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.
This is exactly right. And the America we believe in is not one in which intolerant antisemites like Bill Donohue get to set the agenda for Democratic candidates for President. Heck, in the America I want to live in, they wouldn’t even set the agenda for Republicans. I’m concerned that John Edwards allowed Donohue to control this news cycle for as long as he did. I know the campaign is young, but he hasn’t really stopped running for President since the last election.
I can’t believe they didn’t expect that someone would dredge up a few choice passages from anyone they hired as a campaign blogger. Nor can I imagine that they didn’t decide that this was exactly the sort of statement that ought to be made if anyone questioned those bloggers’ essays from months and years before they were hired.
Like a lot of people, I didn’t bother jumping into this story when the first attacks on Amanda and Melissa came out. Not because I didn’t care, but because I didn’t think it would stick. Edwards gave the story legs by firing – or considering firing – those two staffers. That’s a mistake that it will take time for him to recover from.