Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Just in over email:
Chapel Hill, North Carolina - The statements of Senator John Edwards, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwen in reference to their work as independent bloggers before joining the Edwards campaign are below.

Senator John Edwards:
"The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwe n's posts personally offended me. It's not how I talk to people, and it's not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it's intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in."

Amanda Marcotte:
"My writings on my personal blog, Pandagon on the issue of religion are generally satirical in nature and always intended strictly as a criticism of public policies and politics. My intention is never to offend anyone for his or her personal beliefs, and I am sorry if anyone was personally offended by writings meant only as criticisms of public politics. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are central rights, and the sum of my personal writings is a testament to this fact."

Melissa McEwen:
"Shakespeare's Sister is my personal blog, and I certainly don't expect Senator Edwards to agree with everything I've posted. We do, however, share many views - including an unwavering support of religious freedom and a deep respect for diverse beliefs. It has never been my intention to disparage people's individual faith, and I'm sorry if my words were taken in that way."
Good. It looks like they are still on the campaign. It took a while, and it isn't perfect, but Edwards didn't cave. I am so relieved.

However, that still does not excuse the horrible media reporting that has been done on this subject. Expect more action on that front later today.

Update: I'll be on a new radio program, Heading Left, to discuss this story, and local blogging, starting in about one minute. Click here for info on how to listen in.

Tags: Blogosphere, John Edwards (all tags)

Comments

122 Comments

Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Good job, John, Amanda, and Melissa!

by clarkent 2007-02-08 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Yes!!!!

Now let's go get those wingnuts!

by juls 2007-02-08 07:08AM | 0 recs
Start by watching Joan Bokaer video

Senator Edwards did and said what I would have hoped - with Presidential-style grace. Edwards didn't rush to judgement; he wasn't all that intimidated by the right blogosphere.

If you're serious about knowing more about the rise of the religious right, go and see this video of Joan Bokaer of Theocracy Watch speaking at a conference at CUNY in 2005 that I attended.

I believe that John Edwards has made a bold move to keep Amanda and Melissa and I don't expect him to make this a one-man fight against the entire right-wing religious organizational leadership community over it.

We are the ones who need to do it. If we believe in the power of the netroots and the power of our own ability to lead, we should be the leaders we're waiting around for. If you think about it, John Edwards just gave the power back to us, knowing the corrupt Right was trying to take it away. We should harness that power and ride it to the max.

Rather than seeing Senator Edwards bashing the rightist fundamentalists, I'd like to see him request a formal inquiry into the legal activities of Donohue's particular organization.

Hit 'em where it counts, one lousy cog in the right wing attack wheel at a time. Dismantle 'em.

by iddybud 2007-02-08 08:48AM | 0 recs
My faith in Edwards is restored

I was afraid that he was lacking in cojones.  He apparently is fine in the dept.

by dataguy 2007-02-08 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: My faith in Edwards is restored

And they are so huge it only takes a day of searching to find them.

by Bob Brigham 2007-02-08 08:03AM | 0 recs
When you refuse

to give credit when credit is due, you look ridiculous, like an unthinking partisan. My advice: say good job, and move on.

by david mizner 2007-02-08 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: When you refuse

I made this mistake before, on January 2, 2005 Edwards didn't shoot himself in the face and I forgot to post a diary giving him credit....

I'd say good job, but it wasn't a good job. And I'm not partisan in the primary (since Feingold pulled out). I want the DLC to lose, but I have not been supporting anyone and was leaning towards Edwards.

But I don't think I can trust him, it really looks like he decided to take the path of least resistance instead of doing the right thing. There is a lot of history on this (see entire senate voting record).

To me, three things are clear:

1. Edwards is debating from within the right wings frames

2. Edwards' campaign has lousy response ability

3. There is no reason to conclude he will be with us absent massive lobbying on our part

For me, this means that I will have a difficult time supporting Edwards in the primary and the right will have an easy time in the general. They won this, their goal wasn't to get the bloggers fired, that was just their negotiating position to ensure a shit storm.

by Bob Brigham 2007-02-08 08:51AM | 0 recs
you're not "wrong" but..

You're criticizing him mostly for taking so long. I know it's more than that: the fact that it took him so long is indicative of what went on behind the scenes.

But think about the fact that this has never happened before. No presidential campaign has ever put bloggers in high-profile positions. It's a clash of two very different worlds (the politically incorrect blogosphere/netroots, and the oh-so-politically-correct atmosphere of campaign operatives) which no campaign has ever had to deal with before.

I'm going to let the "time factor" slide, since this was sort of a first for campaigns and for the netroots. The outcome, as far as I'm concerned, is a milestone for the institutional integration of the netroots into the Democratic franchise -- our voices are now advisors to national candidates. John Edwards was the first to make that happen this cycle, at this level, and I'm not going to forget it.

by msnook 2007-02-08 09:16AM | 0 recs
okay...

This is the first explanation that actually has me rethinking it. I'm still inclined to believe that this is the "third strike" for Edwards (his Iraq War Vote and last weeks statement on Iran being the other two), but this does make the case that the netroots fought an won an internal battle a bit stronger.

I still don't think that I'll vote for him, but at least now I can take a deep breath and wait for Edwards to do something to win back my support...

by Alex Urevick 2007-02-08 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: you're not "wrong" but..

He deserves criticism for taking so long.

No presidential campaign has ever put bloggers in high-profile positions.

That isn't true. Dean had tons of press about hiring bloggers and there was mad press of all the bloggers at the Endless Summer tour.

I'm going to let the "time factor" slide, since this was sort of a first for campaigns and for the netroots.

