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Ah, why do I have to be so busy on a news-filled day (no, not Anna Nicole Smith)?  I barely saw the computer today. I'd get home, have about 5 minutes before I have to go out again and so on.  NPR did not mention Edwards until 4pm or so (that I heard in the car), so when I first got home I only had time to open e-mail, scan about 50 new messages, home in to the one that had the news, open it, get the links and quickly post without more than a quick skim of the statements by Edwards and others, let alone any time to add commentary (except for what the title implied I felt at the time).  And then there were comments I did not have time to respond to.  And all the other blogospheric responses I was missing...Ah, well.  The family is asleep so I'll try to catch up now....under the fold:

First, Lane Hudson puts the whole case as clearly and succintly as possible, so if you do not have time and patience for the rest of my post or other links, this is the one to read: Anti-Semite Bigot is Loving to Hate John Edwards

Also very worth reading to understand how the campaign handles netroots, read this: Elizabeth Edwards on "the Sieve"

I'll add a bunch more links on the bottom later on.  Now I'll try to be as systematic about this as I can.

Personal History and The Disclaimer

Just to put everything clearly up first before any questions arise:  

I am not working for the Edwards campaign in any capacity.  

Back in Raleigh, the Edwards' lived a few blocks away from where we lived.  Soon after we moved to Chapel Hill, the Edwards' also moved to Chapel Hill.  They are my neighbors.  I cannot claim we are best drinking buddies, but we've met a few times.  I followed John's political career since he announced his run for Senate against Lauch Faircloth.  In summer 1998, when I became the US citizen, one of the questions on the "test" was to name the two current NC senators and I answered "Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth, but hopefully not for long".  A few months later I voted in my very first US election and the first vote on the top of the ballot was for Edwards for Senate.

After a few Usenet years in the early 1990s, battling anti-Serbian trolls, I mostly went offline for a while, focusing on grad school and my research instead.  But in 2003, disgusted with the GOP rule, the 2000 electoral debacle and the Iraq war, I went back online and researched all the apparent Democratic candidates for President.  I liked several of them, but I liked Edwards the best - and by following him for a few years I knew more about him than about the others. In September 2003 I started commenting on his campaign blog.  A year later I started my own blog and wrote mostly about politics until after the 2004 election when I switched my blogging focus to science.

Again this year, I like several of the potential candidates, but still believe that Edwards is the best, for a number of reasons.  So, I am openly his supporter and have never hidden that.  After all these years, I know a number of people associated with the campaign and they know me.  That does not mean I know anything about what is happening behind the closed doors although I live about a 100 yards from the HQ.  I do not have my "spies" inside the campaign and if I get some news early, that usually means 30 minutes before it is all over CNN, not hours or days ahead.

Would I accept a paying job with the Edwards campaign if offered (unlikely, of course)?  

No.  I cherish my independence too much.  I am pathologically anti-authoritarian in real life (which is not always good for me).  I can't even tell myself what to do without incurring rebellion!  I always found it difficult to work for others (my PhD advisor excepted, but I have such huge respect for him and he was never trying to push his authority on me, he earned it through his wisdom).  The biggest mistake I make is announce here that I will blog about something.  That almost guarantees I will not post about it tomorrow (bye-bye, amylase post).  In six months perhaps, more likely never.  After all, who am I to dictate to myself what to write about and when!?  So, when I write anything on this blog, it is because I want to at the time I want to.  I have the deepest admiration for people who are capable of writing on deadline, with an editor approving topics.  That is also why I will never be able to work for a political campaign - while I understand the importance of campaign discipline, I am incapable of following it myself.

Why Edwards?

I have opinions on many issues, as does everyone else.  There is not a single person in the history of the planet with whom I agree 100% on everything.  This is a truism that applies to everyone, of course.  Likewise, there is not a single person in the history of the planet with whom I cannot find something, however banal, on which we agree 100%.

We do not pick our friends and enemies by evaluating how many things we agree or disagree on, but on how we stand on a handful of issues that each one of us finds important.

There are perhaps ten people currently considering running for President for Dems and about ten for GOP (plus probably a couple of third-party candidates).  That is a very small pool to choose from who to support.  Out of that pool, I find I agree with Edwards on issues that are important to me.  Plus, I am pragmatic enough to know that he has a reasonable chance to actually win.

What is important to me is going to be biased by my own personal history.  While outraged by the Iraq war, that issue is very low on my list of priorities: it is a part of an overall Republican mode of governing and not an isolated issue.  Furthermore, the US foreign policy as a whole is very different from what I'd like to see and I am unlikely to see a candidate of any party coming even close to me on this issue, though I trust that any Democrat if elected would pull out of Iraq fast.  So, Iraq is off the table for me.  It does not incense me with any kind of strong emotional pull as it does some other people for whom the war is the one and only issue in this election.

I guess if I was black, or a woman, or gay, the issues of race, gender and sexual orientation would be #1.  I am not.  I also see those as parts of general Enlightement principles that can be taken care of once conservative ideology is defeated and marginalized enough so that we can raise new generations of enlightened children.  I explained recently why I think Edwards is the man for this bigger-picture job.

I am unemployed and poor, so the issue of poverty as a part of a general issue of the way economic system is set up in the USA is important to me.  While I harbor no illusions that the system will be changed any time soon, the way Edwards approaches the issue of poverty and his just-announced health-care proposal, are, IMHO, the best moves in the right direction that can potentially pave the way for more systemic changes further down the line.  Yet even that is just a part of the bigger picture of trying to move the country towards modernity.

I was lucky to be born and raised an atheist.  I did not have to go through the painful process of self-doubting and losing my religion.  Thus, I am not a fervent atheist - it just comes naturally to me and I cannot imagine being anything else.  This is why the issue of religion is lower on my list than that of many US-born atheists who had to go through such a process.  As long as the wall between the church and state is kept standing and the fundamentalists are kept on the margins, I have no problem with people believing whatever myths they want to if that makes them happy or feeling more secure.  

