13 February 2007
A gentle reminder
Not that anyone is asking, but no, I haven't been wondering if maybe I could land one of those campaign slots, and this explains why as well as anything:
If bloggers ever intend to be a legitimate force in politics, they should not have to be afraid that their previous work is going to upend any campaign that they tie themselves to. We've been contacted by three campaigns, and have hesitated joining any of them for fear that the girl on the other end of this could be us. We haven't written anything that we'd ever consider derogatory, but judging by the ferocity with which Amanda [Marcotte] was attacked, we can't help but believe that we, too, would be maligned in the same way. We all take chances, pouring our lives and our personal views into these pages that are a Google search away, and we all have to stand by them, or they're worthless in their very existence.
Frankly, we're kind of sad that people we know and generally love had a heavy hand in this. Amanda has her faults, but she also has her little slice of the internet, and she deserves at least that. If you don't agree with her, then refute her. Don't silence her or destroy her ability to make good, legitimate work of her writing skills, because they will come for you, too. We now cannot think of a reason why they would not, and they should with full force, and with every available asset, as they too will believe.
And no, just because they did it first doesn't make it right.
Sauce for the gander, and all that.
Posted at 6:30 AM to Blogorrhea
If you spew out vituperative crap, you should not be surprised when others react caustically...hoist by one's own petard and all that...gander sauce, indeed...hers is typical of rabid secular progressive screeds...f*ck and feed 'em beans!
People who don't write anything like what Amanda Marcotte writes, and who don't have the myopic worldview that Amanda Marcotte has, really need not fear being treated as Amanda Marcotte was.
Last I looked, Ms. Marcotte still has her little slice of the Internet, big deal.
rabid secular progressive screed ... hmmm ... let me turn on my right wing blogger decoder ring and see ... oh yeah that is code talk for a passionate non-supernatural worldview inclined forward looking good of the people opinion? Vituperative, indeed.
Jim Henley of Unqualified Offerings said this over at OTB:
Some day I have to write my "Keep the Blogosphere Weird" item. Campaigns threaten to neuter the glorious insanity of the medium that fathered a thousand Kim du Toits and Amanda Marcottes. Jon Henke was an interesting writer until the exact day he took a job with George Allen. It's a poison chalice party politics offers.
And remember: the pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.
Years ago, before there was blogging -- when BBS was giving way to the e-mail distribution list -- I sent around a piece that said something or other about the doings of the local Republican Party establishment.
A friend who was high-up in said establishment e-mailed me to ask, somewhat brusquely, that I not send such stuff around. My reply was that for the sake of his and my friendship I was going to pretend he hadn't sent that e-mail. We got along fine both before and after that exchange.
Years later while I was involved with a different local GOP establishment, editing their newsletter in fact, I got in trouble with an elected official over something I'd written about him, unrelated to my newsletter duties, in a letter to the editor.
I've been much happier as an outsider. I think Amanda would have been as well.
I've often been asked if I'd ever thought about monetizing this soapbox. Apart from the fact that I hate the word "monetizing," which grates nearly as much as "hegemony," I have always believed that I was better off as a sideline sniper than as a member of the team, and this particular incident does nothing to persuade me otherwise.
Amanda drove her traffic via bile and innuendo. Now she's complaining about being attacked. Too bad.
No one "silenced" her. She quit, and went back to her old soapbox. (Eventually, she would have washed out anyway.) Was she pressured? Probably. Does this mean she can dish it out but can't take it? Undoubtedly. Is anyone in their right mind surprised? Unlikely.
On the "Princess" site, this quote from Amanda's blog:
"Iím not an idiot. Iím a twat. Get it straight.
Iím a hot, moist, inviting twat. Warm, wet, inviting. But not to you or your friends. Even if I were single, these nubile thighs do not wrap around the hips of Republicans. You can fuck yourselves or the dry twats of the self-hating misogynists who will allow you tiny penis to penetrate them. Have fun! Um, the wounds you get from rubbing you un-lubricated dick repeatedly into your heartless, soulless womanĖiodine is your best friend, my be-scarred friend."
So, you're a politician, and this woman is working on your campaign. You go to work the room at a church gathering. You think they haven't seen this? You think the other guy isn't emailing this choice morsel to every church group he can find? Forget your "progressive platform". This is your agenda for the evening. And every evening.
