John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator and Democratic presidential candidate, is keeping his hired bloggers who, after what must’ve been a very sober talk with him, have promised they’ll be more temperate in their language than they were before they joined his campaign.
Here’s the statement issued by Edwards' campaign:
The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwan's posts personally offended me. It's not how I talk to people, and it's not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it's intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in.
For anyone who hasn’t been following this story, the Edwards campaign has caught flack from conservatives after past anti-pope and anti-conservative personal blog postings by Marcotte and McEwan gained wide circulation through outraged right-of-center bloggers and talk radio.
Marcotte once wrote:
“The Pope's gotta tell women who give birth to stillborns that their babies are cast into Satan's maw. . . . The Catholic Church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics."
McEwan called social conservatives “wingnut Christofascist base.”
These are the ones safe for publication. Other charming statements "not intended to malign anyone's faith" are swimming around the net. Of course anyone who points out the statements these two have made is to blame for the controversy.
Anyone who hire bigots to run their campaign's communications, and sticks with them after their bigotry is exposed, deserves to lose. Even more brilliant is hiring a vocal bigot who targets one of the swing constituencies Edwards would need for a general election run (Catholics). Catholics may not agree with the church on social policy, but I don't think they are anxious to sign on with someone who attacks their faith. Just like members of any group they will complain, but that doesn't mean they will accept attacks from outside.
I liked Edwards' emphasis on poverty, but there are places you do not go.