Not only was this not a first for presidential campaigns, but it certainly wasn't a "first for campaigns and for the netroots." (see every campaign that has hired a blogger since then)

by Bob Brigham 2007-02-08 09:33AM | 0 recs
Nope, its wrong.

Its not the fastest possible response, but its a rapidly expanding campaign (but not so thoughtlessly expanding that they've offered me a job, dang nab it) with the candidate halfway across the country in the middle of a busy country crossing fundraising tour.

It sure beats the pants off the week that it took Kerry to respond to the Swift Boat. Heck, its twice as fast as Kerry's response to "JokeGaffeGate", and Kerry was at the scene when the joke was flubbed.

Heck, rewind, and think what a 24 hour response to Willy Horton would have meant for Bush Senior's original election ... and preventing President Bush from every getting elected could well have prevented Resident Bush from ever getting "selected".

by BruceMcF 2007-02-08 09:50AM | 0 recs
lemme get this straight

You were leaning toward Edwards--until he resisted rightwing pressure and held on to two bloggers whose writings would offend a fair amount of general election voters?

Heckaofajob, Blogswarm.

by david mizner 2007-02-08 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: lemme get this straight

I was leaning towards Edwards until he bought into right-wing frames and proved he has pathetic response abilities.

by Bob Brigham 2007-02-08 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Chris, I hope you will do as you said and now support Edwards.  I'll be lurking.

by benny06 2007-02-08 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

I will immediately become a staunch Edwards supporter if they are not fired.

by desmoulins 2007-02-08 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

I know Chris said that.  I though it was a dumb ass thing to say and I hope he admits that it was said in passion and not thought through well.

I don't mind if Chris wants to become an Edwards supporter.  I also don't mind if Chris wants to consider how Edwards dealt with this whole controversy from start to finish as a net positive reason to support Edwards.  But if, for example, Chris or anyone else ends up giving Edwards a C minus, C, or C+ for how he handled this flap, it would be god damn stupid to feel honor bound to support Edwards or anyone else to become President of the United States over this when matters of leadership on global warming, poverty, and war and peace are at stake.

I understood the reasons Chris gave for the outcome of this flap being a deal breaker for him better than the reasons he gave for it being a deal maker for him. Fine, retract the loss of support threatened, and even increase positive feelings toward Edwards over this if in fact that is what anyone feels, but feeling required now to be an adament supporter of John Edwards over THIS statement?  That strikes me as shallow politics and frankly ridiculous.

by Tom Rinaldo 2007-02-08 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re:Clark

When is he expected to announce?

by benny06 2007-02-08 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re:Clark

LOL.  Hi Benny.

I honestly don't know other than to say other that there are shipments of positive tea leaves seemingly arriving daily. Those of us who support Clark have may have a few semi-private tea leaves to consult, but no firm information.  

Here is another clue:
http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/a rchives/2007/02/hillarys_in_it.html

February 06, 2007
Hillary's In It ...

Hillary Clinton has confirmed she'll attend the NV Dem candidate forum 2/21 in Carson City, sources say. Six other '08 Dems (Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel, Tom Vilsack, Wes Clark and Chris Dodd) have already agreed to attend the AFSCME-sponsored event. No word from John Edwards and Barack Obama yet. (An Obama spokesman said they're still working out its schedule for that week).

There was a kos Diary that included a non location specific revelation that the Clark's are now or soon will be on vacation in an out of the way place, with speculation that it is the calm before the storm.

The furthest out date I have seen specualtion (purely Clarkie speculation - no insider connection) push more specific word is a theory that Clark may wants to complete hosting this confernece before becoming an overt presidential candidate:

"On September 2006, Gen. Wesley Clark, former supreme allied commander of NATO and author of "Waging Modern War," joined the (UCLA) Burkle Center as a senior fellow.

Clark will host the center's inaugural conference on national security.

The first conference, to be held March 6-7, 2007, will explore the emerging challenges of nuclear weapons in the 21st century."

A timely theme given Iran and North Korea.

And Clark himself has said that he is concentrating on the situation in the Middle East which complicates the timing of his decision on running because as a non candidate he has a less intra partisan standing.

Comments made by Maxine Waters shed some light on this:

According to Maxine Waters on Hardball, Wes Clark has been warning the Congress on Bush's push towards Iran for some time.

Watch the video
http://video.msn.com/v/us/msnbc.htm?f=00 &g=100d1b29-b00e-4078-a9b7-6e66af6ea cfd&p=Source_Hardball&t=c1150&am p;rf=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697 /&fg=
30 Second Advertisement shows first.
Maxine Waters comes on at 7:17
Talks about Iran and Wes at 8:00.

by Tom Rinaldo 2007-02-08 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re:Clark

Thanks, I figure you would know.

As far as the debate coming up, I know Edwards has another event that day, but I wouldn't doubt the schedulers are working on re-arrangements.

I saw Edwards earlier this week.  Check out my event report on Benny's World.  

by benny06 2007-02-08 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re:Debate in Reno

Looks like JRE will be there:  http://www.krnv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6 057238

by benny06 2007-02-08 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Well I'm glad that's over with. Now how about we go after some Republicans.

by markg8 2007-02-08 07:11AM | 0 recs
Chris...

what needs some scrutiny is how the NY Times reporter appeared to interject the phrase "weighing their fate" but this was not in quotes from the spokeswoman.

 It's not clear to  me whether the spokesperson goofed or the reporter used MORE PROVOCATIVE language than necessary.

by TarHeel 2007-02-08 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Chris...

damn right.

by msnook 2007-02-08 09:27AM | 0 recs
deep breaths, people

I am glad this seems to be resolving in the right way. As an Edwards supporter, I was disappointed yesterday by the rumors and the slowness of the campaign to respond, but every campaign has its missteps.

