Silly Season is Here

I seldom comment on politics per se, but the whole brouhaha about Obama's use of the phrase "lipstick on a pig" somehow referring to the Republican VP nominee is just silly.  I used the phrase myself the other day.  "Pig" no more was meant to refer to Ms. Palin than using the terms "slavish devotion" or "niggardly" are meant to be racist (though they have similarly been so interpreted). 

PS-  It is entertaining to see that Republicans will play the race/gender victim card as quickly as will the Democrats.

  • Matt

    Perhaps you missed the entire quote? Here you go:

    "That's not change. You know, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called 'change,' but it's still gonna stink after eight years."

    I find it hard to believe he could mean anything but McCain=Old Fish and Palin=Pig with Lipstick. Everyone present seemed to have got the joke and laughed, and I'm not sure what's so funny if hes not talking about McCain and Palin.

    That being said, I can never get that excited about candidates calling each other names. More than anything I think R's are bringing it up because it contradicts Obama's "different politics" message.

  • Esox Lucius

    I saw it on the news last night and I actually laughed out loud when the Dems said that Palin was "Playing the Gender card". I had it tivo-ed and I played it a couple of times because the irony was so delicious. I was going to make a comment about the pot calling the kettle a certain color but I wouldn't want to be misconstrued as being a racist. Lol!

  • BarredByTheHatchAct

    The pig part alone, wouldn't. But could "lipstick", though it stands alone, have been consciously chosen to refer to her oft-quoted "The difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."

  • zjohna

    While I agree the response to the “lipstick on a pig” comment is over the top, just imagine the howls from the left if John McCain had said something like:

    “You can put (fill in the blank) on a monkey, but it doesn’t make him a (fill in the blank). He’s still just a monkey.”

    Possible blank fillers: mortar board/Rhoades scholar, tux/James Bond, sash/Miss America.

    The MSM would pound on the statement for weeks and call for McCain’s head on a silver platter.

    After all, let’s not forget George Allen’s famous “Macaca Moment.”

  • Yes, the reaction is absurd. Obama clearly didn't mean to attack Palin as a pig.

    But... this is how the game is played. The press latches onto a statement that has symbolic value (but no meaning) and goes nuts.

    Normally they reserve this treatment for Republicans, and have done it for a long time.

    Furthermore, from the immediate crowd reaction, it was clear that Obama's supporters took it as an attack on Palin.

    Obama goofed. At least it wasn't in a diplomatic setting. How he has handled the resulting unfairness is telling: he doesn't understand that this is part of modern politics; he has been sheltered from criticism and now has trouble handling it; he didn't immediately recognize his gaffe (which he should have from the crowd reaction); he is now whining.

    Personally, I am enjoying this. It's about damned time that a Democrat was held to the same (stupid) standards that Republicans have long been held to.

  • JoshK

    IMHO, it's stupid name calling and meant to refer to the "Hockey Mom / Lipstick" quote. But it shows how weak Obama is as a candidate when he responds like that.

  • DKH

    Watching the video, the crowd seems to have gotten the joke, whether it was intended or not.

    This reminds me of the earlier incident in which Sen. Obama seemingly gave Sen. Clinton the finger. To me, both these incidents show an unexpected immaturity in Sen. Obama. Maybe he doesn't think about how his actions will be perceived (seems unlikely). Maybe he wants to take a rude shot at his opponents, give his supporters a thrill, and maintain plausible deniability for later.

    I don't view this is a race/gender incident. To me, this is a disrespect/immaturity incident. This is a silly argument to be having; however, I do like my presidential candidates to exhibit some maturity.

  • JohnF

    I agree that you have missed the point. It's not that the expression is a time-worn one--it is. Rather, it is that the speaker chose that particular expression. You can be sure that if the tables were turned, and McCain said something about the pot calling the kettle black, or referred to Obama as a college boy, etc., etc., the fact that these are time-worn expressions would never be a defense.

  • stan

    If John McCain had said "let's call a spade a spade" the screams would have been heard around the world. "Macaca" ruined George Allen's political career and it was not a scripted remark.

    Obama did something really stupid. This remark was scripted. The campaign, through various spokesmen, used the term "lipstick" repeatedly yesterday. It was an obvious effort to reference Palin's lipstick joke. Everyone in the audience got the reference. Everyone in the real world got the reference.

    Did Obama intend to call Palin a pig? Doesn't matter. Either way, it was stupid. If he intended to call her a pig, he is stupid. If he (and his staff) in preparing the remarks did not appreciate the way his audience and everyone else would take understand the remarks, they are really stupid.

