Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 08, 2007

Edwards Is Out

Strike Edwards from the list of possible Democratic presidential candidates.

If he does not stand up for his staff against bullshit from wingnuts like Malkin, Donohue and Lopez, how can one expect him to stand up for people who vote for him? One cannot.

Edwards campaign fires bloggers

The right-wing blogosphere has gotten its scalps -- John Edwards has fired the two controversial bloggers he recently hired to do liberal blogger outreach, Salon has learned. The bloggers, Amanda Marcotte, formerly of Pandagon, and Melissa McEwan, of Shakespeare's Sister, had come under fire from right-wing bloggers for statements they had previously made on their respective blogs. A statement by the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, which called Marcotte and McEwan "anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking bigots," and an accompanying article on the controversy in the New York Times this morning, put extra pressure on the campaign.

But then - after his disgusting sliming to the Likud lobby, such behavior was not much of a surprise.

Posted by b on February 8, 2007 at 0:10 UTC | Permalink


Here we go, sports fans! Let's see how y'all liberal bloggers like your Democratic candidates now!

Is this:

a) proof that the right-wing bloggers are a nigh-omnipotent force that even a sturdy, handsome, toothy candidate like John Edwards can't handle


b) proof that even the best-looking Democrats are spineless when confronted with a bit of power.

Also, bets on whether the return target, McCain's blogging buddy, gets fired? I'm taking NO. And McCain will be lauded for standing up to the pressure of lefty demagogues.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 8 2007 1:36 utc | 1

I'd never heard of Amanda Marcotte until I heard she'd been hired by Edwards' campaign, so I went and checked out her blog. Within five minutes of clicking around on her blog, I immediately thought, "Did anyone high up in the campaign, like Edwards himself for example, actually vet this person at all?"

It was clear to me that her writing (the tone, the profanity, etc.) should have disqualified her from consideration as a paid staffer in any presidential campaign. I figured she would probably be fired once Edwards had a chance to actually review the matter, so I'm not at all surprised that this has apparently come to pass.

Everyone knows that while you're free to write whatever you want on your blog, employers are free to not hire you, and courts have consistently held that companies are even free to fire you, if your writing is in some nebulous way or another "offensive" or "in poor taste" or in any way might even conceivably reflect poorly on an employer.

Take Melissa McEwan as an example. The very first post on her self-selected "Greatest Hits" list is entitled "On Cunts" -- I don't know what Melissa's day job is, but if it was something like salesperson for IBM, they would fire her for that, and courts would back them up. It's not politics, it's just common sense.

A final example: one blogger I clicked through to commented: "Fuck John Edwards. What does 'dumb fuck' mean? It means John Edwards and his campaign... Edwards, you know better than to give an inch to these cocksuckers."

Is there any rational adult who doesn't understand that that blogger has thereby rendered himself forever unemployable by ANY presidential campaign?

I see that people are now digging up examples of bloggers who work for McCain (and other Republicans) who have written things as equally over-the-top as Marcotte and McEwan and are asking why aren't those bloggers being fired. Well, obviously they should be fired, too, because, again, it's not politics, it's just common sense -- i.e., normal standards of business decorum and professionalism that any working adult should well understand.

I really don't understand why this is at all controversial.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 8 2007 2:44 utc | 2

I'm a working adult and I guess I don't understand, Walter, but then I've never been one for concepts such as "decorum". IMO if these people use "profanity" on their personal websites it should be of no business to their employers.

Blogs have only been around for the past five or so years of human history, compared to the thousands of years' worth of business. We're sort of making this up as we go along, you know, and there's nothing "common sense" about it at all, at least to my eyes.

Posted by: Pyrrho | Feb 8 2007 3:48 utc | 3

Edwards just destroyed any chance of getting the Democrats nomination with this decision.

Oh my word, can we please get a candidate that has one ounce of spine!!!!!

It is so sad that we have candidates that are so out of touch with what should be their base. It should be no wonder why we can not stop the war in Iraq or the so sure soon to be war in Iran.

