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Marcotte Still Doesn't Get It

It is hard to believe, but I am almost convinced that Amanda Marcotte does not yet realize that she lost her Edwards campaign blogger gig due to words she wrote that Edwards could not defend. She has convinced herself that all problems were a result of a rightwing machine set on destroying her because she is a woman.

My main concern about the relationship between my personal blog and the campaign blog was that I wouldn't have enough time to keep my personal blog updated as frequently as the readers had come to expect, a problem I solved by inviting other bloggers to join. I thought some about content concerns, but my opinion had always been that bloggers who work for campaigns should feel free to have personal blogs, so long as they disclosed their employment to their personal blog readers and refrained from using their personal blogs to bash other candidates.

"Reasonable people," I thought, "can tell the difference between a personal blog post and those I'll write for the campaign." What I naively failed to understand was that there is no relationship between what reasonable people think and what will be used in a partisan bout of mud-slinging.

What I also failed to understand was how much McEwan and I would stick out. I was aware that I didn't exactly fit the image people have of bloggers who join campaigns -- the stereotype being 30-something nerdy young white men who wear khakis and obsess over crafting their Act Blue lists. I wasn't aware that not fitting the image would attract so much negative attention. In fact, I mostly saw this all as a baby step in the direction of diversity, since McEwan and I differed from the stereotype mostly by being female and by being outspoken feminists...

The right-wing noise machine's favorite trick, possibly its only trick, is to select a target and start making a fuss, hoping that by creating the appearance of smoke, just enough people will be fooled into thinking there's a fire. Unfortunately, it works. It was the method used to railroad Bill Clinton (Whitewater, Vince Foster, state troopers) and the method that ushered the nation into war with Iraq (WMDs and so on). This time they were only attacking a lowly rookie staffer on a Democratic campaign, but the M.O. was the same.

By Feb. 6, after a week of mud-slinging, the mostly volunteer army of conservative bloggers was failing miserably at elevating their newest noncontroversy to the mainstream media, even if they had done a great job at picking a juicy target. When you've got a mark that you're aiming to humiliate publicly, it helps if she's young and female and doesn't know her place. While their amateurish smears hadn't yet hurt me or the campaign, they had made just enough noise to alert the professionals to the existence of a fresh young feminist target...

One question that's hard to avoid is how much of the venom had to do with the fact that McEwan and I were young women entering into a field (Internet communications) that's viewed as almost monolithically masculine. From my vantage point, it appeared that sexism was one of the primary motivating energies behind the campaign. Even before Donohue stepped in, various right-wing bloggers were obsessed with my gender and sexuality.

Typical liberal attitude -- none of this could possibly have anything to do with the outrageous and profane statements of Marcotte. It is all about being a victim.

Update: An astute reader, responding to Marcotte's "I am persecuted because I have a vagina" argument points to the fact that two of the favorite targets of those on the left are Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. Is it because liberals can't stand strong conservative women, or because they take issue with what those two women have to say? I will give liberals the benefit of the doubt because I can certainly understand why things Malkin and Coulter write would be upsetting to liberals, regardless of the writers' gender. If Marcotte were truly being persecuted for being female, though, it would follow that attacks on Malkin and Coulter be attributed to the same. That darned liberal patriarchy strikes again.


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Comments (78)

By her reasoning then we ar... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

By her reasoning then we are to assume the Left's distaste for Ann Coulter and Malkin is because they are women? I mean they outright try to claim Coulter is a man all the time as proof they just despise women. Right?

I don't agree with the way ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I don't agree with the way the right-wing bloggers reacted on this issue, but I don't think Marcotte and McEwan's gender and sexuality had anything to do with it. Lorie nails it with the "victim" tag on Marcotte...

Wow! A foul-mouthed, crude,... (Below threshold)
Carl:

Wow! A foul-mouthed, crude, rude and obscene liberal blogger is being self-delusional??? How rare!

Gee, who would've thunk it?

I'm confused. How can a wo... (Below threshold)

I'm confused. How can a woman who writes so much about hating men turn around and brag about how much sex she's going to have to spite the religious right?

I don't honestly think she ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I don't honestly think she believes she is a victim of the "Right Wing Smear Machine"...but it's obvious she wants others to believe it.

She's perfectly willing to accept a job on the basis of her writing, but unwilling to accept backlash as a result of her writing.

I was hoping this would com... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I was hoping this would come up here again, as Dennis the Peasant has been having some fun with Marcotte. I never understood all the uproar over dirty words and criticism of the Catholic Church, but without reading her stuff I didn't realize she really is teh crazy.

What Marcotte & McEwan also... (Below threshold)
scotty:

What Marcotte & McEwan also fail to do is apply logic to their reasoning. The logical stand would be for right-wingers to be happy to have the Edwards campaign staffed with nutjobs rather than "railroad" them out. The action that would help the right-wingers the most is to say nothing and let M&M's views drag that campaign off into oblivion. So why has the right-wing acted against their best interests and verbally (typographically) attacked the bloggers? It can't be just to get rid of the women who would dare to attack the stereotypical domain of male campaign bloggers. No, we've established that getting rid of them is againt the right's interests. It must rather be a much simpler explaination. May I submit that it is because thier opinions are so offensive as to preclude silence for any person of common decency. We don't deny them their freedom of speech and they can express their opinions freely but we demand the same freedom of speech to criticize them for holding such hateful opinions.

I never understood... (Below threshold)
I never understood all the uproar over dirty words and criticism of the Catholic Church,

So, you're saying you don't understand why Marcotte's unhinged, obscene, hate-filled tirades against Catholics (and Christians in general) might cause problems for a presidential candidate who actually might want to persuade Catholics and other Christians to vote for him? You honestly don't see the problem here, mantis?

Our conservative women make... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Our conservative women make these left-wing girls look like pussies!