Now, the anti-atheist sentiment in this country is the result of direct fundamentalist sliming over the centuries and can be addressed by ridiculing and marginalizing the fundamentalists.  Part of this ridiculing effort also involves explaining why religious beliefs are irrational and silly.  Part of this effort involves exposing all the evils perpetrated in the name of religion over the millenia, including today.  But many people have a deep emotional need to believe in something bigger than themselves, and as long as such a need is channelled towards doing good, and not manipulated by Priests of various religions for their own aggrandizement or whatever other political or financial gains, I am fine with that.  If the marginalization of fundamentalism happens and thus people understand what atheism is and isn't and being an atheist is not being a second-order citizen, the rest of the society will slowly secularize itself over the generations as well.  More on this, in the context of the Edwards/Marcotte/McEwan saga, below.

Political blogging: personal vs.professional

A blog is a piece of software.

Thus, a blog can be used for various purposes.  The word means different things to different people.  Many erroneously lump personal political blogs together with campaign blogs and call them all "political blogs".

Many people who call themselves political bloggers write and read only personal blogs and rarely if ever go to campaign blogs (or big blog-communities like DailyKos).  This is how they understand political blogging.

Many people who call themselves political bloggers write and read only posts and Diaries on DailyKos, almost never venturing out to personal or campaign blogs.  This is what they think political blogging is.

Many people who call themselves political bloggers write and read only a campaign blog and almost never venture out to personal or community blogs.  This is what they think is meant by 'political blogging'.

The three are very different from each other.  My blog is my home - you enter and I hope you are nice to my wife and do not swear in front of my children.  A frat-guy's appartment will have a different tone.  A retired schoolteacher's home will have a different tone yet.  DKos and such are public venues and the discourse is fast and harsh.  The campaign blogs are businesses - disciplined effort to get a candidate elected.

Many, during the recent Edwards bloggers saga either do not understand the distinction, or purposefully muddied the waters for their own nefarious purposes.

Let me see if I understand the roles Amanda and Melissa are supposed to play.

The way I understand it, Amanda was not hired to move Pandagon over to JRE'08 blog.  She was not hired to advise Edwards.  She was not hired to be his spokesperson.  She was not hired to write opinion pieces.  She was not hired to write the campaign blog.  She was hired to manage the campaign blog.  To take care of technical and visual aspects of it.  To try to somewhat control the campaign message there and steer the conversation in the direction favourable to the candidate.  She will be dealing with the "campaign blog" type of political bloggers. She is supposed to write an entry every day saying something like "...our candidate gave a speech here today and here is the video of it and here are some media reports on it and links to some blogs on it.  Discuss."  It's a job for which she is eminently qualified.

The way I understand it, Melissa was not hired to move Shakeapeare's Sister to JRE'08 blog.  She was not hired to advise Edwards.  She was not hired to be his spokesperson.  She was not hired to write opinion pieces.  She was not hired to write the campaign blog.  She was hired to serve as a communication link or liasion between the campaign and the "personal blog" type of political bloggers.  Someone who can e-mail people like me with a 30-minute heads-up on the news, so if I am inclined to blog about it because the news excite me, I will, otherwise I will not.  Likewise, if I have something to ask or say or suggest to the campaign, she is the person I can contact.  It's a job for which she is eminently qualified.

For either one of them, what they said on their personal blogs in the past, or even what they may still write there in the future, has nothing to do with their new jobs.  I would not submit one of my blog-posts about science to Nature and I would not expect most of my readers to enjoy reading a dry-scientese paper on this blog.  Those are two different jobs I perform - the only connection being they both have something to do with science.  For Amanda and Melissa the only connection between their blogs and their new jobs is that they both have something to do with politics.

The Rumor Mill and The Wait

Many have complained about the long time it took the campaign to issue any kind of statement.  In the meantime, many people swallowed the Salon rumors about firings as true.  We need to remind ourselves that we, the bloggers, live not on a 24-hour news cycle but on a 24-second news cycle.  We want instant gratification immediatelly pronto right now.  The Marcotte/McEwen issue was really big for us, for legitimate reasons (see all the links I posted yesterday for some excellent coverage), but it was not so big if you step back and look at the big picture.  There wasn't barely anything in the MSM about this - after all, Anna Nicole Smith died, and there is trouble in Iraq, and there is Libby trial.... There is another year before Iowa, almost two before the General election.  We reacted to a brief AP article that found itself in the NYT and WaPo - something that almost 300 million Americans did not read.

I have no idea what went on in the campaign during the past day or two.  But I can imagine, so let me indulge in it for a minute...

I think that some people have this notion that John Edwards and all of his campaign managers and staffers sit around the HQ all day and eat pizza.  I've been to his HQ a number of times during 2003/2004 bid as well as the current race.  There are a few staffers there, extremely busy doing their jobs - crunching numbers, fundrasing, calling people, etc.  There are preumably others doing their, somewhat different jobs up in D.C.  Others are likely stationed in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina doing their jobs there.  Edwards himself is travelling around the country giving speeches and attending fundrasiers a couple of times a day, with some of the staffers travelling with him.

When the hiring of bloggers provoked the silly outrage on Right-wing blogs, they probably - and wisely - decided to ignore it.  When the Pickler hit-piece and the Salon rumor provoked all the outrage on the Lefty blogosphere, they probably felt they had to respond somehow.  So, I can imagine that a few people were pulled from their normal jobs and assigned to work on this.  They were probably not even all in the same part of the country at the time, so they communicated by phone or e-mail. It took them some time to do all this - far longer than our impatience could stand.  I can imagine internet-savvy staffers trying to explain that bloggers are not some strange animals but the core supporters who, for the first time in history, can talk back to the campaign as well as to voters, other activists etc.  I can imagine the old-time campaign managers being uneasy about being talked to by the bloggers, but they bring enormous campaigning experience they accumulated over many campaigns over decades.  Sometimes, this experience suggests that patience is the best course of action.