I know the right-wing smears will continue, but I feel confident that Edwards will stand up to them.

by desmoinesdem 2007-02-08 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: deep breaths, people

Somethinge are sometimes worth the wait!

by eddieb 2007-02-08 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Edwards is still accepting responsibility for what they said and isn't calling out the right-wing for bullying.  Whatever.

by Matt Stoller 2007-02-08 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Important to solve the first issue first, then figure out what else.  He's in 22 cities out of 28 days this month.

by benny06 2007-02-08 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Come on.  So it's not exactly how you would have handled it.  There is a difference between unacceptable (firing Marcotte and Shakes) and not carrying out what you consider ideal tactics.  Recognize it.

by antidoto 2007-02-08 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Ok, I'll concede that we could see this as a first step, as long as there are follow on steps.

by Matt Stoller 2007-02-08 07:45AM | 0 recs
he couldn't really say some of the

comments were not offensive otherwise the cable news shows would have been dumpster diving showing Amanda and Melissa quotes all over the air..

he needed to moveon the "hijack" word was a good one, the only thing I might have added was to put some burden on the media to not use smear merchants in sources.  otherwise the release was fine.   I'm sure Amanda and Melissa don't want people like donohue to win.. some times you have toe play the game.

by TarHeel 2007-02-08 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Agreed.  It is anemic.

by Pachacutec 2007-02-08 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Time to figure out defensive counterstrategies against the next campaign blogger to get Donohued, while they are not striking anyone.

by Bruce Godfrey 2007-02-08 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

I agree. That was a terribly defensive statement. Does anyone expect Edwards to agree with everything his team have ever said, written or done prior to working for him? It's ridiculous. The whole framing of this episode has been dominated by the right. Why?

Great that they still have their jobs but otherwise it has just been a horrible mess.

by kundalini 2007-02-08 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Because most ppl aren't going to scrutinize Donahue.

If they just hear third-hand that 'some atheist working for John Edwards' is attacking 'good Christians' they get their knickers in a twist. This includes some Democrats.

Agree on the horrible mess and am guessing that every Marcotte entry to the blog will get scrutinized by legal.

Would not surprise me if the two women move on in the not so distant future. Wouldn't be surprised if it's their choice.

by dblhelix 2007-02-08 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Just the opposite. Edwards will now do all he can to avoid losing them. He is surely aware by now that very little gets by us.

by eddieb 2007-02-08 07:42AM | 0 recs
Matt's underwhelmed by Edwards.

In other news, water is also wet.

by Drew 2007-02-08 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Matt's underwhelmed by Edwards.

lol

by KickinIt 2007-02-08 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

He did not accept responsibility for what they said (nor should he, as they were not in his employ at the time of the statements). He said it offends him, but he believes in giving everyone a fair shake.

As far as not calling out the right wing, I think this is a tactical decision, which with I won't argue.  keeping Amanda and Melissa speaks volumes, and he can let the blogosphere call out Donohue and crowd.  (Keeping the high road and all).

Edwards has shown by his actions what he thinks of Donohue's demands, and by not mentioning him (Donohue), he is implying Donohue isn't worth his breath.

Would I have done it that way, maybe not, but I won't argue with the tactic.  If Donohue opens his piehole again I think you will see some return fire.

by Rooktoven 2007-02-08 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

He should've called them out for sexism--the right and the media enablers. That's how to frame the 'look what the crazy right's been saying' attack: not as a whiny, 'they do the same thing' but more forcefully.

"When men talk trash, you media ignore them, but when women do, you freak out. Why do you think that is? You want nice girls to stop cursing and being opinionated and offensive, but you don't say a word when men do the same. That's sexist. And it's no concidence that Donohue attacked two female bloggers and Barbara Walters at the same time--in addition, obviously, to his anti-Semitic and homophobic rants. You should all be ashamed for pushing this nakedly sexist agenda into the mainstream."

by BingoL 2007-02-08 07:45AM | 0 recs
nah, sex- and race-baiting need to stop

if you just use them as the permanent "you can't argue with this because the left owns the issue" trump card, it loses all meaning, and you lose the ability to talk forcefully about racism and sexism where it's more apparent. The public is now very skeptical of claims of racism and sexism, and that's unfortunate, but we need to recognize it, and not overplay our hand when dealing with these sorts of soft double-standards which can't be linked directly to sex biases.

by msnook 2007-02-08 09:37AM | 0 recs
Hey, Matt

Remember the good old days when you were an Edwards supporter? Good times.

by david mizner 2007-02-08 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Very good.  I'm liking Edwards better and better.

This means a lot to me.

by Steve M 2007-02-08 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

This was a very well thought out response. It was intended, not only for bloggers but for the MSM ie; The traditional media also. Simply put WE WON, they lost! Now lets remind all the other candidates they should all stand behind Edwards decision and be careful NOT form a circular fireing squad around this issue!

by eddieb 2007-02-08 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

How about that Important Action Item?

by DrFrankLives 2007-02-08 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign
As I said, ti will be directed toward the media.
by Chris Bowers 2007-02-08 07:23AM | 0 recs
I'm glad that he didn't fire them

But his tone is crappy.  What's with "The tone and sentiment of their writings offend me" crap.  Didn't he look into their writings before he hired them.  

Why didn't he blast the right about their intolerable language.

I don't know about him having the 'guts' to keep them on.  I bet he would have lost more than he won if he fired them.

I'm very disapointed.  I was already to quit my job later this summer and make my way onto his campaign.  Now I'm not so sure.  I can't place my finger on it but his response seems so wrong.

