9 comments February 9th, 2007at 12:05pm Posted by Eli

I know I’m a bit late to this party, but I’ve been kind of out of circulation. I’ve been saying this in the comments of other blogs enough times that I figured it might be worth devoting an actual post to it – that’s what blogs are for, after all. Well, that and obscene anti-Catholic bigotry, right?

Which bring me to John Edwards’ lukewarm response to Bill Donohue’s fake outrage at the supposed anti-Catholic bigotry of newly-hired Edwards bloggers Amanda Marcotte (“Pandagon”) and Melissa McEwen (“Shakespear’s Sister”).

Yes, I’m glad that Edwards at least had enough spine to (barely) keep them on the payroll, but I think it was a huge mistake to let Donohue off scot-free, much less agree with him. What Edwards needed to do was counterattack and point out some lurid instances of Donohue’s own gross slurs against Jews, Muslims, and gays, and demand to know what moral standing Donohue has to accuse anyone else of bigotry. And not just Edwards, but anyone Donohue ever attacks in the future. This should be the Democratic gameplan for attacks by Republican hypocrites: CALL THEM ON IT. Every. Single. Time. It probably won’t stop all of them from attacking, but it will expose the phoniness of the attack and, more importantly, the attacker.

I see no reason to legitimize unprincipled Republican operatives as honest purveyors of honest criticism. If a Republican expresses honest criticism, fine, take that seriously and engage it on the merits. But at least do a little research to confirm that that’s the case before you assume that they’re just an Outraged Citizen Voicing His Beliefs.

This is terribly cynical, but another added benefit of this approach is that if employed effectively and often, it will begin to make all Republican attacks look suspicious, even ones that might actually be legitimate. The political game is all about credibility, and the Republicans have been ceded far more than they’ve earned.

Of course, this all assumes that the media can’t ignore or spin the counterattacks, which is admittedly dicey. I still think it’s worth a shot, though – the Democrats need more Hacketts and Webbs who refuse to back down or sugarcoat.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Politics,Religion,Republicans


  • 1. op99  |  February 9th, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    Donohue should be called on to either defend or apologize for the Inquisition. And the Crusades.

  • 2. Eli  |  February 9th, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Heh. I don’t really want to make it about the Catholic Church (indeed, if Edwards could find a respected R.C. moderate to say that Donohue does not speak for the Church, that would be a really big help), just Donohue.

    Besides, Donohue really *isn’t* speaking for the RCC; he’s speaking for the GOP.

  • 3. op99  |  February 9th, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Good point, Eli, maybe to the point of pressing the church about the status of Donohue’s organization vis a vis the RC church. From the Catholic League’s website:

    We don’t receive a dime from the Church. Nor should we: we are a lay organization. Sure, we have many clergy who are members and all are welcome to join, but our financial base comes from individuals, not the Church.

    Why is this so important? Because as a lay Catholic organization we don’t have to worry about violating church and state lines. Besides, we shouldn’t ask the clergy to do our job; when the Church is attacked, so are its members, and that means you. That is why we must provide a response.

  • 4. op99  |  February 9th, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Or, every time they get Donohue’s phiiz on the TeeVee, have the token “Democrat” opposing him press Donohue about the League’s credentials from the church (equals none).

  • 5. Eli  |  February 9th, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    I like it.

    Maybe even suggest that a lot of the people who attack the Catholic Church are really attacking assholes and phonies like Donohue, who give the Chruch a bad name (not that pedophilia coverups or Pope Benedict are really helping).

  • 6. Ripley  |  February 10th, 2007 at 11:18 am

    I think I’ll start referring to him as “anti-Protestant bigot and cult leader, Bill Donohue”.

    I agree with you on Edwards – a tepid response, but at least he didn’t cave on the issue. I think the Dems need to start saying, in acceptable language, of course, “Who the fuck are You to tell me how to run my campaign?!? I don’t take advice or criticism from bigots, factually challenged partisan bloggers, Hothouse Outrage farmers, or people so blind to Reality that they still support the Bush administration and/or the GOP. You are no one and your opinion means nothing to me. Now, grow up or go away – we have important work to do.” Or words to that effect.

  • 7. Eli  |  February 10th, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    That’s all well and good, but throwing his own quotes back in his face would be necessary so that everyone else understood what you were talking about.

  • 8. Multi Medium » What&hellip  |  August 16th, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    […] to that.  […]

  • 9. Multi Medium » Thre&hellip  |  October 24th, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    […] written a few posts about how Democrats need to start standing up for themselves, and stop validating dishonest criticism.  I’m very fond of Paul Hackett’s “I said it, I meant it, I […]

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