john edwards and the angry left

it’s becoming a trend for republicans and democrats alike: trying to win the favor of influential bloggers.  there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.  a successful outreach program could not only get your candidate positive press in the blogosphere, but it could also net your guy or gal some already plugged-in local activists willing to assist on the grassroots level. the danger in hiring bloggers, as john edwards has now discovered, is that bloggers have a virtual paper trail, and everything they had previously written is out there for the world to see. pandagon’s amanda marcotte wrote some pretty offensive stuff on her blog, and the responsibility for those posts rests with her, not john edwards.

candidates can only control those they employ. that said, before john edwards’s campaign staff hired ms. marcotte, i would have expected that they would have looked at her previous posts and fully vetted her work before she got the job. if they didn’t, it’s fair to accuse the edwards campaign (at the very least) of negligence. she was hired to represent the edwards campaign and put in charge of his campaign blog. surely they must have known that hiring someone who has written some controversial things in the past could be problematic for the campaign, even if the hire temporarily gained the favor of the angry left bloggers.

i am unconvinced that ms. marcotte would have written anything controversial as an official member of the edwards team. if she had written something controversial in that capacity,  then it would definitely be something that could damage edwards’ campaign. the edwards campaign, as far as i’m aware, hasn’t officially fired her yet. politically i think that it would be a smart move. 

however, they have a right to hire any blogger they want to hire, and if they are willing to deal with the fallout, why should it matter to us on the right? why are we giving edwards advice?  it’s almost like we are trying to save him from himself.  that’s really not our job.  let him make his own choices and deal with the consequences of those choices.  get out of his way and watch the show.

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10 thoughts on “john edwards and the angry left

  1. “We may sometimes look like you, but we are not you, never forget that!”

    A line from a decent television show that politians should heed.

    There is a difference between the politically motivated person and the politician. I don’t know what the current story exactly relates to as I am many moons away in Britain. People who have political passions, but are not themselves politicians… are not bound by the “party line”. People who stand so passionately in agreement over one issue may be vehemently opposed to you on another.

    It’s important for politicians to remember who employs them… and it is vitally important for people to have more than a handful of choices when it comes to electing a representative.

    People have a right to more than two or three basic manifesto’s. Politics is not diverse enough in my opinion. Choosing the least worst candidate will NOT do in my book.

    What was all this about anywya?

  2. Bloggers are more passionate about their pet issues than politicians usually are, and they don’t always worry about the consequences of what they write. We need more passion in politics. We need people who care enough about what’s going on in their country to get involved. But that’s not the kind of person who would be successful working for a politician, because the politician has his/her own message to deliver. It’s also good, as you say, that the average activist doesn’t have to toe the party line, because sometimes the party is wrong.

    I agree that having a diversity of choices is important in electing representatives. I also think that it’s difficult to get that diversity in the final nomination because in the end, the candidates with the most money are the only ones left standing.

    Just out of curiosity, who would you consider the best candidate for PM after Blair leaves? From what I have read, I’m not sure Cameron’s much different from Blair, and it doesn’t seem that anyone is all that excited about Gordon Brown. What’s your take on this?

    RE: the subject of this post: One of the bloggers presidential candidate John Edwards hired, Amanda Marcotte, wrote some posts on her personal blog containing anti-Catholic slurs and other such inflammatory stuff. This was before Edwards hired her, but other bloggers dug up these posts, and questioned whether she would hurt the Edwards campaign. Liberal blogs rushed to her defense, and whether it was due to their strong support or not, Edwards decided not to fire her. Like I said, it’s his call.

  3. This is just one more example of why the crazy Left won’t hold Majority status for very long. Unable to argue concrete ideas and policy, they resort to offensive language, personal attacks, smears and vitriol.

    John Edwards’ most attractive quality was that he was a self-made man of the people. Now we have seen him for what he really is: Another hater.

  4. John Edwards’ problem is not whether he will have the support of the crazy left, because he’s got most of them with his stance on the war and now this support of the unhinged bloggers. His problem is convincing the rest of America that he can be the strong leader that we need as President. Of course, I haven’t really seen the Democrat in this race so far who fits that description.

    Lesson to Edwards: Look what happened to Dean. Look what happened to Lamont. If you can control your bloggers, more power to ya, but the people you have to convince don’t agree with the crazy left very often.

  5. Re your question.

    I guess my best hope is that Gordon Brown is a sheep in wolves clothing… that he has been playing along with Blair until he gets his own shot at power… and returns to a more traditional left wing mindset. Until a few years ago, when I took the Political Compass test, I believed myself to be centrist. However, the truth is that I lean a fair way into left wing economic territory and am just ever so slightly liberal (in good company, because that is where Mandela and Ghandi are rated as well). The harsh reality of that though, is that I am diametrically opposed to the two major parties (who both occupy economic right/authoritarian territory – even the Liberal Democrats are economically right wing in their views. So I am stuck and can’t responsibly vote for any candidate in good conscience. I don’t see why we should have to settle for least worst, it is unacceptable.

  6. What does it say about Gordon Brown that after all this time no one seems to know how much of Blair’s agenda that he actually agrees with? I think that your analysis is correct and that the fight between this New Labour and Old Labour will be over when Blair steps down (whenever that is). I’m not sure that the far-left wing in Labour ever really disappeared, but that it was muted to some degree because of Blair’s success.

    I agree that you don’t have very good choices picking between Brown and Cameron, but maybe someone will challenge Gordon Brown for Labour leader. That’s already happening, isn’t it?

    Anyway, if you want to continue this, feel free to shoot me an email.

  7. Yes, to a certain extent… but the main people likely to oppose Brown are in such a contest will be the more die-hard Blairites… or at least people associated with Blair’s more right wing policies. One of these (John Reid), has pretty much had his chances scuppered by Home Office blunders and press/civil service exploitation of this (I don’t think Murdoch or the civil servants want him as a potential PM).

    The only other people likely to stand apart from NeoBlairites are disgruntled ex ministers like Charles Clarke, people who have an axe to grind.

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