February 07, 2007

Edwards, Melissa, And Amanda

Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon and Melissa McEwan (know 'round the 'net as Shakespeare's Sister) were recently hired by the Edward's Presidential Campaign to develope the camaign's web presence. As was to be expected, the wingnut-o-sphere pounced at the opportunity to cull their posts for potentially objectionable content. Now the rumors are swirling fast that the campaign may fire the two women over this controversy.

This is complete and utter garbage. Look, I've never been a fan of Amanda. Pandagon was my favorite blog when Jesse and Ezra were on it. Then they left and, not liking the tone and argumentative style Amanda frequently takes, I pretty much stopped reading it. Don't get me wrong, Amanda's frequently right on the issues, I just don't like how she goes about making her case. On the other hand, I've always like Shakes. Regardless, if the Edwards campaign fires the two of them I'm going to lose a lot of faith in both the candidate and the campaign. These were two *very* public Internet personas. If they knew enough about the blogosphere to know who both of these women were, they absolutely knew enough to vet them by cruising through their posts before they gave out job offers. As Ezra says, firing these two either means the campaign is a bunch of cowards or incompetents.

This backlash from the Right was as predictable as it is stupid. Of *course* they were going to find arguably objectionable posts and take them completely out of context! Of *course* they were going to hypocritically damn the campaign for hiring those mean ol' Internet folks while completely ignoring worse from the Right.

All my best to Amanda and Melissa. They're qualified for the jobs and, well, they already got them. I hope the campaign has the sense to fight back instead of run. I have to say that if Edwards does fire them it will have a real impact on who I support in the primary.


Noumena said...

Amp makes a very good point: ``If John Edwards gives up on Amanda and Melissa, he won’t just be ceding two great employees, and he won’t just be ceding his credibility among left-wing activists. He’ll be ceding the most important fight of all; the fight over what views can be discussed in mainstream political debate, and what views are automatically out of bounds. Controlling the Overton Window is how the right kept views opposing the invasion of Iraq out of the public debate in 2003; it’s how the right for decades has kept equal rights for queers off the public agenda; it’s how single-payer health care remains unspeakable in American politics, even though its supported by a significant number of ordinary American voters. This is the fight that all our other fights are won or lost on.''

He's also encouraging anyone who hasn't already to send a message of support for Amanda and Melissa to the Edwards campaign.

Noumena said...

And here's the letter I just sent him:
Dear Mr. Edwards,

I am writing today to encourage you to keep Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan on your campaign staff. Bringing them on board in the first place was a strong sign that you recognize the importance of actively including both the `netroots' and progressives in the American political conversation. Firing Marcotte and McEwan now sends the message that it is a handful of far-right ideologues who decide who is and isn't included in that conversation.

Your campaign is based on the idea that the true American values are not those of the reactionary right. I don't see any way you can seriously maintain this principle if you essentially start your campaign by catering to their whims. Do the right thing, listen to your natural, progressive constituency, and keep Marcotte and McEwan on your campaign.

Dan Hicks

Noumena said...

It appears they're staying on with Edwards. The statement isn't as strong as I would've liked, but that's no surprise.

MrNemo said...

Good letters

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