This Is Really Getting Out Of Hand

Jesus, now noted Jew-hater William Donohue, head of the Catholic League, is getting in on the Amanda-bashing (and adding in some hate for Shakes while he’s at it):

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 — Two bloggers hired by John Edwards to reach out to liberals in the online world have landed his presidential campaign in hot water for doing what bloggers do — expressing their opinions in provocative and often crude language.

That’s very telling, that choice of terms. “In hot water.” Kind of makes it sound like Donohue’s got some kind of legitimate complaint here rather than just manufactured outrage, doesn’t it?

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.”

You know, you really have to admire the level of projection required to be Bill Donohue. Because the man who’s demanding the heads of Amanda and Shakes for being “anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking bigots” had this to say about Jews:

Clearly, this article arose from the wingnutosphere, given the mention of Amanda’s Duke post. But here’s the most disturbing part, to me:

Mr. Edwards’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Palmieri, said Tuesday night that the campaign was weighing the fate of the two bloggers.

Now, obviously, the campaign has undoubtedly been asked about this and had to make some kind of response. But this idea that they’re “weighing the fate” of two bloggers based only on the stink made by people like Donohue, who doesn’t think much of the Constitution —

— or Michelle “Our Lady of the Internment Camps” Malkin, whose manufactured outrage over Jamilgate might just get a man and his family KILLED —

— the very idea that the Edwards campaign would even consider hanging these two bloggers out to dry to appease people who won’t even be voting in the primary, much less for him, turns my stomach.

Because we have enough so-called leaders who bow to the demands of the very loud, very unhinged right wing noise machine. John Edwards, if you are at all serious about getting the votes of liberals, of women, of people who care passionately about the issues you talk about, then you can not cave to the likes of Bill Donohue.

Because there will be no end to the demands for capitulation. They won’t rest on their laurels after having taken out two relatively small fry. No, their demands will only increase, and there is no appeasing them.

And in the end, they’re not going to vote for you anyway. And the people who agree with them aren’t going to vote for you anyway.

The people you’ll lose, if you cave, are the people who hunger for someone who will stand the hell up to these kinds of loudmouthed, anti-Constitutional hacks who stand for nothing but their own selves.

I’m looking for a candidate who won’t throw allies under the bus to appease opponents.

Are you that candidate, John Edwards?

John Edwards campaign contact info. If you’re going to email, email today. Politely, please.

UPDATE: See also Liza Sabater/Culture Kitchen, Shakespeare’s Sister, MyDD, All Spin Zone, Glenn Greenwald,
, The Carpetbagger Report, The Heretik, and CorrenteWire.

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56 comments for “This Is Really Getting Out Of Hand

  1. February 7, 2007 at 11:20 am

    I’ve been an Edwards supporter since 2004, but if he fires Amanda over these people’s bleating? I’m done with him.

  2. February 7, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Good grief. That they would even comment on what these utter loonies have to say is a little weird.

    If Edwards hired Amanda because of the contents of her blog and how she ran it, then what kind of swaying in the wind would it be to fire her for the same reason?

    Personally, I would say that all the right people are getting alarmed, and the more alarmed and frothing they get, the happier I am.

  3. Bitter Scribe
    February 7, 2007 at 11:30 am

    First he admits he would raise taxes for universal health care. Now he’s apparently considering getting rid of people he just hired to appease the likes of Donahue.

    I have a feeling this guy will be second only to Biden in the how-fast-can-they-sink contest.

    (And to clarify: I’m not against raising taxes for health care. It’s probably necessary. But anyone who’s politically sophisticated enough to run for president should know that talking about it this early is just giving your opponents a club to beat you with.)

  4. Chicklet
    February 7, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Christ on toast points, Edwards. Show some spine! If you can’t stand up to a race-baiting, poo-flinging monkey like Malkin or a defender of the world’s largest pedophilia ring like Donohue, how are you going to stand up for yourself in Washington?

  5. lizvelrene
    February 7, 2007 at 11:41 am

    If he capitulates to these people after a few days of whining and drops these two intelligent progressive bloggers from his campaign, it really doesn’t speak well for how he will stand up for the issues once he’s got the nomination or the office, does it?

    I was excited by his selection of Amanda and Shakes and it made me interested in following his campaign, but if he drops either one of them due to long-standing internet turf war grudges I’ll definately be throwing my support behind another candidate.

