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February 04, 2007

Feminist Bloggers People Read For Edwards

By Neil the Ethical Werewolf

Congratulations to Amanda and Shakes on their new jobs with the Edwards campaign! You can see Amanda's Molly Ivins memorial post and another one on the minimum wage increase on John Edwards' blog.

There are a bunch of reasons why bringing them on board was a really nice move by the Edwards campaign. Edwards has a lot of work to do in making the netroots aware of his socially liberal views -- the same "nobody with that accent could be a liberal" stereotypes that help him in the general election hurt him in the primary. Bringing well-known feminist bloggers on board is a great way to get that message across. And since the Edwards blog will be read much more often by liberal netroots activists than tuned-out general election swing voters who may not recognize 'blogger' as a word, it doesn't harm his image with the latter group.

Here's the other thing. I hardly ever read campaign blogs, even for campaigns I really like. They're not usually written very well, and the people who write them sometimes don't really seem to understand how the blogosphere works. They don't link to other people, and they're so predictable that you don't have to do much more than look at the post title to figure out what the post will say. To summarize all that I've just said, campaign blogs aren't usually written by Amanda Marcotte.

But this one is. And I have high hopes that it'll be more worthy of being read than any previous campaign blog has been.

February 4, 2007 | Permalink


Campaign blogs aren't generally interesting because they can't allow heresy. Pointing out contradictory stances (like Edwards on war against Iran) by commenters (or the bloggers) is just not allowed.

They end up sounding like Ari Fleisher or Scott McCleland or (even worse) Tony Snow.

This will be a challenge to Amanda and Shakes on maintaining their integrity. Will be interesting to see how this moves ahead. We may have lost voices, instead of giving them a bigger megaphone.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Feb 4, 2007 1:24:04 PM

Corporate blogs would be a good parallel to candidate blogs. It's hard to find a compelling corporate blog, because companies (especially publicly-traded ones) are too risk-averse to bring up controversial topics and/or allow a lot of open discussion or dissent.

Posted by: fiat lux | Feb 4, 2007 1:33:50 PM

Any thoughts on the sniping that's already started?

Posted by: fishbane | Feb 4, 2007 1:36:39 PM

My thought on the sniping, based on the little I've read from Amanda, is that it will be surprising if she doesn't get into this kind of trouble on a regular basis. It seems to me she's an edgy writer, with strong opinions and, what will cause as much trouble as anything, a good deal of disgust for the people she disagrees with. It's hard to control your metaphorical tongue if that's where you're coming from. But maybe she'll adjust; you never know.

Posted by: Sanpete | Feb 4, 2007 1:59:32 PM

I'm not sure if I would call the Edwards blog great, but it's a big step above other campaign blogs. There's all the flame wars, genuine disagreement with the candidate, and occasional insightful diaries that you might find in any other similar blog.

Posted by: Clark | Feb 4, 2007 2:03:04 PM

While I agree somewhat with Jim and fl on dissent, I do think a blog can be interesting even if you always know what position the author will end up on. When I read Yglesias on Iran, I know he'll support more engagement and be against hasty military action. But he's still really interesting to read because he has arguments I hadn't thought of, backed up by facts I didn't know before. (For what it's worth, I hope my pro-Edwards writing is the same way.)

And I'm hoping that they'll give Amanda free rein to cover a lot of not-necessarily-political topics.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Feb 4, 2007 2:05:18 PM

You know, in terms of both temperament and skill it would be hard to find a better campaign blogger than Neil. You'd be great.

Posted by: Sanpete | Feb 4, 2007 2:21:15 PM

Re. the link provided by Fishbane, so according to the right, the Duke lacrosse players are this era's Scottsboro Boys. Cause we all know that whites today are oppressed the way blacks were in the thirties. Even when conservatives have a decent point to make they muck it up with offensive ignorance.

Posted by: david mizner | Feb 4, 2007 2:28:53 PM

Thanks, Sanpete! If I weren't totally committed to becoming a philosophy professor, I'd be looking for a job like that with the John Edwards folks. But I may be a bigger asset to them here -- I really don't know. (By the way, the reason I haven't posted much in the last 2 weeks was because of a job talk at Bowling Green. It went quite well, as far as I could tell.)

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Feb 4, 2007 2:32:04 PM

Congrats and good luck, Neil! As I recall there's a good and interesting collection of political philosophers there, no?