I think I'll do a little more shopping around before committing to anyone.  

by lisadawn82 2007-02-08 07:21AM | 0 recs
If he blasted the right

about their intolerable language, all he would have accomplished would be to keep the story going, to start a round of "he said, she said," ("Your people are more intolerant than my people! No they're not! Says you!" etc.) that would have served no purpose whatsoever except to perpetuate the story.

This response does not insult potential Catholic voters who might have been insulted by Amanda and Melissa's rhetoric, but at the same time makes it PERFECTLY clear that he will not stand for these kinds of attacks ("We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked.").

What he's doing is walking right past the entire thing, and giving it the amount of attention it deserves, namely very little.

by da0802 2007-02-08 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: If he blasted the right

I'm Catholic and I was never offended by what they had said.

He berated them like little children for stuff that happened before they worked for him. Either don't hire them or don't berate them in public.  He could have just said that he was keeping them without dressing them down in public.  That's not strength.

by lisadawn82 2007-02-08 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: If he blasted the right

howdy lisa,

i admit to feeling ambivalent about this...

very glad they weren't fired - but, i agree with you -  it sure sounds like edwards was berating them in public like children.

furthermore it looks like he required them to say "i'm sorry" (it's in both of their statements).

did either of them do anything to be sorry for?

my first immpression is that this is a big step forward - but we still have a very long way to go.

by selise 2007-02-08 07:49AM | 0 recs
How's it going Selise?

"did either of them do anything to be sorry for?"

The answer to that is no.

by lisadawn82 2007-02-08 07:58AM | 0 recs
it's about not getting the campaign

"hijacked" and drawn into the mud with nutballs and tanking the whole campaign.

 sometimes if you believe in a movement you have to take bullets.

by TarHeel 2007-02-08 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: it's about not getting the campaign

well, if the appologies were offered spontaneously - and not requested (or worsel, required)... then i think i would probably agree.

... but it sure reads like they were asked to appologize. i hope not.

by selise 2007-02-08 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: If he blasted the right

Having raised 5 children and supervised a staff of a dozen employees, I can tell you the tactics you need to use are identical, so, yes, he was berating them like children because, on occasion, that's what a boss needs to do. My own preferred style is to praise publicly and criticize privately, but that rule doesn't apply on a very public presidential campaign that has hired two very public bloggers.

I've been around long enough to remember when my company first got the Internet connection in all our offices. The IT consultant sat all the bosses down for a conversation about security, privacy and the law. He said if you apply one simple rule of thumb, you should never have any trouble. That is, "Never do anything on a computer that you wouldn't do with your mother sitting right next to you." It has served me well.

by gas28man 2007-02-08 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: If he blasted the right

edwards had no right to "berating them like children" for something they did BEFORE he hired them.

different story if it was while in his employ.

by selise 2007-02-08 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: If he blasted the right

You know, if he had in the same statement gone on to say that it's time we held all of the campaigns up to this scrutiny and named names on Republican campaigns, with details on the hate language they had used --- well, that would have worked fine.  

But as someone above said, he accepted the neocon frame.  He's been doing a lot of that recently.

by catherineD 2007-02-08 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm glad that he didn't fire them

The right don't work for him.  As their boss, he had to say something to the effect of what he said.  He stood by them.  Now stand by him.

by DrFrankLives 2007-02-08 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

I agree, Edwards should have just gone on the attack. F#ck these @ssholes.

by bobbyk 2007-02-08 07:22AM | 0 recs
Malkin

and Donahue are unworthy of mention.

His statement sends a clear message to would-be Swiftboaters: John "The Smiling Assassin" Edwards ain't gonna take no shit.

by david mizner 2007-02-08 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Malkin

Edwards doesn't need to mention them by name, but Democrats do need to change the terms of the debate media pissing match so that the Malkins and Donohue don't come away with any credibility. I thought the overall tone of the statement was a bit limp, though the one line about hijacking the debate was good - it didn't validate Donohue. Just wish they'd explored that idea a little further.

by joesaho 2007-02-08 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

I'm sure the wingnuts heads are simply exploding right now. The were praying for a flame war. Instead they received the one thing that burns them up most of all! Being ignored.

by eddieb 2007-02-08 07:25AM | 0 recs
Yes. Why elevate Malkin and Donohue

to Edwards' level...

by TarHeel 2007-02-08 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Man, what? They received a day and a half of free political advertising on national cable television. This is what they live for. Who cares if John Edwards ignores them? MSNBC paid attention, and that's what matters. They got their little bitty news cycle, they won, they'll be back in a month to do it again.

by Silent sound 2007-02-08 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

I don't think this issue should sway you away from supporting Edwards. If it does then they(The wingnuts)have succeeded. I too would have liked to see Edwards ATTACK go on the attack, But I'm not runing for President. As I see it WE WON. Edwards did not cave into the swifties.

by eddieb 2007-02-08 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Edwards comments aside, that is the most sarcastic (non)apology ever.  I am totally sorry that by exercising my freedom of expression you were offended.  I am so sorry that my individual beliefs offend you, that certainly was not the intent.  I love it, I can't stop laughing.

by Kingstongirl 2007-02-08 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

"took a while, and it isn't perfect, but Edwards didn't cave."

And what sort of politically toxic, artless, wrath-filled temper tantrum would you prefer from him?

The phrase "Islamofascist" has been widely ridiculed as racist, insensitive, incendiary, outrageous etc.  I agree. That phrase needs to go on the intellectual dung heap, and its Liebermanesque progenitors should have their mouths washed out.  Tell me, do you disagree with me?

