Friday, September 12, 2008

What Kind of Animal Wears Lipstick?!

I have to admit that I laughed hard when Republicans started squealing about the recent Obama quote. Barack was talking about McCain's newfound commitment to "change" and said:

"John McCain says he's about change too, and so I guess his whole angle is, 'Watch out, George Bush -- except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy, and Karl Rove-style politics -- we're really going to shake things up in Washington.’ That's not change. That's just calling the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. You know you can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, it's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough of the same old thing."

That seems fairly straightforward to me. It's merely a continuation of his recent insistence that words matter. You can't just make stuff up. If your policies are simply a continuation of the last eight years (like the McCain/Palin ticket is), then it seems especially disingenuous to claim to stand for "change".

But the humorous thing is that conservative pundits throughout the nation immediately interpreted it as a knock against Palin. They knew in their hearts that Palin is indeed the Pork Barrel Queen, and so they naturally made that association. Who else could Obama have been referring to? Then they stepped back and started feeling guilty about their own train of thought. See... when extremist conservatives have a naughty idea that they feel guilty about, they try to project it on to someone else so that they can vilify him/her, while at the same time displacing the sinful thoughts. In that manner, they effectively repress the self-perceived "icky" parts of themselves. It's an all-too-human reaction.

Obviously they missed the boat, and now they look shrill and foolish with their strident claims that Obama's comments were "sexist". In a way, I guess it underscores just how well the GOP has disguised its true mission. Obviously they intend to continue the divisive strategies and business-as-usual politics that the Bush administration has been pimping for eight years. Yet they have finally found a way to see themselves as "victims"- something that they have been bitching about regarding the Democrats for decades. Apparently that's the bottom line for the Right Wing. Now that they have discovered their collective "inner feminist", they are appropriating for themselves the very role they have forced on women all these years.

Anyway, the McCain campaign shouldn't have whined in public about Obama's analogy. They should have just steamed about it in private, and came up with some witty retort. Because when McCain called for an apology, he exposed his immense facility for hypocrisy. He used the very same comparison to sum up his feelings about Hillary Clinton's plan for health reform. The intriguing thing is that the Clinton people didn't bite. Nor did they stumble into the trap of implicating their own help-mate. They went on with their tactics of trying to promote policy positions. Unfortunately for McCain/Palin, they can't do that. People don't want to hear that their candidate is simply recycling the Bush playbook.

Obama comes out looking pretty good after the onslaught of outbursts emanating from the school-marmish Republicans. The Right looks even more defensive and melodramatic than usual. And Obama's supporters should be overjoyed. Their man demonstrated both the depth of his wit, and his willingness to engage in the street-fighter style he's proclaimed to possess. Personally I prefer to assume that Obama meant exactly what the Republicans accused him of. Maybe he was just "calling a pig a pig". What's so wrong with that? Even according to the "Conservative" version of reality- he wasn't making a general characterization of women*, but rather summing up Sarah Palin as a politician. Is it really any more offensive than calling her a dog?

*... or being disrespectful of an entire profession merely to get a cheap laugh.

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Anonymous Notoriously Conservative said...

Silly Merge, will you really just go along with anything the main stream media says? If you watch the clip, you'll notice after Obama says "If you put lipstick on a pig," he pauses for a good three seconds, and looks around, while everyone in the crowd starts laughing. He knew, and the crowd knew what he was talking about.

He could very well have been talking about change, but it was a back handed comment about Palin, and that's obvious to anyone not in denial. It's obvious to the majority, that your liberal Savior, is nothing but an empty suit, thrashing out desperately with high school insults. It's really a fun thing to watch.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

It sure is fun to watch. Especially now that so many on the Right are whining about Palin's "mission from God" quote taken "out of context". Quite ironic. Your people have stepped in their own pig shit.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last week seems to be Obama versus Palin, as if they were the two running against each other. As long as the media focuses on that, and Obama keeps mentioning her (no, I do not mean the lipstick comment) and responding to her jabs, he's putting himself on a level where he really shouldn't want to be playing. Not a bad Republican strategy if that's what it really is. Next they'll be replaying the sound bites of Biden, Clinton and other Democrats during the primaries, who cited Obama's lack of qualifications to be President, in essence saying he gives a good speech. Today I heard a Democratic congressman compare Obama to Jesus and Palin to Pontius Pilot. And, The SC Dem. Party chairman says Governor Palin's only qualification is that she didn't have an abortion.

