February 16, 2007


In my previous post I expressed skepticism about the way leftish people divert attention from their own scandals by claiming to have received threatening or abusive e-mails, and I mentioned Amanda Marcott.

My blogging friend Andrew Cory knows Amanda, and tells me he has seen some of the e-mails she has received, and that they look real and abusive. So, my skepticism was at least partially wrong. My apologies.

I didn't blog about the big Marcott affair itself; it was not interesting to me. But I'd have to say that Andrew, when he blogs about it here, doesn't quite express what the flap was about.

...None of this has anything to do with how she has handled her responsibilities with the Edwards Campaign. You may agree with her opinions. You may not. Agreement or disagreement has nothing to do with her ability to do her job. That job is to say the sorts of things about John Edwards that John Edwards thinks will get John Edwards elected President...

Is she capable of doing that? There is probably no one better capable of doing it. Should she be fired from her current job for things she has said before taking that job? Not if John Edwards believes in Free Speech. Free, in this case, meaning—yes—consequence free...

An American Presidential campaign is about the voters trying to get to know the weaknesses of the candidates, and the candidates trying like mad to prevent this. (Of course we also want to discover their strengths, but that's not really a battle—no one's trying to hide those.)

It's sort of like trench warfare, with everyone under cover. There's not much to shoot at. So if someone sticks his finger up above the edge of the trench, a thousand dollars worth of bullets fly through the air. The pundit-attacks on Marcott were 99% about Edwards. He says he can run the country, so the issue of how well he can run a campaign is very relevant, especially since he's never run anything else in his life, not even a popcorn stand at the County Fair. The controversy is about his judgement, in selecting people for his campaign, although it is expressed in the form of outrage over Ms Marcott's opinions. (Which is why I didn't blog about it; there's too much phoniness about the outrage expressed during such campaign scandals. But that's also why I'll never be a popular blogger—writing about issues and ideas does not attract those delicious thousands of hits.)

Andrew in raising the issue of free speech is simply wrong. Her freedom to speak is unimpaired. Freedom of Speech does not mean freedom from criticism, or freedom from suffering (lawful) consequences due to what you say. When I blog my conservative opinions, I must accept the possible consequences. No Left/Liberal organization would want me for their spokesman. I have no right to complain about that.

I feel somewhat sorry for Ms Marcott; she got hit by bullets that were really aimed at Mr Edwards. But that's what presidential campaigns are like, and have been for 200 years. And Marcott's job was to help conceal from voters things about Edwards they wish to know. She voluntarily went to fight in the trenches, and got caught in a trench raid. (And if McCain or Clinton had made a similar embarrassing hire, she would have been shooting bullets of phony outrage with the best of them!)

An issue that does interest me is how the lines are being drawn more clearly in the war between The Church and the Secularist religion. Ms Marcott's virulently anti-Catholic remarks are, I suspect, an indicator of things to come. I predict that that war is going to keep heating up, and that mushy compromise positions will become harder to hold. To the nihilist, belief is an affront. And it will be more so as it becomes more evident that faith is not a primitive phase that human beings are destined to outgrow. And as it becomes ever more clear that leftist policies have failed to produce the expected felicity.

I predict; we can get together in 20 years and see if I'm right....

Posted by John Weidner at February 16, 2007 7:05 AM
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