Monday, February 12, 2007

Thoughts on John Edwards & Hired Bloggers

Wowsers! My daughter was prone to use that term during her teens when she was amazed at something and I'm using it now rather than forget I'm a lady -- albeit a cranky one! The news last week was pretty crappy in my not so humble opinion so I'm going to vent. It might settle my blood pressure. One item that came across my path and really upset me concerned John Edwards because it touched me personally as a Roman Catholic woman.

During the last presidential election, I frankly thought John Edwards was a better man than John Kerry and, since I'm one of those people who refuses to align herself with either party, I was taking a look at him -- as I am at everyone even nodding his/her head at the White House -- but I'm not anymore. His hiring a loud-mouthed bigot, Amanda Marcotte, as his pet blogger ended any thought I may have had of casting a ballot in his favor. Calling names and denigrating my faith, or anyone else's, is irresponsible and reprehensible and I flatly refuse to support anyone who allows his/her employees to commit such tawdry behavior.

I believe that freedom of religion is the greatest of the core values upon which this great nation was founded. That we have choice to practice and worship a faith is a blessing and privilege not accorded in many nations. I also believe that those who do not accept any higher power are entitled to do so as well.

Frankly, Marcotte's contention on her blog at Pandragon that the Roman Catholic Church's stance on birth control forces women "to bear more tithing Catholics" is utter nonsense. The Church never forced me to do anything. I have two children. When the doctor told me, with good reason, that I shouldn't risk another pregnancy, I didn't. Most of the Catholic women I know did the same. Ms. Marcotte obviously hasn't a clue as to workings and realities of modern marriage much less a Catholic marriage. I suggest she visit a Catholic elementary school and talk with the many mothers who volunteer there each day. Most of them would tell her that they have two children. Whether she believes it or not, the day of large, Catholic families is pretty much over. Her words in her blog were scurrilous, vicious and insulting and implied that we Catholics blindly follow the Church. The reality is that in a dilemma we are exhorted to examine our conscience and prayerfully make our decision. I find it's a pretty good way to make an intelligent decision. If I get stuck, then I call my priest for counsel and whether or not I listen is my choice.

The follow-up on this blog literally oozed hate, ignorance, and name-calling that I haven't heard since Jack Kennedy ran for the Presidency in 1960. Y'all remember, don't you? The morons who screamed that if a Catholic was elected president, the Pope was going to run our country? Right . . . and it happened, didn't it? Not! That Edwards refused to fire her despite finding what she wrote objectionable lost him any chance of my vote and, frankly, I'll encourage others to do the same. Ms. Marcotte resigned and is still supporting Edwards via more venom on her blog. If he thinks getting on the ballot can be done by using crude bloggers who trash others' opinions, religions, etc., then he's not smart enough to be president of this great country.

That Edwards is hiring bloggers demonstrates the power we wield here in the Blogosphere.

Unfortunately, with power comes responsibility and consequences. If I were a candidate, I would choose someone who would present my platform in a positive manner and show me as a man/woman of honor and integrity instead of a tantrum-throwing child who can't take disagreement with her views and, in the process, offends voters from one of the largest churches in the country. Silly me, I thought running for office was about getting voters not alienating them.

Ms. Marcotte is now screaming loudly and at length because Bill Donohue of the Catholic League took issue with what she wrote. She's asked if it's because she's a pro-choice woman. I find it interesting that so many pro-choice women criticize my choice. I guess choices are only for women who agree with them; Catholics need not apply.

If this is indicative of what the mainstream Democratic Party has become, I may just renounce my independent stance and become a registered Republican. Right now I'm wondering if I have been naive in believing that there are decent, thinking, fair-minded people of goodwill and good conscience in both parties. I confess here that I am intolerant: I am intolerant of intolerance. My dear, departed Daddy always told me: "Opinions are like bellybuttons -- everyone has one and everyone is entitled to one." I think Daddy was right and I take issue with the "my way or the highway" espoused by Ms. Marcotte and her ilk.

To John Edwards, I offer some advice from my mother that have held well for me: "If you lie down with trash, you'll get dirty." To Ms. Marcotte -- Grow-up, Amanda! If you can't take disagreement with your views, fine. Yes, we do have freedom of speech in this country but stridently disrespecting the views of others will not garner respect for your views.

I can't wait to see what you're going to do to Mit Romney.

Kay Dennison


  1. Kay, I am taking a wait-and-see-attitude about this. The blogger's statements about Catholicism were made before they were hired by Edwards, and he may have not known about their stance before he hired them. That in itself is not a plus, by any means, but it surely doesn't mean that Edwards shares their attitudes.

    I am perhaps a little prejudiced for him, since he comes from this area and I was hired to decorate his Christmas tree for the 2 years he was in DC. I didn't meet him or his wife (I was hired by a right-hand-man). He seems to me to be inclusive of everyone, and I doubt he feels as the blogger do.

  2. I am not Catholic but I was offended by the bloggers you are referring to. Thanks for an insightful post.

  3. Good to hear from y'all! I try to be fair in my judgements and give everyone their propers when they state their opinions but some folks abuse that right -- usually those who don't want to allow me the same. I wish I could remember who said, "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." It's a big part of my personal belief system.

    The good news is that these ladies are no longer with Mr. Edwards. The bad news is that they're still spewing venom. Sigh

  4. Kay, you hit it on the head here! (BTW, I found you through Marty's blog)

    I am Catholic, and I totally agree with you (and we have 3 children, one of them adopted)

    I also think this country has gotten a lot "meaner" since JFK ran, so I'm sure this election cycle will get a lot uglier, and that's a real pity


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