CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Somehow, the last person that comes to mind in the same breath as Marine Corps Reserve Maj. Paul Hackett is the late British playwright Noel Coward. He was a dissolute playboy, a trendsetter in men's fashion, an actor and songwriter, master of the quip and, as everyone now knows, a male who preferred other men as lovers. Hackett practices law in Cincinnati, is married with kids, served in Iraq, dabbled in Democratic politics and has never written a musical or performed on the British stage.
But Ann Coulter -- the rightwing's disagreeable blunder -- has pegged him as the Democrat's Coward. As the Brit might have quipped about Coulter,
"Sharp wits, like sharp knives, do often cut their owner's fingers."
She cut her fingers by writing in her most recent column that Hackett is in the Teresa Heinz Kerry wing of the Democratic party, which she proclaims a far left nut-house.
"The congressional campaign of anti-war Iraq War veteran Paul Hackett was treated in the media as if it were the Second Coming. The New York Times described Hackett adoringly as a 'lean 6-foot-4, he is garrulous, profane and quick with a barbed retort or a mischievous joke.' The Times even produced the obligatory quote-ready Republican who said that 'Mr. Hackett's service had caused him to consider voting Democratic.'"
"Then we found out with a little more specificity what some of those quick-witted barbs were. Hackett called the president a 'chickenhawk,' referred to Bush's 'Bring it on' statement as 'the most incredibly stupid comment,' and called Bush 'the biggest threat to America.' Yes, he was a veritable Noel Coward, that Hackett."
Nope, Hackett isn't Noel Coward. He is a Marine officer who used unvarnished language and told what he considered the truth. On the other hand, consider the words of Sir James Matthew Barrie, a Scottish novelist and dramatist who died in 1937 when Noel Coward was reaching his prime. He seems to have penned the perfect put down of Coulter:
"You see, dear, it is not true that woman was made from man's rib; she was really made from his funny bone."