February 13, 2007

Edwards' Bigoted Blogger Resigns

Just when it mattered least, Amanda Marcotte resigned from the John Edwards campaign:

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 [sic] of right wing shills don’t respect that a mere woman like me could be hired for my skills, 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.

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.

As ever, Marcotte just doesn't get it.

Bill Donohue may have been the catalyst bringing her anti-Christian, anti-Catholic bigotry to a national audience, but Amanda Marcotte was targeted because she was and is an unrepentant bigot, and for no other reason. Period.

Marcotte attempts to shift the blame to Bill Donohue, a bigot in his own right (his views on Judaism turn the stomach), but the reality is that Marcotte and Donohue are flip sides of the same vile coin.

Despite her protests, Marcotte's free speech was never curtailed. It was in fact her exercise of her free speech--her own bigoted words spread far and deep across her person blog over an extended period of time--that was responsible for the controversy surrounding her hiring. What Marcotte did not understand then, and either does not understand, or refuses to acknowledge now, is that free speech is not freedom from responsibility for those opinions you chose to exercise. Marcotte apparently thinks that "free speech" means she has the "right" to denigrate and offend others without those others having the ability to exercise those same free speech rights in protest. She wants freedom to be a critic without having that same critical eye cast in her direction. It is a double standard that she seeks, and nothing less.

Marcotte's resignation post also admits what many of us thought about her earlier apology. It was insincere; a blatant and calculated lie meant to excise her from criticism. She stated in her apology that:

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.

Her statement now?

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.

Marcotte now admits that she only issued her apology on the Edwards blog in a cynical attempt to keep her job. She knew her comments on her personal blog were never "satirical in nature and always intended strictly as a criticism of public policies and politics." Now that she is free of the Edwards campaign, she fully intends to revert back to form. "It's on."

The problem for Amanda Marcotte isn't that the criticisms of her writings were baseless. The problem for Amanda Marcotte is that the criticisms exposed precisely who she is.

It remains now to be seen if Marcotte joins the Ku Klux Klan. Not for the bigotry, you understand.

She just seems to love the idea of a burning cross.

Update: More reaction from Ace, Bryan, Glenn, Joe, Jeff, and Michelle.

A good cross-section of blog reactions at

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 13, 2007 09:07 AM

It would almost be funny if it wasn't a preview of how 2007 will be the year the left is going to savage itself over the nutroots and end up all but dead politically. Nobody's going to want to touch the nutroots after this week, and the Dems' triangulation on which group it needs more (largely Catholic religious Dems or the Screaming Nutroot Faithful) will only serve to alienate both groups.

Religious Democrats, particularly in New England, may start looking hard at Mitt Romney. The nutroots however will suddenly find that nobody cares about them anymore. See if any major Dem candidates show up at Yearly Kos in 2007. My guess is after this week they won't even be able to book Al Sharpton.

Howard Dean, Ned Lamont, and now John Edwards are all but politically finished due to the nutroots albatross hanging on their necks. And as the nutroots get even more shrill and start demanding more attention, the Dems will be forced to tune out their own base for "electability".

It's funny how poli sci texts will look back on the internet a few years from now and talk about how it destroyed the Democrat Party.

Posted by: Jared at February 13, 2007 09:40 AM

Is she really a bigot? I admit I haven't been following the matter, so this is a genuine question. I'm aware of some scathing anti-religious remarks she made, and presumably since she feels that way she is therefore in principle against people that promote religion. To me that seems principled, not bigoted, but like I said I don't know the whole picture.

I'm not sure I've ever read her blog, but from her reputation I'm sure she's a liberal Democrat or Green or what have you. KKK members are basically all conservative, Republican protestants right? I doubt very much she or the KKK would have any interest in each other. Anyway the KKK is racially focused, and if she is a racist I'm sure she keeps it to herself, or she'd be ostracized by the PC element in her group.

Posted by: Lex Steele at February 13, 2007 12:14 PM

"KKK members are basically all conservative, Republican protestants right?"
Well, except for Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV).

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at February 13, 2007 12:38 PM

Bohica -- yes he was decades ago, and he now says it will forever be a stain on his character. I'm not knocking the Republican party; there are odious groups largely composed of Democrats too. I don't believe what I said about the KKK is controversial. Do you have a disagreement you'd like to discuss, or are you just sniping?

Posted by: Lex Steele at February 13, 2007 01:06 PM

Lex, you are trying to associate the Ultra Right/Far Right/Crazy Right with the Republican Party and that is just not true. That's the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. The GoP disassociates itself from the radicals on the right, while the Democrats EMBRACES the radical left, which is EXACTLY what Edwards was doing by hiring whatshername.

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at February 13, 2007 01:40 PM

Bohica -- no, you are reading way too much into what I said. Do you agree that the Pendagon (sp?) woman probably votes Democrat? Do you believe that most KKK members vote Republican? Do you agree that this makes it unlikely that Pedagon Woman would join the KKK? That's all I'm saying. If you disagree, that's fine, but don't pretend I'm saying something that I'm not.

Posted by: Lex Steele at February 13, 2007 02:47 PM


Based upon her copious body of work, I think it is fair to state that Marcotte is indeed a bigot. If you have doubts on the matter, I suppose you can look up some of her statements and start playing the substitution game, plugging in different groups in as the objects of derision of Marcotte's posts, and then see if the same language applied to different groups would rise to your standard of what constitutes bigotry.