Someone needs to tell them that this kind of attack is not effective, except with those who are already 110% committed to Obama.
jg (still undecided)

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having watched Obama explain his remarks. and seeing it several times, I believe it's very probable the he didn't aim the remarks directly at Palin. However, if not, it certainly was a case of lousy timing, and I cannot believe no one recognized that ahead of time. His words are normally very carefully chosen. As for the lag before he continued, I think he was just enjoying people having a good time with what he thought they'd really get a kick out of.

It's really getting quite funny, what with 'Well, if we can't say pig with lipstick (or pig OR lipstick, whatever) without you claiming we're talking about Palin, can't say community organizer without...ummm...using a secret term for African-American'. Issues? There are issues? Really? What next.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Notoriously Conservative said...

Merge, Merge, Merge. There is no such thing as irony, when it comes to politics. Both sides are going to say stupid things that are taken out of context. There also is no stepping in pig shit, since they are both mired in it already. Politics is all about who comes out with less shit on them. Here's a hint, it won't be Obama, he has far too many skeletons in his closet.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

I agree with you, in part. But really- that's what it is right now. From McCain's point-of-view, Palin is his surrogate attack dog. He's been more than happy to put her out front. She's almost solely responsible for the ticket's temporary resurgence, and I have seen and heard multiple conservatives mention that they are voting for her and not him. Some are even calling for her to be president already.

I think now that Palin has been revealed on national television as a "deer-in-the-headlights", the attention will get back to McCain. That's obviously something the GOP doesn't want... as long as people are talking about that breath of fresh air, they won't smell no stale fish.

Anyway, keep in mind that the Obama remark in question was related in the context of the McCain/Palin calls for "change", so it really wasn't about the VP- unless you assume that the ticket lives and dies with her.

"Next they'll be replaying the sound bites of Biden, Clinton and other Democrats during the primaries, who cited Obama's lack of qualifications to be President,"

Too late... they've been flogging that dead horse on FOX and talk radio for weeks.

The Jesus and Pontius Pilate comparison is in direct response to Palin's defamation of community organizers. That's not going away.

Obviously the SC governor is pointing out that Palin's major (and arguably ONLY) qualification is her commitment to a pro-life stance. I might not have phrased it that way, but it's certainly a valid point becoming increasingly evident.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


Well... like I said, conversations about issues have officially started with the Charlie Gibson interview. If you haven't already watched it- you should. It will definitely help you make your mind up about her.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Dagrims said...

They interpreted it as a knock against Palin only because she made a joke about the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull being lipstick. Of course many politicians have used that phrase over the years, including McCain. The perception was that the choice of that phrase [i]so soon[/i] after Palin specifically referred to herself in lipstick was not coincidental. It's obviously a non-issue, but I don't believe it was coincidental at all. Obama is too intelligent for that. He (or his writers) knew exactly the reaction he'd get from the crowd, as Palin's comment was still very fresh. McCain and his campaign team should have taken the road less traveled and not said a word about it, knowing that the talking heads would do enough of that for everyone.

Why did you go back to comment moderation?

5:25 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

notoriously conservative,

If you are referring to Ayers and Wright- that's already been covered to death, and no one cares but people that listen to Sean Hannity. Besides, the GOP doesn't want to return to that dead-end, because then they'll have to have a conversation about Palin's mentors- Ed Kalnins and Ted Stevens. It's too close to the election for her to weather that.

And McCain's 2006 boat trip to celebrate his birthday with Raffaello Follieri, who just pled guilty to $2.4 million worth of fraud. What will that do for his much-proclaimed integrity?


5:25 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


I re-enabled comment moderation because a certain respondent had initiated a persistent campaign of cyber- harassment against me, and refused to stop even when I contacted him privately and asked him nicely to stop. Don't worry though, I am not censoring any posts other than his (and then only if he continues to violate the parameters I've set for him).

5:30 PM  
Anonymous john morris said...

Thanks for bringing up another issue critical to America.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Jesus and Pontius Pilate comparison...

Obviously the SC governor is pointing out that Palin's major (and arguably ONLY) qualification is her commitment to a pro-life stance. I might not have phrased it that way, but it's certainly a valid point becoming increasingly evident."

