Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hit. Back. Hard.

Here's what I posted over at the Edwards site:

The ridiculous non-story about Amanda and Melissa--that is, the NYT and AP recycling a Catholic League press release--is the first big test of the Edwards campaign.  If he backs down, then we have no reason to believe he'll do any better than Kerry when the swiftboating begins.  If he fights back, then we'll know he has a chance.

Here's what he needs to say:
  • Nothing either Amanda or Melissa said was in any way anti-Catholic. Criticism of the church's hierarchy or political positions is not an attack on its members.

  • Bill Donohue is a liar, a bully, and a bigot, and should be ostracized by all decent Americans.  Bill Donohue does not speak for Catholics.

  • I don't have to agree with every single opinion held by every single person who works for me. That would be a ridiculous standard, and no political campaign has ever been held to it.
If John Edwards says all or most of this, he will win the undying loyalty of the netroots. More importantly--much more importantly--it will show that we won't give up without a fight. This is a clash of civilizations, folks.  The barbarians are waging war against us; if we don't fight back, then we deserve to lose.
This isn't just about particular bloggers or about bloggers in general or about the Edwards campaign. This is about how Democrats respond to the vicious smears we know are coming our way. Here's what we know: the only way to do that is to hit back hard. If we allow any of their premises to go unchallenged (e.g., that criticizing church doctrine is 'anti-Catholic'), they gain ground. If we vacillate, we reinforce the 'Democrats are weak' storyline.

This is the primary before the primaries, the test of who can be tough enough and smart enough to not just survive but smack down the ugliest smears imaginable. I like Edwards a lot, but I'll vote for whoever shows they can pass that test.

[That's all, folks]