I didn't realize s... (Below threshold)
I didn't realize she really is teh crazy.

I have been following last summer's Frisch vs. Goldstein brouhaha and Marcotte's rhetoric has a strong whiff of Deb Frisch's unhinged rants; the same potty-mouthed vitriol, the same "I'm a poor victim" cluelessness, and the same refusal to take responsibility for her own actions and to blame everyone else but herself.

Like Vile Deb, I think Marcotte is certifiable. I wonder who the doofus is in the Edwards campaign who decided to hire her?

"She has convinced herself ... (Below threshold)

"She has convinced herself that all problems were a result of a rightwing machine set on destroying her because she is a woman."

Clearly this was all a plan on her part to get asked to be Hillary's blogger...Edwards was just part 2 of the plan.

So, you're saying you do... (Below threshold)
mantis:

So, you're saying you don't understand why Marcotte's unhinged, obscene, hate-filled tirades against Catholics (and Christians in general) might cause problems for a presidential candidate who actually might want to persuade Catholics and other Christians to vote for him? You honestly don't see the problem here, mantis?

Oh I understand why it might cause problems for a presidential candidate, but then everything is a potential problem for a presidential candidate. What I don't get is how so many bloggers all of a sudden became puritans to whom foul language was to be virulently condemned. As far as the Catholic stuff, I, like Marcotte, was raised in the church and have my issues with it, and anti-Semites like Donohue. I don't think her criticisms of the church are that uncommon, even if the way in which she chose to express them was.

But you do understand that I'm not saying there's nothing to criticize in those writings. I am saying I didn't understand the uproar, or at least many of the examples used to support it. And your question seems to imply that so much of the criticism of these bloggers stems from a concern that this candidate would encounter problems as a result of hiring them. We all know that this isn't true, almost none of the critics has any desire for Edwards to do well, they just don't like these bloggers or what they write, and use that to attack Edwards in the hope that it will derail his candidacy. I for one hope it worked, I can't stand the Breck Girl. ;)

Well I think she hit the na... (Below threshold)

Well I think she hit the nail right on the head. She disgusts me only because she is not one of the "30-something nerdy young white men who wear khakis and obsess over crafting their Act Blue lists."

The lady is delusional.

mantis, I haven't ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

mantis,

I haven't even read the article yet, but as soon as I read the headline "Amanda Marcotte is Terrifying" I started laughing. This ought to be good.

I don't necessarily think she is crazy, but I do think she has subscribed so completely to her own ideology that it has infected her ability to reason and to use logic.

oh wait, that is teh crazy!1!

the same potty-mouthed v... (Below threshold)
mantis:

the same potty-mouthed vitriol

Ahhh, my ears--er, my eyes! Stop using the dirty words, my delicate sensibilities can't take it!

When did the blogosphere become a Sunday school class? Seriously, what the fuck?

Now anytime a candidate hires a blogger for any position that blogger's writing will be scoured with a fine-toothed comb in search of any words deemed obscene, and such ammunition will be used to attack the candidate. Is that what bloggers want? What kind of precedent is that? Candidates are going to think twice about hiring anyone who blogs after this election, if they aren't already now.

Mantis, I don't think she w... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:

Mantis, I don't think she was fired because of her language. I don't think any of us here have a problem with language. As for Donahue - he's a stupid git so who cares what he says.

What killed her job was the fact that she is a bigot and a sexist. Edwards is from the south. You can't seem anti-Christian or be associated with someone anti-Christian and hope to keep a following in the south (his base). Edwards is a Democrat - a party known for it's inclusiveness. To keep his appeal towards moderate Dems he couldn't be associated with bigotry and misandry (both exclusive ideologies). His staff members who vetted Marcotte either failed to realize the impact her past would have on his campaign or figured her noteriety be a plus. They guessed wrong.

Before this thing ever came... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Before this thing ever came up, I had never heard of Marcotte (or the other blogger I can't remember). Frankly, I was quite amused not by her writings, but by what the circus did to the Edwards campaign itself. It shows a serious deficiency in the public relations department. Did they not read Marcotte's writings? It has been said that it is easier to believe that what has been will be again than what hasn't been will ever be, or something like that. Leopards don't change spots, and foul-mouthed bloggers (on the left or right) will probably continue to be foul-mouthed bloggers, no matter who is employing them.

I don't think any of us ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I don't think any of us here have a problem with language.

Lorie:

none of this could possibly have anything to do with the outrageous and profane statements of Marcotte.

Carl:

Wow! A foul-mouthed, crude, rude and obscene liberal blogger is being self-delusional???

OM:

Marcotte's unhinged, obscene, hate-filled tirades

the same potty-mouthed vitriol

And that is just on this thread in the past hour or so; there were countless posts detailing her foul language last week across the blogosphere. Anyway, you were saying something about no one having a problem with foul language?

Oh, btw, potty-mouthed? What are we, in kindergarten?

More!Leopards d... (Below threshold)
mantis:

More!

Leopards don't change spots, and foul-mouthed bloggers (on the left or right) will probably continue to be foul-mouthed bloggers, no matter who is employing them.

At least this particular te... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

At least this particular tempest is good for stirring tea.

mantis, you said, <bl... (Below threshold)
Bo:

mantis, you said,

Now anytime a candidate hires a blogger for any position that blogger's writing will be scoured with a fine-toothed comb in search of any words deemed obscene, and such ammunition will be used to attack the candidate.

I don't think that's the precedent that was established here. First, far from a fine-toothed comb, one could play "pin the tail on the obscenity" in most of Marcotte's screeds with pretty good odds of winning, so it's not as if it was pored over and a couple f-bombs cropped up.

Second, most of Marcotte's rants would be labeled "hate speech" if made against women, gays, blacks, Arabs, or some other group, but since she makes them against Christians, it's all ok. Is that not the worse precedent?

