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February 16, 2007

The Passion Of The Marcotte

Content warning: This post is very long, and it sucks. It's about the nonentity Marcotte, and, even given this target, the post just sucks. But I spent an hour on this awful post, so it's not going to waste. You may want to read Marcotte's self-pitying conspiracy theories and lies, though, and make sure you read the criticism of her from a fellow liberal, at the end of the post.

Marcotte's demented they-a culpa in Salon. Here are the better bits:

As one of the thousands, possibly millions, of bloggers out there holding forth on everything from cooking to politics, I'd always felt especially fortunate. I'd ascended from having a small, low-traffic blog to joining Jesse Taylor at the big-time liberal blog Pandagon to actually controlling Pandagon in the course of three years.

She acended from having a small, low-traffic blog?

I don't know if this SiteMeter is broken or what (thought it does seem to pick up LGF and Iowahawk referrals), but it would seem she's ascended to a small, low-traffic blog.

Not the hugest knock, but she's basically bragging about her meteoric rise here. Previous whines by her have focused on her killah writin' skillz and mad "abilities" to draw an audience.

It must be broken. Right? Anyway.

...

What I also failed to understand was how much McEwan and I would stick out. I was aware that I didn't exactly fit the image people have of bloggers who join campaigns -- the stereotype being 30-something nerdy young white men who wear khakis and obsess over crafting their Act Blue lists. I wasn't aware that not fitting the image would attract so much negative attention. In fact, I mostly saw this all as a baby step in the direction of diversity, since McEwan and I differed from the stereotype mostly by being female and by being outspoken feminists.

Misogyny and feminism. She's fixated on these points.

Here's her claims about the scrubbing of past posts:

I announced that I was taking the job on Jan. 30, and the same week, I noticed a small flare-up of oddly aggressive and misogynistic comments in my moderation queue over a short, irritated post I wrote about the coverage of the Duke lacrosse rape case on CNN. I assumed that some anti-feminist blogger had linked me and so, in frustration, I went and rewrote my by-then week-old post to mock the commenters by spelling out my views in childish, easy-to-understand language. This may have been the first indication that the right-wing noise machine had noticed me and was looking for something with which to hurt me and my new employers.

In frustration, she went and re-wrote her post "spelling out [her] vies in childish, easy-to-undrstand language," which just happened to be more amenable to her new employer John Edwards:

UPDATE: Since people are determined to make hay over this quick shot of a post, I’m deleting it and here’s my official stance. The prosecution in the Duke case fumbled the ball. The prosecutor was too eager to get a speedy case and make a name for himself. That is my final word.

That's not particularly childish language. At least, not for Amanda Marcotte, who's pretty infantile. Here was the stuff that needed to be re-written, lest people "misinterpret her" or "take things out of context:"

In the meantime, I’ve been sort of casually listening to CNN blaring throughout the waiting area and good fucking god is that channel pure evil. For awhile, I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and fucked her against her will—not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out.

Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it?

So unfair.

Note that this post was quite recent -- after the DA dropped the rape charges, because even the "victim" says she's not quite sure she was raped at all. So this isn't her getting all huffy about this case when everyone assumed, as people often do, the kids were guilty. (I assumed that -- but then, I assumed that Nifong wouldn't indict some college kids with absolutely no evidence whatsoever just to get a higher pension benefit.)

Now, you tell me: Does her "re-writing" the post into "simpler, childish language" accurately restate the original post, just in clearer terms?

Does the original post merely say "the prosecutor fumbled the ball"?

She's a goddamned liar, she got caught, and now she wants to blame the "patriarchy" for not lettin' a gal just have some fun and use her scary "abilities" to draw a huge audience.

She's borderline delusional to continue insisting a rape occurred even after the corrupt DA withdrew the charges after the lying "victim" recanted. (Fortuitously enough, her sudden inablitilty to tell a penis from a foreign object like a broomstick conveniently explained away the utter lack of DNA evidence.) She edited the post because such delusions do not do much credit to the allegedly "Reality Based Community" she purports to belong to.

But for her, the great overarching "metanarrative" of oppression is the only thing that counts. Evidence, actual innocence, dated ATM records and photographs showing that at least one of the "rapists" was in a different part of the city when the "rape" occurred -- these mean nothing. The metanarrative says they're guilty, and the metanarrative cannot be questioned.

And the metanarrative also says because she's a woman, that must be the reason she was fired -- it couldn't be that she's dishonest, delusional, needlessly offensive, hateful, or at least extremely disrespectful, to people of faith, or just plain liberal, which, in case she hadn't noticed, is something conservatives tend to dislike as an attribute.