  6. February 7, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Email snet.
    Made it nice.

    If he fires Amanda and Shakes, I will write a follow-up email. I won’t be nice. Because if the right-wing wins on this one, they know that they can bully him with the same Flip-Flop/Swiftboat BS that they used against Kerry.

    I really, really hope they make the right decision.

  7. February 7, 2007 at 11:53 am

    I *really* don’t think you meant Glenn Reynolds…

  8. LiberalCatholicGirl
    February 7, 2007 at 11:56 am

    I hope Edwards realizes that by “anti-Catholic”, what guys like Donohue mean is “anti-uberconservative by the book bishop obeying Catholic”; which is maybe about 5% of Catholics in this country, who ain’t voting for him anyway.

    The rest of us think with our own minds, thank you much, and I think if you polled your average parish most regular lay Catholics would second some of the sentiments seen on Pandagon.

    Edwards gains *nothing* by dumping her, and loses his credibility.

  9. February 7, 2007 at 11:59 am

    This confirmed Catholic (now evangelical Episcopalian) has sent his email to Edwards. If Edwards keeps Amanda, he gets my money and my endorsement. If he’s got the guts to buck the swifties on this, I’ll abandon my quixotic attachment to Kucinich and come on over to John-boy.

    If he dumps her, the money gets split between Hillary and Barack and he will, indeed, lose huge cred.

  10. February 7, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Message to Edwards campaign sent.

    This whole thing made me think of a quote from an episode of The West Wing. “If they’re shooting at you, you must be doing something right.” I hope Edwards sees that…(and yes, that was included in my message to his campaign)

  11. syfr
    February 7, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Letter sent. If he drops them, I drop him; he isn’t ready to play in the big leagues if he can’t stand up to the right wing machine.

  12. glennrwordman
    February 7, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    What I wrote:

    “One of the first things that got me truly excited about John Edwards’ Presidential Campaign was his hiring of Amanda Marcotte to be in charge of the Edwards ’08 blog. I thought it was a move that reflected forward thinking, in bringing on such a dynamic writer, provocative and thoughtful.

    Now William Donoghue and others in the right-wing echo chamber are trying to force the Edwards’ campaign to fire Amanda because of her alleged “anti-Catholic” bigotry and use of profanity.

    If the Edwards campaign capitulates to these far-right cranks, all it will accomplish is proving that the candidate cannot stand up to those who do not have the best interests of his true constituency in mind. They will never cease to attack John; caving in in this case will not make these people suddenly support the Edwards campaign–what it will do is show that the fear-mongering on the right, has, in canine parlance, “fixed” John Edwards.

    And I will never vote for him if the campaign gives in and fires Amanda. It will show that in the end, the candidate will bend to whomever applies the most pressure.

    Please make a quick and strong show of support for your bloggers.”

  13. Jenna
    February 7, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Mine. I tried to play up the Good for America angle:

    Mr. Edwards:

    I am a strong and committed progressive who realizes fully the importance of the 2008 election to our country’s future, as well as the future of the individual American.

    As such, I write to implore you to retain Ms. Marcotte as your staff member. When Ms. Marcotte blogs, she may indeed utilize harsh language and flay bare ideological inconsistancies. She may offend those who hold harmful ideologies dear. Despite all this, Ms. Marcotte speaks truth, and that is a rare and valuable asset in our fight to form an America that conforms to the values for which our country stands.

    Those committed to the harassment of Ms. Marcotte are also committed to restricting freedom, retaining sexist/racist/classist codes, and increasing the control of those currently in power. Their perspective speak not to truth, but to the lies which are devistating equality in our country.

    I beg of you, do not fall prey to their contentious and deceptive screeds, and I ask you most humbly to retain Ms. Marcotte as a staff member.

  14. February 7, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    I wrote to to his campaign as well, pointing out that while firing Amanda and Melissa may appease a few right-wingers who would never vote for him anyway, it will upset a lot of left-wingers who would vote for him, myself included. Also that the right wing would react negatively to any big-name left-wing blogger he would hire.

  15. February 7, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Yep — all of us women gettin’ emotional and volatile about politics. :)

  16. February 7, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Maybe Edwards figures he has to take care of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, especially since the Republican president and the Iraq War enjoy broad support and his party does not have much power on Capitol Hill.

