Ann Coulter Has Sold Her Soul to Donald Trump

YAF 2009 - Meeting Ann Coulter 1For fifteen years, I was an enthusiastic, unapologetic Ann Coulter fan. I’ve expressed my share of disagreements with her, but on balance have supported and defended her many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, times—from Left and Right alike—as one of the most fearless and principled assets to the conservative movement. Her books were defining influences on my own political development. She regularly raised devastating, critical points that more than a few conservatives were too meek to say or too conventional to notice. Meeting her in 2009 (above) was one of the biggest thrills of my political career, and I counted my autographed copy of Slander as one of my most prized possessions.

So when I say that Ann Coulter has officially lost me, know that I didn’t reach this conclusion lightly.

For the better part of 2015, Coulter’s aggressive support for Donald Trump has been a source of major consternation on the Right. Contrary to what some demagogic charlatans would have you believe, her underlying rationale is entirely correct: the next president’s level of conservatism on other issues will be irrelevant if he allows mass immigration and amnesty to give the Democrats enough new voters to guarantee them a permanent national majority. If this were, say, a two-man race between him and Marco Rubio, it would be perfectly reasonable to conclude that Trump is more likely to do the right thing on the issue.

Where Coulter’s conclusion breaks down is that Trump isn’t the candidate with the most credibility on fighting amnesty—Ted Cruz is. Conservatives don’t have to make a last-resort choice between an immigration hawk and a conservative; we can get both. Continue reading

Laurence Tribe, Trump’s Eligibility Expert, Is a Liar

For many of us, the highlight of the latest Republican debate was Ted Cruz demolishing Donald Trump’s attack on his status as a natural-born citizen eligible for the presidency. For added insult to injury, Cruz pointed out the following about the constitutional “expert” Trump has repeatedly cited on the matter:

Let me tell you who Larry Tribe is. He’s a left-wing judicial activist, Harvard Law professor who was Al Gore’s lawyer in Bush versus Gore. He’s a major Hillary Clinton supporter. And there’s a reason why Hillary’s supporters are echoing Donald’s attacks on me, because Hillary wants to face Donald Trump in the general election.

This was devastating not merely for discrediting the legal question, which was never going to be a serious problem, but for demonstrating that Trump is getting his information from liberals and has no idea what an actual conservative would consider a credible authority. Indeed, Tribe prefaces his analysis of the case with an ode to “living Constitution” judges who “believ[e] that the Constitution’s meaning evolves with the perceived needs of the time and longstanding practice”—which anyone who came to conservatism naturally would instantly recognize as code for twisting the Constitution to justify whatever liberals want.

But it turns out there’s another reason why The Donald choose poorly: his expert is not just mistaken, but lying. Continue reading

Attacking Cruz’s Eligibility Is a Blunder Ann Coulter Can’t Afford to Make Right Now (UPDATED)

Ann Coulter’s latest column finally put her argument against Ted Cruz’s eligibility to be President into an extended form we can intelligently judge.

First, it turns out she actually isn’t pulling this entirely from thin air. There are Supreme Court precedents and some basis in the English common law suggesting that “natural born” does not apply to those born abroad to citizen parents, as Cruz was to an American mother in Canada.

But it all amounts to less than what Ann’s made of it. For one thing, “the Supreme Court says so” has never been conservatives’ standard for settling legal questions. Yes, SCOTUS can be useful for articulating the relevant concepts, but they’re certainly capable of being wrong. And there’s ample reason to think they’re wrong here.

For instance, Blackstone — who Ann weirdly suggests Cruz’s defenders haven’t cited — explicitly recognizes such children as natural-born citizens:

To encourage also foreign commerce, it was enacted by statute 25 Edw. III. st. 2. that all children born abroad, provided both their parents were at the time of the birth in allegiance to the king, and the mother had passed the seas by her husband’s consent, might inherit as if born in England: and accordingly it hath been so adjudged in behalf of merchants. But by several more modern statutes these restrictions are still farther taken off: so that all children, born out of the king’s ligeance, whose fathers were natural-born subjects, are now natural-born subjects themselves, to all intents and purposes, without any exception; unless their said fathers were attainted, or banished beyond sea, for high treason; or were then in the service of a prince at enmity with Great Britain.

Continue reading