Amanda Marcotte Resigns from Edwards Campaign

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Feb 13, 2007 11:23 AM

"It is finished." (Amanda's blog, Pandagon, is currently unavailable, but this is what she put up last night.):

Update: Back up now.

I was hired by the Edwards campaign for the skills and talents I bring to the table, and my willingness to work hard for what’s right. Unfortunately, Bill Donohue and his calvacade of right wing shills don’t respect that a mere woman like me could be hired for my skills

That's right, blame this on the fact that you're a woman. It has nothing to do with the fact that you made fairly obvious rhetorical missteps on a fairly regular basis that made you unfit to helm a mainstream campaign's blogging efforts. If Jeralyn Merritt or someone equally level-headed had been hired by Edwards, there would have gotten a very different reaction, indeed. And, psssst!, Jeralyn's a woman, too.

This is why I can't be a lefty feminist. It's so infantilizing. Amanda should know well that the things she wrote and her general tone-- the angry impotence of Yosemite Sam crossed with the rhetorical flair of mid-80s NWA--would get in the way of her career as a message woman.

Messaging requires clean hands, clean language, a level-head, and discipline. The fact that she thinks her demonstrably hateful feelings about the electorate she wants to serve should not have any effect on that electorate's feeling about the campaign she represents proves she's not savvy enough to do any kind of messaging for anyone. Edwards should have realized that before he hired her.

...and pretended that John Edwards had to be held accountable for some of my personal, non-mainstream views on religious influence on politics (I’m anti-theocracy, for those who were keeping track). Bill Donohue—anti-Semite, right wing lackey whose entire job is to create non-controversies in order to derail liberal politics—has been running a scorched earth campaign to get me fired for my personal beliefs and my writings on this blog.

We're not pretending. Edwards would have been held accountable by voters whether Amanda likes it or not. Personnel is policy. Folks are judged by the company they keep. Voters look at Marcotte and think it might be an indication of what John Edwards really is. Her very presence undermines his carefully cultivated non-threatening, smiley, working-class hero act, and she should have known that before she accepted the job.

I also like how she mischaracterizes her own position on religious faith and politics as simply, "anti-theocracy," thereby setting up anyone who disagrees with her as "pro-theocracy," of course. Yet another winning message for religious voters.

In fact, he’s made no bones about the fact that his intent is to “silence” me, as if he—a perfect stranger—should have a right to curtail my freedom of speech. Why? Because I’m a woman? Because I’m pro-choice? Because I’m not religious? All of the above, it seems.

Dude, you're still talking . No one's silencing you because you're a woman or for any other reason. In the dictionary next to the word "silence," there is now a subhead: see also Dixie Chicks silence. Marcotte is being Dixie Chicks silenced. Her Grammys or Pulitzers or Oscars are presumably on their way.

Regardless, it was creating a situation where I felt that every time I coughed, I was risking the Edwards campaign. No matter what you think about the campaign, I signed on to be a supporter and a tireless employee for them, and if I can’t do the job I was hired to do because Bill Donohue doesn’t have anything better to do with his time than harass me, then I won’t do it. I resigned my position today and they accepted.

Right, it was the coughing that did her in. Nothing we right wingers hate more than a woman with the audacity to cough outta line. It's not the coughing so much as what she coughed up. No Ludens is gonna cure the sickness over at Pandagon. She couldn't do her job because her own past was a distraction from the message Edwards needed delivered. Marcotte's hatred "hijacked" the debate more than any right winger did.

For Edwards, this isn't a bad outcome at all. He retains the support of the almighty Nutroots by taking a stand against the "noise machine" and keeping Marcotte on after he fired her that first time. Then, Marcotte takes one for the team, resigns like a good little feminist, and takes her trash-talk somewhere else, where it presumably will rile her readers to rally around him rather than riling voters against him.

Edwards is lucky she's gone. How long do you really think she would have kept a lid on it? Dean Barnett pointed out a post on her personal blog where she got jiggy with the virgin birth talk again two days ago, despite the fact that her "hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit" line had become the symbol for the whole controversy. Brilliant damage control, that.

And, I can't link it since the site's down, but yesterday I was scrolling down the site and noticed that she was cross-posting at her personal blog to ask for questions about the Edwards health care plan, on behalf of the Edwards campaign. On any other blog, this might not be a big deal, but this post happened to come sandwiched between the very profanity and vulgarity that Edwards was taking heat for, and Marcotte wandered over there to officially associate him with it once again. You know, just in case anyone might overlook the connection. That's the kind of political savvy I wouldn't mind on the Democratic side, but it's probably not what Dems are looking for.

Not content to let the controversy lie and let everyone forget she ever had anything to do with the candidate she claims to care about, Marcotte has sworn to bring the pain:

The main good news is that I don’t have a conflict of interest issue anymore that was preventing me from defending myself against these baseless accusations. So it’s on.

Let the healing begin. That oughtta help John-Boy.

Michelle Malkin pointed out that it wasn't just right wingers who were bothered by Marcotte's rhetoric. Religious progressives didn't take kindly.

Brian O'Dwyer:

"We have gone so far to rebuild that coalition [between Democrats and religious Christians] and something like this sets it back," said Brian O'Dwyer, a New York lawyer and Irish-American leader who chairs the National Democratic Ethnic Leadership Council, a Democratic Party group. O'Dwyer said Edwards should have fired the bloggers. "It's not only wrong morally – it's stupid politically."