Now, what about the phrase "Christofascist"?  Is that phrase any less insensitive and incendiary - especially in a largely Christian country, which you will need to pull the lever for you in about 20 months?

I'm not saying that these people should have been fired, but they have come to the Court of Equity with unclean hands.  To grudgingly accept Edwards decision not to fire them is hardly a useful way to acknowledge your pyric victory.

by Lassallean 2007-02-08 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign
I take it that Salon's story saying Edwards fired the bloggers is in error.
http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2 007/02/07/edwards_bloggers/index.html
by history prof 2007-02-08 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

1. John Edwards was in a different geographic place from the two bloggers in question for the bulk of the day yesterday.  We should appreciate the fact that he has the character not to make rush judgments, no matter if we like them or not, and figure out what the right call is.  Don't say this took too much time to respond, it took enough time for the process to go down the right way.

2. John Edwards is running a campaign for president, not netroots popularity contest.  While the latter will certainly help with the former, he had things that had to be taken care of yesterday, and it's a good thing that he's the guy who made this happen.  

3. This story is a non-story to most of the general public.  Why pick a fight with negativity and breath life into a story in the MSM that doesn't need to happen?  Releasing a statement calling on the right to cut it out, especially the religious right, would just have given new legs to this story.  Let it die.  Matt Stoller needs to get back to understanding the media before he rags on Edwards for not pushing back the way he would have liked.

4. Standing up here, and standing up against the wingers, was about keeping the bloggers on-board.  Did he do it?  Yes.  

5. What is everyone going to do when the story changes into "Edwards caves to angry liberal bloggers"?  Because it has a real possibility of getting drudged up (no pun intended, but after typing that, I feel like the Drudge report might be the feeder on this potential story) back into the MSM.  Edwards, and we the netroots need to know how we're going to respond.

by Peter from WI 2007-02-08 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

1. It is called the telephone

2. It is about who's opinion he cared about, his haters or supporters

3. This story is doing a lot to shape the narrative, which is far more important than whether the general  public cares. Would the use of Macacca have polled high in Virginia, man/dog sex in PA, swearing at fire fighters in MT?

4. He didn't stand up to the wingers, he just didn't cave

5. That is what he deserves after waiting so long. I can't trust that he did this for the right reasons, I think he probably did cave.

by Bob Brigham 2007-02-08 07:58AM | 0 recs
still looks like a wimp

It took him 22 hours to not do the worst thing he could have done and instead come out with some half-assed defensive statement that still lets the zealots control the debate? Twenty two hours?

He still looks weak, people should still wonder if he is only doing this because of the blog uproar not because he will stand by us as a rule, and it is clear his rapid response sucks.

I haven't lost as much respect as I could have for Edwards, but I sure did lose a lot.

by Bob Brigham 2007-02-08 07:53AM | 0 recs
Re: still looks like a wimp

Because you would have preferred an unprofessional knee-jerk reaction.  What was Edwards supposed to do, pull out his crazy 8 ball and go with the answer that popped up?  I will be looking for your best seller on the perfect timing for handling unexpected blowups encountered during a presidential campaign.  It appears you are an expert.

by The Southern Dem 2007-02-08 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: still looks like a wimp

I would have preferred a hard hitting response TWO DAYS AGO when the NYT first called.

The slowness of his campaign is half the problem here. Liberals can't trust he will stand up to the right and it looks like he took the path of least resistance instead of standing up for the base. And the right knows they played him like a fiddle, they have his number.

It would be difficult to imagine how Edwards could have played this worse (except waiting even longer).

by Bob Brigham 2007-02-08 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: still looks like a wimp

He could have fired them.

by da0802 2007-02-08 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: still looks like a wimp

That is the most honest defense of Edwards, he didn't do the worst possible thing he could have. Whooppppieee!

by Bob Brigham 2007-02-08 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign
This leaves a terrible taste and probably won't work. Think this tepid response will make the right back off? Not when they smell blood. They'll just crank up the lies. Edwards is missing the point, and the whole stern boss, penitent employees being given a second chance as long as they stay on their best behavior thing is dumb. This wasn't about language. This was a vile political attack, and required a strong response. The right really attacked Amanda and Melissa for their (and Edwards') progressive opinions -- the language thing was just a red flag. Is Edwards disavowing the opinions? He comes off as weak and indecisive. When attacked by swiftbloggers, you need to do the right thing. Fast. And you need to know what it is. Not sure Edwards knows.
by Madison Guy 2007-02-08 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

so you think "Christofascist" is a phrase that belongs in the progressive lexicon?  Without addressing the veracity of the claim that there are Christians in this country who are fascist about their beliefs (not really fascist - authoritarian would be a more precise word), you think that this phrase is the most politically effective way of expressing that opinion?  You don't care about the moderate yet deeply committed Christians who you alienate with that kind of language?

by Lassallean 2007-02-08 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Agreed.  But even if I don't approve of what they said, I do support their right to say it.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-08 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

No one is talking about their "right" to say it.  No one is going to throw them into jail for using language.  There are no state actors here; no governments brutally repressing free speech.  Of course you can be fired for the language you use if your job description is to formulate language for a campaign.  If Edwards doesn't agree with their use of language, he is justified in firing them.  And Chris Bowers is justified in haranguing him for firing the bloggers (with the High Inquisitor of Ascerbia, Matt Stoller, providing air support).  I'm not saying that either of these would be politically wise courses of action.

by Lassallean 2007-02-08 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Meh, it's OK, and at least in terms of actions, he did the right thing, which is a relief.  But he should have taken the opportunity to go on the offensive:

1) Malkin and Donohue aren't exactly paragons of civility.  Bring up some of their bigotry.