    What I think is that he knew full well that the remark would be taken the way it was. He thought he could cleverly show the context and pretend to be shocked that anyone would think ill of him. See his protestations today.

    Bottom line -- he's trying to be too clever by half. And showing he's not ready for prime time. An amateur mistake because it's an unforced error. Much worse than his 57 states or his wife's "first time in my life I'm proud of my country."

  • stan

    And Warren, the crack about the GOP is just dumb. The Democrats set the rules and the MSM enforces them. Of course, the GOP has said that these type race/sex cards should not be played. Democrats said tough, those are the rules. To say that the GOP can't use the same rules is ridiculous.

    A coach may lobby against the league changing the rules on holding. Once the rules are changed, though, he damn sure better teach his players how to use the new rules (even if he thinks they are bad for the game).

    It was the same with Clinton and sexual harassment. Were the legal changes pushed by Clinton and other liberals bad? Yup. Was the GOP right to try to resist the changes in the law? Yup. Once the changes were in force, was it appropriate to use the law against Clinton. Damn straight. In fact, it was appropriate even if the people supporting Paula Jones still believed that sexual harassment laws were bad.

    You play the game by the rules. Even if some of the rules are not the ones you would enact, if you could make the rules yourself.

  • To deny that he wasn't referencing Palin's hockey-mom/pit-bull comment is to bury one's head completely in the contrarian political sand. Of course, he wasn't calling her a pig; but he was trying to out-do her in sarcasm with an immediately-recognized barb. Obama's problem is that he has no sense of humor or timing and obviously does have a big old tin ear. Neither Palin nor McCain took any offense to it (unlike Obama's reaction to her community-organizer jokes), but they'd have been crazy to let it go past.

    This is funny stuff and tells us a lot about the candidates by their reactions.

  • ccoffer

    Why was everyone in the audience laughing and clapping their collective asses off before Obamba even got near the punch line??

    Its evidence of Obama being a slobbering dumbass whose only redeeming attribute is self-confidence. He's a clown on stilts.

    It saddens me to know that a major party could nominate such a genuinely small excuse for a human being. Say what you will about the repubs,they didn't nominate Pat Sajak and then treat him like a Demigod. YUK

  • I'd be inclined to give Obama himself the benefit of the doubt because he's struck me as someone who has at least a little class, though the nervous way he approached the line suggest he at least had an inkling how it was going to play. But there is no doubt whatsoever that his utterly contemptible supporters had someone very specific in mind when they howled in delight at the word "lipstick".

  • Mike

    It takes one to know one I guess. Obama delegate made a comment about her neighbor's kids acting like monkeys. They were climbing in a tree. Because they were black, it was taken as a racist remark. The unfortunate part is that I call my white step-son "Monkey Boy" because of the way he climbs all over me when we wrestle. I use it in a "super hero" kind of tone.

    Here's my point. The Obama campaign felt that this delegate should step down for her racist remarks. If Obama finds unlikely connections between suggesting kids that are climbing a tree are acting like monkeys, and a racist remark, that what about his lipstick remark?

    I'm seeing more and more that Obama is a control freak. Essentially, he has a very big ego. I've seen this at work with managers and engineers. They are in a position of power/control. If someone "beneath" them has a better idea, or in some way gets recognized, their ego kicks into high gear. This will be Obama's undoing.

    http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/04/08/obama-delegate-quits-after-campaign-finds-remarks-to-neighbor-%20kids-to-be-%E2%80%98unacceptable%E2%80%99/

  • stan

    Obama's scripted remark was a stupid thing to say, regardless of how he meant it. His expressing anger at the media the next morning about their coverage of it simply kept it in the news longer. That was stupid. Then he went on Letterman to give an explanation. Really stupid. Coupled with the incredible gaffes coming from the surrogates he sends out to try to attack Palin, he is clearly rattled and in over his head.

    The only example of executive competence he has cited is his ability to run a campaign -- this campaign. He's demonstrated he's not ready for prime time.

  • It's interesting to me how both sides claim "it's obvious" (or silly to think) that Obama either meant or didn't mean his "lipstick" comment as an attack on Palin. I don't think it's obvious. Who knows what he really meant? Only BHO.

    From my perspective, Obama denying that people could hear it as a slap suggests a bit of tone deafness on his part. Does that disqualify him from the presidency? No. But it makes the shrill denials of his partisans a bit off-putting. BTW, I certainly wouldn't include you, Warren, as a BHO partisan or your denial as shrill, but your certainty that the brouhaha was undeserved is a bit curious.