Marcotte’s regrets

by Walter Olson on February 7, 2007

I wouldn’t even go so far as to say there’s things I “regret”. There are comments I’ve made that tone-deaf wingnuts don’t understand, sure.

– John Edwards official campaign blogger Amanda Marcotte, or someone posing as her, in the comments at J Train. Marcotte (or the person posing as her) apparently thought better of the Edith Piaf stance, and a minute later returned with a second amending comment. For examples of the “comments I’ve made that tone-deaf wingnuts don’t understand” regarding the Duke lacrosse case, see our post of Friday, further updated on Sunday.

Marcotte has a “tremendous fan” and doughty supporter in Ann Bartow of Feminist Law Professors (Feb. 6), whose precision in classifying adversaries as “conservative” is disputed by South of Heaven (Feb. 7: “People who know me are rolling all over the floor.”) On the other hand, inveterate publicity hound and professional taker-of-offense Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has now gone on the warpath against Marcotte (and another Edwards hire, Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare’s Sister). Marcotte’s writings on religious topics do seem to present a rather broadly inviting target for offense-takers, to judge from the snippets now making their way into press coverage (Nedra Pickler, “Catholics Slam Bloggers Hired by Edwards”, AP/ABCNews.com, Feb. 6; Kathryn Jean Lopez, “Unholy Hire”, National Review, Feb. 6). The New York Times’s coverage, unlike the AP’s, makes reference to the Duke lacrosse rants that originally drew our and many other people’s attention to Marcotte. (John M. Broder, “Edwards’s Bloggers Cross the Line, Critic Says”, New York Times, Feb. 7). The Times adds that “Mr. Edwards’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Palmieri, said Tuesday night that the campaign was weighing the fate of the two bloggers.”

More commentary: Patterico (“godbag”); Ed Morrissey (“In the case of Marcotte, her anti-Catholic screeds would make Jack Chick blush with embarrassment”); Althouse; John Cole (scroll to “Browns/Cowboys Superbowl”, as well as comment); Kos comments (do Catholics tithe, anyway?); “Expo” on Kos; Matt Stoller at MyDD.

{ 14 comments }

1 Ted 02.07.07 at 9:58 am

Something a lot of the coverage on both sides has missed is that the Edwards campaign almost certainly hired Marcotte because she was an angry-left blogger, hoping to appeal to the sizable angry-Lamont-left/Daily-Kos community. Alas, we’re never going to know because Marcotte will likely be fired while the Edwards campaign still has plausible deniability.

Two interesting questions:

1) When Marcotte is fired, does the Angry Blog Left blame a right-wing conspiracy or Edwards for not being willing to pay the unexpectedly high price of pandering to the Angry Blog Left?

2) Will the message taken from this be that incendiary-left bloggers are out of the mainstream, or that all candidates everywhere should not touch bloggers at all because of fear that a single post will be held against them?

I recognize that Marcotte’s sins are greater than a poorly worded post here or there. But that is not what the media is picking up from this, and I worry of the long-term effects of gotcha political warfare on discourse (not that Marcotte has been a great contributor to political discourse).

2 wavemaker 02.07.07 at 12:20 pm

Excellent questions, Ted.

(1) Both. The Angry Blog Left blames right wingers for the weather — they’ll surely blame them for this. And the looniest of them will ditch Edwards for someone of more ideological purity (lol – Kucinich?).

(2) I would hope the message is that incendiary bloggers on either left or right are out of themainstream — they are. The gotcha political warfare on discourse already exists — even the most carefulyl worded statements are parsed, twisted and mischaracterized.

Overall, since the only people reading these blogs (and believing what they’re reading) are on the wings, not a lot of harm done.

3 William Nuesslein 02.07.07 at 4:32 pm

I supported Ned Lamont, and I was angry about the Iraq War.

I am also very angry with those who apply their fantasies to matters of law. Ms. Marcotte is the latest example of the phenomium. Lots of people, including the Govenor of New York State and his Attorney General, took Tawana Brawley too seriously long before Daily Kos.

Our general culture finally figgured out Brawley and Simpson (although a critic of Simpson’s book said that he does not know who murdered Nichole Brown and Ronald Goldman). There is still too much life in the Duke case. I hope that reason will prevail soon, and the accused boys will be fully vindicated.

Anger against Senator Lieberman, who claimed the Iraq war to be moral, is a good thing, as is the disgust with Ms. Marcotte.

4 Amy Alkon 02.07.07 at 9:01 pm

I believe that women who bring false charges of rape should suffer the punishment the falsely accused would’ve, had he been convicted.

