He doesn’t explicitly say so, but if they’re on their way out, why bother with this?

Not since the Trump/Miss USA press conference have I felt so moved by redemption:

The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte’s and Melissa McEwan’s posts personally offended me. It’s not how I talk to people, and it’s not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it’s intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I’ve talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone’s faith, and I take them at their word.

It wasn’t their intention to malign anyone’s faith? By referring to religious conservatives as “godbags” and “Christofascists”? Quote:

Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?

A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.

Either he’s a gullible moron or he takes us for gullible morons. Bad news either way. Here’s the big finish:

We’re beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can’t let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in.

That’s vintage nutroots newspeak, on the same paranoid continuum as questioning the timing, and I’m sure it won’t be lost on his target audience. Their answer to every right-wing challenge, policy or otherwise, is to look for an ulterior motive that we’re allegedly attempting to distract them from. Opposing abortion isn’t “about” protecting innocents; it’s about “controlling women’s bodies.” Opposing affirmative action isn’t “about” fairness and meritocracy; it’s about reinstituting Jim Crow. The Iraq war isn’t “about” trying to reduce the incentives towards terrorism by introducing democracy; it’s about oil, Israel, Halliburton, colonialism, or any/all of the above. And criticizing Edwards’s bloggers isn’t “about” the fact that they’re offensive wretches whose brand of discourse has now been mainstreamed; it’s about conservatives trying to hijack the debate about which of the two Americas Lionel Hutz purchased to accommodate his palace.

Which isn’t to suggest he made the wrong move here. On the contrary, like I said last night:

[I]t’s possible that Edwards’s people brought Marcotte on because she’s so repulsive, because they knew she’d appeal to the cretins he’s trying to woo. In which case, they absolutely should stand by her. Keep her on and let Chris Bowers swear his oath of loyalty to the guy who had the foresight, the vision, to hire one of the nutroots’s Christian-hating finest.

He needs their imprimatur as the “true, pure” liberal in the race if he’s going to chase down Hillary and Obama. In fact, per Bowers’s dopey pledge to support him come what may so long as he keeps Marcotte on, I think he actually benefits from this fiasco ultimately. Now he can tack a little more to the right on foreign policy to appeal to the center, and if the nutroots grumbles, all he has to do is say, “Hey — the crazy cat lady’s still with the campaign, isn’t she?”

It’s a good move for another reason, too. Like the boss noted recently in a not-dissimilar context, sunshine is the best disinfectant. The best way to fight the nutroots is to raise their level of exposure. Edwards helped do that. Thanks, Silky Pony.

More (Bryan): If they truly never meant to malign anyone’s faith, as Edwards says, Marcotte and McEwan are two of the most incompetent writers on the planet. Or they lied to him and he bought it whole. Or as Allah says, he’s just taking us all for fools. That Edwards has apparently kept the two around, apparently out of fear that the IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT might be loosed upon him is…hilarious. The guy can’t face down a howling mob led by Vanuatu protege Chris Bowers, yet he wants us to think he’s strong enough to face down the mad mullahs and Kim Jong-Il. Riiiight. File this netroots victory under the heading “pyrrhic.”

Update: Goldstein echoes another point I made yesterday about Bowers’s pledge. The first priority for the fightin’ nutroots, even above ending the war, is cultivating their own power. And if they have to make ideological compromises to do that, hey:

[W]ere it really never Marcotte’s intent to malign anyone’s faith, she probably wouldn’t have dedicated so many hate-filled blog posts to, you know—maligning anyone’s faith.

Of course it was her intent. Just as it was McEwan’s intent. And worst of all, Edwards knows it. That he has pretended to take the two at their word, in an ostentatious gesture of “trust,” is precisley the kind of treacle that makes people doubt the sincerity of politicians; and that both Marcotte and McEwan have assured their own personal Patriarch that they’ll behave, now that he’s promoted them to the grownups’ table, is one of the most pathetic surrenderings of personal integrity I’ve ever seen.

Seriously. We should feel bad for them.

That is, were we to actually believe they meant any of it. Because how this plays out for the netroots is this way: either they are cheering on an ideological sellout, or they are knowingly and happily embracing an opportunistic liar. So. Congrats to them. Once again, they’ve covered themselves in white hot sticky glory!

Update: Wouldn’t you know it? Turns out she’s a satirist.

My writings on my personal blog Pandagon on the issue of religion are generally satirical in nature and always intended strictly as a criticism of public policies and politics. My intention is never to offend anyone for his or her personal beliefs, and I am sorry if anyone was personally offended by writings meant only as criticisms of public politics. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are central rights, and the sum of my personal writings is a testament to this fact.

I.e., “sorry if you can’t deal, godbag.” Read it again and drink it in; it’s the equivalent of Misha getting hired on to some GOP campaign and immediately issuing a statement that he’s pro-Palestinian. Imagine the look on the face of our proud gyno-warrior as she had to type this transparent garbage out. Utterly, comically pathetic.

Update (Bryan): Edwards should fire the Blunder Twins and hire the AP’s Nedra Pickler. Because she can construct some beautiful spin. Important Action Alert: Go read that link.

Note the lack of specifity on the bloggers’ work. Note the ending, in which specificity on Bill Donahue’s past statments makes a nice, loud clang. That’s the work of a spin surgeon right there.

Update: Spruiell smells a flip flop.

Update: Another good one from the Malcontent, who in some circles is apparently not “authentically” gay because he finds Marcotte obnoxious: “[T]o a certain brand of blogger — and gay activist – ‘pro-gay’ and wildly liberal are automatically synonymous, despite any evidence to the contrary. The lesson to be learned: Even hate-spewing simpletons are to be defended, as long as their politics are far enough to the left.”