McCain Camp's Phony Lipstick Charge Won't Fly

John McCain's phony outrage over Sen. Barack Obama's use of the cliche and oft-used lipstick on a pig analogy in reference McCain's co-opting of his change meme when McCain/Palin will just be a continuation of failed Bush policies.

The Obama campaign, via Politico:

Enough is enough. The McCain campaign’s attack tonight is a pathetic attempt to play the gender card about the use of a common analogy – the same analogy that Senator McCain himself used about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health care plan just last year. This phony lecture on gender sensitivity is the height of cynicism and lays bare the increasingly dishonorable campaign John McCain has chosen to run.


Others not falling for it: Josh Marshall and Jake Tapper at ABC:

Last October, asked about Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care plan, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was blunt.

McCain said Clinton's proposal was “eerily” similar to the ill-fated plan she devised in 1993. “I think they put some lipstick on a pig,” he said, “but it’s still a pig.”

Elizabeth Edwards compared McCain's health care plan to an attempt to put lipstick on a pig.

Maybe Gov. Palin shouldn't have been so quick to call herself a pit-bull in lipstick. She's the one who injected gender quips into the race with that statement during her RNC acceptance speech.

As Ari Melber says, it's the McCain camp playing the gender card.

There's so many more important things to discuss. McCain's phony distractions are not worth the attention being given to them.

Update: Recently, one of our federal judges included a photo of a pig with lipstick in a judicial opinion. I wrote about it here. (No insults about the judge allowed, I have pending cases in front of him.)

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    people (5.00 / 20) (#11)
    by NJDem on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:11:18 PM EST
    will either be offended or not. But to act like there's no context is wrong, IMO.  About 40 Million people just heard Palin use the 'lipstick' line and she's owed it since.  How many time have the press/MSM referred to her now as the 'pitbull in lipstick'?    

    The "old fish" line seems to support the idea that he was talking about the ticket, as does the fact that (according to the Politico article) Obama's surrogates were joking that Palin's record can't be concealed with lipstick.  

    Either way, it was a stupid thing to say right now (i.e. context).  Like I said before about this topic, politics is perception--so his intention is kinda moot at this point.  

    That's the point I'm making (5.00 / 7) (#33)
    by magesuew on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:21:53 PM EST
    Intent can be debated. The effect is undeniable. There are going to be women who are offended by it, and losing more women's votes or appearing insensitive to women is not what Obama needs.

    It is absolutely UNDENIABLE that the remark was insensitive. I and others took it just like the above comment says. Obama was clueless that it might play like that? Baloney. He made a dumb joke and now he'll pay for it, no matter how many blogs defend him, double that number will condemn him, and look, you made a post about it. There is real damage here.


    Many of us totally deny (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:50:36 PM EST
    it was sexist. You might want to find another blog where readers will agree with you. If not, then please state your opinions as such, and not as fact.

    No the real dammage will be when (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:54:58 PM EST
    John McCain is elected and he and Sarah Palin set out to stick the last dagger into the Constitution.  But you go right ahead and worry about your lipstick.  I'll be packing up my house and trying to figure out what country would look favorably upon me - a woman - with a dog - and two elderly parents with three cats and two dogs - just moving on in to escape the destruction that the McCain/Palin team will do regardless of what gender either one is.

    People really ought to get their priorities straight.  But just for the record I am pretty sure they won't.


    Ok, I take your point (5.00 / 5) (#131)
    by magesuew on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:22:32 PM EST
    But do you think Obama helped defeat John McCain with his actions today? I agree this election is VITALLY important. Which is why you don't do and say stupid things. And, after all the unpleasantness and resentment still left over from the primaries (if I can mention them without getting chastised) you would think Obama would be bending over backwards not to make any gaffes regarding the perception of sexism. Where is his greatest weakness right now? White, middle-class, middle-aged women. The very group who would be most sensitive to a remark like that.

    At the risk of getting yelled at again, I have to say I don't like the phrase at all to begin with, no matter who it's directed toward. I think it's a dumb construction and should be avoided at any cost. I'm not getting into an argument about whether or not he meant it or who should or should not be offended. The point is, the base of both parties is pretty well behind their candidates EXCEPT women, who Obama did himself no favors with tonight.