I think I'd also disagree with your characterization of Klan members as being "all conservative, Republican protestants." Don't get me wrong, in that I'm certain there are conservative Republican Klansmen, but I doubt they are the majority. Historically, the Klan has been the refuge of conservative Democrats, mostly in the south, but also in the northeast, where Republicans are generally scarce in any capacity. I don't have any empirical data to back this assertion (it may exist, but I'm too lazy to look), but anecedotal evidence suggests that conservative "yellow dog" Dems in the south and northeast are a more likely recruiting ground for the Klan than any other demographic.

Perhaps it is ironic, but Marcotte's obvious bigotry against Catholics accurately captures the mentality that enabled the Klan to take off in the northeast, where their major malfunction was a specific hatred of immigrants in general and Catholic immigrants in particular.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 13, 2007 03:09 PM

Well, dislike of Catholics is bigotry all right. I'm convinced.

I didn't say ALL Klansmen are conservative Republicans, I said basically all. Sure, in the seventies the great majority of white Southerners were Dems, so during that period most Klansmen would be Dems. All those guys call themselves Republicans now. I'd bet more than 95% of 2004 Klan votes were Bush over Kerry. Democrat racism IMO is mostly in the form of entitlements, the soft bigotry of low expectations, whereas the violent kind of racism is more closely associated with the Republicans (or people that now vote Republican). That's just the way it is.

Posted by: Lex Steele at February 13, 2007 03:56 PM

Bigotry: [The] stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.

That seems to rather accurately define Amanda Marcotte's body of work regarding "godbags," Lex. You are, of course, to disagree with that assessment, but I feel that the majority of people would disagree with your assessment that she may be "principled" once they have read some of her more colorful work. "Principled" in this case being defined as "based on or manifesting objectively defined standards of rightness or morality." Somehow, a foul-mouthed person contemplating the abortion of Jesus doesn't quite strike me as being a view any rational person can accept as being particularly righteous or moral, especially considering it was apparently one of many of her comments uttered with the express goal of issuing forth the contempt and dare I say it, bigotry she so obviously holds near and dear to her heart against Christians.

As for your "all/basically all" semantics game, you're free to hold that opinion. I can tell you that history, past and present, indicates that you are more than likley incorrect on your assumptions. While it is hardly indicative of a representive cross section, recent Louisiana voting patterns show something quite different that what you theorize:

A new study by two political scientists suggests that racial bias was likely a key factor in the defeat of Indian American Bobby Jindal in the 2003 Louisiana governor’s race.

Unexpected support from the so-called "David Duke vote" was decisive in Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s victory, detailed statistical analysis by two government professors at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., suggests.

White voters who had backed former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in 1991, and who normally vote Republican, turned away from Jindal in the 2003 race, according to the analysis by Richard Skinner and Philip A. Klinkner. "Duke voters," particularly in norah [sic] Louisiana, were enough to provide the new governor her margin, Skinner and Klinkner suggest.

They conclude:

Most notably, the authors demonstrate that where Duke did well in 1991, so did Blanco in 2003 — far better, in fact, than Landrieu in 2002.

The openly racist ex-Klansman Duke gained a majority of the vote in 26 Louisiana parishes; Blanco averaged 10 percentage points better than Landrieu in these parishes. And in nine parishes where Duke got over 55 percent of the vote, Blanco averaged 17 percentage points better than the U.S. Senator.

Most conclusive, according to Parent, is the two political scientists' examination of results from a far smaller unit than the parish — the precinct. And here again, in the north Louisiana precincts examined by the authors, where Duke had gotten more than 60 percent of the vote in 1991, Blanco averaged 13 percentage points better than Landrieu.

"Race still matters," said Klinkner. "And it's race, it's not just Democrats vs. Republicans."

That said, I'd hardly be surprised if you find a way to re-manufacturer the Republicans=Klansman meme you seem to be attached to, evidence to the contrary be damned.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 13, 2007 04:34 PM

About the bigotry thing, I'm confused. I said I'm convinced. You seem to want to pick a fight?

As for your "all/basically all semantics game": it's not a semantic game, you misquoted me. I know that blacks vote predominantly Democratic, and most everything I've seen indicates that white protestants that hate blacks vote Republican. I didn't say "Republicans=Klansman". You're being a jerk to imply that I did, and it reflects poorly on you that you act reflexively when you perceive that your party is being attacked, especially when it isn't. Thank you for your time.

Posted by: Lex Steele at February 13, 2007 05:41 PM

Is she really a bigot?

Just nuts.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at February 13, 2007 09:51 PM

This woman must be delusional. She thinks she can write material that is HIGHLY insensitive & hurtful to a substantial portion of the population & there would be no repercussions???!!!! She became too comfortable & confident with her "amen corner"..........a VERY narrow slice of society. So, YES!!!, there is freedom of speech but there is also freedom of action from those offended by bigotry. She had to learn the hard way. She was wrong & got spanked & I couldn't be happier. -----I'm voting for Edwards +& have never voted Republican in my life.

Posted by: aquinasb at February 13, 2007 10:21 PM