Vail Daily column: A mistake in progress |

Vail Daily column: A mistake in progress

Richard Carnes
My View

In politics, there are two basic methods used to garner political favor: attack your opponent with sarcastic humor or challenge them intellectually with rational logic.

Of course there are other techniques or the two can be combined (such as when religion is the subject), but it’s usually one or the other.

The difference though, is obvious; one is conducted for entertainment value while the other is meant to help guide an opinion, and thus votes, in a certain direction.

The current GOP is desperately trying to rebrand as the party of the people; the political party of and for the future of America. Doing so is the only way they will ever be able to successfully retake the White House.

So how is this accomplished? How does one go about influencing opinions, and thus votes, of the masses while still holding true to core beliefs and the very fiber of what one wishes?


For the most part, you just tell people what they want to hear, right? You don’t have to mean it or anything, just help reconfirm whatever it is they wish to believe in the first place. Watch any speech by Sarah Palin or the numerous cute blondes on FOX, listen to the responses of their antics and you’ll quickly understand what I mean.

Yet in doing so, you have as much chance of winning new recruits (thus new votes in your favor) as Jerry Sandusky does in bringing fresh recruits to your college campus.

So please tell me, why-why-why in the wide world of political sports would the Eagle County Republican party bring the hands-down winner of the Narcissistic Personality Award for the last 15 years to speak at a fund raiser for the local GOP?

Ann Coulter is the antithesis of Forrest Gump and his chocolates; you always know exactly what you’re going to get.

Every person in next Wednesday’s audience (minimum $500 per head) will hear dozens of great zingers at the expense of President Obama, Muslims, ISIS, Hillary’s emails, Bill’s libido, Putin’s machismo, Bibi’s balls, Net Neutrality, the 47 GOP Senators and their letter to Iran, a thinly veiled racist remark about Ferguson and, of course, something witty involving the SAE fraternity (and perhaps a disparaging remark about a local hack …).

Yet not one single word will be said to actually help convince fence-sitters to come over to the GOP side in the 2016 elections.

No strategic planning, no common sense advice about how to accomplish the goal, just a hefty sum being paid in order for Ms. Coulter to preach to the choir, the crowd laughing and cheering at all the right moments, with Ann laughing all the way to the bank, yet absolutely no help to the party.

Coulter’s what ISIS is to Islam and Pat Robertson to Christianity; fringe elements that need to go away.

Yes, I know, it’s all about the money. Coulter makes a few bucks, sells a few books (she has a new one to push, of course), the local GOP pretends to be more relevant than they really are, and they place the net funds in a pot for candidates willing to toss their Republican hat in the future political ring.

Ms. Coulter is sharp, witty and can command an audience, but the last decade she has become less and less relevant as her words became more and more caustic. There’s a big reason she is not welcome on network TV nearly as often anymore, and that reason alone is why the smart GOP money turns away from her antics.

She learned that scathing words equaled a scaling income, and though I applaud her tenacity, I see no benefit whatsoever to the local GOP legitimizing her venomous rhetoric.

While Ms. Coulter is more than welcome for the publicity this column provides, rest assured no one else will be receiving any benefits from her visit.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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