Edwards Bloggers' Message Was Missed

It's too bad the brash-mouthed babes of John Edwards's campaign blog resorted to gutter-speak to make their points. Their points were lost in the netherworld of right- and left-wing truculence and in the jousting, jabbing, and parrying so prominent in today's nonstop news cycle. It's too bad because the points they meant to make were worth considering.

Last month, Edwards's campaign hired two women, described by salon.com as "outspoken, potty-mouthed feminist bloggers, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan" to blog for the campaign website.

They were hired to lure lefty Democrats into the Edwards camp. As is so often the case with hyperbolic online writers, they were hardly diplomatic in their portrayal of conservative Christian inroads into federal policy on women's rights and abortion rights.

The New York Times reported, "Ms. Marcotte wrote in December that the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to the use of contraception forced women 'to bear more tithing Catholics.' In another posting last year, she used vulgar language to describe the church doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus."

Vulgar, yes! Too vulgar in fact to reproduce here or to link to it.

Worse yet, the vulgarity was counterproductive. Like sticking your chin out to your philosophical opponent, handing him a boxing glove, and asking him to do you a favor and break your jaw. Mission accomplished.

The Catholic League complained loudly, the Edwards campaign fired, then rehired the female bloggers. Each has subsequently resigned.

The problem is, important issues were reduced to slugfest-style insult-trading.

By Bonnie Erbe