Two thoughts about that. First, what he failed to realize (and I know it's South Carolina, but I'm not giving him a pass for that)is that a I heard it, Jesus was Pro-Life and Pontius Pilot...well...not so much.

Do you think Palin was elected mayor, then governor, because she had but one qualification, that of being Pro-Life. Really? You refer to that as a qualification, though I doubt you think it so. That strategy, of suggesting governing a state requires little leadership is starting to sour, even in the Democratic ranks. Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois (interesting, no?), who backs Illinois' Barack Obama, says fellow Democrats shouldn't discount Palin's experience as Alaska governor. Is he wrong for saying that, or is that just he's defending his own meaningless job?

Let me say this..I personally do not feel she has adequate experience and background to be our President, at least that I'd like to see. I'm pretty sure I'd be thinking that were she a man as well.

I'm starting to believe that all the Palin-bashing is just not working out for the party, especially now that some of the national media appear to be on the defensive.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did watch McCain on the that's like throwing yourself into a den of lionesses. Thought he handled himself quite well. I find him to be genuine, a person who really cares, and has consistently put his country first. His wife seems like a class person as well.

That being said, I agree with you on two previously posted points...though he wouldn't require significant on-the-job-training, he's too old to be starting over in a new job (actually, that bothers me in two ways), and he's too hawkish in his rhetoric. In any case, it's who you surround yourself with, and I'm not totally convinced it won't be many of the same cast of characters.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


Now I'm curious again about where you heard the comment, and how it was spun in a way that you got this interpretation.

I absolutely don't think that Palin campaigned for mayor and governor on solely on the pro-life issue. I think it's clear, however, that is why she was chosen to be McCain's running mate. I can't think of another reason (including her gender... there were plenty of better qualified Republicans they could have chosen on that criteria) that would make her attractive for the ticket. Especially since we've learned that the GOP profile of "Palin the reformer" has been proven to be chock full of lies and inconsistencies.

I certainly believe Palin's experiences as governor should be analyzed and assessed. I've been encouraging that all along. We've got a year-and-ten-months worth of mistakes and realities to look at.

As far as the national media being "on the defensive"... that's an interesting narrative that doesn't jive with the GOP's insistence that the media is attacking Palin. Did you actually see the Gibson interview with Palin? Who looked to be on the defensive to you?

5:49 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


I have to point out that I got my wires crossed earlier. I said:

"Obviously the SC governor is pointing out that Palin's major (and arguably ONLY) qualification is her commitment to a pro-life stance."

I'm having too many conversations at once here. What I meant to say is that the South Carolina Governor made an analogy, pointing out that Jesus was a "community organizer" and Pilate was a "Governor".

Sorry about the confusion.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


You watch "The View"? What kind of liberal, elitist, decadent, socialist are you, anyway?

You wrote:

"I find him to be genuine, a person who really cares, and has consistently put his country first."

I have to admit that I felt exactly the same way up until a couple of weeks ago. Now I have to question that assumption.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Notoriously Conservative said...

Well, that's a good start Merge, but don't forget about:

The rabidly anti-Israel Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi. The Obamas were regular dinner guests at Khalidi's Hyde Park home for years. Terrorist sympathizer Ali Abunimah, who runs the viciously anti-Israel web site Electronic Intifada. Anti-Israel foreign policy adviser Samantha Power, who was fired after calling Hillary Clinton a "monster." Anti-Israel foreign policy adviser Robert Malley, who was fired when it was revealed he has been holding talks with Hamas. Hatem El-Hady, former official of the Hamas-linked charity Kindhearts, closed by the Justice Department. El-Hady's web page suddenly vanished from the Obama campaign site with no explanation, after being exposed by LGF and others. And of course, Tony Rezko, a Chicago fixer currently in a whole lot of legal trouble, and sold Obama some land, in a fishy deal.

If I had more time, and I don't I could name a lot more skeletons. Oh wait, one more quickie, Obama used to do blow on a daily basis, and he thinks he's Jesus. Ok, all done for tonight, see you on Monday.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Notoriously conservative,

Hell... if you want to dig deep, we can also talk about the Keating 5 (or more properly McCain and friends) who had a hand in one of the most notorious and costly scandals in American history. Do you want to talk about that?

6:16 PM  

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