    Go ahead, make the case he shouldn't back down. Castigate McCain for being touchy or playing the gender card (it's the sex card, not gender, btw, really) but that doesn't get us votes and doesn't undo the harm just because Jeralyn denies it or wishes it away.

    Maybe if more Democrats had spoken up and told Kerry when he was being an ass we wouldn't have a President Bush right now. And maybe since no one may speak out against Obama's blunders, we'll get a President McCain. That's why it's essential to speak up.


    So what would you have Obama do now?? (none / 0) (#146)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:33:48 PM EST
    Apologize??  Do you really think doing that would help?  I assure you that would have terrible fallout.  "Lipstick on a pig" is a very common phrase.  You may not like it but it has been around for a long time.  Check out the urban dictionary online.  You will find it there defined as early as 2004.  

    Obama is the same (5.00 / 3) (#214)
    by Prabhata on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:06:25 AM EST
    If you weren't paying attention during the primary, perhaps you saw a different Obama.  I know almost every word he's uttered, and that's how he lost my vote.

    I never said it was not offensive (none / 0) (#175)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:58:41 PM EST
    I cited to the urban dictionary to support the fact that the phrase is quite common and not new and it clearly means you cannot present something specious as substantive by merely putting on lipstick to dress it up.  Or, a rose is a rose is a rose.

    everyone understands (5.00 / 2) (#192)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:26:46 PM EST
    that it is a common phrase. But, Palin just used a lipstick analogy last week to refer to herself. So, it is very understandable that people can now make the charge that Obama was referring to Palin when he said it and equating her to a pig. Especially based on the reaction he got from the crowd in atttendance.

    Yes, here's what the (5.00 / 13) (#89)
    by frankly0 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:58:06 PM EST
    article linked to says:

    "You can put lipstick on a pig," he said to an outbreak of laughter, shouts and raucous applause from his audience, clearly drawing a connection to Palin's joke. "It's still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still going to stink after eight years."

    So let's see. Obama says "You can put lipstick on a pig." Then according to the article, the audience immediately sees the connection, and starts to laugh. Obama (presumably after a pause for the laughter?) then continues to complete the "joke".

    A useful question is, is it a prepared line? I think the evidence is pretty good that it is. Does anybody believe that the next line, about old fish, is not a prepared line, and just came spontaneously out of Obama's mouth? You can hardly claim that it's some old joke that is always being used, so far as I know. Certainly it has been precisely configured to suit the occasion of this context, mentioning the eight years, and "change". It's a little hard to believe that the "pigs" line was spontaneous, and the "fish" line prepared. Far more likely, they were both prepared, as part of a scripted speech.

    And if it's scripted, does anybody seriously believe that no one in the Obama camp who wrote and approved those lines realized what virtually the entire audience realized -- the obvious connection to Palin's own joke?

    And, even if we assume that it wasn't scripted, are we really to believe that Obama, unlike his audience, was not aware of how his words might be interpreted? Don't you think that if anything he might be more fully aware of that context, given that his career centrally involves it?

    (It would be good to see a video of this of course to verify the article's depiction.)


    Clearly Drawing A Connection (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by liberalone on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:13:47 PM EST
    Please watch the clip, I doubt the you or the writer would know what connections the audience was making.  Perhaps they too had heard the cliche before and could finish the line for him.  

    There are far too many assumptions (the most obvious being the ability to read minds) to claim that the audience connected Obama's comment.  Even if the comment is scripted, you must assume that all these folks heard Palin's comment.  You must also assume they made the cognitive leap from Bush to Palin, afterall the comment related to BUSH's policies.  I could continue down this line, but why bother.  If you choice to see an -ism in everything, you will.


    People don't laugh at cliches. (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by LatinoVoter on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:15:18 PM EST
    That is why they're cliches.

    Depends on How you use it (none / 0) (#132)
    by liberalone on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:22:42 PM EST
    Comics get laughs on old jokes every day.

    Well, I would like (5.00 / 3) (#137)
    by frankly0 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:27:27 PM EST
    to see the video, and hear the audience reaction, and the exact pauses Obama utilized, that's for sure.

    But when I see the audience reaction depicted as including "raucous laughter", it's just a little hard to believe that they are reacting to a cliche, isn't it?

