroid out of the sky. Except our planet wasn’t really yet doomed for sure, and there were a lot of much better pilots from which to choose. I would even argue that there is an extremely good chance that eventually, should she see this situation objectively, Ann will come to understand that the things she says she cares most about would actually be less worse off in the long run if Hillary Clinton had beaten Trump. This is because the coming liberal backlash would not have materialized after a feckless Hillary was dealing with a Republican Congress for four to eight years. But even more puzzling is the notion that Ann now claims that she was “90%” certain that Trump would actually pull this off. Anyone sane person who really believed that must have no understanding of either Washington politics, or Donald Trump’s real history. There was just NOTHING in Trump’s business or personal background which would even suggest any other outcome was more likely than exactly the fiasco we have all witnessed so far. Trump’s rank-and-file cult members at least have this lack of knowledge as an excuse, but Ann does not. She even has an interesting metaphor to try to explain why she is currently so confused and disappointed (and yet, somehow still hopeful) after finding out that Trump is probably a fraud who conned her. She says that he promised to drive her from Chicago to Los Angeles in six days, but that she now realizes that the car has been heading towards New York instead.
Using Ann’s own allegory shows how absurd it was for her, or anyone else, to ever believe that Trump even had any intention to take them to the Promised Land. After all, Trump is a life-long New Yorker and pathological liar who has never shown any real interest in Los Angeles. Why the hell would anyone ever believe that he wasn’t going to take the car to New York?! Even more inexplicably, why does Ann still think (assuming she really does) that he might still turn the car around and get to LA just as he promised?!
I welcome those sell-out conservatives who gave us Trump finally seeing the light and admitting the catastrophic error that they made. However, if this is indeed the very beginning of that painful process there needs to be a FAR greater mea culpa provided (I need real tears and bent knees, at the very least), and a lot less revisionist history, for this type of mortal sin to ever be remotely absolved.
John Ziegler hosts a weekly podcast focusing on news media issues and is documentary filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZigManFreud or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org