Posted by: Mary Ellen Moore | Feb 8 2007 4:07 utc | 4

The Right does seem particularly adept at pouncing on electronic communiqué to smear their opponents while ignoring emails and such from the likes of Rep. Mark Foley. This is probably why Bush himself doesn't like to use the "internets".

This isn't that much different than the embarrassing Gannon/Guckert scandal that the Left uncovered... with one primary difference. The Right, like a grove of aspen which are all connected at the roots, cover one another's asses (expect to see Scooter Libbey promoted to gauleiter in fifteen years like his predecessor Admiral Poindexter was). The Left, on the other hand, throw their own to the wolves at the first sign of trouble.

I expected nothing less of Edwards. He's simply being true to the nature of his party.

Posted by: Monolycus | Feb 8 2007 4:16 utc | 5

Why shouldn’t the public expect common decency in U.S. Presidential elections, especially when it comes to respecting other people’s religious faith? Of course, Edwards might be considered a hypocrite in this department. Take this situation, just for another example. Such disrespect by the government of Israel should be disgusting to anyone, whether a Buddhist, Muslim, Jew or Christian. I have noticed very little outrage on this by leaders of the Democratic or the Republican Parties.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 8 2007 4:52 utc | 6

I'll pick option b. Only because it's true.

Posted by: Ben | Feb 8 2007 5:32 utc | 7

Why shouldn’t the public expect common decency in U.S. Presidential elections, especially when it comes to respecting other people’s religious faith?

Because they don't get any "common" decency in U.S. Presidential elections as it is, with being constantly lied to, ignored, taken advantage of and misused as an electorate? Because the U.S. Presidential candidates so far all seem to not respect other peoples' physical bodies, when people like Edwards and Clinton continue to bang the gongs of wars unwaged, repeating that "no options are off the table."

Yes, these bloggers' comments -- on their own blogs -- are explicit and inflammatory. Because they are things almost entirely unlike politicians: real people. People who are, yes, explicit and inflammatory as they express their honest opinions on matters of the day.

You know what else is explicit and inflammatory? Pre-emptive illegal wars against sovereign nations that wind up killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Posted by: Pyrrho | Feb 8 2007 7:47 utc | 8


The US president has approved plans to create a US military command for Africa, a move that reflects increasing US strategic interests in the continent.

George Bush said in a statement on Tuesday that he had asked Robert Gates, his defence secretary, to get the new "Africom" unit up and running by the end of September 2008.

The United States would work closely with African allies to choose a location for the new command in Africa, he said.

"This new command will strengthen our security cooperation with Africa and create new opportunities to bolster the capabilities of our partners in Africa," Bush said.

"Africa Command will enhance our efforts to bring peace and security to the people of Africa and promote our common goals of development, health, education, democracy and economic growth in Africa."
Empire is spreading. Poor Africans...They'll soon find out how lucky they were while they were dieing JUST from hunger...

Posted by: vbo | Feb 8 2007 8:10 utc | 9

edwards lost my vote w/his iran speel, so it was irrelevant that he fired his blogger. my first thought when it happened was... there goes the base.

Posted by: annie | Feb 8 2007 8:13 utc | 10

"edwards lost my vote w/his iran speel..."

Edwards lost my respect way back when he voted to give Bush authorization to attack Iraq.

"my first thought when it happened was... there goes the base"

Not sure what "base" Edwards had to loose.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 8 2007 13:28 utc | 11

I'm with Annie over his Iran position. That was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. While all candidates pander to different groups -- that's the definition of a "politician" -- any candidate who puts the security of another country before the security and well-being of his own is finished in my book. Iran is not a threat to the United States. Before his speech, I was willing to vote for him if he became a candidate. Now, absolutely not. I will not vote for any warmonger under any circumstances.

Posted by: Ensley | Feb 8 2007 14:28 utc | 12

any candidate who puts the security of another country before the security and well-being of his own is finished in my book.

Just so.

