Fulcrum Ruminations

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fire in the Hole!

Well now. It seems that Presidential candidate John Edwards (D/North Carolina) decided to hire some campaign help from the blogging community. Edwards is a savvy guy and is aware of the burgeoning blogosphere and its relationship to politics at all levels. As a Democrat with a somewhat liberal outlook, he naturally went to the left side of the blogosphere in search of some professional blogging help.

Unfortunately, he found Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. Marcotte is known from the blog Pandagon. McEwan is from the blog Shakespeare's Sister. Marcotte is a good illustration of one of the main reasons I started Fulcrum Ruminations . . . in addition to being a left-fringe blogger, she's got an unrelentingly foul "mouth". Lots of F-words and venomous slurs populate her postings. Very uncivil and ill-mannered. McEwan at least seems to be a bit more reserved and readable.

Now apparently Edwards doesn't yet take the blogosphere as seriously as he should, or he would have devoted a little more effort to checking out the people his campaign was hiring. A few moments on the internet would have revealed how offensive Marcotte's work is. It may play well in the left fringe of the blogosphere, but for someone running a national-level political campaign and therefore needing to appeal to as wide a base as possible, it's poison. Despite what's being posted in the blogs on the left side of the fence, most of Middle America really doesn't like to hear that kind of language associated with someone aspiring to that level of office. Remember the cries of outrage directed at Dick Cheney when he uttered a profanity on Capitol Hill? Same principal. You get to a certain level of achievement, you shouldn't be talking (or blogging) like a boatload of drunken sailors.

Someone named "Bryan" has a good take on this up at Hotair:

Writing is a revelatory thing. Use of ALL CAPS is a shout; use of profanity to me reflects unseriousness and lack of a vocabulary (or at least a thesaurus) and a lack of manners. Using every single issue to smear and denigrate rather than persuade, enlighten, or heck, just entertain for a second, makes the writer look like a loon. Making every post somehow All About Me and My Proclivities That You Can’t Stop exhibits paranoia. It just does. And that’s why the two bloggers have become a liability.
On this side of the aisle, it’s just a hilarious situation to watch unfold. Everyone over there, threatening Edwards and threatening bloggers on the right and styling themselves as a bunch of internet Napoleons, just look like a collection of clowns falling all over themselves to be the next one to one-up the incandescent rage of the last one. Who can take themselves so seriously? Who can take them seriously anymore?

This is very much like what I was thinking when I started this blog. The fringes of the blogosphere are overrun with this sort of thing - whiney, self-indulgent little malcontents spewing vitriol as fast as they can pound their keyboards. The right fringe is every bit as guilty of it as the left fringe. Where, gentle reader, has civil discourse gone? Some of these people are obviously very intelligent and well-informed, if somewhat reality-impaired. Why then are they unable (or unwilling) to express themselves without throwing every curse-word they can think of into the mix? Why can't they make their points without childish insults or sulking invective? Is it that hard to be creative without being obscene?

Judging by the above examples, it certainly seems so.

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