Can you imagine the holy hell Ann Coulter would have unleashed if Ronald Reagan had been described in similarly scathing terms? But when the irrepressible Ann called Ted Kennedy "human pestilence," long-term Kennedy clan retainer Mike Barnicle barely blinked.
It happened on Morning Joe today. Coulter, who has called on conservatives to rally around Mitt Romney, was defending Romney's adoption in the past of moderate positions. Ann argued he did so in hyper-liberal Massachusetts while running against Ted Kennedy and that Romney "came within five points of taking out that human pestilence." The best Barnicle could muster was a stumbling "I, I, I, I don't know that I'm going to do that with Ted Kennedy," that "we miss him in Massachusetts" and that Kennedy would have facilitated the ObamaCare debate. Video after the jump.
Watch Barnicle's lame defense of Kennedy and try to envision what Ann would have done to the former Boston Globe columnist had he dared besmirch the memory of The Gipper in similar terms.
ANN COULTER: I'm making the larger point of believing that conservatism is very popular: more popular than Republicanism is. That's the concern with Romney. But I think Romney is conservative now. What I don't understand some not understanding, though in the end as I say I think they will understand since I think it's going to be Romney, is what do they not understand about Massachusetts, the most liberal state in the Union, he ran against Teddy Kennedy. I mean, you're flipping from positions you held when you came within five points of taking out that human pestilence. Come on: give the guy a break.
MIKE BARNICLE: I, I, I, I don't know that I'm going to do that with Ted Kennedy. I mean, he was, we miss him in Massachusetts. And I think the country, and especially in the Senate, and I think Barack Obama more than anybody. Because if Ted Kennedy had been alive, the health care debate would have lasted about five months.
COULTER: As a columnist, I miss him desperately.
What explains Barnicle's timid response to Ann's condemnation of Kennedy? Intimidated to be sitting across the table from Coulter?