I know, I know. Ann Coulter is Satan.

She’s vicious. She’s outrageous. She is not to be tolerated. I understand.

But I have a quick question for you: Have you actually read her book?

I mean, as you’re gathering your ropes and lighting your torches and looking for a well-placed tree limb, don’t you think you should take an hour or two and, you know, read what Coulter actually said?

“But Michael, who would ever read such filth? Such hateful extremism! She’s a witch! Burn! Burn!”

And so goes the debate with the American Left…

Call me crazy, but before I joined prominent Democratic lawmakers around the country demanding that Godless be banned from book stores (the dunking stool and public stocks will be waiting for Coulter at the Paramus, N.J., Barnes & Noble next week), I’d want to know what is in the darn thing. Based on their writings and public statements, it appears that not one of the would-be book banners has done so.

“Why waste our time, Michael? She’s just a bomb-thrower. A name-caller!”

True, it’s hard to take seriously people who describe their political opponents as “stupid,” “ugly” “vile,” “viperous,” “rabidly hateful,” “foaming-at-the-mouth,” “sub-human,” or who suggest they go kill themselves. But Ann Coulter didn’t say any of these things. No, these are comments from media outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Ad Age magazine about Ann Coulter.

The London Times ­even labeled her the “Bitch Goddess of American conservatives.” I guess they were offended by all that name-calling.

The editorial invective rolls across Coulter like a muddy river from the maw of the mainstream media. However, what the London Times and New York Times and, alas, the Charleston City Paper are unlikely to do is actually review Coulter’s book. And the one thing the hair-pulling liberals shaking with rage on talk TV refuse to do is confront the actual arguments Ann Coulter presents.

The Coulter cranks scream over two sentences in Godless about the “Jersey Girls,” those four hyper-political, media-hungry 9/11 widows Coulter shames by quoting them accurately. Meanwhile, there are 281 pages of arguments, insults, and outrageous-but-on-point invective that raise issues worth debating. Plus footnotes.

Did angry Democrats join forces with the “Witches of East Brunswick” to politicize the 9/11 Commission for personal satisfaction and political gain? Shouldn’t people spreading the idiotic fallacy that George W. Bush was responsible for the World Trade Center attack be criticized, even if they lost loved ones on that horrific day? Did these women cheapen the legacy of 9/11 as they appeared in Democratic campaign ads and pushed Democratic talking points on Larry King?

Ann Coulter says “yes.” She’s got pages of arguments and cheap shots to back it up. Whatta you got?

Oh, sorry, I forgot. You’re a liberal. You don’t read books you disagree with. You ban them. That’s why you’re so much better than those mouth-breathing evangelical morons who elected Bush.

Reading Godless means no longer being able to declare sainthood for pseudo-spy Valerie Plame or her hapless, fourth-rate hack of a husband, “Ambassador” Joe Wilson. (Coulter’s recounting of Wilson’s failed foreign service career, culminating in his post as Ambassador to Gabon, is hilarious.)

Reading Godless means facing the fact that the American Left has abandoned the principle of self-government and now opposes the very idea of democracy when it comes to abortion, the definition of marriage, and the operation of “public” (insert ironic laugh here) schools. She also reminds us that, before 1860, Democrats were also proudly “pro-choice” on the issue of slavery, too.

Coulter’s opponents avoid all this by simply refusing to fight. She comes out swinging, they come out whining. Unfortunately for them, the facts aren’t going to change, the arguments won’t go away, and 500,000 people are going to read her book. When they’re done, they’ll be smarter, she’ll be richer, and you — my book-banning, name-calling, debate-avoiding liberal friends — will have done more than Coulter ever could to prove her point.

Is Ann Coulter mean? Is she nasty? Maybe, maybe not. But the question normal people will be asking is “Is she right?” My advice to you would-be “Ann”-nihilators would be to stop whining and start reading.