Posted by: djw | Feb 4, 2007 2:43:04 PM

Good luck from me too, Neil. Knock 'em dead.

Posted by: Alon Levy | Feb 4, 2007 2:44:56 PM

That's cool about Bowling Green. I often see the name attached to the names of authors of papers, so I imagine it would be a stimulating place to work. Good luck.

Posted by: Sanpete | Feb 4, 2007 2:53:29 PM

I think the hiring of Amanda and Shakes was terrific,brilliant and impressed the hell out of me. My first though is that Amanda will have to defend her archives, and my second though was somebody understood the netroots and blogosphere better than the blogosphere understands itself. By that I mean that Ezra and MY are the stars, but Amanda and Neil and Shakes are the heart.


I'm The A-hole ...Tom Schaller, via TAPPED, gets into it with Don Fowler and Mudcat Saunders. I simply can't stand, cannot stand that these aging crackers think they own the Democratic Party. Anything or anyone that reinforces that perception and strengthens that faction is dangerous to progressivism.

Sorry. I will vote for Edwards in the general, but even though he is possibly the most progressive, I can't support him in the primary. The Party has to be closed to the Zell Millers forever.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Feb 4, 2007 2:54:40 PM

I will vote for Edwards in the general, but even though he is possibly the most progressive, I can't support him in the primary. The Party has to be closed to the Zell Millers forever.

You seem to see some connection between those sentences.

Posted by: Sanpete | Feb 4, 2007 3:03:12 PM

"You seem to see some connection between those sentences"

Did you follow the link, Sanpete? We have not had a non-Dixie Democratic President for 46 years, and JFK felt he needed a VP he despised in order to get elected. I do go way farther than Schaller on on the need to make the South dispensable.

Edwards would reinforce the theory that not only does the Democratic Party need the South in order to be a majority party, but that Dixie is so crucial, so controlling so indispensable that it cannot be alienated at any costs. So the Democratic Party alienates everybody else, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We will becoome dependent on Dixiecrats again.

And not long after that we will have new Richard Russells and Strom Thurmonds with lifetime chairmanships of critical committees.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Feb 4, 2007 4:05:05 PM

Whay don't the people upset by the Clinton/Bush dynasties see the importance of the Democrats electing a couple Presidents from outside Dixie?

Why can't people see that whoever and whatever Edwards is, he carries several hundred years of baggage with him?

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Feb 4, 2007 4:14:51 PM

Oh wait! Amanda is from Texas or North Carolina, and Neil is from Virginia? And they coincidentally support the Southern candidate.

Son of a gun.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Feb 4, 2007 4:18:41 PM

I don't think you're generalizing enough, Bob. It's isn't just the South that's a problem. There are the equivalent of Dixiecrats in other regions too. Just as we need to avoid depending on the South because of Dixiecrats, we should avoid depending on this country as a whole, just to be on the safe side. No US candidates. I think many Europeans would agree.

Posted by: Sanpete | Feb 4, 2007 4:22:14 PM

Thanks for the good job wishes, everyone!

The parents are from small villages in India. I lived in Kansas until age 8, then to North Carolina for 10 years, college was in Massachusetts, and grad school has mostly been in Texas. The idea that my macaca ass would be some kind of stars & bars Dixie sympathizer belongs in comedy.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Feb 4, 2007 4:26:58 PM

"The idea that my macaca ass would be some kind of stars & bars Dixie sympathizer belongs in comedy."

I am not laughing.

People, are we going to go a whole century with Presidents originating from around 15 states?

No more Southerners.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Feb 4, 2007 4:34:56 PM

I am not laughing.

Perhaps not, but some of us are starting to laugh at you.

Posted by: Fishbane | Feb 4, 2007 4:40:18 PM

Follow the link, and read Tom Schaller's book.

It is a blackmail thing. Southerners will only vote for Southerners, and Obama and anyone from Washington State or California or Colorado can just not bother. They are already grooming Webb and Sibelius.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Feb 4, 2007 4:44:11 PM

Sebelius? Now Kansas is in the South? wtf?

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Feb 4, 2007 4:47:49 PM

My mistake. So much for Sebelius,

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Feb 4, 2007 4:48:48 PM

Thanks, Neil! I'm dreading the upcoming leave taking from my beloved Austin, but I've heard wonderful things about Chapel Hill.

Posted by: Amanda Marcotte | Feb 4, 2007 5:26:56 PM

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