How Do You Spell Political Suicide?


Diamond Member
Nov 22, 2003
Of course links:
February 08, 2007
Edwards Will Keep His Campaign Bloggers

Updated with new information in the main text and reactions at the bottom.

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards posted this statement to his campaign blog not long ago:

The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwan's posts personally offended me. It's not how I talk to people, and it's not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it's intended as satire, humor or anything else.

But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word.

We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in.

Pandagon, where Marcotte blogs, has the statements of Marcotte and McEwan. You can tell they are working for a political campaign now because they are apologizing just like politicians.

Rather than saying "I am sorry," for instance, Marcotte wrote, "I am sorry if anyone was personally offended by writings meant only as criticisms of public politics." And this from McEwan: "It has never been my intention to disparage people’s individual faith, and I’m sorry if my words were taken in that way.”

Basically, Marcotte and McEwan have agreed to muzzle themselves while working for Edwards. That is in keeping with what Marcotte herself promised to do upon joining the campaign.

"I am the blogmaster," she wrote in answering readers (like this one) who wondered whether the campaign might "censor" her. "I am also an adult. I know how the game works. I’m more interested in helping my candidate win than anything -- luckily we see eye to eye on most issues. It was hard letting go of a platform where I can just run my mouth, but the fate of the world is important enough that I’m willing to play nice."

Daily Kos praised Edwards for the decision to keep the bloggers on staff: "It took a little while, but Edwards set the right precedent for how this type of smear should be handled. As a Democrat, I'm proud of him and his campaign."

Being family friendly, well adult friendly, I'll just put his link to explain:
Edwards campaign rehires bloggers Marcotte and McEwen
After a day of infighting, the Edwards campaign reverses a decision to fire two controversial bloggers.

Alex Koppelman and Rebecca Traister

Feb. 8, 2007 | After personal phone calls to the bloggers from the candidate, the Edwards campaign has rehired the bloggers who were fired yesterday, according to sources inside and close to the campaign.

Salon reported yesterday that on Wednesday morning the Edwards camp fired Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwen, the two bloggers whose hiring had sparked an uproar by conservatives. That information was confirmed by sources in and close to the campaign. But almost as soon as the decision had been communicated to the bloggers, a struggle arose within the campaign about possibly reversing it, the sources said, as the liberal blogosphere exploded.

The campaign remained silent all day about the status of Marcotte and McEwen, and neither woman posted to the John Edwards blog yesterday. There was also radio silence from the campaign for the hours following Salon's report of their initial dismissal, after a promise from a campaign spokeswoman that there would be more information later.

Sources told Salon that much of Wednesday was spent in a series of conference calls among campaign members trying to hash out a solution to the very difficult problem of what to do with the bloggers, debating the details of their departures or the possibility of their swift reinstatement. These discussions culminated, according to sources inside and close to the campaign, in calls last night from Edwards to the bloggers, in which he asked them to come back to the campaign.

In a statement released today, with individual comments from Edwards and the two bloggers, Edwards said, "I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word." The statements did not address Salon's earlier report.

Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for Edwards, denied to Salon that the bloggers had been fired. However, asked if the bloggers were ever given the impression they were no longer with the campaign, Palmieri responded, "We had discussions going on for about 36 hours about how to handle this, and Edwards -- he himself had never met either one of them and felt it was important to give them time to decide how they wanted to respond, if at all."

As Palmieri was giving her statement to Salon Thursday, a source close to the campaign, who declined to be named because of the delicacy of the situation, was asserting to another Salon reporter that "they were fired," and that Wednesday was spent in a series of confused and sometimes heated conversations within the campaign, trying to hammer out details of a possible reversal of that decision for one or both of the bloggers. "There was a lot of infighting," said the source.

Kate Michelman, a senior advisor to the Edwards campaign, told Salon in reference to Edwards' statement: "I think John handled this just right. Frankly, campaigns have bumps in the road. The important thing about bumps in the road is the way a campaign handles them, whether they step up to the plate and are fair and move on and regroup. The outcome of the process is the important thing, and I think in the end John has made the right decision here."

While the Edwards campaign kept quiet on Wednesday, the blogosphere was reacting to Salon's story, often with anger at the prospect that the Edwards camp had thrown two of the blogosphere's own under the bus. Chris Bowers, a blogger at, wrote in one post, "While there is no way I will support Edwards with (sic) Amanda and Melissa are fired, I will immediately become a staunch Edwards supporter if they are not fired."

And Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, who was one of the driving forces behind the controversy, has released a new statement. In it, he promises that "what Edwards did today will not be forgotten" and that there will be "a nationwide public relations blitz" against the Edwards campaign for the decision to employ the bloggers.

"John Edwards has apparently decided that there is more to be gained by aligning himself with the cultural left than by standing on principle and firing the Catholic bashers on his payroll," Donohue said in his statement. "Had anyone on his staff used the 'N-word,' he or she would have been fired immediately. But his goal is to loot the pockets of the [George] Soros/Hollywood gang, and they -- like him -- aren't offended by anti-Catholicism. Indeed, they thrive on it."
The liberal media is rushing to the Pretty Boy's defense

CNN Presented Edwards Bloggers' Religious Bigotry As An Unproven Allegation
Posted by Tim Graham on February 8, 2007 - 14:24.
John Edwards is retaining his attack-dog leftist bloggers. His campaign has a statement on the Edwards blog, and the candidate claimed "they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked."

As anyone who's read the Kathryn Lopez smackdown on their blazing blog guns at Catholics (and Pope Benedict, the alleged dictator) knows, it's quite clear they intended to malign a faith. The subject emerged on CNN's The Situation Room Wednesday night, but the most disturbing part of the story appeared on screen. The graphic emphasized unproven allegations:

"Anti-Catholic" Accusation

What? Kathryn's beginning made the vicious anti-Catholic flavor of Amanda Marcotte's blogging very clear:

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.

This update on the Baltimore Catechism comes via Amanda Marcotte of the Pandagon blog in her "FAQ ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S ‘CRAZY’ TEACHINGS ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL." In it she explains that "the intent" of "mainstream Catholic teaching" on artificial contraception "is to make women suspect their gynecologists* are out to get them and possibly kill some babies for fun."

But CNN reporter Mary Snow's story only used a mild anti-Catholic joke, and a vicious anti-Duke-lacrosse-team blog to outline the case, omitting comments like those:

Well, Wolf, everybody believes the bloggers are provocative, as many political bloggers are. But one Catholic group says they go too far. And it's calling on John Edwards to fire them, not for what they said during the campaign, but in their past jobs.

(Video begins) On John Edwards' own Web site, it's called the first big test of the campaign. A conservative Catholic group took aim at two bloggers who work for Edwards, calling them anti- Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots.

The blogs in question were written before the two joined Edwards' campaign. One of the postings that angered Catholic League president William Donahue said the church's opposition to birth control forces women to -- quote -- "bear more tithing Catholics."

WILLIAM DONAHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Don't use insulting language like this. This is incendiary. It's inflammatory. It's scurrilous. It has no place being a part of any kind of someone's resume who's going to work for a -- a potential presidential contender.

SNOW: Donahue points to blogger Melissa McEwan, who makes reference to President Bush's "wing-nut Christofascist base," and blogger Amanda Marcotte's entry on the pope and fascists.

Also gaining notice, Marcotte's writing that sarcastically chides the news media's coverage of the Duke lacrosse players who were accused of sexual assault. Her entry read -- quote -- "Can't a few white boys sexually assault a black woman any more without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair."

DONAHUE: It should be a message to everybody, in -- Republicans and Democrat alike. You had better carefully go through these kinds of things. Otherwise, you are going to get burnt in the end.

But when CNN is pooh-poohing the hatred in these blogs, they ought to be more explicit. Here's some more material CNN and Snow omitted.

I suspect Pope Ratz will give into the urge eventually to come out and say there’s no limbo and unbaptized babies go straight to hell. He can’t help it; he’s just a dictator like that. Hey, fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, the Pope’s gotta tell women who give birth to stillborns that their babies are cast into Satan’s maw....

Which all brings me to recommending this great post by Austin Cline at Jesus’ General about why authoritarian types are so damn interested in cobbling people’s sex lives and meddling around in people’s private sexual decisions, like in this case why the Catholic church is so interested in making sure that people can’t make the perfectly sound decision to limit their family size while enjoying a healthy sex life—either you’re going to have to forgo birth control or you’re going to have to feel guilty to the point where you fear you’re casting babies into hellfire, by their standards. It’s a way to disrupt people’s lives so the church can get more control.

If CNN can't recognize greet these passages as authentically hostile to Catholics, then they don't have the analytical skills of a high school freshman.