    And really, who in the audience would not have heard Palin's most often repeated joke? I don't think there are many sentient beings who show up to political rallies for Obama who would not have heard about it, do you?

    Of course, what Obama has going for him is "reasonable doubt" that he was being insulting to Palin. One can't exactly absolutely prove he had in mind the insult, can one? But for those of us who think that in politics preponderance of evidence is typically enough, this would seem to be a pretty good case that Obama knew exactly what he was saying and exactly how his audience would react to what he was saying.


    Nedra Pickler (5.00 / 2) (#181)
    by standingup on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:06:45 PM EST
    should never have written:

    clearly drawing a connection to Palin's joke

    and a decent editor should not have left it in the piece, period.  She is not writing a blog post or an opinion piece.  

    Obama made a poor choice in using the analogy.  But there is no way a reporter or anyone else can say with certainty he was using it to draw a connection to Palin's joke.  Pickler is injecting what she believes to be true instead of reporting what took place.  


    Nedra Pickler is not credible. (none / 0) (#187)
    by shoephone on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:22:42 PM EST
    I thought that was proven long ago.

    frankly0 - here's the video (5.00 / 2) (#238)
    by andrys on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:17:28 AM EST
    L.A. Times has the video along with their article.

    An Australian paper printed a  longer quote - which had prefaced the lipstick remark.  He'd been talking about how McCain says he's for change too and then about 8 years of the Bush policy.

      Note that McCain has been described as Bush in a new wrapping.

    The other side, suddenly, they're saying 'we're for change too.' Now think about it, these are the same folks that have been in charge for the last eight years," the Illinois senator said to a crowd of 2,400 people.

    "You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig. You can wrap up an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough."

      Few have noticed the 'old fish' wrapped in a piece of paper and "call it change."  

      In this case, I think it must have been Obama's unconscious speaking there.  Or the unsuppressed desire to say "old" -- just a guess.  His whole speech and body pattern is similar to old videoclips of him at rallies when he hadn't had enough sleep and was playing to the crowd as a performer rather than as a presidential candidate.

      The page that has the story about how 'lipstick' was used at Biden's campaign event intro by Russ Carnahan the same day -- that page also has the Obama video.  In the Biden-intro case, the words were reported this way:

    Referring to Sarah Palin's record, Carnahan commented: "There's no way you can dress up that record, even with a lot of lipstick."

      Let's just say these were not Two Wise Men yesterday.
    At worst, wiseguys. At best, not thinking ahead.


    Preponderonderance (none / 0) (#165)
    by liberalone on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:44:25 PM EST
    Since I don't agree with the preponderance of evidence with respect to Obama intentionally making sexist comments, I am not inclined to believe this one either.  

    The point is that there is no way of knowing what the audience was thinking either, not just Obama.  From the article quoted the line directly above the lipstick line states:
    Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama told an audience Tuesday that GOP presidential nominee John McCain says he'll change Washington, but he's just like President Bush.

    The mental leaps that one must make to get to Pallin, no matter how prevalent her comment, requires far too much work.  And, the cliche is not about women.  I have no idea how one can stretch the statement so far.


    Well, (5.00 / 3) (#199)
    by frankly0 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:38:01 PM EST
    I think that this is likely going to be a case in which each person will have to ask themselves: if I were to use the expression "It's like putting lipstick on a pig", in today's context, and talking about McCain, would it occur to me even while I was uttering it that it connects to the now very famous joke of Sarah Palin's?

    If one answers yes to that question, I think it's hard to see Obama's use of the expression as being innocent.


    the smell of coffee (none / 0) (#170)
    by S on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:52:32 PM EST
    can you smell the coffee?  if you get my drift...

    Saw the video with the pig part.... (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by addy on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:41:57 PM EST
    and I didn't get a connection to Palin. He set it up with a connection to Bush's policies immediately before that.
    My husband's response was just like yours,"with all the current media attention to the word Lipstick, how would he not know that it would be interpreted that way?" He thinks it was done on purpose but neither of us can figure out why. Maybe to get McCain to over-react and finish off the gender bashing responses?
    Either way, I would have chuckled if I was in the audience too. I once owned a pig and it IS hard to put lipstick on them. Don't try it.