2) Bring up some of the actions and words of some of the cretins on McCain's staff.

3) Attack the media for not giving the same attention to the statements of people on other candidates campaigns (again, McCain's blogger, Patrick Hynes).

So, I think the correct response for us is to attack the right in kind.  Mutually assured destruction.  Heck, the progressive blogosphere is much bigger than the wingnutosphere, we can easily respond with twice the force.  Let's collect our own scalps - starting with Terry Nelson (professional crook and McCain campaign manager) and Patrick Hynes.

by fwiffo 2007-02-08 07:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

First, I am glad Edwards shoved this back in the scum Malkin & Co.'s ugly face.

But...

Ya'all need a great big cup of Dawkin's juice. You know the magic elixir which says:

'No fukin' way I have to respect your deluded belief in 'god' just because you say so.'

We don't 'respect' the beliefs of racists, jingoists, fascists and other cults of authoritarian bent.

We criticize, satirize and attack them on their merits.

God cultists should get no free ride.

Consider that they hate and revile us progressives and liberals on a regular basis.

I will fight no fight with my hands tied behind my back.

When a politician can get up and say this to all and sundry then we will be on the path to a progressive country.

Until then there remains a lot of work to do.
.

by Pericles 2007-02-08 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

I am pretty sure that Edwards wouldn't say that since he DOES believe in God.

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-08 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

And your attitude is as bad as the wingnuts.  Not all people who believe in God hate liberals... in fact there are a lot of liberals who believe in God... They choose to believe the real teachings of Jesus and not poor interpretations that many wingnuts believe.

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-08 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Interesting, because my interpretation was that those were the only people Edwards thought of as religious.

Iran is another example where he took his marching orders from Right Wing Religious zealots. Will there be more?

by Alex Urevick 2007-02-08 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Good Job Edwards... Better late than never... Slap on the wrist, but don't give in to the Wingnuts.  Probably the best solution to the issue... Try and appease the group who Won't vote for you and choosing not to piss on the group who will support you.  Good Work!

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-08 08:00AM | 0 recs
We need courage from our leaders...

and this shows that Edwards is a coward. This was an incredibly weak retraction and I have to believe that he would not have made it if it weren't for the outrage his actions garnered.

This is the second time in the past two weeks that the netroots has had to "Walk Back" Edwards, and while I am glad that the netroots is gaining enough power to help shape campaigns, the initial mistakes are big enough and bad enough for me to believe that Edwards is unqualified to lead our nation.

I doubt Edwards cares about how I feel about this, but I will not be voting for him under any circumstance after the last two screw ups. And, I will use whatever energy and voice I have to ensure that anybody but Edwards (and Clinton) gets the Democratic Nomination.

I thought Edwards had vision: I was wrong.
I thought Edwards would stand with us against the hate-filled hearts of the vial extremists on the right: I was wrong.
I thought Edwards would make a decent Democratic candidate (if Gore didn't enter the race and Clark couldn't raise his profile): I was wrong.

by Alex Urevick 2007-02-08 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: We need courage from our leaders...

Oh Jesus, do you think ANY Democratic candidate wouldn't add an addenda about the language used.  Let me give you a clue:  Gore would qualify his backing by saying he didn't appreciate the language, Dean would, Clark, would, Kucinich would, Obama would, Both Clintons would, and Sharpton would.

Any one who wanted to win the presidency would not defend the passage Amanda wrote.  Nevertheless he defended the person, which is what those on the liberal side with testicles (figurative) want.  

Good luck finding the candidate who will explicitly endorse what Amanda wrote.  I'd say more, but it wouldn't be polite.

by Rooktoven 2007-02-08 08:18AM | 0 recs
How about

Not even letting the right frame the discussion buy Edwards just saying that his bloggers have his full support?

by lisadawn82 2007-02-08 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: We need courage from our leaders...

You are missing the point. This isn't about Amanda's passage, it's about the perception that Edwards acted because the most extreme elements on the right wanted him to, and the fact is that he did act because of their "outrage." He fell for their trap, twice in the last week, and I cannot see how any definition of leadership would cover his cowardly actions.

Sure, he made the right move in both the cases of Bloggergate and Iran, but only after he made serious mistakes of judgment that lead to him having to "walk back" after he was challenged. Iraq Vote (regardless of apology) + bloggergate + Iran stance = ZERO leadership ability.

He is reacting, not leading.

by Alex Urevick 2007-02-08 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: We need courage from our leaders...

please feel free to vote for someone else.

IN November, you'll be voting for Edwards.

by DrFrankLives 2007-02-08 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: We need courage from our leaders...

I think Gore will choose Obama or Richardson over Edwards as his VP candidate, but I guess I'll have to wait and see.

And yes, if Edwards is on the ticket in November I will vote for him (or any other Dem).

by Alex Urevick 2007-02-08 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: We need courage from our leaders...

My ass I'm missing the point.  Name one legitimate contender for the presidency who would have acted differently.  I don't believe you can.

by Rooktoven 2007-02-08 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: We need courage from our leaders...

Al Gore. Wes Clark.

That's two. And please don't give me a zero score if you disagree with this. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean that they are a troll...

by Alex Urevick 2007-02-08 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

I think Edwards accomplished what he needed to.  He recognized that what Amanda and Melissa wrote were their writings and that he did not agree with them.  He laid it down that he will not tolerate similar posts from his employees, because then it would cease to be "their" writings and become the campaign's.

Attacking the right would have been a distraction and carried the story on for who knows how long.

