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Over at Memeorandum, I see that Jane Hamsher’s uber-lefty feminist blog Firedoglake is calling on Maine Senator Susan Collins to fire her official campaign blogger for alleged “sexist” and “misogynistic” remarks he (gasp) made towards the Firedoglake gang. For the record, here were the remarks (in response to the stories about Collins’ Dem opponent Tom Allen hiring a “tracker” to essentially stalk her every move):
” …the foul-mouthed fem-blog FiredogLake …”
The response from the fem-blog:
“I’m deeply offended that Senator Collins would speak about professional women in such a degrading and offensive manner” said Hamsher. “It is well beneath the dignity becoming a sitting Senator to engage in such coarse and misogynistic rhetoric.”
Strange. So a Republican calling a feminist a feminist is “misogynistic”? Ah well. Color me guilty as charged. Oh, how I hate women!!
Christy Hardin Smith, featured FDL blogger, said: “The sexist undertones used on Sen. Collins’ blog are appalling â€“ the use of “fem-blog” is erroneous and dismissive.”
No, it’s what they call “descriptive” – kind of like what the Firedoglake crowd does when they describe the right as “wingnuts” (amongst other descriptive terminology they use there).
Smith went on to say:
“Citizens in this country have a right — an obligation — to hold those who ask us for our votes accountable. Women have just as much right as men to speak up for their country and their families, whether Senator Collins likes that or not.”
Note the faux indignancy as well as the strawman attack. She’s accusing Susan Collins – a vocal woman serving in the US Senate – of not wanting women to have the right to “speak up for their country and their families.” Makes sense, eh? Not. There is nothing in that one little sentence that indicates Collins believes that, nor is it an indication that her camapaign blogger believes it, either. I repeat: Susan Collins is a vocal female Senator of the US Senate. Why on earth would anyone assume that she doesn’t want other women to speak up for “their country and their families” – unless, of course, the person making the accusation wanted to get as much emotional momentum out of the charge as possible and therefore constructed a strawman for maximum effect?
For the record, I think if you’re working in an ‘official’ capacity for a candidate, you have to be very careful of what you say, because inevitably, what you say is going to be pinned on to the candidate whether or not the candidate personally stands behind what was said. So in this sense, Lance Dutson (Collins’ blogger) erred.
What Dutson should have done was to have done this unofficially on his own time as a supporter of Susan Collins, just like Firedoglake Commander Jane Hamsher did when she followed around Nutroots favorite Ned Lamont last year by “unofficially” (uh huh) promoting his candidacy against the “traitor” Joe Lieberman in Connecticut, by doing things like posting a picture of Joe Lieberman in blackface, standing next to Bill Clinton, at the liberal Huffington Post blog. Then I’m sure the crowd at Firedoglake wouldn’t take issue with it. And pigs will start flying tomorrow, too.
Now, as far as the “coarse” “sexist” and “misogynistic” charges, the lady doth protest too much, methinks. Let’s take a look at real examples of coarse, sexist, and misogynistic commentary (language warning):
Re: National Review writer Kate O’Beirne:
“The bitch is dead meat.” -1/12/06 – 9:46 PM
“He [Chris Matthews] likes to get cozy with ol’ Sandpaper Snatch Kate O’Beirne …” – 1/19/06 – 6:04 PM
Who said that? None other than Jane Hamsher herself, as detailed here.
And if Hamsher and other fem-bloggers at her blog were so concerned about “coarse” and “sexist” comments, then they wouldn’t link up favorably to John Edwards former blogger Amanda Marcotte, who we all know has some, shall we say “issues” with men, not to mention Catholics. She even left this little love note for me after reading one of my posts dissing (gasp!) feminists. In response, she babbled (warning: strong language):
Since you have a full on case of both slow wits and projection, it’s no wonder you felt compelled to leave the reality-based side of the aisle and join the Wingnutteria. No, you didn’t hit “close to home”. You were funny; we made fun.
But we’re sisters, so a word of advice that I offer all women who kiss sexist ass in hopes they’ll be spared: The men kissing your ass now call you a cunt behind your back. They think you’re a simp who kisses their asses, and you are.
At least they tell it to my face.
Man-hating ‘successful’ female bloggers are to be praised and defended, but so-called “sexist” remarks coming from Susan Collins’ blogger are so awful he should not merely be reprimanded, but instead “fired!!!!!!!!”
Newsflash, fem-bloggers: The term “sexist” doesn’t just apply to men making derogatory remarks about women. It covers both sexes. See? Look at what we have here (emphasis added):
1. Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women. 2. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.
Nothing in there that excludes one sex over the other.
Asking Collins to fire Dutson is just mind-numbingly dumb. The attitude I took towards the whole Edwards blogger drama was that the two bloggers in question not be fired:
I’ve seen some blogposts today from bloggers on the right who clearly thought John Edwards should ‘do something’ about these bloggers (presumably: fire them). My question is: why? I believe it was Napoleon who said never stand in the way of anyone from the opposition who is shooting themselves in the foot (or something along those lines). That’s how I’m viewing this. Is it fair game to bring to light someone’s past statements or actions as a way of scrutinizing or confirming their credibility? Absolutely. If you’ve put yourself in the public eye, you can and better expect to be scrutinized, especially if you’re angling for and/or accepted a political job of any kind. But if a candidate from the opposition is shooting themselves in the foot, I’m not going to stand in his or her way, outside of helping to point out that that is what he or she has done. There’s nothing wrong with exposing someone for who/what they are.
Think about it. If fem-bloggers really believe Dutson is a ‘woman-hater’ then the best thing they could do would be to call him out (as they’ve done), perhaps ask for a reprimand at worse (which they have not done), but in the end hope that he stays on blogging for Collins (which they don’t want), as it would be shooting herself in the foot to keep him on staff. A potential win-win situation for Maine Democrats. But as we’ve already seen this week, the Nutroots left aren’t exactly geniuses when it comes to political strategy.
Something else I wrote in that post is worth repeating here as well:
Morals of the story?
1. If you keep it clean, you can’t go wrong.
2. If you plan on working for a politician, expect to be heavily scrutinized and be prepared for it.
3. We need to police ourselves better.
4. If the opposition is shooting themselves in the foot, let them, and you can assist them by bringing to light that they are, indeed, shooting themselves in the foot.
5. Liberal bloggers have no credibility whatsoever on this issue.
I’d say I just proved number 5. Again.
Related: Make sure to read this one: Kos Falsely Smears GOP Senator With Leftist Troll’s Words, which is about a notorious lefty troll who pretends to be a right winger posting comments on right wing blogs.