    Please (1.00 / 2) (#174)
    by MTSINAIMAMA on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:56:49 PM EST
    McCain used the same old joke in reference to Hillary, and was there any kind of faux outrage?

    So when Palin made her lipstick, Hockey Mom and pitbull comment, she wanted us to know she was a pitbull.

    So she's a pitbull and a pig. Works for me.


    I think that using 'lipstick on a pig' (5.00 / 1) (#241)
    by andrys on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:23:13 AM EST
    when talking about a female opponent will just tend to bring problems.

      He was talking about the ticket and 'change' but then the 'old fish' in paper and called 'change' was not helpful either since he had just mentioned specifically that McCain was now talking about change.

      I think that when you're tired, some of the images that come to you (as you approach dream-state) might be best not described w/o thinking about it when you're a politician with big stakes riding on your words.


    I saw a clip on TV (none / 0) (#151)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:37:03 PM EST
    the line was badly taken out of context. Obama was not very animated when he said it.  He was um, uh, um, you know how he does that.  It really sounded very spontaneous. I doubt that was scripted at all.

    Exactly, Jeralyn is correct, but (5.00 / 3) (#185)
    by Fen on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:19:36 PM EST

    deflecting with a Tu Quoque fallacy is too simple. This simply wouldn't be an issue if Obama didn't already have a problem with women.

    The gender-attacks on Palin from Obama supporters haven't helped him either. They just set him up to walk into it.


    OMG, this thread is a WORM... (5.00 / 4) (#197)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:32:49 PM EST
    It is one in a long series of WORMS: near daily apologias that take what Obama said (i.e. something kind of 'offensive') and re-translate it into What Obama Really Meant (something non-offensive).

    Still, I guess it has to be done.


    hmmm...today Gov. Paterson of NY (4.25 / 4) (#142)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:31:39 PM EST
    called Palin out for playing the race card in her speech, i.e. her reference to community organizers.  What is up with people?

    That is unbelievable (5.00 / 3) (#195)
    by jar137 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:27:58 PM EST
    I blame Donna Brazile and her "fairytale" offense as the start of this hypersensitivity.  This is not where I want the political discourse to go.  

    Matthews had wondered about this (5.00 / 0) (#239)
    by andrys on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:19:40 AM EST
    use of the phrase "community organizers" too.

     However, they had missed what others have since explained to Paterson -- that it was a response to the putdown by Obama of Palin's mayoral experience, duties, staffing, and budget.


    last October (5.00 / 20) (#14)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:12:38 PM EST
    when McCain used the lipstick on a pig expression it wasn't just one week after his opponent had used a lipstick analogy to describe herself. This is a bit different. As another commenter said in the earlier thread, do you think McCain would be able to go out and use common everyday phrases like "lets call a spade a spade" and get away with it? This is just another example of how comparing a female candidate to a pig is more acceptable than using a racial slur.

    Jeralyn, I appreciate that you're (5.00 / 14) (#99)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:00:26 PM EST
    doing what you believe needs to be done to get Obama/Biden elected. Like you, I also don't want to see McCain/Palin win this thing.

    However, this particular line of reasoning doesn't further the desired outcome:

    Maybe Gov. Palin shouldn't have been so quick to call herself a pit-bull in lipstick. She's the one who injected gender quips into the race with that statement during her RNC acceptance speech.

    Compare Palin's self-deprecating remarks to Obama's threadbare quip about being a skinny, young guy with a "funny name".

    He's repeatedly injected this meme into public discourse, beginning with his convention speech in 2004. Does this mean that his physicality, his age and his name are fair game for insensitive comments, intentional or otherwise. I don't think so and neither does Obama or any Obama supporter.


    Good point... (none / 0) (#242)
    by andrys on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:29:04 AM EST
    It reminds me of when he joked that it might be said of him as a caution (like a caution about a pitbull), "Oh, did I mention he's black?"  (June 20) or when he did the same thing but said that Repubs would say that that he didn't "look like those other presidents on the [$1 to $5) bills."

      Or, it can be said one can joke about themselves, but it's best for their opponents not to without expecting payback.


    Hierarchy of Slurs (1.00 / 2) (#129)
    by liberalone on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:21:37 PM EST
    There is no difference when it comes to irrefutable language that is inappropriate.  Neither the n-word nor the b-word is permissible.  One is not more acceptable than the other.  

