Edwards responded to the criticism of Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan:
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.
I respect that Edwards didn’t fire the webloggers, and I appreciate his position, but if I were Amanda or Melissa, I would resign.
This is typical patriarchal talk that both Amanda and Melissa used to balk at once upon a time before they became ‘legit’. What they said on their weblogs was there all along; they didn’t quickly add all of it once they had the jobs. Being critical of what they wrote before they were working for him is Edwards covering his butt; not firing either woman is also Edwards covering his butt. He didn’t fire them–he just shut them up.
Why did he hire them? Because he wanted very liberal and very outspoke feminists to placate those of us who wonder why we should vote for a white guy when we have Clinton, Obama, and Richardson to finally give us the diversity that we–including Amanda and Melissa–have been demanding.
He has them as surrogate feminists, so that he doesn’t have to taint his campaign with such. He’ll push the liberal agenda this year, but watch him drift towards the center next year–after hooking in the cyber folks with our money and our passion.
I think he’s a strong candidate and that’s why people like Malkin and others, all products of conservative think tanks, used this as an attack. I think he will support at least a moderate Democratic agenda if he gets elected. If he’s nominated, I will support him. But I also think this is a demonstration of business as usual: white boy telling the women to ‘hesh up, now’ and let the men talk.
The ladies swore. So? Who cares if they swore in their own weblogs, and in their own personal space. Or is is really that women are supposed to remember our manners; to be like ladies?
What both these women did was express their opinions, and last time I looked, it was OK to be critical of religion or the Church, especially when the religious and the Church interferes with our lives. I can respect people’s faith while saying that it angers me when the Catholic Church–or the Southern Baptist or the Lutheran or the Jewish or the Muslim–tell women what we can or cannot do with our bodies; what we can or cannot learn in school; what jobs we can work, how we raise our children, what we watch on TV, or to redefine science.
As for Amanda and Melissa, I wish them the best, I really do. It’s just too bad they’ve had their mouths politically duct taped.
“My writings on my personal blog, Pandagon on the issue of religion are generally satirical in nature and always intended strictly as a criticism of public policies and politics. My intention is never to offend anyone for his or her personal beliefs, and I am sorry if anyone was personally offended by writings meant only as criticisms of public politics. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are central rights, and the sum of my personal writings is a testament to this fact.”
“Shakespeare’s Sister is my personal blog, and I certainly don’t expect Senator Edwards to agree with everything I’ve posted. We do, however, share many views – including an unwavering support of religious freedom and a deep respect for diverse beliefs. It has never been my intention to disparage people’s individual faith, and I’m sorry if my words were taken in that way.”