Progressive bloggers give up on Edwards

I hate to write about something while I am still so mad about it, but I just can’t sit still with this any longer.


I just learned that the other progressive activist blogger (Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare’s Sister) that was hired by Edwards’ campaign for being a progressive activist blogger has also resigned for being a progressive activist blogger. As I wrote on the I am Amanda Marcotte Facebook group:

I am so damn mad about this. Since when do conservative zealots determine standards for Democratic campaigns?

Edwards should never have validated Donahue’s complaints. This whole thing should have just been an amusing footnote in campaign blogging history a year from now. Instead it has set a horrible precedent which will keep honest bloggers from supporting viable candidates for many years to come.

Seriously, who the hell cares what right-wing christians think of Democratic political staffers? Do Republicans care that their staffer are racist, sexist, homophobes? Do we make a federal case out of it? Aaargh!

8 thoughts on “Progressive bloggers give up on Edwards

  1. Also, I don’t blame the bloggers for quitting. They probably found that Edwards was not the authentic, blog-friendly, progressive candidate we were all led to believe. I can’t imagine I would want to work for someone who would denounce me for stating my own opinions on my own blog.

  2. This is all so depressing. And you’re spot on here: since when would, say, the McCain campaign give a damn if we called a right-wing staffer on homophobia? Doesn’t bode so well for Edwards, but then again I’m not under any illusions about mainstream Democratic politics.

  3. The big problem with the two bloggers leaving is which candidate will the majority of the Netroots work for now. Their first goal is the Dem presidential nomination. If Edwards drops the ball Obama will pick it up. Many bloggers could jump ship. If they haven’t already.

    Edwards should says something to more people along the lines of Anglico’s suggestions on BlueNC. Staying quite is a mistake. One blog post on the Edwards blog won’t fix this.

  4. Ruby

    This progressive blogger hasn’t given up on the most progressive candidate with a chance to win. Why would you?

    The people who validated Donbahue were . . . SURPRISE . . . progressive bloggers, who wet themselves all week last week demanding that John Edwards attack back and elevate a man who speaks for exactly no one to the level of a candidate for President.

    John Edwards stood by them. He did not fire them. Any past campaign would have. If you don’t think so, ask Lani Guinier how fair it is when your daisy sticks up above the candidate’s daisy.

    Amanda had a job for the duration unless she decided it was more important to fight her own personal battle than to elect John Edwards. If she chose th latter, his blog was not the place to do it. And she realized that and moved on.

    The messages these women have received from these troglodytes are horrible. But I’d be willing to bet they are about the same as those received by every democratic candidate and their spouse on a daily basis.

    This is not Edwards’s fault, except perhaps for sloppy staff work on the front end. For that, I am certain heads will roll.

    But these women both still support him. And they both say they resigned and were not forced out. So I fail to see a reson to “give up” on a fine candidate.

  5. Why are bloggers exempt from criticism that would be levied if they had published a book? A blog is just as open and public. The only difference is the tool used to do the publishing.

    I’m not supporting the right-wing attacks, but it seems to me that we often think our blogs are personal messages to a private audience. They aren’t. If someone writes publicly about political issues, they have to expect political repercussions, even if they’re from scumbags.

  6. BTW, prove your commitment to your purported beliefs by actually not censoring this commentary. I’ll be watching.

    Blogging isn’t grassroots activism, it’s grasstops activism.. which is exclusionary, as it’s an elite form of discussion. Not all voices are allowed at the table. It is a prime example of a two Americas.. it is primarily white and affluent.

    John Edwards gets criticized for his vote, and he admits his vote was wrong, but the extreme left along with the Nader campaign rationalized a Bush presidency, knowing that a war would result. Where is the demand that the extreme left apologize for supporting a Bush presidency imposed cold shower?

    If you are against two Americas, then you need to start walking the walk. You correctly label blogging as communication, but that only proves it’s talk.. and we all know how cheap that can be. It is easy to sit in an ivory tower and point fingers.. typing away at a keyboard to your fellows is not grassroots activism. Also, the elite echo chamber that is the blogosphere tends to increase a disconnect and the respect for your fellow man. It also cuts one off from the wider issues, as the only ones that are discussed online tend to be of the single issue variety.. and of course the occasional exploitation the issues of poverty and the like when they serve the agenda’s purpose.

    A true grassroots movement can include the netroots, but the netroots do not constitute the grassroots movement they like to pretend to.

  7. Well I agree with this part: “Blogging isn’t grassroots activism, it’s grasstops activism.” Grasstops is another word for LEADERSHIP, which is crucial in any kind of organizing.

    I’m not sure what the rest has to do with anything.

  8. “John Edwards gets criticized for his vote, and he admits his vote was wrong, but the extreme left along with the Nader campaign rationalized a Bush presidency, knowing that a war would result. Where is the demand that the extreme left apologize for supporting a Bush presidency imposed cold shower?”

    Where does one begin to parse this statement? No one knew a war would result if Bush won the presidency. In fact, Bush ran on a mildly isolationist platform, and war and peace issues got no attention in 2000. It is difficult to say whether a Gore administration would have invaded Iraq. Many liberal commentators supported the war, and about half of the Democratic senators voted for it, despite almost universal international opposition. No one on the ‘extreme left’ supported Bush in 2000 or 2004. Bush was de facto appointed president in 2000 by the Supreme Court, after Al Gore had already abandoned calling for a recount of the entire vote in Florida, which likely he won. Many on the left supported Nader in 2000, but the whole point is that the Democratic candidates do not have some automatic right to people’s votes–they must win them. Practically no one on the extreme left (apart from tiny groups) supported Nader in 2004, a defacto move away from the stance of 2000. Whether or not anyone apologized–who exactly would be paying attention to the ‘extreme left’? (I seem to recall a New York Times article about some Nader supporters’ mea culpas circa 2003–of course, having done so, they become irrelevant and soon blend into the mass of liberals) Unable to develop a coherent stance in 2004, the Green Party is a pale shadow of the weak force it already was. Who is supposed to be demanding they apologize, and why would anyone bother or care?
    Edwards, like most of the Democrats, is running to the right of Bush on the question of a military confrontation with Iran,thereby demonstrating that, apology or no, he has learned nothing from the Iraq war. As in most years, there is little reason to believe that a Democrat will follow a dramatically different foreign policy than the Republican, simply by virtue of winning an election. Only grassroots pressure, and military defeats on the ground (and resultant rebellion within the military) are likely to push the US away from its familiar path, continued under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

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