Bloggers unite

As quickly as Presidential candidates discover the potential of blogs, they are discovering the pitfalls. This week, former vice presidential candidate John Edwards has decided...

As quickly as Presidential candidates discover the potential of blogs, they are discovering the pitfalls. This week, former vice presidential candidate John Edwards has decided to back two of his staffers after material was found on their own personal blogs that the religious right took exception to.

Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan both came under fire for being “anti-Catholic” after posts made in the past revealed they didn’t follow the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it” rule like mom taught them. They didn’t even “agree to disagree” with the church like dad taught them. Instead, they voiced some pretty strong opinions. What’s more they were opinions on taboo subjects like birth control.

"The Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics," Marcotte wrote on the blog Pandagon on Dec. 26.

The real question here is how candidates deal with opinions delivered by staffers prior to their employment, particularly now that it is nearly assured those opinions are out there.

Edwards was right to stand up to the storm from the right here. Were the comments controversial? You bet. Should they be fired for them? Not a chance. Not only do we risk limiting public discourse if we head down this road, but their dismissal would instill fear in every blogger who ever hoped one day to seek gainful employment in politics. Deep breath everyone. Good, now we can move on.

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