February 07, 2007

Edwards Camp Red-Faced Over "Blue" BlogMistress

Back in August, when Ned "Empty Suit" Lamont had to distance himself from his awkward alliance with Lefty blogs, I chalked it up to inexperience and naiveté.

But now even the veteran candidate John Edwards provides a cautionary tale for other Democrat Presidential wannabes who try to give their campaigns a "hipness" infusion via the nutroots.

Pandagon proprietor Amanda Marcotte was hired recently by the Edwards team to run their website. Why Marcotte? Well, she says it's because she and her partners "pride ourselves on being an issues-oriented blog". Well, she may be "issues-oriented" but Marcotte doesn't seem to be able to write anything without using the kind of colorful language that would make Robert DeNiro blush. Some of her recent gems (including Catholic-bashing rants) are highlighted by Michelle Malkin and Patterico.

Hey, look. I ain't no prude. And if the third commandment carries as much weight as the other nine, then I'm guessing I'll be going straight to hell. But the overuse of profanity and vulgarity can reveal quite a bit about the source. In Marcotte's case, whatever deficiencies she has as a writer can be disguised by her style which is clearly meant to shock and exude "coolness" - much like the way an adolescent tries too hard to show just how grown-up she is. Unfortunately, it only works if that's the kind of style a reader seeks out. Everyone else is left wondering what exactly is wrong with this person.

As far as I'm concerned, the Edwards campaign should keep Marcotte on because she only reflects poorly on them. And I consider that a good thing.

But Captain Ed explains why bloggers like Marcotte are not helpful to this new medium:

Unfortunately, we can expect this incident to make it harder for bloggers to make the transition into traditional political roles on campaigns. We already have a Wild West reputation for shooting off our mouths and thinking later, which I believe is mostly undeserved; the media will use this to reinforce that impression of the blogosphere. The truth is that the Edwards campaign didn't work very hard to keep a couple of Catholic-haters out of their payroll, and while the media will also report that, that will get missed for the more sensational story of those bloggers and the liability they represent.

The blogosphere features many talented and rational writers on both Right and Left, and even in between. It's incumbent on the campaigns that hire bloggers (and media outlets, too) to distinguish those from the frothing lunatics at all points on the political spectrum.

It should be obvious to any serious candidate for the Presidency how utterly foolish it is to be trawling for campaign resources in the Lefty fever swamp.

Uncomfirmed report by Slate says Marcotte and fellow new hire Melissa McEwan (aka Shakespeare's Sister) have been canned. (ANOTHER UPDATE: Or not, Edwards isn't saying for sure one way or the other. Yeah, exactly the kind of decisive leadership that would make him such a great Commander-In-Chief. END UPDATE) The nutroots is absolutely freaking, circling the wagons and calling for all out war against Conservative bloggers like Michelle Malkin (not to mention the Catholic Church). Just go to any major Lefty blog, find a relevant thread and read through the comments. They're pretty HIGH-larious.

Warning...Warning...***Self-importance Alert!***!

The nutroots looks bad in this situation, but they'll never understand why. Bryan at HotAir.com puts it this way:

Writing is a revelatory thing. Use of ALL CAPS is a shout; use of profanity to me reflects unseriousness and lack of a vocabulary (or at least a thesaurus) and a lack of manners. Using every single issue to smear and denigrate rather than persuade, enlighten, or heck, just entertain for a second, makes the writer look like a loon. Making every post somehow All About Me and My Proclivities That You Can’t Stop exhibits paranoia. It just does. And that’s why the two bloggers have become a liability.
Stand by for the coming "ACTION ALERTS". This is going to be interesting.

IowaHawk has a gut-busing parody called "The Pandagon Papers" - memos sent to John Edwards by Amanda Marcotte. Strong language advisory (as if you needed the warning).

The general feeling is that Marcotte and McEwan are not fired, but perhaps on double-secret probation. This is the outcome I prefer (as I stated earlier).

The net effect will be that:
1) Both these Blogmistresses in particular and the nutroots in general will be emboldened. And despite their plaintive responses will fail to learn from this experience. Expect them to keep an initially low profile but sooner or later they'll write something inflammatory enough to return Edwards to a similarly uncomfortable situation. The baggage will continue to collect.

2) Edwards standing among the nutroots will increase (as will his popularity in the straw polls) and Hillary will have an even finer line to walk in courting the primary voters.

All of which makes the 2008 Donk race that much more amusing.

Posted by Gary at February 7, 2007 10:10 AM | TrackBack

I blame Rove.

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at February 7, 2007 11:57 AM