Ernest Hemingway said it best: “Fascism is a lie told by bullies.”
And right-wing pundit Ann Coulter best illustrates the truth of this.
Let’s start at the beginning: On April 7, Martin Bashir, host of MSNBC’s Martin Bashir program, wondered if a personal experience were the only way to get Republicans to drop their threat to block a vote on the gun control legislation that Newtown families were begging them to vote on.
After all, United States Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) recently announced his two-year conversion to accepting same-sex marriage after his own son “came out’ as homosexual.
“Nobody is suggesting that the law should only be defined and developed by the victims of crime,” said Bashir. But also pointed out the overwhelming public support for universal background checks.
“Are these senators simply too frightened of the NRA to do the people’s bidding?” Bashir asked.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) responded: “Martin, I never thought it would happen to me, but on a Friday at 12:00, it was 2 years ago, I got a call my nephew had been killed. Shot to death at 5:00 in the morning, and he’s dead at 21 years old.”
Cummings’ nephew, Christopher Cummings, was shot and killed in 2011 at his off-campus apartment in Norfolk, Virginia. His murder has not been solved.
“But Congressman,” Bashir said, “is that what needs to happen to move these senators to stop threatening a filibuster? Is that really what needs to happen? That you need to have a member of your family killed in order for you to do what the American people want you to do?”
“I hope not,” Cummings replied. “I don’t wish this pain on anybody.”
Of course, that was not how the exchange went down in Ann Coulter’s version.
In an April 10 column entitled “Liberals Go Crazy for the Mentally Ill,” Coulter offered this tem of a proposal:
“MSNBC’s Martin Bashir suggested that Republican senators need to have a member of their families killed for them to support the Democrats’ gun proposals. (Let’s start with Meghan McCain!)”
Needless to say, Meghan McCain–the daughter of Arizona United States Senator John McCain–was not amused.
“Apparently Ann Coulter made a joke about me being killed in a recent column,” McCain tweeted on April 11. “I should expect nothing less but disgusted regardless.”
And, in another Twitter posting, she wrote: “My father is a very famous politician. My family gets a lot of threats. Joking about me being killed really isn’t funny or appropriate.”
She and Coulter have been at odds ever since McCain dared to pen a column entitled, “My Beef With Ann Coulter” in 2009.
In that column–published in The Daily Beast–McCain wrote:
“It is no secret that being a Republican isn’t the most hip political stance a person can take right now….
“To make matters worse, certain individuals continue to perpetuate negative stereotypes about Republicans. Especially Republican women. Who do I feel is the biggest culprit? Ann Coulter.
“I straight up don’t understand this woman or her popularity. I find her offensive, radical, insulting, and confusing all at the same time….
“Coulter could be the poster woman for the most extreme side of the Republican Party…. Is she for real or not? Are some of her statements just gimmicks to gain publicity for her books or does she actually believe the things she says?
“Does she really believe all Jewish people should be ‘perfected’ and become Christians? And what was she thinking when she said Hillary Clinton was more conservative than my father during the  election?”
The most effective way to hurt an enemy is to tell the truth about him. Or, as in this case, her.
It’s a “crime” that aggressive venom-spewers like Coulter can never forgive. And, like most bullies, she refused to accept any responsibility for her action.
“I was making a joke,” Coulter told Sean Hannity on his right-wing The Sean Hannity Show.
“For one thing … that heinous thing Martin Bashir said, nobody knew about that until I added a joke, which is known as hyperbole.”
Of course, Bashir had not called on anyone to kill the members of Republicans’ families–as Coulter had “jokingly” called upon others to kill McCain.
(It was Adolf Hitler who, in Mein Kampf, laid down guidelines for the successful use of propaganda–rules such as “The Big Lie”:
“And thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds [people] more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.”)
“You were being sarcastic,” said Hannity.
“I think the exclamation point made it clear,” Coulter said with a smile. “And the fact that everyone laughed when they read it.”
Thus, Fascists like Ann Coulter use the same tactics in the 21st century as Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler used in in the 20th century: Believe what we say or prepare to die.