Then, I guess at some point, they had to call Edwards and tell him what they think.  He probably talked to Elizabeth, to Amanda and Shakes, and to his key campaign personnel.  But this was a side-show for him today.  He had a big event in South Carolina which was much more important than the question of bloggers.  Who knows, perhaps some of the last-millenium types suggested firing due to ignorance of the new media landscape.  But Edwards understands the Internet and the importance of bloggers/activists/supporters.  I have no doubt that, at some point during the day when he had a few minutes to devote to this, he did not have to ponder too long about the decision.  It was just a matter of crafting the message that will make everyone happy - excluding the Wingnuts who are irrelevant as they are not potential voters.  So, he wrote a statement of support for his bloggers.  And he wrote it in a way that calmed down the religious supporters who are many, and just as important for the campaign.  I may not like the tone, or even the subtance of it, but that was the most politically savvy message he could make.

The Religion Question

As someone who spent enormous amount of time on his campaign blog back in 03/04 I can tell you that majority of his supporters (just like majority of Americans) are religious.  Hundreds of comments and diaries were posted by people who stated that they supported Edwards because his message resonated with what they consider to be their personal religious beliefs.  And I respect that even if I believe their progressivism came first and religion is just parasitically riding along, i.e., they are interpreting religion through the prism of their liberal worldviews, just like fundies cherry-pick their beliefs according to their conservative worldviews.  Edwards cannot diss them, even if he wanted to (which I doubt as he himself comes from a deeply religious background) - that would be politically suicidal.

It is unfortunate but true that the doctrines of organized religion (as opposed to the personal, emotional need to believe something) are still respected on this planet and this country.  Atheists are the last discriminated-against minority in this country.  Thirteen states (inlcuding my own NC) have explicit laws precluding atheists from seeking elected positions.  

A hundred years ago, women were fighting for their rights.  It is still not completely equal, but compared to today, situation a century ago was akin to slavery.

Fifty years ago, the Civil Rights movement, often bloody, resulted in elimination of official seggregation.  While racism and seggregation are still alive and well, the comparison between today and half-a-century ago is stark.

The gays are fighting that fight right now, and slowly winning by winning the hearts and minds of the next generation.  Even Young Republicans are not as homophobic as their parents are.

The next fight will be over religion.  Atheists will need to speak up and stand up for themselves.  So many people have no idea what the word 'atheist' means except that it has something to do with eating live children.  But many of the same people think the same about Liberals.  I hope that in 10 or 20 years I can go to a campaign blog of an openly atheist presidential candidate who has realistic chances of winning with nobody batting an eye-lash, and not finding the word 'atheist' in scare-quotes in someone's comments, like this: "atheist".  

But that is the future.  Today, we have to play in today's playing field.  And Edwards is a masterful player in this field.  Moreover, he has so far been the most courageous candidate, breaking a number of taboos.  Talking about poverty.  Hiring feminist bloggers.  Not firing them under presure from both the religious Left and Right.  That takes guts. But it does not mean being unrealistic and unpragmatic about the business of winning elections.  

Perhaps I am closer to Kucinich on issues, but Dennis has no sense of how to play to win.  And we'll all have to swallow some of the rhetoric we do not agree with in order to depose the GOP and win.  Then change the country and the associated rhetoric with the aid of a Democratic President and Congress.  Another small step towards the ideals of Enlightement.  It does not happen overnight.  It does not happen by swinging at the windmills.  It does not happen by foolishly attacking everything at the same time.  You have to be savvy to pick your battles and change the world one generation at the time.


Some more good (or important) links:

Chris Bowers: This Isn't Over
Matt Stoller: Game On
Chris Bowers: Keep Piling On The Pressure

Chris Bowers: This Isn't Over
Edwards STANDS UP UPDATE: War is declared
Breaking: Edwards Stands Up and Keeps Amanda and Melissa
Edwards Does The Right Thing
The line between work and blog
What bloggergate says about the movement

Ed Cone:
Stay of execution (read the comments)

The Pandagonians:
Chris Clarke

The Shakespearians:
Melissa (read the comments)
Melissa (read the comments)

Hilzoy on Obsidian Wings:
Double Standards

Sara Robinson on Orcinus:
Silencing the Netroots

Talking about the Edwards blogger brouhaha with Taylor Marsh
Who is Amanda-basher Bill Donohue?
Official statement from Edwards: Amanda and Shakes not fired!

Executioner's Thong: Bless Bloggers!

I am Amanda Marcotte
I am Amanda Marcotte, Part 2:

Huffington Post:
John Edwards Takes One For The Netroots
Edwards Decision To Keep Bloggers May Risk Catholic Vote

John Broder in NYTImes (apparently print edition has more - and better - than the online version): Edwards Learns Blogs Can Cut 2 Ways

Originally posted to coturnix on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 05:43 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Short summary instead of a tip-jar (71+ / 0-)

    In one sentence:

    "Idealists push forwards too fast, pragmatists pull back too hard, purists complain and refuse to partake in the work, while real leaders find the good balance between the three which allows them both to get elected and to then move the country forward, and of the candidates in the field right now Edwards is IMHO the closest to that ideal"

    "Knowledge is Power"! Visit me at my blog

    by coturnix on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 05:43:18 AM PST

    •  Definitive (9+ / 0-)

      or at least as definitive as it'll ever get.  Thanks!

    •  One Word: (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stitchmd, NCDem Amy, DWG, pioneer111, TomP


      Edwards offers the best leadership.  Thanks for posting this diary.

      Does the word justice mean anything to you? Are the features of a lie beginning to come through?-Jackson Browne

      by Sargent Pepper on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 06:55:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Leadership (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sargent Pepper

        It's what this says about his leadership skills (or lack thereof) that worries me about this incident.  I'm relieved he's stood by his choices, but how did he come to choose these bloggers to begin with?  Is his staff asleep at the switch?  Reminds me of the Bush administration appointment of Kerik to Homeland Security.  A quick Google search would have told them all they needed to know.  Didn't anyone in the Edwards campaign take a look at the websites?

        Is this a preview of how appointments would be made if he's elected?

        Color me concerned, even though I am pleased with much that I read about Edwards.

