Jon Chait seems right about the semi-perverse consequences of blogger pressure on Edwards to retain his bloggers:
What this episode demonstrated is that, if you’re a candidate, hiring a blogger may or may not win you the loyalty of that blogger’s friends. But firing that blogger will certainly bring their wrath down upon you. But campaigns, of course, fire staffers pretty often. So why would you hire somebody you can’t fire?
That seems right, right? If so, it seems like a price worth paying. Whether or not bloggers get hired by campaigns doesn’t really matter. Whether or not the netroots can influence candidates to show some spine vis-à-vis right-wing pressure pressure groups does matter.