C'mon, mantis. We all know... (Below threshold)

C'mon, mantis. We all know you're smart enough to know the Marcotte affair isn't about a few f-bombs being thrown around. Get real.

I wonder who the doofus ... (Below threshold)
Ted:

I wonder who the doofus is in the Edwards campaign who decided to hire her?

Darn that Karl Rove.

Maybe John Edwards will hir... (Below threshold)
Carl:

Maybe John Edwards will hire Deborah Fisch next?

While I'm making this comment, I'd like to respond to mantis' comment:

mantis, I have no problems with people using profanity. Personally it doesn't bother me. However I find it usually marks a person who lacks intelligence, creativity and self-control especially when profanity and crude language is used in written form (especially since one has the time to peruse their own comments in written form). In terms of speaking I hear people use it and with some exceptions I have no problems. I'll admit that I use profanity, especially upon stubbing my toe. But in my writings, I don't feel the need to use profanity, crude language, etc. and I try to keep it off my blog as well.

However with that said I feel you missed my point when I wrote "Wow! A foul-mouthed, crude, rude and obscene liberal blogger is being self-delusional???"

The emphasis is on the delusional portion of my comment. It is my conclusion that Marcotte is being self-delusional based upon the victimization tone of her missives in her post-Edwards campaign employment rants. She refuses to accept the responsibility for her own words and actions and the crude language she routinely uses exhibit an immaturity and lack of intelligence and/or self-control. It supports many conservative bloggers' view of liberal extremists becoming "unhinged."

I'd like to very much thank... (Below threshold)
BC:

I'd like to very much thank you guys for inadvertently driving home a point I made on Usenet yesterday about right wing blog sites. Go click here.

You guys are behaving like Beavis and Butthead, snickering at anything that can taken out of context, like even poor old planet Uranus. ("Theres a cling-on near your anus.")

Ann Coulter is gibbering, insulting nutcase with nothing of consequence to say (it says a lot about this country that this make her a pundit and bestselling author). Malkin is not much better and only because of her strong, apparently genuine, if often misguided support for the troops and her human interest stuff. But as far as this business with Amanda Marcotte goes, Malkin and the rest of you are just engaging in Coulter-like behavior -- damn those annoying facts, context and fairness, full speed ahead with the swiftboating. And don't try making any claims that go (Imagine a wimpy whiny voice saying this) "But this is what she said verbatim! Here let me quote you and link to her exact words as posted on rightrightcrackheads dot com. See, see look for yourself, you Jihad and porn lovin' Bush and troop hater."

Context seems to be one of the most difficult things for right wingers to deal with. You just can't pull out a couple of words, a couple of sentences, or even a paragraph and claim this is what so-and-so said and how terrible is that if it doesn't really represent the main point of the story or article. The attacks on Marcotte have all been based on pulling her juicier descriptive epithets so far out of context as to make them utterly meaningless. Which means that all attacks on her based on these partial quotes are no more than malicious, baseless smearing, plain and simple.

I have a dim view of all blogs, left and right. As bad as the mainstream media has become in terms of research and journalism, it is still heads and shoulders above all the blog sites in general. I don't think bloggers should be credentialed like journalists at all. If you want to be a journalist, be a journalist. Want to use the Internet as your primary distribution media, fine, use the Internet as your primary distribution media, but still be a journalist. Want to let readers express their opinions? Fine, just let them post their opinions in a separate section, but don't mix that stuff in with sourced and researched news pieces. If you have a million people believing something that's unsupported by evidence, that just means you have a million confused people not being well served by their supposed free press.

I'm spending more time on this than I intended. In short, just bear in mind that anything posted in any blog site, including even this, has to be taked with a more than one grain of salt (strange expression, that).

Fisch = FrischMy f... (Below threshold)
Carl:

Fisch = Frisch

My fingers flew too fast! LOL

We all know you're smart... (Below threshold)
mantis:

We all know you're smart enough to know the Marcotte affair isn't about a few f-bombs being thrown around.

No, that's not what it should have been about, but more hay was made about that than anything else. No one can get through a (well-deserved) condemnation of Marcotte without frequent references to foul-language, sometimes at the expense of any other criticism.

I agree that Marcotte's opinions about Christians reflect very badly on Edwards' choices, and her brand of feminism is of a particularly man-hating, uber-crazytown stripe, and based on that she could have been roundly criticized and Edwards was stupid to have hired her. What I don't get is the language stuff.

You can claim it was about one and not the other, but I urge you to read what people have been writing about her since this started and you'll realize that "dirty" language was a big part of it.

"Context seems to be one... (Below threshold)
Carl:

"Context seems to be one of the most difficult things for right wingers to deal with."

Nice overgeneralization you make there, BC. It's wrong, of course, but interesting nonetheless.

The numerous non sequiturs in your comment render your conclusions and your points moot.

"We all know you're smar... (Below threshold)
Carl:

"We all know you're smart enough to know the Marcotte affair isn't about a few f-bombs being thrown around.

No, that's not what it should have been about, but more hay was made about that than anything else."

mantis, again you are incorrect. The profane-filled comments have not been the focus of critics of Marcotte's rantings but merely shown as one of the symptoms. A more important aspect that was brought into focus were her vicious attacks of Catholicism and Christianity. If it were discovered that a person hired by the Edwards campaign had written anti-black, anti-gay and/or anti-Jewish materials in the same manner as Marcotte's anti-Catholic and anti-Christian vitriol they would have been fired immediately. However Edwards waffled on it until the pressure became too great and the two bloggers "resigned." So rather than center in on the real issue you've attempted to create a red herring by focusing on a minor side-issue (e.g. - a symptom) and even then you misrepresent it. Good job!

