Science defines mutualism, one form of symbiosis, as “an interaction between two or more species, where both derive benefit.” Think bees and flowers.
In putting the relationship of Ann Coulter and John Edwards under the microscope, another example seems more apt: the birds that eat parasites off crocodiles and are in turn protected from predators by their hosts’ giant jaws.
The gnashing of Coulter’s mandibles against him have not only nourished her notoriety (and lecture fees) but served as a fund-raising boon for Edwards.
When she called him a “faggot” in March, his campaign converted it into $300,000 in contributions. This week, when Elizabeth Edwards protested Coulter’s remark about wishing “he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot," the fund-raisers went into high gear and raised more money than from any previous e-mail campaign.
So we have here another instance of Nature’s grand design, in which two victims of Reverse Attention Deficit Disorder serve to ease each other’s affliction.