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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Amanda Marcotte on Israel

Many of you may not know yet who Amanda Marcotte is. I didn't either until I opened this post by Michelle Malkin:
Last week, far left-wing blogger Amanda Marcotte began her stint as Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards' "blogmaster:"


The question is: How long will the Edwards campaign want the "insightful" and "issues-oriented" Marcotte to be a part of them?

Seems that everyone but the Edwards campaign has tracked Marcotte's foul-mouthed nutroots diatribes. Or perhaps the Edwards team is well aware of her lunatic blogging and can't wait for her to unleash her unbridled anger on their spiffy website to give him a gritty, "progressive" edge.

Whatever the case, Walter Olson, K.C. Johnson, LieStoppers, and Jon Ham all caught Marcotte trying to cover the unhinged tracks at her old blog.
One issue on which Marcotte apparently felt no need for cover (the post is still up at this writing) is Israel. Maybe anti-Israel diatribes like this one (from the middle of last summer's war in Lebanon) are going to be de rigeur in the Edwards campaign:

Lindsay’s probably not got a lot of access to a computer right now, so I’m swiping her observation that she made a couple of times while I was in New York about the news coverage of Israel waging war on Lebanon. The fear of the Wingnutteria whining has turned the mainstream media into the biggest bunch of cowards you ever saw; meanwhile the right wing press is unafraid and this has made them less constrained on the subject of this war. Case in point—today the NY Times is using weasel words like “fight” in headlines, but the NY Post happily uses the more accurate word “battle”. The Post is also unafraid of the word “invasion”. Meanwhile, as Lindsay noted over the weekend, the “objective” press was using vague language like “Border draws Israeli troops“, a phrasing that makes the border the subject and troops merely a passive object.

The mainstream position is to avoid even the hint of criticism aimed in Israel’s direction. The problem with that is when Israel does something so obviously odious as killing innocent civilians and holding them culpable for what an unsanctioned organization does, well, even just straightforward reporting is going to seem critical. It’s not just the media, either. There was a bit of a dust-up on Punkass Marc’s post on how he thinks Ned Lamont is going to be politics-as-usual because of his refusal to criticize Israel openly for what seems to be obviously wrong, which is, of course, killing innocents with such a slim excuse. In the comments, Zuzu and Norbizness rightfully pointed out that Lamont has a good reason to fear being called an anti-Semite if he does criticize Israel, and while this is certainly true, it mostly shows that Lieberman is a sleazy bastard if he’s so happy to pull out obviously untrue assertions to tar Lamont.

The problem is—if I’m free to say so without dredging up the operant conditioning debate—is that whenever the fear of having right wingers equate criticism of Israel with being an anti-Semite makes a liberal or even just a journalist engage in self-censorship, that emboldens the right and undermines our position. The short term gains (not getting deluded with email, avoiding the inevitable attempts of your opponent to ruin your reputation) are causing, or at least enabling, serious long term problems. And I would characterize this invasion as one of those problems. Right now there’s a general feeling that the two views on this “conflict” are “Kick some ass, Israel!” and “Some fringe elements seem to think it’s a shame that innocent civilians will have to suffer while Israel kicks some righteous ass.” Far be it for me to be a party pooper and wish that we could broaden the discourse just a little so that a viewpoint that allows that there’s something terribly wrong about killing innocent people could be included.

August has more. Ezra has found how those who want brainless support for Israel are going to accuse those they can’t tar as anti-Semites—apparently, they’re nihilists. This continues that process of conservatives calling everyone they don’t agree with “nihilists”, which makes me wonder if that’s a euphemism for saying they’d like to annihilate us all.

Apparently Ms. Marcotte was unaware of oblivious to the Katyusha rockets Hezbullah was raining down on innocent Israeli civilians dozens of times per day.

It's a pity too - Edwards actually took the trouble to visit here recently, speaking two weeks ago at the Herzliya Conference and made a very strong speech in Israel's favor. He's one of the few Democratic candidates who might have a real commitment to Israel. But to win the Democratic nomination these days, you have to appeal to the moonbats. All of which cannot help but make me wonder where Edwards really stands.



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