Does John Edwards Condone Hate Speech?

Feb 6, 2007 5:36pm

A bit of a tempest is brewing over the strident and profanity-laced writings of John Edwards’ official campaign "blogmaster," Amanda Marcotte. She joined the Edwards campaign last week, and she’s already gotten a lot of attention.

At issue are Marcotte’s comments on her own blog, Pandagon (http://www.pandagon.net/), which has staked out a prominent place in the left-wing blogosphere. It’s pretty strong stuff; her comments about other people’s faiths could well be construed as hate speech.

Questions: What, if anything, does it tell us about Edwards that he’s joined up with this blogger? Is Edwards’ association with a person who has written these things a legitimate issue for voters, as they wonder–among other things–whom he might appoint to high office if he’s elected? If a Republican candidate teamed up with a right-wing blogger who spewed this kind of venom, how would people react? Is the mere raising of this issue a kind of underhanded censorship, a way of ruling out of bounds some kinds of opinion? Are we all just going to have to get used to a more rough-and-tumble, profane, and even hate-filled public arena in the age of the blogosphere?

ON THE CATHOLIC TEACHINGS ON BIRTH CONTROL:

Last year, Marcotte blasted the Catholic Church’s position on birth control: "Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit? A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology." (Side note: Would there be a different reaction if John Edwards "blogmaster" had insulted Islam to this degree? Is it "okay" to trash Catholicism–but not Islam?)

ON THE DUKE RAPE CASE:

"I had to listen to how the poor, dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and f***** her against her will–not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out. Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair."

ON REPUBLICAN VOTERS:

“Voters who are motivated by misogyny, homophobia, and racism aren’t going to leave a racist, misogynist, homophobic party for one that is all those things but just less so.”

ON CHRISTIAN SUPPORTERS OF ISRAEL:

"…on top of the usual motivations behind Christian Zionism—hatred for Muslims, a desire to bring the end of the world, political opportunism and a chance for ministers to make their congregations feel like they are a part of something dramatic and important so their pocketbooks fall opeN…"

ON NASCAR:

“There’s no real reason that NASCAR has to have a political edge to it, much less be some weird symbol of Southern male white supremacy and yet through careful Republican marketing, it has become just that.”

ON THE CRUCIFIXION, FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANS, AND TORTURE

"The paradox was this—how can anybody look at the figure of Christ on the cross and think that’s anything but a condemnation of torture? For the thinking person, it clearly is. But for the fundamentalist, that image creates anxiety about death and makes them cling to their hierarchical values even more, and those values include the belief that Muslims are inferior, not-saved, and eligible for torture. They’re going to hell anyway, by the fundie logic, and why should god get all the fun of punishing them and making them suffer?”

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