        •  May I respectfully suggest that you might (4+ / 0-)

          be overreacting to this a bit.  What his bloggers said on their websites did not offend me one bit.  I think these people are very skilled and have strong opinions.  They are not Edwards' opinions, necessarily, but he is magnaminous enough to allow a diverse group of staff members to broaden his perspective and approach to leadership.  That, my friend, for my money, is incredible in these days of the heavily handled candidates.

          Think about Doris Goodwin's  book about Lincoln's rivals, whom he appointed to many posts in his administration. So Edwards brings in some highly competent and skilled bloggers, who have opinions that apparently offend some people.  He sticks with them, after discussion, and does the right thing.

          Leadership, indeed, my friend.

          Does the word justice mean anything to you? Are the features of a lie beginning to come through?-Jackson Browne

          by Sargent Pepper on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:27:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Think about Doris Goodwin herself (0+ / 0-)

            Not exactly an example of the highest standards of scholarship.

          •  In all of my short life on this planet... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coturnix, Sargent Pepper

               actually, I'm almost 60 it just feels short.

               I have never met a person who could effect change in an organization without challenging the rules so that the game can be played more fairly and the results distributed more evenly. If JRE or any other candidate is not willing to examine the rules of the game whether it be health care, fair trade policy, foreign policy, or having competent aggressive people advising you, then this country will never change and improve.

               John has often said that the last two years have been spent in large part examining the concept of "leadership in America". Isn't it novel that a candidate would understand that you can't just sit back and make decisions. You have to develop a life perspective on the country and then once this framework is in place you can begin to make judgments. Yes, some will take longer than others. But in the end, it was the lives of the people in question that became a paramount factor in the decision. What a refreshing decision. It speaks volumes to me about the person/human that he is. It is a feeling that I know he shares with all Americans whether rich or poor. I'll make my decision to support him based upon this maturity in him as a person.

            Eisenhower- "We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage."

            by NC Dem on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 08:57:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  very well stated. this should (0+ / 0-)

              be a promotional blurb on his website!

              I support John as well, and have since he announced in 03.  For me, he's got the makings for being the best president of my lifetime, and I was born in the year of the '56 Chevy.

              Does the word justice mean anything to you? Are the features of a lie beginning to come through?-Jackson Browne

              by Sargent Pepper on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 10:05:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lcrp, pop tart, TomP

      this is such a well thought out piece, and comprehensive.

      Would that all campaign discussion could be so considered and measured. But mud-slinging is too easy.

    •  One of the best things (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pop tart, annefrank

      about the new election cycle is reading your posts.  Where do you get the time and energy to find all those links? Thank you for kicking my poor slow brain into action this AM

      Facts about the states

      by SMucci on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:43:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Show me one person from the religious left (5+ / 0-)

      who recommended firing Marcotte and McEwen. As far as I know, we were pretty pissed off about it too.

      •  Some of the.... (0+ / 0-)

        ...comments on blogs, including on the campaign blog.

        If you follow the links here and go down the posts and comments there (I know, it's a day's worth of reading!), you'll see many calls for their skin:

        "Knowledge is Power"! Visit me at my blog

        by coturnix on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 08:12:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Also check... (0+ / 0-)

          Stoller this morning:

          "Knowledge is Power"! Visit me at my blog

          by coturnix on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 08:15:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That wasn't calling for their firing, (0+ / 0-)

            and since when does a diary - quoting a piece from a Catholic activist site - on a community blog equal the position of that blog, or the overall movement? By that standard, we'd have to stipulate that Dems are hostile to faith, and I don't think you want to go there.

            As for the comments on Edwards' blog, why bother? That's like holding up the more odious comments made around here as emblematic of the site.

            Look, I'm not trying to be a pissant about this, but I think you've set up a false equivalence here. The most I've heard out of anyone on the religious left has been that they wished Amanda and Shakes hadn't used such inflammatory language. I have yet to hear anyone of any prominence whatsoever calling for them to be strung high.

            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              The Stoller post provides context.  I told you to dig through the myriads of links to see for yourself what many people were saying - to fire them because they were personally offended.

              "Knowledge is Power"! Visit me at my blog

              by coturnix on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 09:08:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not necessarily linked to religion (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coturnix, Statius

                There were many of us who felt they should be let go because we didn't think it was worth the risk to the success of the campaign  and our opinion had nothing to do with religion, but was based on campaign strategy. Negative diversions are rarely a winning situation. We felt that running tight ship was more important than keeping on any two employees that brought so much baggage. Simply a basic profit/loss approach.

                Personally, if it had been my decision, I would not have been so generous to keep on such controversial writers nor would had I been as courageous to risk another situation in order to help democratize the process by including the netroots to this degree.

                I respect Edwards' decision on this and certainly appreciate the upside here. And, I'm pleased that he also called for all of his employees to avoid language that expresses intolerance. As Democrats, we're better than that. Let the rightwing nut hate mongers own intolerance.

              •  Edwards has put himself in a quandry. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                He said that he was personally offended by her comments, which is a big problem as she is his proxy-blogger.  His additional comments make it appear that he has to closely monitor the output on his blog - in which case, he might as well hire a damn secretary and write the blogs himself. I don't see where keeping her on is courageous.  I think it is more evidence that Edwards really doesn't know how to manage his online presence.  And it wasn't just the religion comments - her comments about the Duke rape case were also pretty damn stupid.

                •  From a damage control pov (0+ / 0-)

                  he should have fired them.  He also should have vetted them better.  

                  I think that if any bloggers want to eventually work on political campaigns, they should never write in a knee-jerk manner.  Keep the vitriol and the rage, but avoid lashing out in a manner that will come back to bite.  Given that many people still don't know what blogging is, as the diarist points out, it's going to be hard to contextualize "pretty damn stupid."  I'm not excusing them, of course, the blog does sort of channel our inner monologues sometimes rather than what we would say were we working in some sort of official capacity for a campaign.  