The language issue is</i... (Below threshold)
IllTemperedCur:

The language issue is relevant, not because of "decency", but because is shows that she either is incapable of expressing herself in a professional manner, or she has no self-control. Fine if you are an independent blogger, but it reflects upon your candidate once you join a campaign.

Honestly, I didn't have a problem with her anti-Christian, anti-patriarchy rhetoric. After all, there's plenty of assholes in the world, what's special about one more? I was astonished at the monumental stupidity of the Edwards campaign in hiring someone so obviously unprofessional to communicate his ideas.

Let me put it to you this way, would you hire someone to man the cash register at your retail business if every third word out of their mouth was "fuck"? Fuck no, you wouldn't.

You can claim it was abo... (Below threshold)

You can claim it was about one and not the other, but I urge you to read what people have been writing about her since this started and you'll realize that "dirty" language was a big part of it.

Bullshit. (Ironic, no?) ;-)

I've read quite a bit about this little fiasco, (one she got herself into and won't take responsibility for); as well as her own comments. My take is that the comments about the "dirty" language was a general reference to her writings and just the icing on the cake. If it were just about the "dirty" language, she'd still be Edwards' blogmaster and I (and the rest of the blogosphere) would be rolling my eyes right along with you.

BC,So if, in the m... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

BC,

So if, in the middle of a political debate, I make some extrememly lewd and offensive comments about your mother, (to drive my political point home, of course) they cannot be taken on their own for what they are... i.e., lewd offensive comments about your mother?

This is good to know, if I ever want to say some malicious things about someone and then shirk any responsibility for it, I'll be sure to nestle it snugly in the center of sociological opinion piece and then complain they were taken out of context when they are quoted.

Damn you, Carl! Not only we... (Below threshold)
IllTemperedCur:

Damn you, Carl! Not only were you faster on the draw with a similar idea, but you're smarter than me.

Plus, you have more self-control and you're more professional...

IllTemperedCur:Tha... (Below threshold)

IllTemperedCur:

That's where I believe your comment fits into my "icing on the cake" reference in my last comment. I wouldn't hire someone with that kind of judgment either, but I think that's up to the individual. Apparently, Edwards *would* hire someone who does...and then some.

Dear IllTemperedCur,<... (Below threshold)
Carl:

Dear IllTemperedCur,

Oh bullsh**...sorry. Just can't do it.

LOL

BC,This confused m... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

BC,

This confused me:

Malkin is not much better and only because of her strong, apparently genuine, if often misguided support for the troops and her human interest stuff.

Michelle Malkin is not much better than Ann Coulter or Amanda Marcotte because of her strong, genuine support for the troops? And her human interest "stuff"?

Either you forgot to add a conjuction or two in that paragraph or you meant it to be a completely asinine statement.

And for the record, BC, tha... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

And for the record, BC, that was not a point you made on usenet, it was a slanderous, overgeneralized, ignorant diatribe.

But it's understandable that you don't visit Wizbang very often, as you run a much higher danger of having your arguments gutted by people more intelligent than yourself.


Well, this explains liberal... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

Well, this explains liberals' support for Robert Byrd (D-WV).

Use of the term "n*gger" in the recent past were merely his personal expressions. Has nothing to do w/ his politics, I guess. Presumably, his membership in the KKK, too, is a purely personal affair.

If it were just about th... (Below threshold)
mantis:

If it were just about the "dirty" language,

I'm not saying it was just about the dirty language; I think I've been clear on that.

I'm willing to admit that I didn't read a ton on the subject, as it was of mostly entertainment value to me last week and not worth a lot of time, but what I did read focused a lot on foul language. If my reading on this issue was not representative, and it truly was more of a side-issue, than so be it. It is still interesting as a side-issue to me, and more interesting in terms of its greater impact on the role of bloggers in political campaigns. I read a lot of blogs and there aren't many who spew the kind of insanity Marcotte does (from what little of read of hers), and as such I don't think that aspect will have any lasting impact. I think the foul language issue may.

In any case I am not trying to focus on a red herring. It is interesting that after Carl accused me of that Cur posted with this:

The language issue is relevant, not because of "decency", but because is shows that she either is incapable of expressing herself in a professional manner, or she has no self-control.

Bullshit. I swear a good deal when I write on the web (anonymously, yes), and I have a job where I write for web publication, in addition to writing press releases and occasionally speeches. Somehow, despite the foul language I use in my personal writings, I am able to "express myself in a professional manner" with no problems of self-control. One merely needs a firm grasp of the language and the appropriateness of different styles in different situations. It's not very difficult.

It was "taken out of contex... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

It was "taken out of context" Lurking Observer.

Words have no individual meaning and no overall relation to one another or the argument they are illustrating. The "dictionary" is just a tool created by the Man to keep us liberals down.

I believe in free speech. ... (Below threshold)
brian:

I believe in free speech. Marcotte has every right to spew her bile. What disturbs me the most is the effort to remove those words from the record. Trying to erase your archives and then blaming the new server when you are caught is just plain old cowardice. You can enjoy free speech...but you must stand behind your bile.

mantis: I don't re... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

mantis:

I don't read Pandagon with any regularity, and frankly didn't pay much attention to Marcotte's writings, period.

The majority of reactions that I saw were first and foremost to her blanket condemnation of the Duke Lacrosse team, and her fairly rapid attempt to "scrub" her previous blog entries to that effect. I can't speak to what reactions/responses you read, just sayin' that this was what I saw.

Like they say, it ain't the crime, it's the cover-up. The attempt to edit history (and what a history it was!) were the things that folks I read reacted to.

Yes, the language came up, but as in the comments here, it wasn't that she used f*** or s***, in and of themselves. Rather, it was that she used them while also expressing things like the idea that the Lacrosse team members were "getting away with" a rape.

More to the point, that she was going to be working for a Senator whose home state happens to contain the university where those same lacrosse players (f***ing lacrosse players?).

