My Take On The Edwards Bloggers

I’ve been watching Amanda Marcotte, what’s her face, John Edwards’ sage with great interest over the last week and a half or so, if only because I’m working on a Republican presidential campaign myself. Of course, my situation isn’t exactly the same because I was hired by a consulting agency, not by the campaign, and I also won’t be blogging for the campaign.

Still, I had mixed feelings about watching Marcotte and McEwan being slowly picked apart. On the one hand, both Marcotte and McEwan are foul mouthed, obnoxious, and stridently anti-Christian. Neither of them is the sort of person that any presidential campaign should want out front, speaking for them in public, on a blog.

Moreover, the left does these sort of forays against conservatives all the time. Ask Ben Domench, Jeff Gannon, KSFO, Glenn Beck; they can tell you all about it. So can Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Tom DeLay, who’ve all had to deal with politically motivated prosecutors who’ve tried to put them in jail more for their conservative views than anything they did wrong. Even now, there are liberal bloggers and MSM outlets leveling vile smears at Patrick Hynes for no other reason than because he’s a conservative blogger working for McCain and they want a payback scalp. So, what Marcotte and McEwan got hammered with was only a small fraction of what conservatives are hit with all the time.

On the other hand, let me be perfectly honest here: I don’t think this whole tempest in a teapot would have hurt the Edwards campaign at all in the long run. Aside from the fact that almost everyone who was complaining was on the right, it’s Feb of 2007 and the first primaries are going to be in Jan of 2008. Meanwhile, this whole episode would have been down the memory hole in another couple of days.

So why did Marcotte and McEwan quit? You have to wonder if they decided to deliberately play this up for all it’s worth after coming to the conclusion that they didn’t like working at the John Edwards campaign. Now, that may seem a bit far fetched, but think about it — getting publicly chided by Edwards and forced to make completely insincere apologies must have rankled them. Plus, as we all know, there’s nothing the left loves more than a supposed “victim” of the “right wing smear machine.” Look at the Dixie Chicks’ 5 Grammy awards and the endless, fawning press they’ve gotten since they were “silenced” if you don’t believe that. So, Marcotte and McEwan knew this whole episode would only make them hotter than ever as bloggers.

Since that’s the case, is it so hard to believe that Marcotte, who was under fire for anti-Catholic comments, may have deliberately included this line in a movie review at Pandagon for no other reason than to keep the controversy going?

“The Christian version of the virgin birth is generally interpreted as super-patriarchal, where god is viewed as so powerful he can impregnate without befouling himself by touching a woman, and women are nothing but vessels.”

Then, Marcotte quits — which keeps the story going a day longer. The next day McEwan quits, which keeps it in the news for another day. People assume Marcotte and McEwan are hating it. But, is getting mentioned on the Drudge report, being attacked on the Bill O’Reilly show and across the right side of the blogosphere really a bad thing for a liberal blogger?

Maybe there’s nothing to this, but, after Edwards made them apologize, if their goal was to do nothing but milk this whole thing for as much publicity as possible, they wouldn’t have played it any differently. It’s just a theory and given that Edwards had already said he would keep them on, well, getting attention for playing the victim may have looked better to them than keeping their jobs working for a white, southern member of the bleeping patriarchy, as Amanda Marcotte might say.

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