                  Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man. -- Bertrand Russell

                  by Statius on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 10:11:56 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  I will confess (0+ / 0-)

      that I do not understand the defense of the bloggers.

      They were paid by the campaign.  They said some off color things.  If these statements came from the Edwards staff the person uttering these comments would have been fired.

      I MUST be missing something.

    •  Great diary and great summary (0+ / 0-)

      I am an Atheist and like most I am hoping to make some positive movement forward for Atheists and thereby all society.

      You indicate that you think that Edwards is the most likely to make forward progress of on the issue of this fight over religion.

      I would love to believe that but what I have been able to dig up on Edwards shows that he seems to believe that religion is unassailable and should not be questioned in any way.

      Do you have any evidence that Edwards will try to improve the condition of Atheists in our society?  Do we have any reason to believe that he wants to do this?

      It seems to me that Edwards, like most politicians, would prefer to avoid us entirely as he seems to likable to try to scurrilously use us as foils like many politicians do.

      This is not meant to be contentious, I honesty hope that you do have a reason to think that Edwards will be a friend to Atheists in America.

      Theology is to legitimate scholarship as playing doctor is to brain surgery.

      by Puskara on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 02:44:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mark Adams Pounds the "Catholic" League (6+ / 0-)

    Mark Adams, Meet Billy the Bigot, at Ohio4Edwards.

  •  Well worth the read (8+ / 0-)

    I found this diary informative, even moving.

  •  You've got to be kidding me (6+ / 0-)

    in the "I believe it, but that's absurd" kind of way

    Thirteen states (inlcuding my own NC) have explicit laws precluding atheists from seeking elected positions.

    I'd never heard that before.  Do you have a link for a summary of the states and/or laws?

    Yeah, I'm trying out this blogging thing, too.

    by MLDB on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 05:52:09 AM PST

  •  I find this unfortunate (7+ / 0-)

    but at the same time somewhat understandable.

    And I respect that even if I believe their progressivism came first and religion is just parasitically riding along, i.e., they are interpreting religion through the prism of their liberal worldviews, just like fundies cherry-pick their beliefs according to their conservative worldviews.

    Those with the loudest voices on the subject have given mighty good reason to be that cynical.  In my journey, however, my faith studies have lead me to become more progressive.

    Yeah, I'm trying out this blogging thing, too.

    by MLDB on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 05:59:44 AM PST

  •  What an great personal statement of opinion (17+ / 0-)

    Bora, my friend, I have been captivated by this offering of your honest and personal revelation as well as your opinion on the blogger non-scandal. Thank you.

    In this day and age when a blogger can spread an "of-the-moment" opinion almost as fast as the speed of light - - and when journalists can offer up "stories" online before they are actually "stories" - - patience and careful evaluation is still the best course of action for any candidate, any campaign, and any of us who want to get the important things right. That's what Edwards did in this case. He didn't let the angst out here (mine included :) get in the way of good judgement.

    What I believe the far Right will fear most about Edwards is that he will know how to turn the tables in a way that will rock their world in ways they'd never expected. I believe that Edwards understands that he needs the netroots to buoy him in times such as these. We're moored here - in honesty such as the kind you have displayed - real people, all of us. Vocal, literate, honest. Whether deeply spiritual, religious, atheist, whatever we believe in our hearts - we have a common thread that binds us - and that thread is the knowledge and love for progress as it relates to the nation we share, which is still our dream of 'what could be' and not some strange notion that what once was must be "conserved."  

    Oh, how the Right fears us, as well they should.

  •  You covered a lot of ground! Some very (9+ / 0-)

    provocative thoughts in here, but 2 I find compelling. I also think it likely that a year from now no candidate will be talking about staying in Iraq. If Iran hasn't become the issue, then we will be looking at domestic agendas. And I also fear the continued rise of a so-called "religious" element that is no longer so marginalized. The message that I am looking for from someone (anyone) is that we have no fight with religion, the issue is the power of the religious professionals. These are not men or women of the cloth, they are not concerned for your souls, they do no good works in our society. They are here to make money, and ultimately, with their foundations and their involvement in politics, they are lobbyists for hate. These are the people that say "do as I say, not as I do," the Ted Haggards of the world. He should be the poster child for these people. These are the people who want to judge and point fingers. We need to start calling out these people, by name if necessary, and giving them a label that sets them apart from religion and the worship of a higher power.

  •  Meanwhile, let's look at what Malkin's website (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pop tart, gregflynn, TomP

    has to say about Catholics...

  •  Blatently opposing staments here. (3+ / 0-)

    As long as the wall between the church and state is kept standing and the fundamentalists are kept on the margins, I have no problem with people believing whatever myths they want to if that makes them happy or feeling more secure.

    It is unfortunate but true that the doctrines of organized religion (as opposed to the personal, emotional need to believe something) are still respected on this planet and this country.

    First off, they really aren't opposed, because the first statement is just dripping with patronization, and the second confirms that as fact.  

    •  How are they opposing? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fumie, machka, cka

      Both statements indicate that:

      a) I have no problem with people's personal beliefs.

      b) I have a problem with people who use organized religion to advance anti-democratic causes, hate-speech and margunalization of women, blacks, gays or minorities, or, for that matter, anyone who opposes their quest for absolute political power, people like Donohue, Dobson, Robertson and Falwell.

      Unfortunately, many members of cults are incapable of dissasociting the cult-leader from the cult-screed from teh cult-membership, so they take it personally when someone criticizes their leaders. Case in point, right-wing Catholics misunderstand every public decry of Pope's policies as personal attacks on them.

      "Knowledge is Power"! Visit me at my blog

      by coturnix on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:35:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My problem is that in any other line of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boppy, MarketTrustee

    professional employment if an employer found out you wrote that crap (presumably after hiring)and had hired you on for a job that was even remotely similar or could get any kind of press, you would be terminated immediately.  Regardless of what we may think in the blogosphere about our own, this is not gonna play well for Edwards if he wins the nomination and gets to the general.