The bad language merely confirmed, for many, the limitations of the person.

As for the assertion that M... (Below threshold)

As for the assertion that Marcotte's words were taken "out of context," some might consider that taking them out of context actually does her a favor, because the entire context of her extended remarks is offensive.

I agree that Marco... (Below threshold)
I agree that Marcotte's opinions about Christians reflect very badly on Edwards' choices, and her brand of feminism is of a particularly man-hating, uber-crazytown stripe, and based on that she could have been roundly criticized and Edwards was stupid to have hired her. What I don't get is the language stuff.

Again, you're missing the point. I don't think anyone gives a rat's butt about what filth Marcotte choose to fill her blog with; deranged, hate-filled lunatics have been the bread and butter of the left for years. The brouhaha is that some idiot in the Edwards campaign thought it would be a swell idea to hire such a person, and that's why I'm shaking my head over with amusement.

I don't think words are neutral; I think the way a person speaks is a good indication of who he or she is, and the unhinged rants on Pandagon ought to have been a clue to the Edwards campaign.

But, whatever. Imagine a mirror-image situation where a prominent GOP candidate, say Mitt Romney, hired a right-wing blogger who was the equivalent of Ann Coulter with Tourette's Syndrome. Somehow, I don't think your reaction would be quite so laissez faire.

Oregon, you're clearly miss... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Oregon, you're clearly missing my point.

Let me go over what are not my points, just to get them out of the way.
- It is not my point to ignore the crazy shit that woman writes; and from what I have read she writes a lot of crazy shit.
- It is not my point that people's writings shouldn't be looked at by potential employers (why do you think I post anonymously? I write for a living).
- It is not my point that--aww shit, forget it. It is quite pointless to continue to elucidate this when you are perfectly willing to turn my argument into something else, all the while contradicting yourself.

I say that Edwards was stupid to have hired her. You say I'm missing the point, which is that the Edwards campaign was stupid to have hired her. Yeah, I know. We agree. I'm not missing your point. I'm making my own.

My point is that by focusing on "dirty" language, even as a side-issue, which I am willing to concede it was (though you'll ignore that I have), will only harm bloggers' chances for getting involved with politics beyond the basement-pajama variety. That is the only point I was making.

Somehow, I don't think your reaction would be quite so laissez faire.

Once again, bullshit, and rather silly considering all I've written here. When have you ever seen me get the vapors over other people's foul language? I couldn't care less; I am usually more suspicious of people who don't swear. If some foul-mouthed blogger went to work for Mitt Romney's campaign, you wouldn't hear mum from me about his/her language choices. Doubly so if it was Mitt, since I would find it very humorous that a Mormon would hire someone who swore a lot to work for him.

Now if he or another GOP candidate hired a batshit crazy Ann Coulter type, you might hear some objection from me, but only if I wanted that GOP candidate to win. It seems to me that hiring crazy can only hurt a campaign, and people who wanted Edwards to lose would have been better served by keeping quiet about the lunatic he was hiring; let their crazy find its way into his campaign and poison it from within. Now, they're off the campaign and this will be long forgotten before the primaries start. Poor strategy from the anti-Edwards people.

OMuse, if Mitt Romney's cam... (Below threshold)

OMuse, if Mitt Romney's campaign made such a blunder as you describe (and hilariously so -- Ann Coulter with Tourette's -- what an image), I would be the first here to start hammering him with capital letters and everything. Heck, many of us have already done the same about Donahue's statements.

I think most of us appreciate how such speech undercuts the content of the message (which lefty wingnuts already mischaracterize as smearing lying hateful blah blah).

Edawards Hiring Marcotte w... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

Edawards Hiring Marcotte was about as dumb as well, John McCain hiring Partick Hynes. For shame.

Edwards gambled. He though... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Edwards gambled. He thought he could hired the two women and it would give him instant credibility amongst the "netroots." He saw what happened with Howard Dean in the last election and thought he could tap into that anger but avoid appearing to be crazy. I suspect he listened to some of his younger staffers about who he should hire. Most likely, they were staffers with little actual political experience.

The problem with the bloggers is not about who is an adult and who isn't. It is about a small amount of decency. The campaign's blog isn't an insider thing directed at a few people; it is a campaign communication device. It is that campaign's public bulletin board of ideas. Sure, probably less than 5% of the electorate will read any campaign's blog, but it doesn't matter. The words are still out there.

The author of those words matter as well. For instance, Democrats speak of reaching out to the Christian community to overcome a weakness among that portion of the electorate. Edwards' bloggers might write some pieces discussing issues meant to sawy the Christian vote. How would it then look to people to discover that the author of the piece had previously written something that said the opposite? Wouldn't that look awfully hypocritical and pandering?

If this were a case of the bloggers having unpopular opinions, then I would say that the uproar was silly. However, these opinions are not just unpopular. They are downright hateful. Others have said it as well. Take any of the diatribes cited and substitute the word Christian with gay or black or woman and see how people's heads would explode.

"FRESH"???She is FRE... (Below threshold)
RFYoung:

"FRESH"???
She is FRESH!!
She thinks she is FRESH!!
She is just a joke.

Language or no language, th... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Language or no language, this woman is a FREAK SHOW. Unfortunately when the lefties want to hire bloggers, Amanda is typical of what was out there. She's pretty mainstream for the left.

Sick.

I don't know what all the r... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

I don't know what all the ruckus is about some blogger's words. I mean, it's not like she sent thousands of Americans to their deaths searching for imaginary WMDs or anything.

Publicus, you mean WMDs tha... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Publicus, you mean WMDs that everyone said were there? Nice try.

