Well, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan still have their jobs, which is good. They had to humble themselves a little, but in a way it’s nice to see progressives using the “non-apology apology” that right-wingers so often turn to.
Democrats -- and Edwards in particular -- have embraced the language of faith and the imperative of competing with Republicans for the support of religious voters. His wife, Elizabeth Edwards, even sits on the board of the leading organization of the religious left, Call to Renewal. But in private conversations and careful public statements today, religious Democrats said they felt sidelined by Edwards' decision to stand by his aides.
"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, aO'Dwyer e-mailed a statement to reporters saying: "Senator Edwards is condoning bigotry by keeping the two bloggers on his staff. Playing to the cheap seats with anti-Catholic bigotry has no place in the Democratic Party."
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." New York
“Stupid politically”—hmm. I disagree, given the circumstances. It would’ve looked terrible for Edwards to knuckle under to Michelle Malkin and William Donahue. Here, though, are some tougher hypothetical questions. What if Mr. O’Dwyer had publicly called for Amanda to be fired? What then would be the politically smart move for Edwards to make? Who is a more important constituency, religious liberals or the blogosphere?
Personally, I identify with both constituencies, but that overlap is perhaps small. The question points to a more fundamental one in politics: reach for the center or energize the base? One could quibble, but most people would place open-minded religious believers in the center, and the readership of Pandagon on the left.
It pains me to pose the question this way. I find that trying to occupy the slot of “religious liberal” is exhausting; there are roadblocks, misunderstandings, frustrations every direction you turn. Being a resident of the blogosphere is more energizing. Correspondingly (I don’t know what the causal relationship is, it’s a chicken-egg thing) the religious left is weak in getting things done. The blogosphere—it sounds funny to say it, but it does have a shaggy kind of organization and is growing in influence. If I do the math, I come out in favor of the blogosphere.
Marcotte “playing to the cheap seats?” I guess he means crude reflexive atheists, and/or people who like a good jizm joke no matter what. Marcotte and McEwan also play to smart people--young, smart, passionate people out here in Flyover Country.
This whole stupid thing with McEwan and Marcotte pushes several of my buttons. I realize it’s a tempest in a teapot and ought to die a quick death as a news story. Yet I'm flashing back to a summer when I was in my 20s, between jobs, hanging out with friends in
There needs to be more room in politics for people who are smart and passionate, yet sometimes irreverent and not laser-like in their focus. People with a sense of humor. People who get context (which was the first casualty when people were ripping sentences out of Pandagon for scrutiny). Room for regular people, in other words.