An astute observer of this case recommends analyzing events through the prism of what he’s termed the “courage-meter.” People in positions of authority have displayed little or no courage to do the right thing throughout this affair.
But this quartet has the hearts of lions compared to the state’s best-known Democrat, John Edwards, currently making his second bid for President. Before entering politics, Edwards was one of the state’s best-known civil attorneys*. He even worked in the law firm of Wade Smith, Collin Finnerty’s lead attorney in the lacrosse case. So if anyone should be sensitive to massive prosecutorial abuse, it’s Edwards.
His response? First silence—and then, as Liestoppers and Betsy Newmark have noted, appointing as his campaign’s lead blogger a figure who has branded the players guilty, in ugly rhetoric that almost makes Wendy Murphy look temperate.
Amanda Marcotte wrote on the Edwards blog that she came to her post after a stint at Pandagon, “which is one of the top liberal political blogs on the internet and known mostly for insightful and often humorous political blogging.” [emphasis added]
What kind of “insightful” blogging has Marcotte offered on the lacrosse case? Liestoppers had the graphic detail:
In the meantime, I’ve been sort of casually listening to CNN blaring throughout the waiting area and good fucking god is that channel pure evil. For awhile, I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and fucked her against her will—not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out.
Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it?
Yes, how dare a rape victim act confused and bewildered like she was raped or something.
Natalia, do you know the details of the case? If so, why do you think a women enthusiastically jumped into a sexual situation with men making slavery jokes at her? Furthermore, what is your theory on why she supposedly looooooved having sex with guys holding her facedown on the bathroom floor? There’s no “if” they behaved in a disrespectful manner. We have conclusive evidence that happened.
This is about race and class and gender in every way, and there’s basically no way this woman was going to see justice. In her part of the country, both women and black people are seen as subhuman objects to be used and abused by white men.
Yeah, I know, Alon. Which is why I’m frustrated that people are pretending ‘can’t identify which one raped her” somehow equals ‘wasn’t raped’. I had some initial confusion about exactly who was assaulting me when I was assaulted, but that doesn’t mean that his hands weren’t actually where they were.
Plus, the media is acting like these men are exonerated!
After James Taranto brought attention to the words above, Marcotte deleted them (so much for “transparency” in the Edwards campaign). Her new statement?
Since people are determined to make hay over this quick shot of a post, I’m deleting it and here’s my official stance. The prosecution in the Duke case fumbled the ball. The prosecutor was too eager to get a speedy case and make a name for himself. That is my final word.
“Too eager to get a speedy case”?! Nifong has been dragging the case out for months, and opposed defense efforts to get a speedy trial.
Anyhow, the above post looks like more than a “quick shot of a post”—it comprised several paragraphs, and showed some knowledge of the basic outline of the case. Marrcotte even took the time to make a comment herself in the comment thread, suggesting that she hardly dashed off the post and then forgot that it existed.
The wording of the retraction post clearly implied that John Edwards’ official campaign blogger is still on record believing that a rape occurred.
Moreover, as the Liestoppers post makes clear, Marcotte’s position in the since-deleted post is fully consistent with her other “insightful” commentary on the case:
- There’s just something about this Duke rape case that’s inspiring to rape apologists . . . [Feminists] could certainly come up with a more efficient method if we wanted to of getting men in jail besides getting ourselves raped and then raising a fuss as if we had a right not to be raped. Pandagon 5/10
- In almost every article and piece of commentary, the event is portrayed not as a crime between individuals but as a clash between classes, races and sexes. That might be because the rapists [no “alleged” for Edwards’ official campaign blogger] were making jokes about slavery and picking cotton to the victim, which is to say reminding her of their racial privilege by referencing the history that created it. Pandagon 4/09
- Smarty-pants, educated womenz (and one dude who loved the cock) who have sex with guys who aren’t me raped that stripper at Duke, not a bunch of overly entitled rich white boys making cracks about picking cotton. Pandagon 8/31
Edwards should demand Marcotte’s immediate resignation from campaign.
[Update, 6.11pm: See Overlawyered for additional details, including Marcotte's going beyond removing her original post to now deleting other comments she made about the case as well. Some people might call this an "Edwards Cover-up."]
[Full disclosure: I support Barack Obama, one of Edwards' rivals for the nomination.]