    We can debate whether the pig comment was sexist.  I don't believe it was used in a sexist manner. If you are willing to trudge down the road of subtleties, then do so with a tad more ammo.  Pallin compared women to dogs.  Exactly where does that fit in the hierarchy.


    give me a break (5.00 / 5) (#159)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:40:37 PM EST
    Palin compared HERSELF to a dog. And, she compared herself to a pit bull to imply strength and tenacity. She didn't make a comaprison that was demeaning to herself at all. You are grasping at straws. The "hierrachy" commentary was meant to call attention to the way sexist comments have been treated in general during this campaign as compared to racial comments. Statements that have been made and called sexist have in many instances been pooh poohed by the media. But, that hasn't been the case with statements that have been called racial. The racial comments have been in general taken much more seriously than the sexist comments.

    Actually, the comparison was to (5.00 / 1) (#243)
    by andrys on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:31:49 AM EST
    hockey moms, in their more aggressive moments (with her being one of those).

    This is why Obama is vulnerable on this (5.00 / 15) (#36)
    by magesuew on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:23:33 PM EST
    He already has a record of making demeaning cracks during the primaries. That makes it a bit harder to deny he did it on purpose.

    Or I guess Hillary was just deluded too?

    please stop changing the subject (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:52:02 PM EST
    the primaries are over.

    Providing context (5.00 / 11) (#94)
    by Inky on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:58:57 PM EST
    is not changing the subject.

    it is classic (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:26:02 PM EST
    chattering when you do it repeatedly in the same thread.

    The issue isn't any longer what despicable thing Obama's campaign said or did six months ago, or nine months ago. There was a time for that discussion, back when the primary season was open. If you feel so strongly about it -- as I have no doubt you do -- there will be another time for it, when the history of the campaign is written.

    But please -- now is not the time to be reliving these old outrages.

    Election Day is eight short weeks away. So please:

    • If you still care about Hillary Clinton's issues --
    • If you heard what Hillary Clinton said at the convention --
    • If you don't want Sarah Palin to steal Hillary Clinton's role as America's most prominent woman leader --

    Now is not the time.

    I'm not telling you to "Get over it." I'm not asking you for your enthusiastic support; I know you can't give that.

    But you need to understand, when you turn the discussion back toward old Democratic family wounds, you aren't aiding Hillary Clinton's cause.

    Not now.

    Right now, if we lose our focus, it helps John McCain and his bid to matain George Bush's conservative agenda. If we lose our focus, it advances Sarah Palin, and her bizarre far-right ideas.

    In eight weeks, God willing, the Democrats will celebrate winning the Presidency, for just the fourth time in the last eleven elections. It will be a bittersweet moment for many devoted supporters of Hillary Clinton. The next day, if you like, you can return to these topics.

    But if we lose our focus now, we lose. And if we lose, we are stuck with McCain not for eight short weeks, but for four long years -- if, God willing, he makes it that long. And at least four years of Palin -- maybe (God help us all) as many as sixteen years of Palin.

    I know that's not what I want for our country. I know that's not what Hillary Clinton wants. I believe that's not what you want, either.

    No way.

    No how.

    No McCain/Palin.

    Please. For our country.


    this is (4.25 / 4) (#220)
    by boredmpa on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:38:14 AM EST
    highly off topic, highly inflammatory, and should probably be considered a troll since it has been rehashed more times than I can count.

    I'm sorry you think this. Not a troll. (none / 0) (#240)
    by Don in Seattle on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:22:58 AM EST
    I'm a long-time Obama supporter. I can see there is still a lot of sincere, deeply felt Clintonian anger here, and while I don't share it, I was trying to address it directly, by appealing to what unites us.

    Maybe not very smart of me -- probably not. Rhetorically OTT? Probably so. But not intentionally trollish.


    pigs glasses (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by jharp on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:24:25 PM EST
    Don't know if anyone cares or not but the glasses on the pig were designed and originated from me.

    are you an eyelgass designer or a (none / 0) (#82)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:53:34 PM EST
    graphic artist? Are you serious? Tell us more.

    pig sunglasses (5.00 / 1) (#227)
    by jharp on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:17:23 AM EST
    Yes, I am serious. I do product development and sell seasonal items to the discount chains. (yes, out of China and I'll be happy to share all of the details if you care)

    The sunglasses were a Valentines Day idea I had for a certain discount chain several years ago. And they sold quite well.

