Check out Driftglass's "Sunday Morning Coming Down." You will experience catharsis, if only briefly, and marvel at how he seemed to read your mind as you watched the Sunday talking head shows. And you will laugh, even if only a bitter, mirthless laugh.
You just have to read this by Twisty over at I Blame the Patriarchy. If you've ever felt oppressed by those instructions on the tags of your clothing, you'll feel the thrill of validation, the joy of being understood, the triumph over one of life's little but omnipresent boot-on-the-neck experiences.
"MACHINE WASH WARM, INSIDE OUT, WITH LIKE COLORS. USE MEDIUM IRON.”
“HAND WASH COLD FAN WITH GOOSE QUILLS ON VERANDA TO DRY.” “DRY CLEAN
ONLY USING THAT REALLY EXPENSIVE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CLEANERS.”
The impossibility of fulfilling these divers and nonsensical laundry
requirements is symbolic of the insane futility of housework in
general. What the heck does “like colors” even mean? Hue? Saturation?
Who, except a goth kid, has load-quantities of clothes of “like”
colors? And what high moral purpose is served by turning a thing
inside-out? It merely adds an extra inside-out-turning step now and and
another right-side-out step when it emerges from “tumble-dry-medium.”
This isn't news, of course, but my computer wasn't cooperating last night so I couldn't post. Sigh.
Anyway, you probably know by now that Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwen are still working for the John Edwards campaign. According to Salon, they were fired and then rehired:
yesterday that on Wednesday morning the Edwards camp fired Amanda
Marcotte and Melissa McEwen, the two bloggers whose hiring had sparked
an uproar by conservatives. That information was confirmed by sources
in and close to the campaign. But almost as soon as the decision had
been communicated to the bloggers, a struggle arose within the campaign
about possibly reversing it, the sources said, as the liberal
Boy, did it!
While the Edwards campaign kept quiet on Wednesday, the blogosphere was
reacting to Salon's story, often with anger at the prospect that the
Edwards camp had thrown two of the blogosphere's own under the bus.
Chris Bowers, a blogger at MyDD.com, wrote in one post,
"While there is no way I will support Edwards with (sic) Amanda and
Melissa are fired, I will immediately become a staunch Edwards
supporter if they are not fired."
William Donohue of the Catholic League immediately responded with an angry statement that was more or less a declaration of war:
"We will launch a nationwide public relations blitz that will be
conducted on the pages of the New York Times, as well as in Catholic
newspapers and periodicals. It will be on-going, breaking like a wave,
starting next week and continuing through 2007. It will be an education
campaign, informing the public of what he did today. We will also reach
out to our allies in the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and
Buddhist communities. They worked with us before on many issues, and
are sure to do so again. What Edwards did today will not be forgotten."
While Edwards' statement wasn't exactly a ringing defense of Amanda and Melissa, he did at least acknowledge that the entire controversy was an attempt to "hijack" the "debate about the future of our country," and that said hijacking should not be allowed to happen.
I'd have liked to see something not only a little stronger, but something pre-emptive in terms of the attacks that are certain to continue, not only against Edwards but against all the Democratic candidates. However, it's important that Edwards didn't cave in to the pressure.
It's equally important that the netroots support him now and in the face of the smears certain to come. As Chris Bowers says, "This isn't over":
First, because he refused to cave to right-wing pressure and
establishment campaign advice, Edwards will receive a significant
amount of criticism. When this happens, we need to remember that he
stood with us during this fight, and so we have to stand with him
against forthcoming attacks. This goes for everyone, whether or not you
are an Edwards supporter. He didn’t throw us under the bus, and so we
can’t let him get thrown under the bus, even—especially—if another
Democratic campaign is trying to do the throwing.
Second, while Edwards did not cave into right-wing pressure, which
was dutifully stenographed by the media, the power structure that
allows Republicans to push any conceivable smear of Democrats and
progressives into national focus is still fully operational. The current, bullshit attacks on Pelosi are a case in point. As such, it is time to turn our attention to how this story was reported on in the first place.
And that's what we all need to do: focus on the media, which once again failed miserably to do the minimal work of reporting a story, swallowing the RWNM's (Right Wing Noise Machine) hysterical rantings whole without even attempting to provide accuracry, let alone balance.
It's easy. BlogPac has set up a page that lets you e-mail ABC news, CNN, MSNBC, the NYT, and the Associated Press. There's a prepared message. Just fill in the blanks and let the media know that their mindless repetition of the RWNM's distortions is not acceptable.
[UPDATE: Guess I'm too late ... Salon says that Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan have been fired by the Edwards campaign. If that's true, John Edwards doesn't get my vote after all. If he can't stand up to this, he's not presidential material.]
It's getting pretty bad when the right wing starts Swiftboating minor players in a presidential campaign, junior members of the team with little power.
Rightwing bloggers' whipping up of a controversy where none actually exists is a well-known phenomenon in these times, one that wouldn't be possible without the eager acquiescence of, and magnification by, the all-too-compliant mainstream media.
The latest example is, of course, the concerted effort by Michelle Malkin and the usual supporting cast to get Amanda Marcotte (of Pandagon) and Melissa McEwan (Shakespeare's Sister) fired from the John Edwards campaign, which hired them for its blog. For a summary of all the ugliness (not to mention hypocrisy, inappropriate and childish right-wing reactions to passionate posts by Amanda and Melissa, etc.), you can't beat Pam Spaulding.
From manufactured horrified pearl-clutching at profanity to misrepresentation of the lefty bloggers' views, we've seen it all. And we've also seen the mainstream media's delight to let itself be used as a bullhorn for the dissemination of the vitriolic, hate-filled, distorted accusations of the Shriekers of the Right. Not only does the MSM give these people a prominent stage on which to parade their spurious examples of leftwing "bigotry" and "extremism," it rarely if ever counters such with examples of the truly appalling bigotry and extremism of the right wing. (See Pam Spaulding, above link, or Glenn Greenwald on this.)
The plain fact is--and it's one that the media, the pundit class, and the politicians just cannot seem to get through their heads--that these rightwing extremists will always find something to blow up into a "controversy," and that playing along only encourages them in their endeavors to smear, slam, slander, and libel any and all liberals. It also means even less substance than currently exists in what passes today for political analysis and discussion as the focus is diverted not to policy but to matters completely irrelevant to choosing a candidate. They seek to intimidate, to create fear on the part of political candidates, to spread the idea that they are a powerful group that a candidate must pay attention to, a group that draws lines that must not be crossed.
In truth, they are not powerful. The people who will vote for John Edwards couldn't give a damn about profanity in a blog post. Many of them don't even know what a blog is. To go after a blogmaster and netroots coordinator would be silly--if others refused to play. For voters, these campaign slots are inside baseball. Paying attention to Michelle Malkin and Dan Riehl and their ilk is futile.
The Edwards campaign should have come out swinging right away. They should have backed their choices and called bullshit on Malkin and the Malkinettes. They should have pointed out how extreme these people are, how vicious and bigoted they are, and how full of holes their accusations are. And while they were at it, they should have aimed a few shots at the media for its one-sidedness and its willingness to go where there's really no story at all.
Please write to the Edwards campaign and ask them to support Amanda and Melissa. There is also a blogswarm going on, which you can read about here. This blog (tiny as it is) is part of it, and if you have a blog, please join in. It's way past time that we stopped letting the right wing rule the roost and decide the agenda and the framing. Don't let them get away with this. If the Edwards campaign caves, it will stand as a signal to all the other Dem candidates, and we will have nothing but yet more spineless people afraid to stand up for anything in the face of a group of cowardly but nasty and tenacious hatemongers.