    Edwards should respond by giving these bloggers a raise and a promotion rather than listening to concern troll antisemites. If he buckles on this, he is not a “wartime consigliere” and should be thrown off the ship.

  17. February 7, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    The fact that they’re even considering this at all shows that Edwards is a fucking joke. Violently and deeply as it pains me to say something good about the Dickster, he had a point when he snarled at Edwards in the VP debate in 04, “If you can’t stand up to Howard Dean, how can you stand up to Osama bin Laden?” This guy doesn’t even have the backbone to stand up to Michelle Malkin, whose claim to fame is writing a book glorifying the most totalitarian moment in US history? Go back to suing The Garden Weasel, you craven hick.

  18. dee
    February 7, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Tell it like it is: the Catholic church has been terrorizing women and people with HIV and is probably the biggest terrorist organization in the world. It is true so what is wrong with saying so?

  19. February 7, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Jenna –

    So eloquent.

  20. DDay
    February 7, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    I wrote an email too. I started off by saying the I just want to make sure that the campaign is not taking these complaints seriously and then went on to say how I only gave the campaign a deeper look after they hired Amanda and Melissa.

  21. February 7, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    I’m looking for a candidate who won’t throw allies under the bus to appease opponents.

    Are you that candidate, John Edwards?

    I’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion that in mainstream federal politics the question is not if someone will be forced to throw allies under the bus, it’s a question of who gets thrown under the bus, when, and for what reward. People who believe in equality and justice appear to be crippled by the comforting delusion that mainstream progressives are allies.

    Progressives are only allies when they can be persuaded or coerced into doing the right thing. But their political will to do the right thing is short-lived, and they will be the first to tell you to shut up and accept the bones tossed to you.

  22. February 7, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    I sent an email. He’ll have no chance with feminists if he fires Marcotte and McEwan

  23. Raging Moderate
    February 7, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Mr. Edwards’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Palmieri, said Tuesday night that the campaign was weighing the fate of the two bloggers.

    Not surprising. Ms. Marcotte and some of her more controversial views might help Edwards in the primaries, but I believe that those same views would hurt his chances with moderates in the election if he got the nomination.

    I think she’s too hot for mainstream politics and will be let go as a result.

  24. February 7, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Dear John Edwards —

    I have to say that I am totally offended by the characterization of Amanda Marcotte in recent media – particularly the article by William Donohue as covered by feministe.

    To be quite frank, I hadn’t considered learning more about you as a candidate before you hired Amanda. I trust Amanda’s opinions and writing from Pandagon. She is one of the most thoughful and original bloggers out there – you are lucky to have her. The second you hired her was the second I started believing that you were a real contender and were serious about doing things differently.

    My hope is that you have decided to stand by Amanda. If you decided differently, I believe many people (including myself) would be entirely let down by you as a leader. I vote as a democrat in the primary, and I would not begin to consider voting for you if this were the case. Plus, the Right would have something incredibly petty to leverage against you.

  25. Radalan
    February 7, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Letter sent. I truly hope that the Edwards campaign doesn’t just keep Amanda, but goes on the counter-offensive against these thugs.

  26. beebles
    February 7, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    Salon is reporting that Shakes and Amanda were let go…
    Utter bullshit.

  27. February 7, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Not surprising. Ms. Marcotte and some of her more controversial views might help Edwards in the primaries, but I believe that those same views would hurt his chances with moderates in the election if he got the nomination.

    One of the things that strikes me about the whole thing is summed up by RM’s complete ignoring of the fact that there are two bloggers in question. It’s not just Amanda. Shakes is getting damned nearly solely by association. I haven’t read every right-wing blog post on the issue, but I haven’t seen one that really goes into Shakes’ posts. It’s all Marcia, Marcia, Marcia Amanda, Amanda, Amanda! Even Donohue can only lamely trot out one mild quote about “religious conservatives,” which doesn’t even come close to equaling “Catholics.” It doesn’t even damn religious conservatives, just asks a question many progressives have asked – Why must religious conservatives seek to foist their religion via law on the rest of us?

    What I’m getting out of this is that it’s simply assumed that since Shakes is a feminist blogger, like Amanda, she must be Teh Evil! Not that I’m saying that Amanda is Teh Evil! She isn’t. I just find it ridiculous that people are condemning Shakes without actually quoting anything meaningful in support. It’s all “Amanda said this. Amanda said that. Amanda said blah blah blah. Oh and there’s that Melissa too.”