Posted by: citizen | Feb 8 2007 16:43 utc | 13

I said this before, twice I think, recently in a post mostly about Giuliani... Edwards is a political hack. He is playing at games he does not understand, and thinks pandering, faking, lying and winging it (eg. bloggers story, about which I know nothing) will serve him. Now, one can understand how he gathered that impression!

And perhaps his purpose is served - its a job after all, visibility of a kind, there is some future in it, etc. Being low man on the pole is often easy and lucrative, and not dangerous. So its drama for the Dems, argh. That is part of the point, part of the function that is supposed to be fulfilled.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 8 2007 16:51 utc | 14

Apparently Edwards is not firing the bloggers. Link via Atrios.

My favorite part is that he's keeping them on because he "believes in giving everyone a fair shake."

Now THAT's a pander.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 8 2007 17:57 utc | 15

@Rowan - that's a lame press release - to little too late. Why not attack the slimers?

Posted by: b | Feb 8 2007 19:43 utc | 16

He's too far down the no-win road on this story to be able to do much of anything right from here. Obviously whoever advises him on such things thinks it's more important not to look anti-Catholic than it is to hit back at the likes of Michelle Malkin. Unfortunately, the only one of the Dem candidates who probably has the instincts and the surrounding personnel for this type of political environment is Hillary Clinton. Obama, perhaps, could pull off the middle way, seeming to answer while also seeming to stay above the fray but that's a very tough thing to do, and tends to lend an air of arrogance - acting as though one is smart enough to stay above the fray. I don't think that can work over the course of a very long campaign, plus there is a deep strain of anti-intellectualism in the American voting public, something which I think would only be amplified by Obama's being black. Short version, I think he could do everything well and still not win.

Leaving aside my prediction that it's all just whistling in the wind because Bush/Cheney intend to stay in the White House past 2008, here we are two years out and it already looks like another hopeless election cycle.

But if you want an early prediction, here it is: Clinton/Webb is the '08 Dem ticket.

Posted by: mats | Feb 8 2007 20:31 utc | 17


Posted by: citizen | Feb 8 2007 20:55 utc | 18

As you know by now, the source of this was mistaken.

And a good thing, too.

Posted by: Scorpio | Feb 8 2007 22:48 utc | 19

serious dressing down @ornicus, a highly respected blog

Edwards seems like a smart guy -- smart enough to realize that if he fires these two, he's telling us everything we need to know about his ability to lead. The message is stark and simple: Anybody whose first instinct is to cave in to the likes of a racist right-wing wacko like Bill Donohue doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to run this country.

And any Democrat who'd privilege the opinion of a single right-wing activist over the interests of a large, well-organized, generous faction like the netroots is, quite frankly, too stupid to be allowed to govern. Can you imagine W cutting off his ardent supporters in the Catholic League because Cindy Sheehan stood up and (accurately) called their leader a racist nutcase? No, not even Shrub's that dumb -- but, apparently, our boy Edwards just might be.


"When the GOP issues an apology and puts an end to its long campaign of blatant, bigoted hate speech against progressive Americans, I might entertain a discussion about my hiring decisions. But until that moment comes, they have absolutely no standing to comment on this issue. And until then, I stand by my staffers."

But don't hold your breath on that one: what we've learned today is that, after all we've done to pave the way for them, our Democratic candidates still listen to the right wing more than they listen to us. If John Edwards is the best they have to offer, then we can count on them to stand close by our sides, all right -- waiting there, ready and eager to supply the knives to do us in with.

All I can say is: Fuck that.

Posted by: annie | Feb 8 2007 23:08 utc | 20

@19 - Scorpio - the source of this was mistaken


Edwards campaign rehires bloggers Marcotte and McEwen

After personal phone calls to the bloggers from the candidate, the Edwards campaign has rehired the bloggers who were fired yesterday, according to sources inside and close to the campaign.
The campaign remained silent all day about the status of Marcotte and McEwen, and neither woman posted to the John Edwards blog yesterday. There was also radio silence from the campaign for the hours following Salon's report of their initial dismissal, after a promise from a campaign spokeswoman that there would be more information later.

