Amanda Marcotte Resigns from Edwards Campaign

Amanda Marcotte has resigned as John Edwards’ blogger, on the basis that she was creating a distraction for the campaign. Rather than stop there, though, she plays the victim.

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…

What in the world does gender have to do with it? Women have been in key positions on presidential campaigns for years now. Susan Estrich ran Michael Dukakis’ 1988 campaign and Donna Brazile did the same for Al Gore in 2000. Not to put too fine a point on it but campaign blogger is several steps down the ladder.

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.

I’m not a Bill Donohue fan. (I’m not too keen on Phil Donohue, either, for that matter.) Still, he was making no attempt to “silence” Amanda Marcotte, of whom, like the rest of us out here, 99.99% of the country had never heard. It seems that I read somewhere, though, that freedom of speech includes the right to criticize the opinions and language expressed by others.

Why? Because I’m a woman? Because I’m pro-choice? Because I’m not religious?

No, Yes, and Yes. Again, your femaleness has nothing to do with it. It’s because you were working for a man who aspired to be president of the United States and you expressed political views that Donohue disagrees with strongly in a manner that even your candidate found “personally offensive.” If George W. Bush had hired Jeff Goldstein or Charles Johnson in a similar position, I suspect you might have expressed an opinion.

It’s come to my attention that Donohue’s attempts to separate the Edwards campaign from their employees that were chosen for our skills and talents may in fact be in violation of the tax laws.

I would love to see the tax-exempt status stripped from a whole lot of groups who engage in political activity. It’s rather ironic, though, to post that sentence immediately after pointing with pride to a letter to the New York Times from Frances Kissling, the president of Catholics for a Free Choice. After all, Kissling is doing precisely what you found so offensive coming from Donohue: Engaging in political speech on one ideological interpretation of Catholic teaching. (A distinctly minority one, in her case, I might add.)

The blogosphere, obsessed as we are with all things blogosphere, is all over this.

  • Patrick Frey is “genuinely, sincerely saddened.”
  • AllahPundit has video of Marcotte’s appearance on O’Reilly.
  • Dale Franks thinks “maybe people don’t dislike her because she is a woman; maybe people dislike her because she is a jerk.”
  • Ace: “She’s pretty sure that William Donahue went after her so hard because she has a vagina.”
  • Greg Tinti: “Your heart goes out to poor, poor Amanda, doesn’t it? No, mine neither.”
  • Joe Gandelman: “Anyone who works for a campaign could be subject to intense scrutiny if they work in an outreach or public relations-type position.”
  • Chris Bowers: “People are also expected to never say anything that anyone would ever find offensive.”
  • Bride of Acheron: “I imagine Donohue and company ain’t seen nothing yet, on the profane denunciation of their pious theocracy.”
  • Heraclitus has an interesting discussion about the difference tolerance and respect.
  • Lorie Byrd: “Blah, blah, blah…it was all the rightwing godbags’ fault, blah, blah, blah. No way could it be because of her inability to control her filthy hate-spewing mouth.”
  • Andrew Olmsted: “By entering the blogosphere, we choose to put our opinions in print where anyone can see what we have to say. In so doing, most of us look forward to drawing some attention to our ideas. We cannot then turn around and expect to have those ideas overlooked when they become inconvenient.”
  • Taylor Marsh: “she remained true to herself throughout. It’s Edwards who was clueless about whom he’d hired.” [Forgetting, of course, that non-apology apology about how her true self was just a satire. -ed.]
  • Ron Chusid didn’t read Pandagon before this but will now.
  • Commissar: “Notice the frequent insistence that ‘Religious bigots like Donohue don’t speak for all Catholics.’ Well, tell ya what, I am an atheist, and spigot-bigots like you don’t speak for me.”
  • Kathryn Jean Lopez: “Marcotte meanwhile appears to be taking a cue from Nancy Pelosi and playing the gender card, among other silly victimization routes.”
  • Don Surber: “[W]hen you sign her on because of her fame as a blogger, you get what she was blogging about.”
  • Andrew Sullivan: “To be honest, I find the whole idea of bloggers as an integral part of political campaigns a little creepy. When I started blogging, many saw it primarily as a way to challenge those in power – whether in the media or politics or the church or wherever. It was a way to expand the individual’s ability to speak and be heard, as a means to deepen scrutiny of the powerful.”
  • Good Lt.: “By harassment, she merely meant being quoted accurately for the world outside of Pandagon readers to behold.”
  • Jeff Goldstein: “Instead, she continues to see conspiracies rather than geniune outrage—and in so doing, she continues to lean on the crutch of her collective rather than taking a good hard look at her method of discourse.” [Dude… -ed.]
  • Ed Morrissey has the best headline: “Marcotte Quits, Sun To Rise In East In The Morning”
  • Mark Coffey: “Yes, if there is one thing missing from our public discourse, it’s more people willing to describe the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit in a highly sexualized, wholly inappropriate manner…”
  • Michelle Malkin has an extensive roundup. She observes, “So much for that sincere apology. Good news for the nutroots: She’s free, free again to yell ‘Jeebus’ all she wants!”

It should be noted that Melissa McEwan has not resigned. That should further emphasize that, although they were lumped together in the press, their writing was actually quite different. Aside from being too-clever-by-half in the use of words like “Christofascist,” nobody has ever pointed to anything McEwan has written that approaches Marcotte’s vitriol.

As an aside, I find it terribly amusing that the top post at Pandagon as I compose this highlights the fact that there are entire categories on the blog for “Censure the F—er” and “A–holes.” Somehow, I don’t think Jesse Taylor or Ezra Klein created those.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jim Henley says:

    There had to be a first black football coach to get fired; now there’s a first blogger to get fired. Aside from the novelty of – Ooh, blogger! – this is about the five-millionth time a campaign has hired a staffer whose pre-employment statements turned out to be controversial and tossed the staffer overboard out of expediency.

    Some day I have to write my “Keep the Blogosphere Weird!” item. Campaigns threaten to neuter the glorious insanity of the medium that fathered a thousand Kim du Toits and Amanda Marcottes. Jon Henke was an interesting writer until the exact day he took a job with George Allen. It’s a poison chalice party politics offers.

  2. carpeicthus says:

    Amanda was an awful hire. The person who was in charge of vetting her is the one who should be fired. I’m actually trying to think of a worse choice for a left-leaning blogger. RudePundit would probably be worse, if he weren’t anonymous, but at least that would be really funny.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Jim: Yes, agreed. I’ve had some preliminary talks for some blogger relations work but, ultimately, am not willing to give up very much of my ability to express myself. I’m not a du Toit or Marcotte, for good or ill, but I doubt there’s a candidate alive who would simultaneously have any chance at all at winning and be comfortable with all the positions I’ve taken over the years.

  4. Bithead says:

    Face it, gang…

    While I have no real love nor hate for Donahue and his group… on this occasion he happens to be correct.

    Helping him in making that point is the long standing image that the left has built up for themselves over the years of being religiously bigoted… at least as far Christians and Jews are concerned… (Gaia forfend they should ever be seen as being anti-Islam…) That bigotry is not just an image problem…. it’s a fact.

  5. Jeff G says:

    What’s with the [Dude… -ed] thing, James?

  6. James Joyner says:

    What’s with the [Dude… -ed] thing, James?

    Just a little early morning snark. No implication of equivalence between your writing and Marcotte’s, just a suggestion that your “method of discourse” has from time-to-time drawn the ire of lefties.