Wednesday, February 07, 2007

They're Toast

When the Grey Lady finally weighs in on your blogging controversy, it's all but over.

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.

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.

According to the Times, the Edwards campaign is "reconsidering" hiring the two bloggers. That's politicalese for "they're out."

The Times story is hilarious in its uptight, toned-down description of Amanda and Melissa McEwan, blogger for Shakespeare's Sister.
Ms. Marcotte wrote in December that the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to the use of contraception forced women "to bear more tithing Catholics." In another posting last year, she used vulgar language to describe the church doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

She has also written sarcastically about the news media coverage of the three Duke lacrosse players accused of sexual assault, saying: "Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair."

I guess the NYT can't print anything close to what Amanda actually says--repeatedly--about Christians in general and Catholics in particular. Well, here's a sample of Amanda's "insightful, issue-driven commentary," as she put it. First, there's this:
The very good news is that Phil Kline, who was thrown out of his office as attorney general of Kansas because his anti-choice views alarmed the voters so much, has failed in another one of his missions to use the government to harass doctors who help women make reproductive choices Kline does not approve of. This time around, Kline was harassing Dr. George Tiller, one of the few doctors left in the U.S. who will perform late term abortions, mostly because he seems to be a brave motherfucker who will face down endless death threats from “pro-lifers”. The charge was that Dr. Tiller was aborting pregnancies that involved fetuses that Kline felt were viable (meaning no doubt that Kline thought these women getting abortions were depriving some white, middle class couple of a baby to adopt). Kline forgot that the right to abortion is not based on fetal viability, but on the woman’s right to medical treatment, despite her criminal possession of a vagina, which is why his harassment suit was thrown out of court.

I'm curious to know if Amanda's view on this parallel's John Edwards'. It would be an interesting question for a press conference.
JOHN EDWARDS: Next question.

INTREPID REPORTER: Mr. Edwards, your blogmaster has stated previously that pro-lifers want to ban abortion so that there will be more white babies for adoption. She has also stated on your blog and her own that you and she agree on many issues. Do you agree with her that pro-life supporters are only interested in having more white babies for adoption?

JOHN EDWARDS: Anyone else?

Ah, yes. The press conferences we wish we'd see.

But there is more from Amanda about Catholics specifically, such as this:
Perhaps Savala can speak to the archbishop, who makes it clear that losing his wife is just the price he has to pay in order to make sure the sluts just don’t get away with Teh Sex...

I’d like to ask the archbishop what the acceptable number of deaths is every year. Is there a number of dead women too high before the church reconsiders its position on mandatory childbirth? Probably not, considering the church’s opposition to condom use, despite the staggeringly high number of deaths from AIDS every year. The fear that people might get away with fucking is just too much to bear...

Unlike the belligerent Catholic church officials in Nicaragua, American anti-choicers know that they have no legal options if they simply come right out and say their opposition to abortion is based on the principles that no one should escape punishment for fucking and that women’s god-given role in life is to push out babies, full stop, and therefore abortion is an alarming demonstration that some women might think there’s more to life, including having one. So they say that their opposition to abortion has something to do with “life”. When faced with the fact that their beloved abortion bans kill actual human beings, they say, "Nuh-uh!"

Back to the press conference.
INTREPID REPORTER: Do you agree with Ms. Marcotte that American pro-life supporters' opposition to abortion "is based on the principles that no one should escape punishment for fucking and that women’s god-given role in life is to push out babies, full stop, and therefore abortion is an alarming demonstration that some women might think there’s more to life, including having one"?

JOHN EDWARDS: Next question.

It's too bad there aren't any reporters gutsy enough to ask Mr. Edwards those questions. I would do it, but then I always was the student who got in trouble for pointing out the obvious idiocy and hypocrisy of certain views.

And it's really too bad the NYT in describing this kerfluffle didn't use any of the more exemplary quotes by Amanda. I'm sure they just couldn't find any.

UPDATE: Captain Ed has more on this and points out the obvious: what were they thinking?
Catholics have overcome bad weather that had more impact on our faith than either blogger, but Edwards wants to court the Catholic (and Evangelical) impulses for social justice and peace to bolster his populist campaign. Surely someone on his staff had the responsibility to actually read the bloggers' previous work to see if it matched the tone Edwards wanted to set with the on-line community and voters in general. That someone should be fired right along with Marcotte and McEwan.

UPDATE x2: The shrieking Left is getting antsy now. Zuzu at feministe is almost incoherent with rage.
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.

Obviously, Zuzu doesn't get that firing the flipped out feminists is to prevent Edwards from looking like a complete moonbat to that portion of the population inclined to vote for his health care proposals or other issues. In other words, Amanda and Melissa are distractions from the message and that's not a good thing for any candidate.