No, none of those reasons fit into the metanarrative. The reason conservatives picked on her is because he has a -- wait for it -- vagina, which we fear.


The allegations flung in the next few days varied wildly. Malkin tried to piece together a case that the Edwards campaign should fire me, because when she videotaped herself reading my blog posts in an alarming, screechy voice, they sounded alarming and screechy.

Um, babe? You screech nonstop about the Vast Y-Chromosome Conspiracy that's out to get you, scream about anyone who belives in God, and write "fuck" every six words as if the word itself is a self-contained joke, giving your posts some fantastic humor value. There's no way to read your caterwaulings except as "screechy" and "alarmed."

The "metanarrative" continues:

When you've got a mark that you're aiming to humiliate publicly, it helps if she's young and female and doesn't know her place. While their amateurish smears hadn't yet hurt me or the campaign, they had made just enough noise to alert the professionals to the existence of a fresh young feminist target. Or, as it would turn out, two targets.

Yes, we're all really, really outraged that Susan Estrich continues to occasionally offer advice to Democratic candidates too.

Oh, wait, we're not.

That must mean Susan Estrich does not have a vagina.

Poor gal.

.He also quoted a line I'd written that would come to be the favorite quote of Bill O'Reilly, among others:

Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?

A: You'd have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.

The joke was typical of Pandagon's satirical tone and was intended to mock a common rhetorical ploy of abortion opponents -- a hypothetical question and answer -- not to mock anyone's personal faith.

Of course not. How could any dishonest patriarchalologist possibly read that as mocking someone's personal faith? It was just "satirical," which means "not meant to offend, even if it is clearly meant to offend." Sheesh, can't you vagina-hatin' homo patriarachologists look up a word in the Amanda Marcotte dictionary (4th ed.)?

As Frances Kissling has noted, Donohue seems to take particular pleasure in silencing women.

Well, he seems to have failed spectacularly in your case, eh? You're still squawkin', aincha?

One question that's hard to avoid is how much of the venom had to do with the fact that McEwan and I were young women entering into a field (Internet communications) that's viewed as almost monolithically masculine. From my vantage point, it appeared that sexism was one of the primary motivating energies behind the campaign. Even before Donohue stepped in, various right-wing bloggers were obsessed with my gender and sexuality. As I noted at the time of my resignation, the majority of the hate mail I was receiving was from men, and almost all the e-mails made note of my gender or suggested that I would be a more pleasant woman if I wasn't so "angry." Bluntly put, I find it hard to believe that many men would end up being denounced on TV for using words like "fuck" or "cunt" on their blog and expect to receive piles of e-mail offering an opportunity to suck the sender's dick.

Cue Gwen Stefani singing "I'm Just a Girl."

Again, she avoids the obvious explanation -- Donohue was mad at her for making nasty comments about Christianity -- because that doesn't fit the metanarrative, and also seems to suggest she's guilty of bad behavior, which the metanarrative does not permit. (Women = God's Perfect Little Angles, conceived in innocence by His hot, sticky loads of righteousness.)

Instead, poor me, I'm just a girl, they won't let me drive late at night.

That two young feminist women were the targets of such a strenuous harassment campaign from bloggers and the Catholic League hints of more being at stake than scalp-collecting for conservatives.... Regardless of its motive, the result of the smear campaign was to send a loud, clear signal to young feminist women.

Wait, I forget -- were these women who were fired? Amanda Marcotte hasn't mentioned their gender, has she? She really should be clear about such things.

Also: Did John Kerry serve in Vietnam? Again, please don't leave us confused by omitting mention of crucial information.

When I was trying to decide whether to resign, no other concern weighed as heavy as the fear that resigning would tell the right-wing mob that harassing young feminists works. That would only encourage the hit squad in the future. As many commenters at Pandagon noted, we're far from living in a postsexist era where feminism is not needed, if one can't be an outspoken young feminist and work for a campaign without producing waves of outraged commentary.

Oh, right: She's a feminist too. I'd forgotten that as well. It had only been three sentences since she last reminded me of that.

Whether or not it was the intention of the right-wing noise machine to throw more obstacles in the way of Democrats who want to play to their pro-choice, pro-gay rights feminist constituents -- it's also plausible that the right-wing noise machine was working on pure misogynist emotion -- the episode has had a chilling effect on the future of Democratic outreach to feminist communities, particularly the younger ones that flock to computers for political information as earlier generations flocked to television sets and newspapers.

"Misogynistic emotion." Again, very little chance we just didn't think it was appropriate for a campaign to hire a virulently anti-Christian nutcase.

Must be because her milkshake, it's better than yours, she could teach you, but she'd have to charge.

No other possible explanation.

