Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Edwards’ (ex-)bloggers and the religious left

Is the tent big enough for everyone? You have to read at least these two posts.

On a different note, I should let the folks at MOJ speak for themselves, but any blog that includes Stephen Bainbridge and Rick Garnett among its posters probably shouldn’t be described as "leftish."

Update: Here, via Get Religion, is a post by someone on the religious left who seems to think that any response to the vitriol of the religious right is fair game, and essentially without a political cost:

I am also suspicious of the lasting effect of this drama. In August, will anyone still be talking about ’bloggergate" outside of the far-right blogosphere and the Catholic Al Sharpton, Bill Donohue? I doubt it. And are voters REALLY going to abandon Edwards over this? My sense is the ones voicing the most outrage were people who were never that committed to Edwards (or Democrats) to begin with.

As far as reaching out to religious voters, I am also unconvinced about the lasting impact. Democrats are not reaching out to attract National Review readers, the folks at Amy Welborn’s website, or the likes of Rod Dreher. Those are people who can’t be reached by Democrats because they are so dogmatic or ideological, they can’t really be swayed.

Well, I think Dreher might be gettable, but not so long as people think they can indulge in extravagantly anti-religious language. But more seriously, Catholics have been the swing voters in the last few electoral cycles. While it’s true that conservative Catholics--or conservative folks of any religious (well, "Judaeo-Christian") flavor--are unlikely to vote for any potential Democratic nominee in 2008, there are moderates who could well be put off by the behavior that this blogger countenances. Let’s hope the short-sightedness continues.

Discussions - 9 Comments

Uh, thanks for recommending my post, but I’d hardly posit my blog as proof of any general tendencies for anything, much as my ego might tempt me otherwise.

Anyway, if you detect in my post any antipathy towards the Religious Left, sorry about that. I was instead simply criticizing the manner in which one person spoke to a reporter and also how another person’s political contributions offer a different perspective on his remarks.

You’ll never catch me out going after, say, the Catholic Workers.


As the guy from The Politico noted, it would have been helpful if you had seen Penalver’s original post, and also if those who leapt to the defense of the two bloggers had looked beyond William Donohue to their own putative allies on the religious left.

But I shouldn’t be giving advice to my political adversaries.... By all means, continue criticizing in the most vulgar possible manner anyone who is, for example, pro-life, even if he or she would agree with you on a wide range of other practical issues.

Well, thanks for the almost-polite reply. But I suppose it’s hard to resist the temptation to get in a shot at "the adversary" even when you’re addressing an individual.

Yes, I missed Penalver’s post, though in my defense I caught every single other internet post on this dustup.

Anyway, if I might offer a word of advice to you, those who would criticize another for the blogger in their eye might be missing the William Donohue in their own.


Here’s my previous post on the subject. Here’s what I said in response to a commenter:

I’m happy to deplore both Donohue and the bloggers, though I didn’t come to this issue through Donohue, who loudly claimed the spotlight after I’d first heard about it. The fact that he apparently has the loudest megaphone doesn’t make him my leader. Nor does happening to agree with him on this issue require me to endorse anything else he says.

I of course wouldn’t hire Donohue as my spokesman if I were running for office, which remains the big issue here. Edwards has told us something about his fitness for holding the highest office in the land.

And more:

I can’t remember where I read about it first, but I don’t recall that notice being connected with Donohue. My reference to Donohue’s lead actually came as a characterization of something I read about the religious Left’s response to the incident.

And, by the way, I know that the anti-Donohue talking points are all over the left blogosphere, having seen them at least a couple of other places (MyDD is one that I remember) before encountering them here.

Since I’m not typically given to being blasphemy or incendiary commentary, I think I’m entitled to object to McEwen and Marcotte.

If you were a regular NLT reader, you’d know that I spend a lot of time (too much time, in the view of some of our conservative commenters) reading and discussing "religion and politics" things from all angles. I have criticized anti-religious conservatives as well as anti-religious liberals, as well as religious liberals and conservatives.

Sorry if I was only "almost" polite. I’ll try to be more hospitable next time.

Joe: Try not to get *too* "hospitable" on us! Was it Chesterton who said that the warmth of the conversation should be equal to that of the fire in the hearth?

Well, fair enough. But Donohue is a far more visible and alienating force than bloggers. I suspect that he creates far more problems for the right than bloggers do for the left.

I’ve read quite a bit about the McEwen and Marcotte dust-up (if I may use such a word). I also, as is my usual methodology, read the posts in question and others they wrote, and many blogs’

Why can’t everybody acknowledge that this type of writing is not only wrong, but disgusting as well. That anyone would defend the verbiage these females used is beyong the pale.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and "free speech", but, if this world is to hold up decency and civility, then each of us is responsible for every word we utter and write. No one has the right, regardless of their ideology, to use filth to get their point across.

A decent, civil person instead, should attempt to put forth their views without having to use descriptions and words as did McEwen and Marcotte. It is, in my opinion, the maturity level or perhaps the hatred level that shows up in these bloggers posts. We will never again be one country with this type of vitriol!!

It is far more difficult to make your point on any subject if you are limited to decency and civility.

I would feel it appropriate to let my children meet Bill Donohue, but introducing them to McEwen and Marcotte would be like introducing them to Marilyn Manson or Wendy O. Williams.

Marilyn Manson is actually a thoughtful guy.

I teach my children to listen and learn from all sorts of people and not to make judgments based on appearances. I’m funny that way.

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