Howard Dean falls for it

Even the top lefties have serious comprehension issues:

Democratic Party boss Howard Dean demanded that Republican presidential candidates denounce conservative columnist Ann Coulter after she referred to Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards as a “faggot” during a speech Friday at a national conservative gathering.

Coulter, who was addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., said:

“I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word “faggot,” so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.”

Of course we all know that this was a roundabout way of insulting Senator Hairbrush, but you can’t claim that someone called someone something that they quite clearly did not. Saying “I can’t talk about X because I am not allowed to say Y” certainly allows us to deduce a desire to call X Y, but it is not the same thing as actually doing so.

It’s an open question as to whether Dean would have looked more or less ridiculous if he had more accurately complained that Miss Coulter had not referred to John Edwards with a logging slur. What is the world coming to when a leading political commentator refuses to refer to a political candidate as a collection of wood?

Not to defend Ann, she’s a big girl and perfectly capable of taking care of herself, but the ironic thing is that I find the tree-related interpretation to be more descriptive of Edwards than the sex-related one. He may be a pretty boy, but he has never struck me as being a big Pet Shop Boys fan.

You have to hand it to Ann, though. If I was John Edwards’ PR guy, I’d want to take Howard Dean out and shoot him about now; the last thing Edwards needs is a bunch of Republicans solemnly intoning their sincere belief that he is not a flamer. I mean, what on Earth is the casual political observer going to make of all that. You’d think it was Team Clinton at work, except for the fact that Edwards is such an obvious non-starter.

UPDATE: Hog on Ice calls everyone out: “You’re on the pro-slur side or you’re not. You can’t straddle the border.”

Right, put me down on the pro-slur side, twinkletoes.

PS: Just for the record, I believe that it is important that we all make a formal statement regarding our beliefs about John Edwards’ sexual orientation. So, for the record, let me state that I do not believe John Edwards enjoys having sex with men.

I suspect that for Senator Hairbrush, having a hairdresser of either sex run hands through his hair for an hour or two is all the pleasure he needs.