5 jb 02.08.07 at 12:43 am

Rape is inherently more problematic to prove than other forms of assault. Very few people will voluntarily let themselves be stabbed or beaten, but nearly every woman will at some point voluntarily have sex. So to prove assault, one just has to show one’s injuries/hospital report, but to prove rape one may have to prove a negative–that one did not consent.

Furthermore, rape can be more traumatic than other forms of assault, increasing the likelihood that the survivor is incoherent.

Of course, none of this applies to the Duke case, but it does show why rape is such a problematic crime to prosecute.

6 TC 02.08.07 at 1:10 am

http://z9.invisionfree.com/LieStoppers_Board/index.php?s=9cadc76fee153914633c7a39792cf90e&showtopic=2029

Apparently both have been fired as of today.

Which os course could be both good and bad, good as neither will have the grand band stand or the paycheck, bad because we will have to sort out another major flaw to pick at Edwards with.

7 TC 02.08.07 at 3:20 am

Iowahawk: The Pandagon Papers

The indomitable Iowahawk has somehow gained access to the delete buffer of an email account owned by someone you may recognize by her … ahem … boisterous language: The Pandagon Papers.

To: Senator John Edwards
From: Amanda Marcotte
Re: Job Offer

Dear Senator Edwards:

I am f****** delighted to accept your offer of the position of Official Blogger for the Edwards 2008 presidential campaign. Please find attached my f****** W-2 form.

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for this totally f****** awesome opportunity to help you take America back from f****** BushCo and the other f******* bible-humping extremists that have turned this once great nation into a g*ddamn rape factory for their snakehandling Jesus Camp hatebots.

In closing, I am so f****** proud to be a part of this campaign, and f****** gratified to know that I’ll be working for someone who f****** understands the importance of reaching out to progressive bloggers like myself. I look forward to contributing in any way I f****** can. You won’t be f****** sorry!

F****** Sincerely,
Amanda Marcotte, “Pandagon”

*******

Stolen/ err shared from here.. :)
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/

8 Deoxy 02.08.07 at 11:09 am

Wow, I agree (wholeheartedly) with Amy Alkon… I thought there was a law against that.

And jb makes a very good point as well.

WM – it so happens that many people STILL think the war in Iraq was moral (and in fact, by most people’s morality, it was and is). Disappointment and anger at poor prosecution doesn’t mean the thing being prosecuted is wrong.

9 Jim Treacher 02.08.07 at 1:23 pm

No matter what you think of Marcotte, this whole thing proves Edwards right: There really are two Americas!

10 Deoxy 02.08.07 at 5:45 pm

Yes, Jim, “North America” and “South America”. No other meaning for that statement is useful, and that meaning is beyond silly in the context he used it.

11 William Nuesslein 02.08.07 at 10:10 pm

Deoxy,

Senator Webb said that the results of our attack on Iraq were both predictable and predicted. That makes the war immoral by your standard, as you are upset by the dire situation we now have.

I believe that George W. Bush just wanted to murder people. War was adventure to him.

jb,

Was the sexual act consensual is the issue in many rape cases, such as the Mike Tyson case. The DNA evidence says there was no act in the Duke case, and Ms. Marcotte’s continuing fantasies with or without F words are truely disgusting.

12 jb 02.09.07 at 1:22 am

Clearly my comment doesn’t apply to this particular case. Amy Alkon’s remedy, however, would be especially problematic for the reasons I list in many cases.

13 Jim Treacher 02.09.07 at 3:49 am

Yes, Jim, “North America” and “South America”.

Whew, I’m glad somebody got the joke!

14 Deoxy 02.09.07 at 10:28 am

WM,

No, it wasn’t, not it wasn’t, and no, it isn’t.

1. “Predictable”. Actually, the most common predictions were “cakewalk” and “humanitarian crisis”. It has been neither.

2. “Predicted”. See #1, above. The most common prediction from those opposed would be ethat we would kill tens or hundreds of thousands of civilians, etc, etc. If you actually look at the most common predictions, you’ll see that they have very little relation to how things actually turned out. (Yes, there were some that were correct… but there ar ALWAYS a few that are correct about almost anything. Someone somewhere happening to get one right does not make it “predicted”.)

3. I still view this war as moral. A great many people I know still view this war as moral. Poorly executed does not make it immoral.

And I don’t believe the situation is remotely “dire”; I believe the situation is primarily “stupid” – that is, we aren’t fighting our primary opponent (Iran) in this at all. They supply men and equipment to the battle, yet we don’t retaliate.

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