    •  Other lines of work (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee, Boppy, Karyn, nannyboz, JohnnysGirl, TomP

      I agree that if this blogger situation occured in other professions, they'd have been fired, immediately. Personally, if I found out one of my employees posed such a risk to my business, I'd not hestitate to cut them loose.

      But, Edwards campaign is not parallel to for profit businesses. His campaign is about empowering the people, lifting all voices and helping to democratize the process; he is willing to take big risks in order to make that happen. His retainment of Amanda and Melissa are a testament to that fact.

      •  This is a very big risk for the general election (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The question is, how much will the employment of these two hurt him in the general and if it could cost the dems a win, they need to go regardless of any pressure he is getting from other bloggers.  Also, I would draw similarities between a campaign and a for profit company, as both are essntially trying to steer people to their product, which is a representation of all of the employees.

        •  Courage (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It takes courage to do what Edwards is doing with regard to bloggers, and not just keeping on Amanda and Melissa. He's taken a lot of risks and opened himself up.

          As one of the bloggers on his campaign plane during the Announcement tour, I saw first hand how  he's opened himself up. We had cameras rolling and laptops kicking with liveblogging, whenever we wanted. We approached him at will, asked questions, took photos. There were no handlers there who served as a filter between him and us.

          Edwards is more dedicated to empowering the people than he is controlling his campaign message. That says a lot about who is and his character.

          In the end, the candidate that will win, will be the one is willing to show some gravitas to fight for the people, despite the risk, over the candidate who tightly controls the message and insulates themselves from the people.

      •  And Now Evidentally (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        azale, machka, nannyboz, elie, NCDem Amy

        the ball is in their court.  The onus is on these two women to adhere to the high standards Edwards sets for himself and for others.

        He does not tolerate bigotry in any form and certainly not from his staff.  

        And Bora, I respect your right to your choice of atheism as much as I respect any and all religions.
        I do not respect certain individuals within these frameworks who use their religion or lack thereof as a forum to spew hatred and venom toward others.

      •  currency (0+ / 0-)

        the parallels between "business" and "campaign" converge at "professionalism", that is, at least, understanding one's function within in an organization, performing that function reliably to the benefit of the organization, and being able to communicate the ethics of the organization to external and internal audiences.

        currency is an expression and measurement of transaction value between people.

        in business the currency is $$. in campaign the currency is language. in either case, if one cannot function to the benefit of the organization, one's "professionalism" is not moot --it is not a question of unique identity-- it is effectively irrelevant. axiomatically, regardless of underlying causes, irrelevance is cause for dismissal.

        i've been terminated for more sophisticated, spurious rationale than anything confronting marcotte: so much for equal opportunity.

        to defend edwards' campaign by implying that marcotte's apparent "professionalism" is relevant, in that her poor diction and pornographic tone "democratizes the process" is to agree that syllepsis benefits edwards' organization.

        no wonder you're having a tough time externalizing her value ...  "empowering people," not religionists. "lifting all voices," not meaning. "big risks," not rewards.

        that's the definition of a hack.

        Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

        by MarketTrustee on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 08:23:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Somehow... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, annrose, Urizen, Boppy, Karyn

    I don't think a lot of people here appreciate this pearl of wisdom.

    And we'll all have to swallow some of the rhetoric we do not agree with in order to depose the GOP and win.

    Politicians and diapers need to be changed frequently -- often for the same reason.

    by KnowVox on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:12:05 AM PST

  •  Ahh, friend, for an atheist you sure are (7+ / 0-)

    a good preacher man.  I discovered your writing in 2004 and love your spontaneous but extremely thoughtful words. Besides being very much like you in loving my independence, I understand the need for balance. The problems of the the past 25 years, but especially the last 6 years is that the balance is off.  Idealist, realists, purists, are all needed but in balance.  There are the people who truly care about tradition and will fight to keep the status quo or the institutions that have been created.  Then there are those "who dream of things that never were and ask "Why Not?"  They are numerically in the minority, but are important.  Conservatives are important in keeping the idealists from going way too far out.  I call the dreamers,futurists, possibility gatherers the helium balloons.  The conservatives are needed to keep a hand on the string otherwise we just might leave this earth and fly far far away.  If everybody understands their duties, their strengths and weaknesses, we can get something done.
    Like you I like Edwards although I hardly agree with everything he says.  But I trust him to be very thoughtful when needed and also to be quick on his toes when he needs be.  Anyone that watches his town meetings sees how his mind works. He listens to the  question.  Then gives a thoughtful honest response.  
    He listens to the question.  That may seem obvious, but I think a lot of candidates only hear the part of the question that triggers for them a response they already have in mind.  I always get the impression that Edwards answers that particular person's question.  There is a big difference.
    Anyway, so much in here.  As usual you lay out a feast and not some Cheesits.  

    "It's time to rein in the rascals and rotate the crop"

    by MontanaMaven on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:36:36 AM PST

  •  The Catholic Church (8+ / 0-)

    is a beautiful religion.  In general they believe in taking care of the poor and promoting peace.

    For the above, they should be bigtime Edwards supporters.

    But they also have discriminated against women.

    They've also covered up for Priests who have molested little boys.

    And they've foisted their religion on all of us by leading hateful and harassing protests against women seeking birth control and legal abortion services.

    And for the 3 things above, Edwards will never get the support of the Catholic hierarchy.

    But, many Catholic laypeople believe in women's rights, believe that Priests who molest little boys should be held accountable, believe in birth control, and believe in a woman's right to choose.  

    Therefore, Edwards will never ever get support from the ultra fringe right wing type Catholics, but may get the "real" Catholics out there who believe in taking care of the poor, ending this horrible war in Iraq, and personal freedoms.

    HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right

    by annrose on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:38:17 AM PST

  •  Along with being a wonderful writer, Bora, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pop tart, MarketTrustee, NCDem Amy

    you are a very decent person.

  •  The Issue is Conquest By Authoritarian Religion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pop tart, Arlys

    Edwards's campaign created an opening, the RR is losing influence just now so they need a target.

    Nothing about religion has anything to do with faith, political policy or tolerance.