Then the next clownboy in Princess' comments list defends Amanda's "right" to be this big an ass:
"Huh. Well, damn. I hope that they never bring attention to what I've written. You know, I have things here that wouldn't do too well for a political campaign. Does that mean I should never be allowed to work for one? Or get a good job? Anywhere?"
Yes, clownboy, believe it or not if you set off alarms PEOPLE WILL AVOID YOU.
This is why it is not a good idea to work as a porn star before running for Miss America, to join Al Qaeda before running for mayor, or to molest children before applying to teach nursery school. Nor is it a good idea to be, say, a well-known asshole and affiliate oneself with a PRESDIENTIAL candidate who will be subject to years of intense scrutiny. The world is full of bigots (all Republicans, no doubt) will hold your past against you. It's just not fair.
And if she wants to be remembered for "I am a twat" well, far be it from me to question her self-assessment.
The other one just 'resigned'. Again, it's someone else's fault.
'The campaign didn't push me out,' she claims. Yeah, I'll bet they begged her to stick around.
First, no one has silenced her. Second, no one has -- oh well, someone already said it. So, she's free to be herself again, but she's lost a cushy job putting out bland congrats for hairdo boy, and she's complaining? Let's just say that against all odds Edwards kept her, how free does anyone think that this woman would be to engage in her lubricious rantings? Talk about being censored -- she'd be turned into a bland nobody in no time and then forgotten like a housewife with 2.4 children -- something I thought was the chief fear of every progresso-feminist gal in the land. Proof that liberals can't think, and that righties who engage in sympathy for the devil experience a similar level of brain damage. I can't even seem to find my nano-violin, myself.
And this marks the first time in possibly history that I've agreed with the smarmy Jim Henley about anything. Chalk one up for the books.
There's a terrible flaw in Conservative Princess's argument: Edwards publicized Marcotte's and McEwan's names, apparently with their approval. He wanted what mileage he could get from their established reputation in the 'Sphere. Had he merely wanted the benefit of their writing skills, he could have insisted that their hire was on a basis of strict anonymity.
If we're going to be trading homely homilies, here's mine: You can buy pork chops from the butcher, but if you buy from the farmer, you're expected to take the whole pig.
(Yes, I made it up on the spot.)
As quick and dirty Instant Adages go, that's not bad.
Andrea has reposted her comment above with further thoughts here; I left this as a comment thereto, though it could just as easily have been said here, and come to think of it, I think I will:
Actually, I was predicting this sort of thing twenty years ago, when someone in the BBS community half-jokingly said that I ought to run for some office or other and I explained that everything I had posted up to that point would suddenly materialize out of some hitherto-unnoticed archive and bite me on the ass.
And maybe that's why I'm a trifle sympathetic to the women in question, if not at all to the jerkwad who hired them. It's not that they've actually earned said sympathy by all accounts, they were utterly thrilled by the possibility of getting a meal ticket out of their rancid emissions but simply that being young and heedless reminds me of, well, me, too many years ago.
We live in a world where, if you run for presiednt, they'll ask you if you ever smoked marijuana in college. And if you did, you'll be obliged to say something like "I smoked but I didn't inhale". So the 'shock' expressed by these women, and the facile blame they assigned to the usual suspects, is unsurprising and unoriginal.
In fact, there's no evidence that either of them has ever experienced an original thought. Their lazy vulgarity is typical of those trying to present the mundane as revelatory.
I wouldn't say I'm "sympathetic" to Marcotte and McEwan. I have some idea of what they were getting themselves into, yes -- but I didn't find it out by having a high-profile blog and then getting a high-profile campaign gig.
They aimed for the stars, and their rocket crashed. I'm sure that's never happened before.
On a side note, that "I didn't inhale" comment was such an uncharacteristic misstep by Mr. Smooth. If Clinton had only said "I smoked it but didn't like it," he'd have endeared himself to more Americans, many of whom have smoked marijuana and were less than thrilled by the "buzz." (Not me: I never could stand the smell of marijuana smoke -- pretty unescapable at rock concerts -- so the idea of actually deliberately inhaling it was repulsive.)