Liberal blogs are issue-oriented and good at parsing out complex ideas that don't fit well into the sound-bite-driven mainstream discourse. They are a good fit for wonky Democrats.

Yes, the complex thoughts of Amanda Marcotte, Policy Wonk -- Man = Bad, Woman = Good, Vagina = +5 Vorpal Genitals (double damage against ogres).

I've never seen such complex thinking before. It's amazing how she avoids the temptation to simplify complex questions into crudely reductivist paradigms and retareded sloganeering. She's such a policy wonk, I swear, she's like Mort Kondracke (with a vagina).

How to respond to this whining? Let me quote a Democrat:

But the reality is, as I experienced over and over again in the Lamont-Lieberman race, this is the liberal blogosphere’s standard-less operating procedure. They have decided that the best way to fight the “right-wing smear machine” that they so despise is to create an even more venomous, boundary-less, and destructive counterpart and fight ire with more ire.

It also goes to show just how deeply most liberal bloggers believe that Republicans and conservative are morally illegitimate, and as such, any criticism or argument made by the other side is on its face corrupt and dismissible. If it is said by Catholic League President Bill Donohue, who has a history of controversial statements himself, it automatically becomes invalid, no matter the inherent integrity of the underlying proposition.

What these liberal bloggers fail to appreciate is that this petty, polarizing approach is not how you ultimately win in politics – especially in an era when most average voters outside the ideological extremes are fed up with the shrill, reflexive partisanship that dominates Washington, and when the fastest growing party in America is no party.

The blogger bomb-throwing may be good for inflaming the activist base, and, as they demonstrated in the 2006 Lieberman-Lamont Senate primary race in Connecticut, for occasionally blowing up the opposition. It’s not bad for bullying your friends, either, as the liberal blogosphere did last week in pressuring Edwards to not fire the two bloggers who penned the offensive anti-religious posts.

But the typical blog mix of insults and incitements is just not an effective strategy for persuading people outside of your circle of belief – be they moderate Democrats, moderate Republicans, or the swelling number of independents – to join your cause. In fact, it’s far more likely to alienate than propagate them.

Something else most liberal bloggers fail to appreciate – we as Democrats can’t afford to repel those middle of the road, largely non-partisan voters.

The Iraq war notwithstanding, which has temporarily tilted the political landscape in our favor, the long-term electoral math is stacked against us – surveys show conservatives currently outnumber liberals three-to-two. Thus, if we want to win the White House and become a majority party again, it’s not enough to excite our base. We must also expand it.

One sure way to do the opposite, and consign our party to minority status, is to broadly tar Christians in general and Catholics in particular as “Christo-fascists” and misogynists, as the Edwards bloggers did.

Catholics are one of the biggest and most important swing-voting blocs in this country. They often tend to decide elections. So it’s probably not the smartest idea for a leading Democratic presidential candidate to hire people who openly defame Catholicism’s sacred figures by talking about the Lord filling the Virgin Mary with “his hot, white, sticky spirit.”

That so many leading bloggers could not see or acknowledge that point suggests at a minimum a giant blind spot on their part – after all, these guys are the first to protest the notion that Democrats are in any way hostile to religion and denounce it as a conservative canard.

But more than likely it just indicates that these bloggers didn’t see anything wrong with the bigoted rants of their peers – and that the far left’s disdain for people of faith is not only alive and well, but has gone digital.

Perhaps she'll take this criticism from a fellow liberal?

Nahhhhh... he must hate her because she's got a hoo-hah between her legs.


Vaginas

They're very, very scary. Boo!


A Little Too Big For Her Britches: Marcotte whines repeatedly about her critics wanting to silence "young female feminists" generally and her, as well as her scary "abilities," specifically.

Does she really think anyone gives a shit about her? Even in the small-pond world of the blogosphere, she's a small fish. No one even fucking heard of her until two weeks ago.

The entire controversy was about Edwards' judgment in hiring such a doctrinaire, knee-jerk, Christian-hating feminist fatansist, not about her fantasias of persecution per se. No one cares if she keeps blogging at Pandagon -- we'll respond the way we've always done before, by not reading her, and not having any idea or care what Amanda Marcotte might think.

Even if you think this is all manufactured outrage, then, how can you miss the fact that EDWARDS, a penis-wielding patriarchologist, was the target, and not Marcotte, the vagina-sporting no-account no-talent nobody?

How could she possibly imagine that we were all out to get HER? Who is she? Nobody at all. We were out to "get," to the extent we were out to get anyone, Edwards, a man.

And all of this, of course, redounded to the benefit of Hillary!, a woman.

Ah, well. No one's ever accused Marcotte of being insightful or having scary-powerful thinking "abilities," except, of course, she herself.

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