I appreciate his deliberative take on the issue.  He didn't make the knee-jerk reaction all sides wanted (pro-bloggers wanted an immediate repudiation of the Right, the swifties wanted an immediate termination of the bloggers).  He talked to Melissa and Amanda and let them know before letting the press know.  That says a lot about someone.

Back during the 2004 gubernatorial primary season here in Indiana, Joe Andrew was running for governor and had formed a ticket with mall mogul Brynn Simon as his Lieutenant Governor candidate.  Andrew found out that Simon was dropping out of the race and endorsing Joe Kernan for Governor when a reporter asked him.  Ouch.

by Vox Populi 2007-02-08 08:00AM | 0 recs
From a Clarkie, Hat's Off to Edwards

Wes Clark is my first choice but I gotta hand it to John Edwards for standing up, doing the right thing & taking his cues from us, not fringe right-wing attack types.  Credit where credit is due.  It looks like John Edwards is running for President not Mike Dukakis or John Kerry.  Edwards showed some fight here, good for him!

by howardpark 2007-02-08 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

The tone of the tight wing, be it on free republic or Michelle Malkin or Rush Limbaugh is consistently worse than anything these women have ever written.  Let's hold the right up to their own standards for God;s sakes (Ps-if we did, Dan Rather would have been promoted as there was more evidence on his Texas Air National Guard story than on a lot of the Whitewater stuff.)

As for Donohue and his ilk, we need a catch phrase.  His comments are certainly neither Catholic (universal), nor Christian (upholding the beliefs about sinners, the rich (especially the rich) and the poor expressed by Jesus, nor spiritual in any sense.  Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.  Let he who is with sin, join up with Donahue and start flinging.

We need to go after Malkin and Donohue pronto.  We need to inform the media that when they want to sample blog opinion , that progressive blogs have more readers and in a story about the Democratic Party need to be the ones quoted and not Captain's Quarters and Michelle Malkin and National Review On Line (the first three out of the box on this story).

Look at the Alexa rankings:

Huffington Post 1,788 (rank)
Daily Kos   2,514 (rank)
Free Republic 3,868
National Review Online (5,970)
Democratic Underground (8,919)
Talking Points Memo (10,299)
Little Green Footballs (10,965)
Powerline (20,821)
MyDD  (22,912)
Eschaton (23,846)
Firedoglake (27,912)
Redstate (40,565)
Captain's Quarters (57,222)
Pandagon (62,595)

It all sorts out rather nicely, free republic (which has jumped up a bit the last month) is a match but clearly smaller than Kos.  HuffPo swamps NRO but they are in the same game.  DU and TPM are larger than LGF and Powerkine.  MyDD, Eschaton, and FDL clobber redstate and Captain's Quarters.  In fact, the much quoyed (by the MSM) Captain runs behind a realestate development of the same name in Alexa.

The MSM like to pretend that The Washington Times is a real paper (like the Post)rather than a GOP/Moonie  propaganda sheet distinguished by some decent writing and  articles of general interest.  Similarly, they like to cover thr right wing blogs (frequently extremely abusive and with a smaller audience) more frequently and far more respectfully than MSM coverage of progressive blogs.  They need to be called out on this.

PS-  I suspect the best forum for calling out the bias is probably The Daily Show and/or Colbert.  A few Malkin and Donohue quotes would go a long way.

by David Kowalski 2007-02-08 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign
The problem (?) is that Democrats are thinkers. The two bloggers did make offensive comments (sort of juvenile, actually) so a thinking person cannot completely defend them. (And perhaps the real problem was hiring them in the first place, but that's water over the bridge.)
However, Edwards did the right thing. Acknowledge their pre-hiring words, stand by them as employees, do not cave in to the lunatic right-wingers. Then move on. Simple. Back to the issues - where the Republicans can only lose.
The statement cuts the issue dead.
by mjames 2007-02-08 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

My support for Edwards isn't budged, but I'm really upset.  Edwards is supposed to be a fighter.

by jallen 2007-02-08 08:14AM | 0 recs
He is a fighter.

And by not letting them go he showed that.  Don't mistake tactics for lack of courage.

by Rooktoven 2007-02-08 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

I can understand the response from one perspective: it may tempt Donohue into making a serious mistake.  Attacking the people who apologized now would make Donohue look like a total hack, rather than a "concerned Catholic."

It also gets allows other non-defensive forward agenda items to be discussed at Team Edwards, which I think is critical, especially since they don't seem to be masters at the whole campaign administration thing yet.  Time to start playing offense.

by Bruce Godfrey 2007-02-08 08:15AM | 0 recs
He got hit over the head in the bar fight

but he shakes it off and has swung back

Did the punch land?

Who cares - he punched back

by merbex 2007-02-08 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: He got hit over the head in the bar fight

He didn't punch back at all.

He ran and hoped they wouldn't punch him anymore. Not as bad as shouting that he'll be their bitch if the stop beating him, but people are going to laugh next time he walks in the bar.

by Bob Brigham 2007-02-08 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: He got hit over the head in the bar fight

Actually, he stood there and said is that all you got?  Don't read this as running.  If you want a pissing match do it at a time your convenience, not your opponents.

by Rooktoven 2007-02-08 08:26AM | 0 recs
If you abuse the mojo system...

you will be reported to "the authorities". The zero that you gave me should be reserved for comments that are so scandalous that they need to be hidden. Given that I received two "3"'s before your Zero, you are clearly abusing the system and are behaving like a troll...

by Alex Urevick 2007-02-08 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: If you abuse the mojo system...

That assumes you deserved threes and that getting those threes make you right.  Would a "one`" make you happier?  

by Rooktoven 2007-02-08 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: If you abuse the mojo system...

