A liberal blogger who was fired from Democrat John Edward's 2008 presidential campaign has attacked the Iowa GOP caucuses, blaming the "misogyny" of Republicans in the Hawkeye State for the recent surge by conservative Rick Santorum.
"Right on schedule, Rick Santorum is getting a push in Iowa amongst people who probably don't know how to use the googles anyway. ... [A] bunch of evangelical leaders have endorsed him, which might put him over the top in Iowa," Amanda Marcotte wrote at her Pandagon blog. She said this is because "while Iowa wingnuts are wingnutty in all the usual ways, they prioritize ‘bitches ain't sh--' way more than the Republican voters do in other states," and attributed Santorum's recent success in Iowa to his "puppy dog-like excitement for portraying women as life support systems for uteruses and nothing more."
Marcotte went on to deride the Iowa caucuses, scheduled for Jan. 3, as irrelevant to the Republican nomination process, and also had harsh words for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann.
Marcotte became notorious in early 2007 when she was hired as "blogmaster" for the Edwards campaign. Her hiring by the former North Carolina senator resulted in attention being focused on Marcotte's previous writing at Pandagon, including mockery of the Catholic catechism that suggested an abortifacient drug could have been used to prevent the birth of Jesus:
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.
Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review noted at the time that Marcotte also compared the Catholic Church to fascist dictatorships. Such writings provoked outrage from William Donohue of the Catholic League, who demanded that Edwards fire Marcotte and another liberal blogger, Melissa McEwan, who had been hired by the campaign. Donohue called their work "incendiary ... inflammatory ... scurrilous," and said the Edwards campaign had been "tarnished by two anti-Catholic vulgar, trash-talking bigots." Marcotte resigned from the campaign barely two weeks after she was hired.
Marcotte wrote Wednesday that "Iowa is just a many month battle for Republicans to compete for the title of Who Hates Women the Most," saying the "main reason" Huckabee won the 2008 Iowa caucuses was that he "was perceived as the most gleefully misogynist Republican contender." Marcotte wrote that Bachmann "adds an extra-special layer of bile to the misogyny Olympics" and described Iowa Republicans as "mired . . . in the notion that any use of the vagina for anything other than pushing out babies is seriously wrong and needs to be punished severely,"
Santorum and Bachmann are widely seen as competing for the same social-conservative constituency that helped Huckabee gain an upset victory in the 2008 Iowa GOP caucuses. Santorum has recently been endorsed by a number of prominent conservative activists in the state, including Iowa Family Leader president Bob Vander Plaats and Iowa Family Policy Center president Chuck Hurley, as well as by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz. Santorum's effort to replicate Huckabee's success in Iowa was emphasized Wednesday when he announced that Shelley Ahlersmeyer would serve as his national grassroots coordinator, the same role she played for Huckabee four years ago.