For her part, Marcotte identifies herself as not just anti-Catholic, anti-religious:

Because the fundies have gotten more aggressive, in other words, they’ve created an opportunity for anti-religious thinkers to flood the media with our point of view and also to get more aggressively anti-religious, not just arguing that fundies are wrong but that faith itself is fundamentally flawed and damaging.

PS: Austin Cline, the "general," is a "Draft Gore" guy himself, but he argues that "Authoritarian control over our sexual behavior inevitably leads to authoritarian control over our physical bodies, our emotional connections to fellow citizens, our psychological health, and thus also our lives overall."
Links at site, kind of makes me want to order :party:

Edwards Blogger Flap Discomforts Religious Left
By: Ben Smith
February 9, 2007 09:09 AM EST

As the flap over alleged anti-Catholic writings by two John Edwards campaign bloggers devolves into a shouting match between conservative religious voices and liberal bloggers, some members of the "religious left" say they feel – again – shoved to the margins of the Democratic Party.

"We're completely invisible to this debate," said Eduardo Penalver, a Cornell University law professor who writes for the liberal Catholic journal Commonweal. He said he was dissatisfied with the Edwards campaign's response. "As a constituency, the Christian left isn't taken all that seriously," Penalver said.

Democrats -- and Edwards in particular -- have embraced the language of faith and the imperative of competing with Republicans for the support of religious voters. His wife, Elizabeth Edwards, even sits on the board of the leading organization of the religious left, Call to Renewal. But in private conversations and careful public statements today, religious Democrats said they felt sidelined by Edwards' decision to stand by his aides.

"We have gone so far to rebuild that coalition [between Democrats and religious Christians] and something like this sets it back," said Brian O'Dwyer, a New York lawyer and Irish-American leader who chairs the National Democratic Ethnic Leadership Council, a Democratic Party group. O'Dwyer said Edwards should have fired the bloggers. "It's not only wrong morally – it's stupid politically."

O'Dwyer e-mailed a statement to reporters saying: "Senator Edwards is condoning bigotry by keeping the two bloggers on his staff. Playing to the cheap seats with anti-Catholic bigotry has no place in the Democratic Party."

In a comment that several Catholic Democrats told The Politico they found particularly offensive, Edwards aide Amanda Marcotte asked, in a posting to her personal blog, "What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?"

The other Edwards blogger, Melissa McEwan, has come under fire for referring to Christian conservatives as “Christofascists” in her personal blog...
**warning, strong language** **warning 2: This is satire***

The Pandagon Papers

[Strong content warning - ed.]

To: Senator John Edwards
From: Amanda Marcotte
Re: Job Offer

Dear Senator Edwards:

I am fucking delighted to accept your offer of the position of Official Blogger for the Edwards 2008 presidential campaign. Please find attached my fucking W-2 form.

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for this totally fucking awesome opportunity to help you take America back from fucking BushCo and the other fucktard bible-humping extremists that have turned this once great nation into a goddamn rape factory for their snakehandling Jesus Camp hatebots.

In closing, I am so fucking proud to be a part of this campaign, and fucking gratified to know that I'll be working for someone who fucking understands the importance of reaching out to progressive bloggers like myself. I look forward to contributing in any way I fucking can. You won't be fucking sorry!

Fucking Sincerely,
Amanda Marcotte, "Pandagon"


To: Senator John Edwards
From: Amanda Marcotte
Re: Campaign Ideas

Dear Senator Edwards:

I had a couple of ideas for getting the campaign off to a fucking roaring start. I ran some numbers and discovered that (1) Orange County North Carolina has a shocking lack of women's reproductive health centers, and (2) your new home there has 28,000 square feet of space. What better way to address community health needs -- and appeal to the women's vote -- than by installing an abortion clinic inside your own house? It would only take up about 500 square feet total (not counting the exterior biohazard dumpster), and you appear to have a fucking awesome space between the indoor basketball court and reflective koi pond.

I also discovered that North Carolina is home to NASCAR, which as you know is the official sport of toothless Southern white supremecist racists. I think would make fucking great campaign street theater to drive over to one of the local fucking dickwad reich wing repugnican NASCAR garages and piss all over their goddamn earth-destroying Klan-mobiles. On the way there, it probably wouldn't fucking kill you to drop in at the Durham courthouse to support District Attorney Nifong in his brave battle to bring the white rapist Duke lacrosse team to justice.

To help organize the local campaign swing, I've lined up a couple of camera crews and programmed directions into the GPS of your Benz (the silver one).

On To The White House!

PS - I cross-posted my thoughts at the official campaign site, I will let you know about voter feedback.


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