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February 13, 2007

Edwards' netroots coordinator Melissa McEwan resigns

John Edwards' netroots coordinator, Melissa McEwan has tendered her resignation. It should be noted that threats from certain self-proclaimed Christians figured prominently in her decision to leave her job as a part-time web consultant.

I'm reposting Melissa's announcement in full because I'm afraid that her blog, Shakespeare's Sister, may be hit by the same malicious denial of service attacks that have been plaguing Amanda Marcotte's Pandagon all day. It's ironic that women who speak out against patriarchal and misogynist threads in organized religion get pummeled with graphic rape threats...

Melissa writes:

I regret to say that I have also resigned from the Edwards campaign. In spite of what was widely reported, I was not hired as a blogger, but a part-time technical advisor, which is the role I am vacating.

I would like to make very clear that the campaign did not push me out, nor was my resignation the back-end of some arrangement made last week. This was a decision I made, with the campaign's reluctant support, because my remaining the focus of sustained ideological attacks was inevitably making me a liability to the campaign, and making me increasingly uncomfortable with my and my family's level of exposure.

I understand that there will be progressive bloggers who feel I am making the wrong decision, and I offer my sincerest apologies to them. One of the hardest parts of this decision was feeling as though I'm letting down my peers, who have been so supportive.

There will be some who clamor to claim victory for my resignation, but I caution them that in doing so, they are tacitly accepting responsibility for those who have deluged my blog and my inbox with vitriol and veiled threats. It is not right-wing bloggers, nor people like Bill Donohue or Bill O'Reilly, who prompted nor deserve credit for my resignation, no matter how much they want it, but individuals who used public criticisms of me as an excuse to unleash frightening ugliness, the likes of which anyone with a modicum of respect for responsible discourse would denounce without hesitation.

This is a win for no one.

My sources in the Edwards camp confirm that neither blogger was fired.

I predict that the biggest loser in all this will be Bill Donohue's Catholic League. In the process of hounding a couple of bloggers, the so-called civil rights organization may have jeopardized its vital 501(c)(3) status. As a tax-exempt organization, the CL is forbidden by law from interfering with political campaigns.

Our taxes should not be subsidizing lobbying by religious extremists.

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Comments

I’m not challenging feminisms intellectual lineage nor breadth of scholarship, but rather its very humanity.

Actually what you're doing is destroying the last shreds of reputation for seriousness you could have had. And I've reached my threshold where I can't continue to bait you. I thought maybe by letting you make a fool of yourself it would spark some reflection on your part, but I guess I was wrong.

I’m not challenging feminisms intellectual lineage nor breadth of scholarship, but rather its very humanity.

Yeah. Victoria Woodhull and her disgusting promotion of "free love" and suffrage.

Our very humanity is in question? Wow. Would you care to explain what's so terrifyingly inhuman about the activists who pushed for women's suffrage, for property ownership, for non-discriminatory treatment in marriage and society at large? About the activists who've brought the effects of rape, incest and domestic violence to the forefront of society's attention for the first time in the history of western civilization?

You can argue that discrimination against women doesn't exist, the same way you can argue, if it pleases you, that heart disease doesn't exist. The excess of rage that these issues bring forth from reactionaries is proof enough by itself, however, that we feminists are on to something.

Lindsay -
To your question "What exactly did McEwan say that was nasty?"
Well, to someone such as yourself who used "fuckin" in your response to me, I suppose "nothin."
If you and the likes of McEwan wish the contents of your writing to be taken seriously, you and she need to change the context (presentation).

Shorter Susan: I've never read one word of Melissa McEwan's writings.

Lindsay - I didn't understand your response.
1. I don't understand "shorter"
2. You say that you've never read McEwan, but in your previous post you say she used profanity in writings before she worked for Edwards. That is my point. Writers who use profanity have no business working for presidential candidates.
I am really busy, and I'm going to have to end our brief correspondence.
Best Wishes, Lindsay!


I don't understand "shorter"

It's a form of mockery. In "Shorter X: ABC," ABC is a short, mocking summary of X's comment.

I said I'd never read McEwan? No, Susan. I've been reading McEwan for a long time.

In fact, I'm one of her co-bloggers at AlterNet's PEEK.

Lindsay, sorry, I thought I would get Susan to admit she has never read McEwan wiht my "shorter." But there is a double misunderstanding: (1) she didn't understand it was me making the "shorter," not you; and (2) because she didn't understand the form of the "shorter," she didn't understand that the "I" in the "shorter" referred to Susan, not to you (the presumed author of the "shorter"). Now that's a lot of misunderstanding packed into one comment. But I take it she has indirectly confirmed she has never read McEwan by relying on your comments and not citing McEwan. Or at least that's how I'm reading this.

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