Jo, Especially the... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Jo,
Especially the WMD and terrorism threat proclaimed by Clinton and the Dems in the 1990s. These Dems must have been lying all these years. Stupid Bush for believing Dem pres and senators

Take any of the di... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Take any of the diatribes cited and substitute the word Christian with gay or black or woman and see how people's heads would explode.

Let's see. The original heading was:
"Pandagon goes undercover the lazy way on a Catholic anti-contraception seminar, Pt. II"

Okay. She used Catholic (not Christian) in the headline. Let's do the substitution on that word.

Let's try "gay".
"Pandagon goes undercover the lazy way on a Gay anti-contraception seminar, Pt. II"

Let's try "black".
"Pandagon goes undercover the lazy way on a Black anti-contraception seminar, Pt. II"

Hmmmm...doesn't do anything for me...for some reason my head isn't exploding...

Publicus, you mean... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Publicus, you mean WMDs that everyone said were there?

Actually, the Bush administration (not "everyone") said they were there. They we're SURE (just like they're SURE about Iran now...). The mistake others made was BELIEVING Bush...but fewer people are making that mistake now.

Publicus, it's 2007 now. Y... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Publicus, it's 2007 now. You need to catch up.

So when Clinton said they w... (Below threshold)
Jo:

So when Clinton said they were there during his administration, was it because he was listening to Governor Bush of Texas? lol.

Oh my. Uninformed doesn't even begin to cover it.

Yeah, Publicus! It's like t... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

Yeah, Publicus! It's like those meaningless UNMOVIC inspections in 2002! We couldn't wait for any longer, you know!

Publicus, it's 200... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Publicus, it's 2007 now. You need to catch up.

Yeah, but our brave soldiers who have been killed in Iraq looking for those weapons (and more will be killed if they stay there), are STILL dead. That's why I...and most of the American people...won't let it go. Most Americans want our misadventure in Iraq ended, and our troops brought safely home NOW.

Watch out! Pubitus is pret... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Watch out! Pubitus is pretending he gives a rats' ass about the soldiers again! Damn him and his moral high ground!

Watch out! Pubitus... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Watch out! Pubitus is pretending he gives a rats' ass about the soldiers again! Damn him and his moral high ground!

Look, I don't know why it's necessary to impugn my motives. I don't doubt your sincerity. I assume that you believe that the Iraq war is necessary, and despite some mis-steps, the war in Iraq is important and must be won. I assume that you are not happy about American casualties, but feel that this is an unavoidable terrible consequence of the situation we are in.

Some of us...MANY of us...in fact, the MAJORITY of Americans...now believe otherwise. And we are just as sincere as you are.

RFYoung: "She thinks she is... (Below threshold)

RFYoung: "She thinks she is FRESH"

She probably douches often? Oh wait, she's a feminist, she probably leaves it to fester believing in the sanctity of the vagina....

Still waiting to see the po... (Below threshold)
ohiovoter:

Still waiting to see the poll that came up with 150 million + 1 people voting against the war and 150 million -1 people voting for it. ;-)

Publicus, I can appreciate the sincerity of your view in support of isolationism - that no war is worth the life of member of the US military. I just wish the anti-war movement was consistent. If we should not be in Iraq, then we absolutely had no business whatsoever in Bosnia. Somehow, that particular conflict was "ok" despite it's similiarities to Iraq.

I also think that absolute isolationism is somewhat naive in this day and age, but, on purely theorectical level I can appreciate the sincerity of the viewpoint.

I'm not quite sure if you would support the use of the US military if, say the fighting was in Baltimore rather than Baghdad, but I assume that you do not support the use of the US military outside of the 50 states under any circumstances you would have to or be inconsistent.

Publicus said: "Actually, t... (Below threshold)
Carl:

Publicus said: "Actually, the Bush administration (not "everyone") said they were there."

Actually Publicus, if you had bothered to check the historical record, the Clinton administration KNEW Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, Putin over in Russia KNEW Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, the Israeli intelligence service and the Massad KNEW Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, British intelligence KNEW Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, the French intelligence KNEW Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, the Italian intelligence service KNEW Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, etc. In short every major and many minor intelligence agencies concluded the same thing about Iraq and WMD's...that Iraq had 'em. And the door is still open that they did have them and shipped 'em out well before the invasion began. Even the U.N. Security Council believed it well before the U.S. made their presentation.

Also, you are guilty of attempting to rewrite history in another area regarding Iraq as well. The issue of WMD's was one point but there were many other reasons for taking Saddam Hussein out. One major one being that he violated U.N. sanctions 17 times. Any of the violations, per U.N. rules, granted the U.S. the option of invading militarily, but Bush chose several times to give Hussein another chance. You seem to forget that Bush tried diplomacy time and time again until it became obvious to even the U.N. that diplomacy failed and it was time for military action.

Sorry, Publicus, but you're patently wrong on this.

Publicus, the majority of A... (Below threshold)
Carl:

Publicus, the majority of Americans do NOT want to "cut and run" as you imply.

How many Iraqi lives will be lost if troops leave before the job is done. There are severe consequences for the "cut and run" strategy that you and a minority of American espouse. The majority that you speak of feel Bush is not doing a good job in regards to Iraq and the majority of Americans want the Iraq war to end. But a majority of Americans don't want the troops to come home prematurely as well. I suggest you look at more varied polling instead of picking and choosing one or two to fit your agenda. Come back when you have thought through what will happen to the Iraqis if the allied troops leave too soon and allow Iran and Syria to invade.

"Come back when you have th... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"Come back when you have thought through what will happen to the Iraqis if the allied troops leave too soon and allow Iran and Syria to invade."

Carl, it will never happen. It's not permitted and there are no talking points on the subject never will be. For Democrats to even consider such though is political suicide.

Do you think they like being reminded of their be responsible for the 3 million slaughtered in South East Asia?

Oh I think they know what will happen they just don't want to think about when it happens or could be they really don't give a flying fuck . I'd say they just don't give a ....... It's rather obvious of the dirtbags.

