The Edwards/Marcotte flap (and yes, it is a flap now) continues on, leaving me in a bit of a pinch:
The Catholic League, a conservative religious group, is demanding that Mr. Edwards dismiss the two, Amanda Marcotte of the Pandagon blog site and Melissa McEwan, who writes on her blog, Shakespeare’s Sister, for expressing anti-Catholic opinions.
Mr. Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, is among the leading Democratic presidential candidates.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said in a statement on Tuesday, “John Edwards is a decent man who has had his campaign tarnished by two anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking bigots.”
Mr. Edwards’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Palmieri, said Tuesday night that the campaign was weighing the fate of the two bloggers.
The two women brought to the Edwards campaign long cyber trails in the incendiary language of the blogosphere. Other campaigns are likely to face similar controversies as they try to court voters using the latest techniques of online communication.
Ms. Marcotte wrote in December that the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to the use of contraception forced women “to bear more tithing Catholics.” In another posting last year, she used vulgar language to describe the church doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
She has also written sarcastically about the news media coverage of the three Duke lacrosse players accused of sexual assault, saying: “Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair.”
I mean, on one side, you have the disgusting Bill Donahue and the Catholic League running around attempting to impose their values on everyone and taking great umbrage at anything that doesn’t portray their beliefs as if they should be everyone’s beliefs. If you have never seen Donohoe before, he is a balding, pompous, in-your-face loudmouth who I can only describe as thoroughly contemptible. The miserable and insufferable oaf was at the center of the Terri Schiavo affair, and has also been a featured speaker at Just Us Sunday. Some sample quotes from the Schiavo nonsense:
WILLIAM DONAHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: OK.
Well, since Al has been so good about correcting you on some things, let me correct Al. Four times, he said the woman is brain-dead. That is flatly wrong.
She is brain-damaged, sir. And if she were brain-dead, then she would be, in fact, dead, because that’s the definition of being dead in this country, is to be brain-dead.
FRANKEN: Well, she is brain-dead.
DONAHUE: “The New York Times” made the same mistake in October of 2003, had to run a correction on it.
If you take a look at today’s “San Francisco Chronicle,” you will see a medical doctor says that she’s not even comatose, because she’s—to be a persistent vegetative state is not the same thing as a coma.
FRANKEN: Comatose has nothing to do with anything.
DONAHUE: So, let’s get it straight here.
The woman is disabled. She’s not dead. And the question before us today is this.
And on her death, there was this:
“The let-her-starve crowd has finally seen its death wish for Terri Schiavo become a reality. But they didn’t walk away unscathed. For example, after the presidential election, many of those not associated with the pro-life community said they wanted to reach out to them. Well, they had their chance to speak up, but decided instead to run. Their silence will not be forgotten.
“The Schiavo case brought to the surface many questions that should long ago have been addressed. In this regard, the teachings of the Catholic Church on end-of-life issues is a model of clarity compared to that of all the other religions. It’s time that all world religions more forthrightly tackled these issues before it’s too late. And by that I mean before the secular bioethicists rule the day, for many of them don’t know the difference between a hamster and a human.”
Yeah. He is one of them. Another crusader who thinks his religion should be your religion and his religion should be your politics.
On the other side, you have Amanda.
And I really do not know who to root for in this mess. My gut instinct is to treat this as a Browns/Cowboys Superbowl, in which I would root for injuries.
*** Update ***
A fair point in the comments:
If you strip this down to its bare bones, all this was ever about, no matter how much allegedly high-minded bullshit the echo chamber wants to layer on it, was to get Amanda fired from a job she hadn’t even started yet. It was meant to fuck up her life. It was to get her fired.
It’s a shame that it’s probably going to work, because you’re going to see witch hunts like this more frequently down the road and they won’t just be directed at bloggers who take jobs with political campaigns. Every poliblogger’s employment is going to be fair game. You can bet on it.
As much as I loathe Amanda, this bothers me. If this were an issue of someone trying to get her fired from a job totally unrelated to blogging, I would, without question, be supporting Amanda (and the way that is phrased makes it sound like I support Amanda being fired from this gig- I don’t. I am just gleeful at the whole situation, and of the attitude this couldn’t happen to a nicer person). As it is though, she is hired as a blogger because of her blogging, so holding her to account for her blogging seems fair.
The author of the comment is right, though- anything you say can and will be used against you in the future.
*** Update ***
And this is just silly:
Does John Edwards Condone Hate Speech?
A bit of a tempest is brewing over the strident and profanity-laced writings of John Edwards’ official campaign “blogmaster,” Amanda Marcotte. She joined the Edwards campaign last week, and she’s already gotten a lot of attention.
Amanda Marcotte is mean, nasty, unpleasant, blind to any idea that does not fit her rigid ideology, and she has mistakenly confused fighting back against the right with being an obnoxious and offensive troll. For some reason, she thinks that anyone who disagrees with her opinions is a misogynist. She is a lot ofthings I deem unpleasant, but I don’t think she engages in what we would call hate speech. That is an unfair smear of Amanda. A quick primer:
Hate Speech: “‘Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.” – Dr. Paul Cameron, 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference
Amanda Being Stupid and Crass: “Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit? A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.”
Hate Speech: “Not only is homosexuality a sin, but anyone who supports fags is just as guilty as they are. You are both worthy of death (Romans 1:32),” Fred Phelps quoted by State Press (Arizona State University), March 11, 1998.
Amanda Deciding that Her Role as Supreme Feminist Overrides any sense of Decency and Respect for the American Legal System: “I had to listen to how the poor, dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and f***** her against her will–not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out. Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair.”
There is a difference there. Just because someone is an asshole does not mean they are engaging in Hate Speech.