  28. February 7, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Hmm. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia was supposed to be in strike out. Guess I’m the one who struck out there.

  29. Mnemosyne
    February 7, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    I e-mailed too. I was a little intemperate (the phrase “knuckling under to the right wing” worked its way in there), but I managed not to use any swears.

  30. Bolo
    February 7, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Salon is reporting that Amanda and Melissa have been fired:

    Wonder if this is true. Damnit. And I liked Edwards too.

  31. blondie
    February 7, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    My submission to the campaign:
    Dear Senator Edwards:

    I am so pleased that you are seeking the nomination for the Democratic candidate for the U.S. President. I believe you are a strong candidate, and I support many of the views I have heard you express.

    I write this e-mail to advise you of my strong belief that your campaign should not bow to hate-mongering from the far-right hinterlands of the internet to dismiss your recent hires from the progressive feminist blogs of Pandagon and Shakespeare’s Sister. The instinct that was followed in hiring these two eloquent women was a good one. It’s forward-thinking and progressive.

    To allow such a good move to be so quickly countermanded by scare-tactics and name-calling from hypocritical, right-wing mouthpieces would be a sad thing indeed. People who despise the second or other America — women, people of color, those with little wealth or power — would be so happy to see your campaign dance attendance upon their whims. On the other hand, people who live in the shadow America need a President like you, and they need advocates like Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, who call out the truth with clarion voice.

    These women have used language on internet blogs no more foul than that employed by the Vice President of the United States, in the Capitol, to a distinguished Senator. Thus, their prior colorful language cannot be considered a disqualification to public discourse forever after.

    Nor are they anti-church or anti-religion. They are pro-woman. The fact that some churches’ dogma or the teachings of some church leaders is oppositional, if not downright harmful, to women is not unknown to most people in this country. We walk a delicate line between church and state in our country, and someone’s choice or lack of any particular religion should certainly not disqualify her from working on behalf of any candidate for public office.

    Your campaign showed strength and wisdom in hiring these women. Please don’t let them and us down.


  32. February 7, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Salon is reporting that Amanda and Melissa have been fired

    Yeah, but then there’s this paragraph in the article quoting Palmieri:

    Speculation from sources that the two bloggers might be rehired was bolstered by Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for the Edwards campaign, who said in an e-mail that she would “caution [Salon] against reporting that they have been fired. We will have something to say later.”

    At this point, I’m waiting until the Edwards’ campaign makes its statement on the subject. Once it does, I’ll decide what to do next. If they’re fired, I will take that as an indication that Edwards is more interested in pandering to his opponents than his supporters and look around for another candidate to support.

  33. Pingback: The Agonist
  34. BStu
    February 7, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Here is the message I sent the Edwards campign. I didn’t realize the attacks had expanded to Melissa McEwan at the time, or I would have name-checked her, too.

    I had the pleasure of voting for John Edwards in the primary in 2004 and then for Vice President in the general election. I’ve been strongly inclined to support him again in 2008. I must say, though, that I am disappointed with the response from the Edwards camp to the hypocritical attacks against Amanda Marcotte. Ms. Marcotte has long been a passionate advocate for progressive causes online. She does not mince words and I respect that. Those who have lined up to express their “outrage” against Ms. Marcotte are promoters of hatred and intolerance who are shamefully painting Ms. Marcotte’s disagreement with their personal positions as some manner of bigotry against some class of people that person belongs to. This is wrong, and the John Edwards campaign shouldn’t be afraid to say so. I’m not at all troubled if she had ocassion to use a swear word. I find that far less offensive that words which promote religious and ethnic intolerance. I find that far less offensive than words which promote a gap between the haves and have-nots in this country. I find that far less offensive that words which drip with deciet and delusion and seek to misleed people. The words Ms. Marcotte used and her supposed angry demeanor do not offend me. The actions and words of those who have jumped to attack her do. I hope the John Edwards campaign will agree. If not, I suspect my support will go elsewhere in 2008. My thanks for your consideration of my message.

  35. TomCody
    February 7, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    I put in an email from the link and yes I was polite:) But I do believe that if Edwards cowtows to these people then the liberal blogasphere should get together and boycott him.

