Edwards & His “Blogger Problem”

Barely a week ago, John Edwards hired Amanda Marcotte to be one of the head bloggers on his campaign. As is expected whenever something of this magnitude occurs, people started looking into her past writings. I— and quite a lot of other people— pointed out that she’s a bit unhinged, caustic, and was at best a questionable choice to be the “voice” of your campaign. Well, the pressure ratcheted up, and rumors circulated about Edwards firing Marcotte (and another blogger, Melissa McEwan, who didn’t attract nearly as much vitriol). Edwards chose to retain the two— publicly, at least.

Now Marcotte has resigned. And in typical Marcotte fashion, her own writings have absolutely no impact on her choice, it was all due to a right-wing smear job by the patriarchy!

I was hired by the Edwards campaign for the skills and talents I bring to the table, and my willingness to work hard for what’s right. Unfortunately, Bill Donohue and his calvacade of right wing shills don’t respect that a mere woman like me could be hired for my skills, and pretended that John Edwards had to be held accountable for some of my personal, non-mainstream views on religious influence on politics (I’m anti-theocracy, for those who were keeping track). Bill Donohue—anti-Semite, right wing lackey whose entire job is to create non-controversies in order to derail liberal politics—has been running a scorched earth campaign to get me fired for my personal beliefs and my writings on this blog.

In fact, he’s made no bones about the fact that his intent is to “silence” me, as if he—a perfect stranger—should have a right to curtail my freedom of speech. Why? Because I’m a woman? Because I’m pro-choice? Because I’m not religious? All of the above, it seems.

No, Amanda, we’re not attacking you because you’re a woman, or because you’re pro-choice, or because you’re not religious. It’s because you’re the one running a scorched-earth campaign against anything with which you disagree, spewing venom and ad hominem attacks at anything in your path. It’s because you’re not a very nice person (at least publicly on your blog). While you may have described your religious writings as “satirical”, they miss a crucial trait of satire: they’re not funny.

The attacks against Amanda weren’t lies. It wasn’t a “smear job”, unless she considers pointing out the very things she wrote on your blog to be a “smear job”. The way she writes is offensive. It belittles anyone who disagrees with her, rather than trying to argue against their points. From the way she write, it gives readers the impression that she sees a bogeyman behind every corner, attempting to steal her uterus and shove a baby into it. She’s angry and hysterical, and it’s difficult for me to take her seriously because of that.

Now, I can’t speak for Bill Donohue, because I’ve never heard of him. And I’m not trying to silence anyone. But I’ll gladly engage in a little bit of schadenfreude when John Edwards hires such a loose cannon to run his campaign blog. From a political standpoint, it might have been smarter to let Edwards off the hook, and hope that Marcotte did more damage as a part of the campaign than outside of it. But Edwards may not last that long as it is, so I’ll point and laugh while I’ve got the chance.

One bit, though, stuck out. When the left gets attacked, it’s always “well-financed shills” who are doing the dirty work:

The other good news is that the blogosphere has risen as one and protested, loudly, the influence a handful of well-financed right wing shills have on the public discourse.

I’m assuming the check is in the mail?