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

Wimp ...

Posted by: b | Feb 9 2007 0:26 utc | 21

b - i think you're being a little too hard on edwards -

we've got to go into the 2008 presidential elections with the candidates we actually have, not the ones we might wish we had

p.s. re-elect gore '08

Posted by: mistah charley | Feb 9 2007 5:33 utc | 22

I ain't gonna say "we", mistah charley. I'm making a point of not saying "we" about things I don't control or don't support. They're not my troops, it's not my party, it's not my sports team. But your point is well-taken. We should give Edwards some credit for not caving to the idiotic pressure. His press release was insipid, but he still did the right thing.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 9 2007 5:53 utc | 23

Kind of.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 9 2007 6:22 utc | 24

@mats - I'd bet on Gore-Obomination in '08...Nader hasn't decided if he's running or not.

Posted by: jj | Feb 9 2007 6:43 utc | 25

i would imagine edwards might not have been consulted initially about the firing of the bloggers. shame on his campaign managers for their knee jerk reactions. i'm glad they made the ight decisions and hired them back.

i won't be making my primary choice based on this incident. edwards statements wrt iran were much more damaging.

Posted by: annie | Feb 9 2007 12:34 utc | 26

General point: pols. like Edwards (perhaps not him specifically) are so insulated and isolated in their circles of power they understand nothing about the Internets, as they have dogs-bodies to type, file, collate, make resumés - they always have had. The minions prefer the old systems as they like to keep their jobs. The bosses like it because they don’t have to type (which they can’t) or do anything special like apply their minds or use a mouse.

Many of them tend to think (this is very evident in the Sego-Sarko upcoming French pres. election) that the Internets as a new publicity venue, something between the flier and the TV AD and the rousing speech, just it is like, electronic. So they have to hire others to set up web sites etc. and they consider it just a technical matter, a sort of new channel that will replicate the old communication with something like ‘blips’ or ‘bits’ and who the hell knows what they are, Darling, pour me a scotch! And they feel somehow that ‘letting people participate’ (fora, etc.) has now become mandatory.

Hmm. This applies to the EU, about the US, not sure.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 9 2007 19:37 utc | 27

I think you are right on the money Noirette. The US rightwing has used the new media quite effectively. Sites like freerepublic had traffic that would and still does put most progressive ones to shame. They have very effectively got all of the republican/antisocialism/prowar/antichoice/authoritarian/imperial factions to sing from the same sheet of music and none of them every adlib or go off script.

It is an amazing thing to see.

the progressives can not be so easily tamed because when you get three of them together you will have four different opinions and viewpoints.

all things considered, I would still rather be a lone wolf than a member of a herd. a small group of wolves can do what they want with the largest herds. that the foaming at the mouth evangelicals and other assorted red staters can not see this is perplexing. kinda reminds me of those documentaries where the lions or hyenas kill a gnu. after the stampede and the inevitable kill, the other gnus return to their grazing while watching the predators eat one of their closest friends.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 9 2007 20:27 utc | 28

A Blogger for Edwards Resigns After Complaints

Days after Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards decided against firing two liberal bloggers with a history of inflammatory writing, one resigned last night with a blast at "right wing shills" for driving her out of the campaign.

Amanda Marcotte, whose writings were assailed as anti-Catholic, wrote yesterday on her blog that the Edwards camp had accepted her resignation. She blamed her most vocal critic, Bill Donohoe, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, writing that he "and his calvacade of right wing shills don't respect that a mere woman like me could be hired for my skills, and pretended that John Edwards had to be held accountable for some of my personal, non-mainstream views on religious influence on politics," which Marcotte described as being "anti-theocracy."
Word of Marcotte's resignation came as Fox News Channel commentator Bill O'Reilly was leading his program with a full-throated attack on the two bloggers.

Posted by: b | Feb 13 2007 6:48 utc | 29

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