    It's a conquest movement vs. a society. A society that doesn't like to face facts about its nature or the nature of its system.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 07:57:22 AM PST

    •  The RR may appear to be losing influence (3+ / 0-)

      at the national level, but I believe the numbers of people in this country who view the world on their terms is increasing. I think its going to be a bit scarier before it (hopefully) gets better. One of the great casualties of the decline of funding for public education in this country is the growth of the sectarian-educated right.

  •  coturnix (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks for a thoughtful diary on this. A lot of people in this country are sick of the ultra right-wing fundamentalist fringe seeking domination. Even most religious people are sick of it.

    John Edwards has the opportunity to show the vast majority of Americans what a real hero he already is, by continuing to stand up strong for the first amendment and against Donohue's bullying tactics. Edwards has embodied the traditional American value that says something like "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it."

  •  This is not about religion (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, azale, aitchdee, anotherdemocrat

    Obama and his team cold shouldered FOX after the madrassa nonsense; FOX teams couldn't get interviews.  This was, according to what I read, an issue for FOX...not having access to an exciting they tried to broker a deal with Obama.  I don't know how that will fall out but I suspect FOX will be circumspect about taking on Obama in the future.

    The segue: People respect leaders who stand up for principles. That's what gave McCain the persona he  fraudulently perpetuates; it's what gives Webb an aura of strength; it's what got Bush elected and worked for him for a long time.   Genuine courage, not Bushian grandstanding, trumps namby-pamby concessions and trying to please all the people all the time.  Kerry learned that too late and, IMO, Hillary has yet to learn it. It's all about authenticity, a moral center, and strength.
    This isn't about the Catholic League and its fantical leader, it's about whether Edwards has the balls to take a stand, then stfu and not crow about it.

    •  BRAVO!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is the REAL issue.  It isn't about bloggers, or offending language, or religion.  It is about a well orchestrated attack on a presidential candidate.

      Bill Donohue and Michelle Malkin aren't done with Edwards.

      If you take yourself too seriously, no one else will.

      by Yoshimi on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 08:47:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Caution: Potentially flammable post. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Does this whole flap over Marcotte invalidate BTD's claim that Obama is spreading a falsehood when he (allegedly) talks about some Democrats being hostile to religion?

    •  No I dont think so (0+ / 0-)

      I dont think BTD was claiming that Obama was spreading a falsehood.  There may be some that are hostile.  BTD was criticizing Obama for practicing bad politics for creating a strawman to make his point about a more tolerant public image of Democrats on Christians.  And I further think thats not what Obama was doing - and so I have some disagreement with BTD on that point.

      I dont think this episode proves anyhting in the meme of: Democrats are hostile to religion.  We have an isolated incident of individuals using poor language to express their disapproval of sanctimonious religious Republicans.  Which is trying to be blown into something bigger by a sanctimonous religious Republican.

    •  i'm interested to know what you mean by (0+ / 0-)

      invalidate, re: democrats hostile to religion.

      would you rephrase pls?

      Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

      by MarketTrustee on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 08:31:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, BTD and Chris Bowers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi, MarketTrustee

        have criticized Obama, claiming that Obama's suggestion that some Democrats are hostile to the values of Evangelical voters was a false strawman.

        Clearly, it is not.

        •  certainly o'bama and edwards argue (0+ / 0-)

          hostility to cross purposes. edwards' apparently doesn't care or seems to think cheap talk will spice up his campaign "diversity". o'bama apparently cares to cultivate or confuse religionists.

          on o'bama's arcane view of the democrats and secularism, i posted this in a diary last dec.

          Obama ellides the mechanics of economic authority and social intervention we had vested government. Instead he deliberately patents false choices in government as a "religious [sic] divide" or potential "partnership" in morally positive actions. Doing so, he appears uniquely qualified to broker his invention, not because of his managerial experience in governance but his metaphysical proximity to America's "chosen" people -- who are incidentally not Jewish.

          in other words,BWasikIUgrad comes closest to differentiating the two men's relations to religion. that's a start to figuring out how each man could alienate the party from the people --as opposed to the bloggers.

          your point is well taken. thanks for your reply.

          Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

          by MarketTrustee on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 11:47:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      some people are hostile to religion, being democrats has little to do with it.

      •  Obama said that Democrats are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque, MarketTrustee

        "seen" as hostile to religion.  His point is that they aren't.

        Donohue, Robertson, and Dobson can now say, "Look at Edwards, see he kept those two bloggers on" and America will still think that the three extremists listed above speak for Christianity.

        Edwards really needed to marginalize Donohue as a religious leader.  "He doesn't speak for Catholicism" would put Donohue on the defensive.  

        If you take yourself too seriously, no one else will.

        by Yoshimi on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 08:54:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Please... (0+ / 0-)

      They say that Democrats are hostile to religion. Maybe so; maybe not...

      But Democrats are not NEARLY as hostile to religion as Republicans are hostile toward atheists.

      •  Or Muslims for that matter... n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Also, I think Dems are only hostile toward religion being forced upon us.  For example, creationists or intellegent designists trying to force schools to recognize their views.  Even if you agree with their views, you might not like it that people are trying to force those views on the rest of society.

        "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

        by Quanta on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 09:16:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  On finding and getting "Truth" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Vaclav Havel once said:

    "Follow those who seek the truth; run from those who have found it."

    These words bear repeating in this day and age, and the advice bears taking to heart. Instead we live in a world of 24-hour news cycles which are filled with "The Truth" (or mere "truthiness", seems many observes can't distinguish), and next to one actively seeking the actual truth.

    It's time we started hearing from the truth-seekers, and not the truth-guardians. Maybe then we'll have fewer bigoted blowhards eating up the news cycle, and more John Edwards.

