Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Why I Support Amanda and Melissa

It may be too late, but here is what I sent the Edwards campaign this morning:

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.


ScottM said...

Done. Hope it does some good.

blondie said...

Good point, Ilyka. The far-right-wing blogosphere hates women. Sweet Michelle, et al., may half-convince themselves that they're special , and the boys will never be mean to them. All that sh*t-eating should count for something, right? Wrong. Those boys hate you because you're a woman. And there's nothin' you can do about it. So watch your backs, Michelle, Ann, Ann, etc. You never know when they'll stick a knife in you.

ilyka said...

Scott, me too. I have to borrow from a commenter at Pandagon:

If you can’t support your supporters, how can you be expected to support anyone else?


So watch your backs, Michelle, Ann, Ann, etc. You never know when they'll stick a knife in you.

Oh, they already stuck a knife in Ann, ostensibly over anti-Semitism, but the funny thing is that over the course of her career, Ann has written at least hundreds of things as offensive as that before.

So why'd the right suddenly notice this time? Simple: She's getting old, and the boys don't enjoy masturbating to her photos as much as they used to.

They think no one can work that out. And Michelle thinks it will never happen to her--or that she'll be able to make enough money before being put out to pasture not to mind when it happens.

But she'll mind. That type always minds not being the center of attention.

ss said...

Your perception of hatred all around you is psychologically interesting. An angry world you live in.

norbizness said...

Oh no! It's one of the CIA's fabled remote psychoanalysts! Check your referral logs!

A negative conclusion to this waiting game would only confirm the campaign as either (1) two overalled yokels on a fly-ridden porch making decisions by playing that hand-slapping game or (2) the embodiment of Don Knotts' performance in The Shakiest Gun in the West.

gennimcmahon said...

Really, SS? People commenting things on Pandagon referring to acts of sadism against women over the choice of Amanda to blog for the Edwards campaign isn't enough to show that there is some serious psychotic juju out there? Discussing journalist qualifications in terms of a woman's fuckability is okay in your peaceful little world? Let me guess, this is all hysterical female foolishness. We must all have our periods. THAT'S IT!

ilyka said...

But, Genni, I actually DO have my period. I just thought you all should know.

Must be how I was able to completely imagine this little number.

gennimcmahon said...

It's like, so toadally kewl, my Aunt flow is visiting TOO! We must be blowing this all out of proportion! Let's go watch Oprah and pray to Jesus, okay?

LaurenB said...

People really shouldn't go by the SS pseudonym anymore considering it's sort of unflattering.

junk science said...

Maybe it stands for Social Security.

ilyka said...

Soft soap?

ilyka said...

I should mention that I just had an email from Patterico about that link in comment #3 up there. He pointed out that he's criticized Coulter before and has never been a fan of hers, which is true enough. Doesn't mean I don't think other right-wingers aren't guilty of waking up to her hatred only because she's getting long in the tooth, but it was unfair of me to imply Patterico was one of them.

Lazy, lazy linker, I am. Anyway, apologies to Patterico. My bad.

jim treacher said...

"If you like the idea that someday it could even be you running a presidential hopeful's web site, then get behind this."

What if I can't think of anything worse?

ilyka said...

Hmm. I honestly don't have an answer for that one.

Congrats on the Gutfeld gig, by the way.

jim treacher said...

Speaking of horrible!

jim treacher said...

On a more serious note, I seem to remember Kerry withdrawing his ads from Daily Kos after the "Screw them" debacle, so it's not like this is the first time a Democrat has joined hands with a left-wing blogger and it's caused problems for all involved. And Kos is male! (Allegedly.) I honestly don't think this whole thing has to do with right-wingers hating women, but then I'm probably a tool of the patriarchy. (I'm also white, which is also a massive point deduction.)

Twisted Ovaries said...

I don't know a fucking thing about John Edwards-I'm out of the loop on US politics these days, and since my ballot generally gets thrown out as I'm one of those "mail in" types in an all-red state, I generally don't think I need to stress out about every little detail.

But lemme' say this-if John Edwards dumps two staff members because of some furore, then he is not the candidate I thought he might be. I like loyalty in a candidate. I don't like backing down in the face of the latest shit-storm, when another shit-storm about some other ridiculous thing is bound for next week in blogland.

belledame222 said...

i wasn't all that impressed with Edwards last time, but i was hoping he might've gotten a little gravitas (aka spine) in the interim.


all i can say is: it's gonna be a -long- two years.