It is hard to believe, but I am almost convinced that Amanda Marcotte does not yet realize that she lost her Edwards campaign blogger gig due to words she wrote that Edwards could not defend. She has convinced herself that all problems were a result of a rightwing machine set on destroying her because she is a woman.
My main concern about the relationship between my personal blog and the campaign blog was that I wouldn’t have enough time to keep my personal blog updated as frequently as the readers had come to expect, a problem I solved by inviting other bloggers to join. I thought some about content concerns, but my opinion had always been that bloggers who work for campaigns should feel free to have personal blogs, so long as they disclosed their employment to their personal blog readers and refrained from using their personal blogs to bash other candidates.
“Reasonable people,” I thought, “can tell the difference between a personal blog post and those I’ll write for the campaign.” What I naively failed to understand was that there is no relationship between what reasonable people think and what will be used in a partisan bout of mud-slinging.
What I also failed to understand was how much McEwan and I would stick out. I was aware that I didn’t exactly fit the image people have of bloggers who join campaigns — the stereotype being 30-something nerdy young white men who wear khakis and obsess over crafting their Act Blue lists. I wasn’t aware that not fitting the image would attract so much negative attention. In fact, I mostly saw this all as a baby step in the direction of diversity, since McEwan and I differed from the stereotype mostly by being female and by being outspoken feminists…
The right-wing noise machine’s favorite trick, possibly its only trick, is to select a target and start making a fuss, hoping that by creating the appearance of smoke, just enough people will be fooled into thinking there’s a fire. Unfortunately, it works. It was the method used to railroad Bill Clinton (Whitewater, Vince Foster, state troopers) and the method that ushered the nation into war with Iraq (WMDs and so on). This time they were only attacking a lowly rookie staffer on a Democratic campaign, but the M.O. was the same.
By Feb. 6, after a week of mud-slinging, the mostly volunteer army of conservative bloggers was failing miserably at elevating their newest noncontroversy to the mainstream media, even if they had done a great job at picking a juicy target. When you’ve got a mark that you’re aiming to humiliate publicly, it helps if she’s young and female and doesn’t know her place. While their amateurish smears hadn’t yet hurt me or the campaign, they had made just enough noise to alert the professionals to the existence of a fresh young feminist target…
One question that’s hard to avoid is how much of the venom had to do with the fact that McEwan and I were young women entering into a field (Internet communications) that’s viewed as almost monolithically masculine. From my vantage point, it appeared that sexism was one of the primary motivating energies behind the campaign. Even before Donohue stepped in, various right-wing bloggers were obsessed with my gender and sexuality.Typical liberal attitude — none of this could possibly have anything to do with the outrageous and profane statements of Marcotte. It is all about being a victim.
Update: An astute reader, responding to Marcotte’s “I am persecuted because I have a vagina” argument points to the fact that two of the favorite targets of those on the left are Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. Is it because liberals can’t stand strong conservative women, or because they take issue with what those two women have to say? I will give liberals the benefit of the doubt because I can certainly understand why things Malkin and Coulter write would be upsetting to liberals, regardless of the writers’ gender. If Marcotte were truly being persecuted for being female, though, it would follow that attacks on Malkin and Coulter be attributed to the same. That darned liberal patriarchy strikes again.