There hasn’t been a huge amount of discussion among black bloggers yet about the right-wing attack from Bill Donahue and others on Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, well-known progressive bloggers who until recently worked for the Edwards campaign. I wouldn’t mistake that for lack of interest. Instead, at least for me, the whole episode is discouraging and disappointing. It saps the energy and sucks the air out of the room. It doesn’t augur well for the Democratic candidates and their agendas in general.

I feel terrible that on the human level that Marcotte and McEwan are experiencing violent threats on their lives. In some ways, the terror they are experiencing is not too different from what black women fear secretly day in and day out. We must always wonder if the type of hate-filled feelings expressed here are lurking in the unexposed hearts of some of the people we encounter in our daily lives. This kind of irrational sex-accelerated hatred is something we are conditioned to expect to experience at some point in some way on some level — it doesn’t surprise. We still live in a racist, sexist, violent society. It does disappoint though because Americans are better than that.

It’s especially disappointing when those who have the power to push back are slow to do so. The inability of the left to isolate and counter-attack in the public arena against a divisive figure like Donohue is troubling. It says the Democratic party remains weakened at heart and easily cowed by the ultra-conservative noise machine. A bunch of rightwing haters can whip up a fuss and our team ducks and covers, whimpers and apologizes.

That’s too bad, because the country is looking for new leadership. Let’s hope that the current slate of Democratic leaders can re-group and do a better job next time in protecting its own. That’s what Americans want. Let’s not let the Republicans out-flank us in the Strength department since strength is shown in more than one way.

Until then, here’s wishing Marcotte and McEwan the best. Be safe, sisters.

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