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 Ann Coulter Reply


 December, 2007


 Ann Coulter - Has She No Decency

Has She No Decency?

By Al Owens
My heart goes out to presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. His youngest brother, Perry, died the other day. The two Kucinich brothers will always be linked in one of the more curious events I can recall.

It was in the winter of 1978, and I had been a reporter for NBC in Cleveland while the then Mayor Dennis Kucinich had nearly managed to send the city into bankruptcy.

My main beat had been city hall. As a result, pockets full of aspirin had become my salvation. The city was a mess and getting messier with each new development out of the mayor’s office.

Kucinich had been 31 years-old, and the youngest mayor of a major American city when he took office.

He was extremely bright, yet brash, and given to fits of public anger and, at times. He soon became one of the main reasons that Cleveland, Ohio couldn’t lose the nickname “the mistake by the lake.”

Shortly after he took office, he hired a police chief, and then on Good Friday – he fired him on live television.

By the spring, when the city was teetering on financial collapse, he suspended 13 police officers, and that triggered a two-day police strike.

I learned something valuable during those two days. That criminals love it when they know the police aren’t around.

Just minutes after the police went on strike, I saw people literally pulled from their cars and robbed. I had nobody to call for help. There was nobody I could call.

In mid-summer, Kucinich provoked a showdown with city council that led to him storm out of a council meeting after he’d had his microphone turned off by the equally fiery council president, George Forbes. His departure, and that of his 15 aides, was met with cheers. It was yet another in a series of self-inflicted calamities that Kucinich seemed to invite.

In August, Kucinich faced the first mayoral recall election in the nation’s history. 120 thousand people voted. He beat the recall by a mere 236 votes.

The city of Cleveland had spoken. Kucinich escaped being removed from office, and later it was revealed, he barely avoided a mafia hit. The Cleveland mafia had planned to have him shot in the head during the city’s Columbus Day parade. Kucinich had taken sick that day, and had to be admitted to the hospital. He missed the parade – so the hit was called off.

By the winter, with a number of financial institutions signaling they were about to call in Cleveland’s 15 million dollar debt, Kucinich stood firm with his decision not to sign off on a deal that would avoid default.

On December 15th, Cleveland became the first major American city to default on its debts since the Great Depression.

On December 19th, in a bit of usual Kucinich theatre, he showed his contempt for the bank’s decision to call in the city’s debt by pulling his life savings from his own bank.

At the same time, there was a more serious bit of drama going on in another part of Cleveland.

Perry Kucinich was making a withdrawal from another bank. Except, his withdrawal was at the point of a gun. The money he was withdrawing wasn’t his life savings. The younger Kucinich brother had become a bank robber.

All of this would have been another funny, yet dismal chapter in the mayoral history of Dennis Kucinich, if it had not been for one simple fact. Perry Kucinich suffered from severe mental illness. So severe, that he was later found incompetent to stand trial, and was sent to a mental hospital instead of prison.

The elder Kucinich would later lose in his bid for reelection. He would fade from public life until 1994 when he was elected to the Ohio statehouse. He would later run for, and win election to the U.S. Congress five times.

While he’s still brash, he’s no longer given to fits of public anger. This is his second run for president. This time, he’s no more likely to win the Democratic nomination than in his first.

Yet, there’s something that’s very troubling about the death of his brother. Ann Coulter.

When the news broke that Perry Kucinich had died, it wasn’t enough for Coulter to put his life in its proper perspective.

On her web site, she simply ran the excerpt of a 1979 Time magazine article about the increase in bank robberies back then, but she only used the part about the one committed by Perry Kucinich. She also placed a link to the article at the bottom of the excerpt – without ever explaining that Perry Kucinich had died.

The utterly loathsome message she was trying to send was that Dennis Kucinich is the brother of a bank robber – period.

She never implies that his brother should not have been held responsible for his actions 29 years ago. She would rather imply that a Democratic presidential candidate has the same blood running through his veins as a felon.

I have never been a fan of Dennis Kucinich. (Not when I covered him, not now when he is running for president) Yet I can honestly say that I am saddened by his brother’s death.

I am also angered by the vile nature of Coulter’s unnecessary implication.

At the same time, Coulter still champions the legacy of Joseph McCarthy.

McCarthy was a man who drew the scorn from an attorney back in 1954 for taking his personal attacks too far. Joseph Welch uttered the now famous words, “Until this moment (Senator) I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Have you no sense of decency?”

Sadly, those very words apply to Ann Coulter today.