Pubitus, I don't believe... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Pubitus, I don't believe any liberal when they start talking about "soldiers lives". They have demonstrated time and again their motives are purely political. Destroying Bush is chief among those motives. Iraq will be another Vietnam only because they will make it one.

As far this Marcotte freak:... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

As far this Marcotte freak: "F" her and the horse she rode in on. What a bitter, ugly person. Ans bye-bye candy-ass Johnny Edwards.

"My point is that by focusi... (Below threshold)
linn:

"My point is that by focusing on "dirty" language, even as a side-issue, which I am willing to concede it was (though you'll ignore that I have), will only harm bloggers' chances for getting involved with politics beyond the basement-pajama variety. That is the only point I was making."

And that, Mantis is where most on the far left and conservatives differ. I read many conservative blogs and rarely come across such blatent consistant foul language as I do on the liberal blogs.

There is no excuse for it. It shows a lock of culture and an inability to converse and make points without using that kind of language. Frankly I'm offended by it, but when others use it I just shrug my shoulders (mentally) and figure that it doesn't say anything good about themselves.

You seem to think that expecting a blogger who is blogging for a candidate to NOT use foul language is unreasonable and too much to expect. For a lot of liberals I'm sure that is true. If that's the standard it disqualifies many liberal bloggers (and some conservative ones) from blogging for candidates.

The bigger point though was the anti Catholic and anti Christian screeds. They were beyond offensive and reflected back squarely on Edwards. Even though it was her personal blog, it still said that he had no problem with her views and thoughts.

"My point is that by focusi... (Below threshold)
linn:

"My point is that by focusing on "dirty" language, even as a side-issue, which I am willing to concede it was (though you'll ignore that I have), will only harm bloggers' chances for getting involved with politics beyond the basement-pajama variety. That is the only point I was making."

And that, Mantis is where most on the far left and conservatives differ. I read many conservative blogs and rarely come across such blatent consistant foul language as I do on the liberal blogs.

There is no excuse for it. It shows a lock of culture and an inability to converse and make points without using that kind of language. Frankly I'm offended by it, but when others use it I just shrug my shoulders (mentally) and figure that it doesn't say anything good about themselves.

You seem to think that expecting a blogger who is blogging for a candidate to NOT use foul language is unreasonable and too much to expect. For a lot of liberals I'm sure that is true. If that's the standard it disqualifies many liberal bloggers (and some conservative ones) from blogging for candidates.

The bigger point though was the anti Catholic and anti Christian screeds. They were beyond offensive and reflected back squarely on Edwards. Even though it was her personal blog, it still said that he had no problem with her views and thoughts.

Publicus, I can ap... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Publicus, I can appreciate the sincerity of your view in support of isolationism - that no war is worth the life of member of the US military.

Not my position. Never said anything about isolationism, only opposition to war in Iraq.

Also, you are guilty of attempting to rewrite history in another area regarding Iraq as well. The issue of WMD's was one point but there were many other reasons for taking Saddam Hussein out.

There WERE other rationales for the war in Iraq...but the one which resonated with people was fear of a mushroom cloud from one of Hussein's nukes destroying an American city. There wasn't popular support for, say, sacrificing American lives to bring democracy to Iraq.

Publicus, the majority of Americans do NOT want to "cut and run" as you imply.

Well, just review some polls and you can find out for yourself how popular the war in Iraq is with Americans...and how many want out.

Pubitus, I don't believe any liberal when they start talking about "soldiers lives".

Believe what you like. I, of course, know my own motives better than you do.


The bigger point t... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
The bigger point though was the anti Catholic and anti Christian screeds. They were beyond offensive and reflected back squarely on Edwards. Even though it was her personal blog, it still said that he had no problem with her views and thoughts.

linn's point here is, in my opinion, by far the wisest ant-Edward point made here. I am not easily offended...either by Amanda's words or by harsh words address to me on this blog tonite. I understand that people feel strongly about their positions and may use strong language.

But, I understand WHY people would be offended and agree that it could cause problems for Edward's and his campaign.

I read many conservative... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I read many conservative blogs and rarely come across such blatent consistant foul language as I do on the liberal blogs.

Really? Do you read Ace, or Jeff Goldstein, or Anti-Idolitarian Rottweiler? Pretty foul language on those blogs. Further, there are tons of liberal bloggers who don't work blue at all. So spare me.

There is no excuse for it.

In your mind, maybe.

It shows a lock of culture and an inability to converse and make points without using that kind of language. Frankly I'm offended by it, but when others use it I just shrug my shoulders (mentally) and figure that it doesn't say anything good about themselves.

So don't read them.

You seem to think that expecting a blogger who is blogging for a candidate to NOT use foul language is unreasonable and too much to expect.

You seem to think you can make up shit I didn't write and get away with it. I never said it is unreasonable for a candidate to expect a blogger working for him/her to not use foul language. I find it very reasonable. What I find ridiculous is that bloggers who normally ignore or even embrace all the "dirty words" used in the blogosphere all of a sudden became dainty schoolmarms (about what someone wrote when she was not employed by the candidate.

The bigger point though was the anti Catholic and anti Christian screeds. They were beyond offensive and reflected back squarely on Edwards. Even though it was her personal blog, it still said that he had no problem with her views and thoughts.

The most offensive stuff I saw that she wrote was not the christianity stuff, but her writings about the Duke lacrosse case (as noted by others above). Either way, I don't dispute the fact that the content of what she writes is offensive to many, what I'm talking about is the widespread and repeated complaints about those awful dirty words. It's absurd.

Publicus...Not ... (Below threshold)
ohiovoter:

Publicus...

Not my position. Never said anything about isolationism, only opposition to war in Iraq.

