I support Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan and hope you will keep them on board. Both are bright, witty writers, incisive analysts, and dedicated activists who can give this campaign exactly the progressive credibility it needs to distinguish itself from that of Hillary Clinton.
It would be a grave mistake to let the manufactured outrage peddled by right-wing extremists and bigots such as Michelle Malkin and Bill Donohue dissuade you from committing to your original brilliant decision to hire Amanda and Melissa: It would say to your supporters, "We don't have what it takes to lead this country out of the jingoistic, xenophobic, hate-filled place the Bush administration has driven it," and it would say to your opponents and detractors, "You are right; we do not really stand for what we claim to stand for; we are opportunists and politicians, not leaders; it is true, the Democratic Party is filled with unprincipled, fickle wimps."
The criticism John Edwards is receiving for hiring Amanda and Melissa is nothing but proof this campaign is on the right track, for all the most virulent bigots are enraged by it. They were never potential supporters, and they will always find new mud to sling no matter who is attached to this campaign.
Have the courage to do the right thing, Mr. Edwards. Reject the manufactured outrage. Retain these two women whose work means so much to voters like me who would love to support you.
And now just a word or two about how I feel personally about this:
Amanda and Melissa may lose their jobs, and you, the usual complete tools, may crow loud and long about it; but there were women watching your vile production yesterday who began to wonder how much, exactly, the right wing hates women; who began to wonder if this smear campaign would have been carried out in quite the same way had it been Duncan Black or Markos Moulitsas Zuniga whom Edwards hired; who began to wonder if this tidal wave of hate could ever conceivably come crashing down on them.
I say to them, it can.
And if ever you commit the unpardonable sin of changing your mind about anything, and you make the mistake of changing it in the wrong direction, it will.
More from Liza Sabater at Culture Kitchen, who has a roundup of responses.
UPDATE: Almost forgot--contact the campaign yourselves here. Write something supportive even if you don't like Melissa, even if you don't like Amanda.
Yes. Write something supportive even if you don't like Melissa or Amanda, because what's happening to them could just as easily happen to bloggers you do like.
See, no blogger's archives are clean. That's what makes blogging lively, enjoyable, and timely--the ability to dash off your thoughts and receive back the dashed-off thoughts of others, until pretty soon people begin to form opinions, gradually, cautiously. But first, you have to have the brainstorming session. First you have to start with raw ideas.
Blogging is the brainstorming session writ large. As such, it is often messy; but at the other end of the spectrum, you have most political writing, which is banal, sterile platitude after banal, sterile platitude. The ideas have been finessed and massaged right out of most political writing. That's why it bores everyone to tears.
If you like the idea that someday it could even be you running a presidential hopeful's web site, then get behind this. Tell the wingnut bullies you won't say uncle, you aren't going to eat no mud today. Remind them that what goes around comes around. Let Edwards know that whether you agree with their opinions or not, you support the rights of Melissa and Amanda to blog them, and that you think his campaign's hiring decisions are the business of people who are considering voting for Edwards, not of right-wing racists and anti-Semites.