No, that assumes that you understand the way the rating system is supposed to work. Zeros are not signs of disapproval, they are ways to silence an opponent, not because that person disagrees with your POV, but because they are totally unproductive and clearly troll-like behaviors.

If you disagree with me, than by all means tell me why I am being stupid (lord knows I act stupidly a good amount of the time), but don't try to silence me...

by Alex Urevick 2007-02-08 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: He got hit over the head in the bar fight

I'd rather sit with him in a bar than with pols like George Allen.   Edwards was wise to wait and have a conversation with his employees first, then defend them as people.

As far as punching Donohue and Malkin back, I think one of the bloggers over at Edwards blog is doing a pretty job as the blogger is a Catholic himself.  Edwards is not.

http://blog.johnedwards.com/story/2007/2 /7/145350/4344

by benny06 2007-02-08 08:30AM | 0 recs
He ran? I don't think so

"Running" would have resulted in their firing

He is standing by them and expressing his distaste at what they wrote - I thinks that fair.

He got hit about someone else's statements, aborbed the hit, and this part:

I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked.

He punched back - it just might not have landed

by merbex 2007-02-08 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Edwards (basically) handled this as well as he could have under the circumstances. There was no way he could stand by those comments. They were simply too offensive for too many people. Best of all, there's no more controversy to report on. The story is over!

Kerry, in comparison, let these situations snowball and could never put the story to rest. Now -- Edwards can talk about the war, poverty or whatever the hell else he wants to talk about.

by BobbyNYC 2007-02-08 08:38AM | 0 recs
Blog Talk Radio

The podcast should be available shortly, and I'll provide a direct link when it is.  I hear it was a great show!

by lowkell 2007-02-08 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Blog Talk Radio

Thanks, I'm getting:

Sorry, the content you have requested could not be found or has been intentionally disabled by the content owner. Please contact the content owner if you have any further questions about this content.

by philgoblue 2007-02-08 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Blog Talk Radio

Interesting, I'm having trouble as well.  Did you use this link?  Thanks.

by lowkell 2007-02-08 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Blog Talk Radio

if only the libertarian hadn't sucked the life out of the last five minutes or so, it would have been even better...

by lipris 2007-02-08 09:33AM | 0 recs
Trapper John on dailykos said it best.

"Let's join him in putting this nonsense behind us."

by NCDem 2007-02-08 09:07AM | 0 recs
No need for apology

" My intention is never to offend anyone for his or her personal beliefs, and I am sorry if anyone was personally offended by writings meant only as criticisms of public politics. "

What is wrong with offending people who deserve it? Either she regrets what she did or she didn't. THe easy attack should have been to turn the question around on the republican's hires. Not just the bloggers but other operatives.

by Pravin 2007-02-08 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: No need for apology

"What is wrong with offending people who deserve it? "

That's my problem with his response. You can't run a successful campaign if you are unwilling to defend against smears from the right. Look what happened to Kerry/Edwards in 2004.

by PhillyGuy 2007-02-08 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

It still feels badly handled, but since Marcotte and McEwen aren't complaining, I guess it's none of our business.

by catherineD 2007-02-08 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Chris is completely in the right on this.

by Ethelred 2007-02-08 09:29AM | 0 recs
Edwards response was classy

Class.  That's something we in North Carolina know a thing or two about.  Maybe it's more important to us than to some big-shot-national-blogger-types.

by KickinIt 2007-02-08 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

The only thing this move proves is that Edwards was willing to cave in to the netroots (rather than the wingnuts) and that Amanda Marcotte doesn't stand by her last few years of postings.  This makes both Edwards and Marcotte look like cowards and the wingnuts are having a field day with that:

http://proteinwisdom.com/index.php?/webl og/entry/22327/

by Mary Zerro 2007-02-08 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Marcotte's attempts at deleting her previous writings to cover her tracks are also shameful.

by Mary Zerro 2007-02-08 09:47AM | 0 recs
A few opinions...

First, I think (do not know this, but think this) that Edwards is trying to "act Presidential", which means to not be the attack dog.  That isn't his job, really - it's ours.

Second, part of our response should be to firmly request that the other campaigns stand beside Edwards and give their support as well.  I don't yet support a specific candidate (had a weak interest in Edwards initially, but am back to "not sure yet" again), but I will be contacting all of the other candidates and asking that they voice their support for Edwards against deception and slander from the right.

Third, in addition to our first responsibility listed above, a second of ours should be to go hammer and tongs against the MSM for their abysmal coverage of this issue.  My two cats could have written better stories, hell, they could have done better TV.  

Fourth, Edward's response will have no effect on the wingnuts.  His response is, and should be, tailored to the general public.  Nothing...N-O-T-H-I-N-G...will change their ways.  They will go after us and those on "our side" now and forever, and they will never be completely asleep.  We have to be ready to stand up to them and beat them into a smudge, make them the butt of nighttime TV jokes, make people feel embarrassed to be in their presence, every day, every night, without fail, without pause.  In fact, we need to rely less on effective counterattacks and focus more on keeping them off balance as much as possible.

My two bits...

by palamedes 2007-02-08 09:43AM | 0 recs
Statements From the Edwards Campaign

Hi can you delete whatever you typed before someone take some legal action against you..

by dandoty 2007-02-08 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Statements From the Edwards Campaign

America was a place where England sent away
religious freaks. And it is still full of those
freaks. They keep spreading religious lies
and offending and scaring people with their
idiotic patterns, rules & BS.

I can rephrase senator Kerry and say: if you
will not try to get a good education than you at
risk to stick with religion and you are at mercy of
freaks.

by WeNeed3rdParty 2007-02-08 05:45PM | 0 recs

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