So John Edwards is running for President (we think). He hires two women to run the Internet aspect of his campaign, the "Net-roots" and the Internet, generally (I believe). Now, as any members of a national campaign would be, their credentials were examined by people othhttp://www2.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifer than members of the Edwards campaign. On Tuesday we found out just what kind of people are "qualified" to work for the Edwards campaign.
So, what did we find?
I first read about the brouhaha over on National Review, where I find everything, in this article
by Katherine Lopez (K-Lo, to us Corner addicts). Some of the choice bits:
Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?
A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.
That update on the Baltimore Catechism comes via Amanda Marcotte of the Pandagon blog in her “FAQ ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S ‘CRAZY’ TEACHINGS ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL.” In it she explains that “the intent” of “mainstream Catholic teaching” on artificial contraception “is to make women suspect their gynecologists* are out to get them and possibly kill some babies for fun.”
If Edwards cares to continue to browse through the Pandagon archives, he’ll find Marcotte reacting to a story about the Catholic teaching about limbo by comparing the Catholic Church to fascist dictators.
There’s a pragmatic reason that the Vatican might be a little hesitant to come right out and say that there’s no limbo (definition here, for those who don’t know much about Catholicism) is because the concept is wielded by everyday Catholics to explain where the souls of unborn babies go, which is just an extra way to guilt trip women who have abortions. But it’s sort of a balancing act, as far as I can tell, because as most people understand it, unbaptized children go to limbo but when Jesus returns, they all get to go to heaven. So it’s a way to guilt trip women who have abortions without casting god as such an uncruel monster as to throw souls into hell that never even had a shot at sinning. So that’s limbo: it sucks enough to make women feel guilty about abortion, but it doesn’t suck so much as to run people off.
I suspect Pope Ratz will give into the urge eventually to come out and say there’s no limbo and unbaptized babies go straight to hell. He can’t help it; he’s just a dictator like that. Hey, fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, the Pope’s gotta tell women who give birth to stillborns that their babies are cast into Satan’s maw. The alternative is to let Catholic women who get abortions feel that it’ll all work out in the end, which is just not doable, due to that Jesus-like compassion the Pope is so fond of. Still, it’s going to be bad PR for the church, so you can sort of see why the Pope is dragging ass.
Which all brings me to recommending this great post by Austin Cline at Jesus’ General about why authoritarian types are so damn interested in cobbling people’s sex lives and meddling around in people’s private sexual decisions, like in this case why the Catholic church is so interested in making sure that people can’t make the perfectly sound decision to limit their family size while enjoying a healthy sex life—either you’re going to have to forgo birth control or you’re going to have to feel guilty to the point where you fear you’re casting babies into hellfire, by their standards. It’s a way to disrupt people’s lives so the church can get more control.
Yep, that damn patriarchy, that’s what it’s all about — has nothing to do with a sacrament of marriage or other nonsense Catholics believe.
Marcotte is clearly a staffer who should have been vetted a bit more. She represents someone John Edwards ought not be employing and serves as a warning to other candidates as they gather blogosphere supporters on their payrolls on their road to the White House. The lesson is fairly simple: Google first.
Now, to prove this isn't just a "right-wing" thing, Terry Moran of ABC picked up the thread here.
From that bit:
If a Republican candidate teamed up with a right-wing blogger who spewed this kind of venom, how would people react? Is the mere raising of this issue a kind of underhanded censorship, a way of ruling out of bounds some kinds of opinion? Are we all just going to have to get used to a more rough-and-tumble, profane, and even hate-filled public arena in the age of the blogosphere?
ON THE CATHOLIC TEACHINGS ON BIRTH CONTROL:
Last year, Marcotte blasted the Catholic Church's position on birth control: "Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit? A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology." (Side note: Would there be a different reaction if John Edwards "blogmaster" had insulted Islam to this degree? Is it "okay" to trash Catholicism--but not Islam?)
Um, no, Terry, I think we know the answer to that. If someone had done this to a sacred teaching of Islam, there would be widespread denouncements and probably the normal "Death to America!" There's no way they would get away with it. And we know it. But being anti-Catholic in America is the last acceptable prejudice (there's even a book about it).
Well, lo and behold, the bloggers are still around, even after some of these disgusting things:
ABC News' Kate Snow Reports: Former Sen. John Edwards' spokesperson says that contrary to some media reports, two campaign staffers have NOT been fired in the wake of criticism of their recent blog postings.
Campaign bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwen are still employed by the Edwards campaign and will continue to blog, according to campaign spokesperson David Ginsberg.
"They were hired last month and nothing has changed," Ginsberg said.
Sen. John Edwards, who is running for the democratic '08 nomination, released a statement today reprimanding two of his controversial campaign bloggers for their personal writings-- but stopped short of firing them.
"The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwen's posts personally offended me," said Sen. Edwards in a statement to media.
"It's not how I talk to people, and it's not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. . .but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign," he said.
However the Senator didn't say he would fire his bloggers.
"I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake," he said. "I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word."
Campaign spokesperson David Ginsberg tells ABC News, "They'll be doing there jobs as they have been," he said.
The women had come under fire recently for controversial writings that they independently wrote on their personal blogs, before being hired by the Edwards campaign.
Um, OK. Sure. Just shows what John Edwards' campaign thinks about the Catholic vote. But, as Bill Donahue of the Catholic League says,
“John Edwards has apparently decided that there is more to be gained by aligning himself with the cultural left than by standing on principle and firing the Catholic bashers on his payroll. Had anyone on his staff used the ‘N-word,’ he or she would have been fired immediately. But his goal is to loot the pockets of the Soros/Hollywood gang, and they—like him—aren’t offended by anti-Catholicism. Indeed, they thrive on it.
“When Mel Gibson got drunk and made anti-Semitic remarks, he paid a price for doing so. When Michael Richards got angry and made racist remarks, he paid a price for doing so. When Isaiah Washington got ticked off and made anti-gay remarks, he paid a price for doing so. But John Edwards thinks the same rules don’t apply to him, which is why he has chosen to embrace foul-mouthed anti-Catholic bigots on his payroll.
“Edwards said today that ‘We’re beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can’t let it be hijacked.’ I have news for him—the Catholic League—not Edwards—will decide what the debate will be about, and it won’t be about the nation. It will be about the glaring double standard that colors the entire conversation about bigotry.
“We will launch a nationwide public relations blitz that will be conducted on the pages of the New York Times, as well as in Catholic newspapers and periodicals. It will be on-going, breaking like a wave, starting next week and continuing through 2007. It will be an education campaign, informing the public of what he did today. We will also reach out to our allies in the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist communities. They worked with us before on many issues, and are sure to do so again. What Edwards did today will not be forgotten.”
This whole thing just discourages me, and disgusts me, as both a Catholic and a voter. The fact that this kind of stuff is allowed in politics just seems over the line. The fact that we refuse to hold the people who represent our presidential candidates to any kind of standard (at least on the Ds side) depresses me. And the fact that the party of the only Catholic president is the one doing this is equally distressing. Where's Teddy Kennedy? Or good old Lurch? Or even Queen Nancy? Oh, wait. We're CINOs so it's OK.