The second of two liberal bloggers hired by John Edwards’ campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination resigned Tuesday, following continued pressure from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights over anti-Catholic comments the two have posted on the internet. Catholic League President, Bill Donohue, told the AP late Tuesday night that in his mind the issue is now closed.
Melissa McEwan made the announcement late last night on her personal web-log, Shakespeare's Sister. McEwan said that she left the campaign because she was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the level of attention focused on her and her family.
"This was a decision I made, with the campaign's reluctant support, because my remaining the focus of sustained ideological attacks was inevitably making me a liability to the campaign," McEwan said Tuesday night.
The blogger, who was hired as an advisor for Edward’s web campaign did not address her previous comments on Christianity and Catholicism, but apologized to her fellow “progressive bloggers.”
“One of the hardest parts of this decision was feeling as though I'm letting down my peers, who have been so supportive,” McEwan said.
McEwan's resignation came just one day after another blogger, Amanda Marcotte, left the Edwards campaign for similar reasons.
The two were hired for Edwards’ staff a week ago. The hires immediately received criticism from the Catholic League for a string of posts they made on their “progressive” blogs. The Catholic League compiled a long list of offensive remarks, including one that questioned whether the Church would have had to, “justify [its] misogyny with another ancient mythology,” if the Virgin Mary had taken the Plan-B abortion pill.
Edwards released a statement late last week, refusing to fire the bloggers and offering his assurances that their comments were not meant to be offensive.
Then, on Monday, Marcotte released a review of the movie “Children of Men,” in which she criticized the Christian Doctrine of the Virginal Birth of Jesus.
“The Christian version of the virgin birth is generally interpreted as super-patriarchal,” she wrote, “where god is viewed as so powerful he can impregnate without befouling himself by touching a woman, and women are nothing but vessels.”
Donohue, had pledged to continue his “public relations blitz” until something was done to address what he called, “the glaring double standard that colors the entire conversation about bigotry.” The Catholic League leader claimed that if Marcotte and McEwan had made comments against Judaism, African Americans, or homosexuals, they would have been immediately fired.
With the resignation of both women, Donohue says the public relations campaign is now over. "It's too bad that Edwards didn't make the decision himself to get rid of them," Donohue said Tuesday night. "Why he had to wait for these women to bail on their own doesn't speak well for him. But I'm delighted, and as far as I'm concerned, this closes the issue. I have no vendetta against John Edwards."
This morning the Catholic League reaffirmed its decision to end the campaign with another statement from Donohue, “One of Yogi Berra’s most famous quips is, ‘It’s not over till it’s over.’ I have news for John Edwards—it’s over.”