Controversial blog entry by Amanda Marcotte, blogger for John Edwards
Well, I was considering taking a serious look at Edwards as a candidate. He moved too slow for me on this. In fact, he really didn’t move on it at all.
Every once in a while Anne will remind me that she wouldn’t mind me spending so much time writing a blog if I could get paid for it like the guy at the Daily Kos.
A lot of political bloggers are getting paid by various campaigns for their efforts, and I think it’s a bad idea, both for politics and for blogging in general. See the article Barbaric Blogging for the reasons why.
Case in point… dotCommonweal has run a couple of posts on the controversy stirred up by what has been perceived as vulgar anti-Catholic remarks made by a couple of bloggers working for the John Edwards campaign. See discussions here and here and here. The bloggers, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, have decided to resign from the campaign. Edwards did not fire them.
I don’t have a problem with people having an axe to grind with the Catholic Church. I’m used to that. There's a long line. Take a deli number and wait. I don’t expect people to love it. I take my own swipes at the hierarchy at times myself, but the Marcotte stuff is completely over the top.
Such are the pitfalls of paying people like bloggers to carry your water for you. Most people who visit blogs figure they are witnessing an individual’s exercise of the right of free speech. That’s fine, but do we realize how much the “grassroots” of the web has been co-opted by money and by political and corporate interests? Is either side being well-served by that? What have we come to anyway, when serious political candidates are willing to sign on with the crude and foul-mouthed antics of a writer like Marcotte? Have we sunk that low in our level of discourse?
And another thing… Are the Democrats going to throw another election down the drain by continuing to alienate people who are inclined to agree with them on the issues that happen to matter to most Americans? Do they like making people feel as if they have no possible place to go but the Republican Party?
There are serious, serious problems in the world right now, issues ranging from hugely dangerous challenges surrounding war and peace, the destruction of the environment, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the collapse of the health care system, declining standards of education, ballooning government and personal debt, unchecked corporate influence and power, the dismantling of industries and the McDonaldization of work in this country. Are they going to sacrifice the swing vote once more by concentrating primarily on taking extreme stands on gender and orientation special-interest politics again and again?