Ann Coulter strikes a blow for civility. (Of all people!)

Ethics Bob doesn’t often get a chance to speak up for Ann Coulter and Mitch McConnell, but here goes.

On Meet the Press Sunday, host David Gregory was exploring the implications of the Pew poll that showed that thirty-one percent of Republicans polled think that President Obama is a Muslim. Here’s his exchange with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate minority leader:

MR. GREGORY: As a leader of the country, sir, as one of the most powerful Republicans in the country, do you think you have an obligation to say to 34 percent of Republicans in the country–rather, 31 percent who believe the president of the United States is a Muslim? That’s misinformation.

SEN. McCONNELL: The president says he’s a–the president says he’s a Christian, I take him at his word. I don’t think that’s in dispute.

MR. GREGORY: And do you think–how, how do you think it comes to be that this kind of misinformation gets spread around and prevails?

SEN. McCONNELL: I have no idea, but I take the president at his word.

The liberal media went bananas. Chris Matthews dedicated his entire Hardball show to McConnell’s words, saying. “I take him at his word,” was a “pitch-perfect dog whistle to the haters.” Matthew’s guest, Howard Fineman of Newsweek, pitched in, helpfully explaining that in McConnell’s Kentucky “the nativist appeal outside of Louisville really works big-time…He knows how to play the cultural fault lines and divides here.”

Maybe so, but there’s nothing wrong with what McConnell said. He says enough that can be legitimately criticized. It weakens his political opposition to call him racist for “I take him at his word.”

Ann Coulter rode to the rescue of the unfairly accused Sen. McConnell. She explained, with all the sarcasm and irony she could summon up, that when it comes to a person’s religion, it’s quite reasonable to take him at his word. Coulter framed the argument in a way that people on the left should read. She has a way of showing the ugly similarity between hate speech of the right and hate speech of the left. When good people on both sides recognize that they are spreading hate they’ll tone down the rhetoric. Won’t they?

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