Given your earlier comments, it was a reasonable assumption - I apologize for misunderstanding your point.

Now we know that you don't necessarily object to the death of American soldiers in a military conflict - you only object when it is in defense of Iraqi lives. You don't necessarily object to the bombing of civilians by US warplanes - you only object when they are Iraqi civilians. You don't necessarily object to the use of the US military in the advance of objectives - you only object when the objectives are those of the Bush administration.

So, tell us. When, in your opinion, is it OK to use the might fo the US military in conflict?

Just one note - I hope that you aren't going to tell us it's OK when the UN says its OK. As has been well documented, the UN is not shy about lining both its institutional and its leaders pockets with the money of any murderous dictator if it suits its purpose.

The US military is comprised of volunteers, not mercenaries - the Washington Post's Arkin's opinion aside. They absolutely are NOT Hessians - hired out by the UN to do their bidding and enrich its executives personally - especially when the US itself would undoubtedly still be footing the expenses.

There WERE other rationales for the war in Iraq...but the one which resonated with people was fear of a mushroom cloud from one of Hussein's nukes destroying an American city. There wasn't popular support for, say, sacrificing American lives to bring democracy to Iraq.

This is simply silly. You (and only you)KNOW what nearly 300 million Americans REALLY thought? Sure YOU may have thought that - maybe you could even name a few friends who did or saw some people on the news who said that, but to claim it as fact when it is clearly nothing more than your opinion is ridiculous. I give you credit for admitting that other reasons were given - most anti-war protesters I've had this discussion with usually lie about that fact - but you have no way of knowing what "most" Americans thought.

Publicus ....
I am not easily offended...either by Amanda's words or by harsh words address to me on this blog tonite.

The most offensive stuff I saw that she wrote was not the christianity stuff, but her writings about the Duke lacrosse case (as noted by others above).

"...by harsh words address to me", but the Christianity stuff doesn't strike you as offensive?

Well, thank you. I guess we Christians are expected to be tougher than you are.

If you find the words addressed to you tonight are "harsh", but Christians shouldn't be offended by the words of Marcotte and McEwan, you clearly have two very different standards of what is acceptable public discourse.

If you are a Christian, anything goes.

If you are Publicus, "you are wrong" is considered "harsh".

(Hint: your use of the word "harsh" to describe the words addressed to you on this blog seem to indicate that you are more easily offended - than you claim - when you are the target.)

Now we know that y... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
Now we know that you don't necessarily object to the death of American soldiers in a military conflict - you only object when it is in defense of Iraqi lives.

Yep. That must be it...People who oppose the war in Iraq (especially me!) have a deep and abiding hatred for the Iraqi people. There can be no other explanation...And those Republicans, of course, hate the people of Darfur. Can't be any other explanation.

This is simply silly. You (and only you)KNOW what nearly 300 million Americans REALLY thought?

Yep. That's exactly what I was suggesting. When I said that popular support for the war was based on fear of an Iraqi nuke being used against an American city, I was demonstrating EXACTLY what you said here.

Christianity stuff doesn't strike you as offensive

Yep. Makes no sense to me how anyone could be offended. I find it incomprehensible. That's why I said: "I understand WHY people would be offended".

It appears that we can put ... (Below threshold)
ohiovoter:

It appears that we can put to bed the myth that you are not easily offended ...

Yep. That must be it...People who oppose the war in Iraq (especially me!) have a deep and abiding hatred for the Iraqi people. There can be no other explanation.

Really? Since I never said anything about you hating Iraqis or even anything that could be remotely interpreted as saying you hated Iraqis, then that is obviously not my POV. Wanting to preserve the life of a neighbor or a loved one does not require you to hate someone else - it speaks only to the value you place on the life of the person you want to protect.

While it is not a POV that I agree with, I can understand why someone may hold that viewpoint.

However, it is interesting that you chose to make the statement that the only possibly explanation is that you hate Iraqis.

And those Republicans, of course, hate the people of Darfur. Can't be any other explanation.

It is pitiful how little has been done to help the people of Darfur isn't it? With the exception of the efforts of GB and the US (via the Bush Administration) to force the UN to respond to those dying there, the world has really ignored the suffering there.

Yes, it is the Republicans fault .... as it is the fault of the Democrats (Darfur predates the Bush Administration after all) and pretty much everyone else in the world.

Of course, if we are using that as a yardstick for assigning blame, wouldn't that mean Democrats are responsible for the deaths of 800,000 people in Rwanda - that is, according to YOUR POV? Personally, I think that your assessment of Democrats in that situation is harsh and unfair. Certainly the whole world - with the exception of the Canadians who were on the ground doing what they could - bears the responsiblity for those massacres.

Yep. That's exactly what I was suggesting. When I said that popular support for the war was based on fear of an Iraqi nuke being used against an American city, I was demonstrating EXACTLY what you said here.

It sucks, doesn't it? You were trying to be sarcastic, but all you could do is repeat basically what you said the first time because THAT IS what you said the first time. LOL!

Yep. Makes no sense to me how anyone could be offended. I find it incomprehensible. That's why I said: "I understand WHY people would be offended".

Well, since I didn't ask you if you could understand anyone else being offended, your response is irrelevant.

I did, however, ask you this:

"So, tell us. When, in your opinion, is it OK to use the might fo the US military in conflict?"

.... which you didn't even try and answer.

Publicus, you chose to assume that I was insincere in my response when I was being nothing of the kind ... which is pretty ironic given your earlier lecture to others on the same topic.


ohiovoter --Whatev... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

ohiovoter --

Whatever.

Publicus ...Ah ...... (Below threshold)
ohiovoter:

Publicus ...

Ah ... so then you weren't sincere.

Your comments were simply a partisian-inspired rant. Nothing wrong with that - if you are honest about it.

If you want to actually discuss the conflict in Iraq, let me know.




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