    -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 08:43:38 AM PST

  •  The SIlent Religious Left (0+ / 0-)

    WE on the religious left--who must battle our right wing fundie brethren as well as the secular fundie anti-religious element among liberals have been silenced in this debate, as noted by the politico article. I know of no Catholic Dem who was not severely offended by the likes of Edwards bloggers. we;re offended by Amanda as much as we are by the likes of William Donahue and Malkin. and if this is the company Edwards is keeping, i damn well hope he's got some Catholic outreach staff to do damage control on this. and it's a pity, because we know his message is the best one that resonantes with Catholic social teaching. but hey, if i'm obama or hillary, i am SO HAPPY about this development.

    the bloggers' pathetic statements that they didn't  mean to offend and that it was  merely satire also didn't gibe. how stupid does edwards think we are to buy that line?

    as a minority, i am extremely offended by the comparison of the Civil Rights mvt to the discrimination of atheists. last time i checked, atheists didn't have to get beaten and bloodied for their right to vote. they don't suffer from higher mortgage rates, loan rates by virtue of being atheist. they weren't segregated in public schools. is there a real bias against atheists in America by people who may not vote for them? yes, but in terms of the daily structural barriers that people of color have faced in this country and continue to, vs that of atheists, to hear y'all whine about your oppression is just a bit much.

    •  Hmm... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      atheists didn't have to get beaten and bloodied for their right to vote...

      Does burning at the stake ring any bells? (not so much in America) How about the Salem witch trials?

      But never have I heard an organization of atheists successfully marginalizing Christians. When was the last time a Christian was beaten and bloodied for the right to vote (simply for being a Christian? When do Christians suffer higher mortgage rates and loan rates simply because they are Christians? When were Christians segregated in public schools? Etc.

      I don't consider communism to be atheist at all; it simply replaces religion with obedience to "The Party" and God with "Dear Leader."

    •  Just... (0+ / 0-)

      ..try being an atheist for a few days in America...

      "Knowledge is Power"! Visit me at my blog

      by coturnix on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 09:10:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  boo hoo (0+ / 0-)

        i have. life is fine. better than being black or gay, that's for sure. no one forces you to go to church. if i don't want to say "under god" during the pledge, i don't have to. sure, some Christian would tell me "you're going to hell" but that didn't really faze me since at the time, i was secure in my beliefs (and the fallacy of theirs, before i became born-again).

        •  You have? (0+ / 0-)

          So, if you are an atheist, why do you defend the religous fundamentalists?

          "Knowledge is Power"! Visit me at my blog

          by coturnix on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 09:21:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  no born again Christian (0+ / 0-)

            but like much of the secular left, at one point, went through the "there is no God" stage.

            i've never defended religious fundies like Donahue. they're the reason, like a lot of liberals, i rejected Jesus because i thought Christianity=right wing asshole. but that is a false stereotype. and sometimes, i agree with my right wing brethren more than i do with secular liberals. on economic issues, i am populist Democrat. my ideal Dem has always been William Jennings Bryan--a fundamentalist Populist.

        •  How do you go from aetheist to born again? (0+ / 0-)

          Honestly, I am an aetheist.  I don't believe in God or any other religion for the simple reason that the only form of those religions that agrees with what I know of the world we live in is deism and deism is pritty pointless.  So what could possibly change someones opinion on this, other than some sort of trama and a deep need for something to help with mental health.  Note: that is not ment in any way to be derogetory.

          P.S. while it may be true being an aetheist isn't any real burden nor is being a christian.  If someone says something about christianity that you find offensive so what.  I bet you think the mormon religion is a big joke.  I find the notion that Jesus came to the America laughable.  I suppose that may offend a mormon but so what.  It isn't going to hurt them.  I don't want to prevent them from practicing their religion.  I don't think mormons are bad people nor do I have any angst for them.

          So if someone is frustrated by the catholic churches position on birth control and lets that frustration out by being offensive your just going to have live with that, because I personally am more than just offended by the catholics position on birth control; I am appalled.  Especially since things like condoms can also help prevent the spread of aids and other STD's.

          "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

          by Quanta on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 09:44:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  person of Jesus (0+ / 0-)

            I just like the guy's philosophy, what can I say? and either he's the son of God, or it's the greatest hoax in human history...i took a Dostoevsky seminar in college. after brothers karamazov, i wanted to be Aloysha, a pretty rare admissioin in a class of ivy-league liberals.

            you want to try telling all the Catholics in America to just "live with" a president who hires as staff people who insult their most sacred beliefs? it's just politically stupid. there are way more Catholics than there are atheist liberal  bloggers who vote. the fact that it was Donahue who was the messenger was unfortunate--but his essential critique was not, and will find a sympathetic audience beyond just right wingers. like i said, the happiest people on this are Obama and Hillary.

            •  First the virgin birth isnt the most sacred. (0+ / 0-)

              My family is catholic, I'd guess the most important would be the death for our sins part.  Further, you are making a big deal over someone how said something when they were frustrated with the catholic churches position on birth control.  Surely you realize that people do and say things they don't really mean when they are upset and most of the time people let those things slide because they know this.  Second, firing his bloggers whould only show that Edwards is a political hack and reactionary who cannot stand up to the right wing and their attempts to create irrational controversies.

              Also, I do like what Jesus had to say about peace and forgiveness.  However, none of this give me any cause to believe that he was divine, anymore than MLK or Gandi's messages lead me to believe that they are divine.

              "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

              by Quanta on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 10:14:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Dude, if you think that's a hardship, you've lead (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        a charmed life.  I don't consider myself exactly an atheist, but I certainly have different religious beliefs from most of the people where I live.  The great majority of the time, it never comes up.  The few times it does, most people start advertising for their church, you say no, and it's over. I've been discriminated more because I didn't wear the right miniskirt in highschool or didn't suck up to the supervisor quite enough.

  •  well done diary (0+ / 0-)

    thank you

  •  Unreal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The entire Edwards blogger's just not a story at all. Honestly, I'm shocked it got any legs whatsoever. Talk about making something out of nothing...really, it's unbelievable. These bloggers don't owe anyone an apology. If anything, the right wing bigeot that "broke" the "story" should be apologizing for wasting everyone's time.

    "I don't wanna listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore!" -Howard Dean

    by astronautagogo on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 09:48:17 AM PST

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