    I only hope that Amanda won’t step down voluntarily for this bullshit, though I have faith she’ll stick to her guns.

  36. TomCody
    February 7, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    I put in an email from the link and yes I was polite:) But I do believe that if Edwards cowtows to these people then the liberal blogasphere should get together and boycott him.

    I only hope that Amanda won’t step down voluntarily for this bullshit, though I have faith she’ll stick to her guns.

  37. TomCody
    February 7, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Sorry for the double post. My computer told me it didn’t go through the first time.

  38. jenn
    February 7, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    I sent a message to Edwards, too. This is over the top. I’m about to give up on politics.

  39. JeffL
    February 7, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Just sent this:

    Dear Mr. Edwards, is reporting that you have bowed to pressure from right-wing extremists, and fired Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. With that move, you have lost the support of this progressive Democrat.

    I was getting excited about your campaign, sir. I’m with you on many of your positions, & impressed with your leadership skills. But I simply can’t support a man who will so easily play into the hands of the rightwing. The Catholic League, Michelle Malkin & all the others were so vocal about Ms. Marcotte & Ms. McEwan because they were so very afraid of them. So they made big, loud stink. And you did exactly as they asked, throwing two of your own under the bus.

    That’s not a man I could ever support for President.

    My one hope is that Salon is wrong, and no one has been fired, and that you will stand up to these people.

    Jeff Leyser

  40. February 7, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Man, I hope Keith Olbermann gets Amanda and/or Melissa on. That would be a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

    (Incidentally, that’s why I just wrote the show and asked for just that. :)

  41. blondie
    February 7, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Excellent suggestion, Mighty Ponygirl. I’m going to do the same right now.

  42. TomK
    February 7, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    I wrote him and told him we need an FDR moment where he talks about what gasbags these assholes are and how he welcomes the hatred of people like Malkin and Donohue. That is the only thing that can save him.

  43. TomK
    February 7, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    I got 50 bucks to be donated to Amanda if she gets fired, so she isn’t hurt by moving and then getting fired in a new place. If Edwards keeps her for the next month, he’ll get the money for his campaign instead.

  44. TomK
    February 7, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Anyone else with me on this?

  45. February 7, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    I’m with PSoTD above; please don’t sully Glenn Greenwald’s name by associating him with that “other Glenn”. Fix the link at the end.

  46. tara
    February 7, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    CBrachyrhynchos Says: “Progressives are only allies when they can be persuaded or coerced into doing the right thing. But their political will to do the right thing is short-lived, and they will be the first to tell you to shut up and accept the bones tossed to you.” — WOW, this crystallizes my thoughts exactly (thinking of so much bigotry and lack of concern by liberals and progressives on issues from marriage equality to racial and class bias.). It’s why, as just one example, I don’t vote straight party Democrat anymore.

  47. February 7, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Two of your former guestbloggers are on board.

  48. zuzu
    February 7, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    I *really* don’t think you meant Glenn Reynolds…

    Oh, God. How embarrassing.

    That’s what I get for trying to post while rushing out for a job interview.


  49. February 8, 2007 at 3:15 am

    I agree, RM. This is a moderate country. It’s not like we’re overrun by far right nuts. George W. Bush, george Allen, Brownback, Malkin, Coulter, Donahue, they’re at least as far to the right as Amanda is to the left, but us moderates, we like our mainstream far right and uncontroversial. Frankly, if we combined all the prominent elected and media darling rightwingers in the US and amped them to the thousandth power, they still wouldn’t be reactionary enough for a moderate like me.

  50. February 8, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    If Edwards hired Amanda because of the contents of her blog and how she ran it, then what kind of swaying in the wind would it be to fire her for the same reason?

    Well, frankly, yeah.

    I mean, at least Clinton waited until -after- he was elected to start throwing people like Jocelyn Elders under the bus.

    god. wake me up when…well, no, it isn’t all over any time soon, is it. in two years? in six years? ever? oh, fuck ’em all, maybe we should just give it to McCain and let him piledrive us all the rest of the way to hell.

    or, i don’t know.

    “someone save us.”

    …oh, shit, they’re not coming, are they.

  51. mothworm
    February 8, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Has anyone else slogged through the commenst on the Salon article? What the fuck is up with the people trying to paint Amanda as the left wing mirror of Malkin? And calling her “sexist”?

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