Rainy Day Women #12 and 35

Other than to say, perhaps, “You go, Girls!” to Pandagon‘s Amanda Marcotte and Shakespeare’s Sister‘s Melissa McEwan, I was going to try to avoid the whole issue of the John Edwards campaign hiring those two big-time lefty feminist bloggers as part of his campaign’s web operation.
But alas, the non-controversy controversy (the always polite, civil and courteous Michelle Malkin says that Amanda is potty-mouthed… the unbiased and non-partisan Mr. William A. Donohue, the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, says she is “anti-Catholic”… I hear she might even be some kind of feminist or something… and take some kind of umbrage at the Catholic Church’s stance on birth control, a position held by a great many Catholics… but I digress)… the New York Times front page has picked up the story, proving that blogs have finally become important for generating controversy, if nothing else.
I was reading something extremely intelligent by Mary Beth at Wampum on this very subject, indeed, very presciently directed specifically at Senator Edwards, pointing out that the very over-the-top flame-throwing red-meat tossing style that big-time bloggers do in order to generate their big-time traffic numbers might well be wholly inconsistent with a Presidential campaign, where something far more cautious was called for… Alas, Senator Edwards apparently didn’t read the extremely intelligent Mary Beth Williams (herself a candidate for state office in a recent cycle)… at his own peril. Because that is precisely the issue that just came up to bite him on the tuches.
In some sense, Edwards has just generated a great deal of free publicity for himself, and he has also demonstrated that he can display some backbone and some personal loyalty, as Amanda and Melissa, for the time being, are still employed by his campaign. He has also demonstrated with this silly incident that the right is ever-shameless about finding things to attack (perhaps a not-so subtle message directed at Al Gore if he jumps in?)
OTOH, turnabout is fair play: John McCain, for example, has gone out of his way to hire Terry Nelson one of the very dirty tricksters who helped undermine his own campaign in 2000, and most recently, helped undermine Harold Ford’s with some ads that many people considered racist. Feel free to call the [formerly sainted until he sold us all out on torture… and other things] John McCain on it, if you want. It’s all fair, and Nelson appears far more integral to McCain’s operation than Marcotte and McEwan are to Edwards… It’s also quite clear that the press considers these bulls**t sideshow and inside baseball campaign stories to be far more important than actual news… so what else is new?
So… for example… how about the fact that the Senate Republicans have just used the same kind of procedural gamesmanship to block a non-binding war resolution that they have long railed against Democrats for doing (so ineffectively!) and yet, why do I not now hear Harry Reid (and Chuck Schumer… sorry, but I always wonder just what it is that my State’s senior senator does in the Senate, let alone does in some kind of leadership position) rail for “an up or down vote”? “UP OR DOWN VOTE.” “UP OR DOWN VOTE.” Why are we not hearing about it? IT’S FREE. And yet… it’s left on the table. (“UP OR DOWN VOTE!”)
Well, there you have it. Lesson learned. For the moment, John Edwards (who, barring catastrophic missteps by (1) Hillary Clinton, AND (2) Al Gore, AND (3) Barack Obama… has virtually no chance whatsoever at the Democratic nomination… there, I said it… ) has at least showed us some backbone. Though I must say that if he didn’t see this sort of thing coming… that really does not bode well for his judgement, and hence, his candidacy: it reminds us that Kerry didn’t expect to be Swift-boated.
Politics is no longer for the squeamish, especially for Democrats. Because it’s open season on Democrats– especially the more visible ones… and it has been for… ever. Nothing, of course, stops Dems from firing back, of course… but the donkey party seems to have a unilateral disarmament thing going. Of course, as bloggers, Amanda and Melissa were unafraid to fire back… and that’s apparently exactly what they are now being called on the carpet for. Of course, I’m not so sure that sort of thing will be permitted much, or at all, as members of a campaign team… I can’t see why it would…
Well, they’ll stone you when you walk all alone.
They’ll stone you when you are walking home.
They’ll stone you and then say you are brave.
They’ll stone you when you are set down in your grave.
But I would not feel so all alone,
Everybody must get stoned.