    Anyways, kind of cool to see them still around.

    Please ask if you'd like to know about trading with the Chinese. It is quite different that most are led to believe.


    Gotta say... (5.00 / 17) (#42)
    by huzzlewhat on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:26:47 PM EST
    I groaned aloud when I read the comment. And then again at the "old" fish, in his next analogy. And clicking through to the article, damn if he didn't hit the "How is she going to raise all those kids and be VP?" button, too.

    Whether or not it was intentional, and I'd like very much to believe that it wasn't, he has got to stop giving them ammunition. Because whether or not they're sincere in their offense, and I don't think they are, the ammo's live, just the same.

    Obama thinks he can still walk anything he says (3.50 / 2) (#236)
    by Bob K on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:12:04 AM EST
    back as he did in the primary. Too many people see his tactics and now the media can't bury it.

    With Captain Janeway(Hillary) in exile after being overthown by Lt. Commander Tuvok(Obama), the insidious lipstick-wearing Palin has appeared on the scene and gotten into Tuvok's head, causing him to start the self-destruct sequence.

    Will he be able refocus his mind in time? It is beginning to look like the answer is no.


    Wow. (none / 0) (#48)
    by huzzlewhat on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:30:44 PM EST
    I get a troll rating for that comment? Gotta say, I'm surprised.

    Things are completely nuts. . . (none / 0) (#52)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:32:31 PM EST
    tonight.  Both sides.  Some of the ratings, I can't even figure out which side the abuser supports.

    Well, they don't count for anything (your comments don't get hidden by bad ratings) so it's something you can live with.


    Sigh. (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by huzzlewhat on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:42:13 PM EST
    I don't pay all that much attention to the ratings -- it's just a bit of a shock to get 1s for something so innocuous. Good to know I won't get deleted from the site for low ratings!

    Ah, well. If that's the tone of the conversation this evening, I'm going to call it a night, let things calm down. Life's too short.


    I just zapped the ratings for (none / 0) (#93)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:58:43 PM EST
    two commenters. You may not rate a comment a "1" because you disagree with the point of view expressed.

    Thank you. (none / 0) (#223)
    by huzzlewhat on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:54:37 AM EST
    That's very decent of you. Nice site you've got here. :-)

    I find (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by chrisvee on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:35:12 PM EST
    the phrase 'lipstick on a pig' to be offensive to women under any circumstances as do many women I know. After all, who wears lipstick?  So I'd advise Senator Obama to stop it regardless of his motivation.

    Why is it offensive to us? (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:37:43 PM EST
    I don't see it.

    Neither does Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Edwards


    Neither do I. (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by shoephone on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:58:40 PM EST
    It's a smokescreen.

    I just really can't figure it out. (none / 0) (#100)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:00:47 PM EST
    Why would people take offense to it as sexist. Because of the lipstick?

    i think there are two different camps here (5.00 / 7) (#133)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:23:34 PM EST
    one thinks the phrase is sexist in general all the time because lipstick is related to females. I don't buy this argument. I think the phrase originally just meant an attempt to dress something up doesn't hide what it is. But, I'm not a female. And, the phrase could have been you can put a suit on a pig or a top hat on a pig too. So, why does it have to be "female" dressing up? I am gay and there are many phrases that I find offensive that non gay people say I should just get a sense of humor and get over it. the second camp thinks the use of the phrase this time by Obama was in effect comparing Palin to a pig because she herself had used a lipstick analogy to describe herself in her own speech last week. Whether you agree with this one or not, you should be able to understand where this argument could reasonably be made. And, so should have the Obama campaign before they decided to start using the phrase. Even if they didn't mean it that way, they should be smart enough to know it could be interpreted that way.

    I am a woman. (3.00 / 2) (#152)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:37:11 PM EST
    and I am also a human, and I don't analyze every single turn of phrase I make for every implication made to any person. I don't expect anyone else to either.

    McCain used this very same phrase against Hillary Clinton; therefore, his campaign is cynically playing the "gender card" (does this mean he is a "gender baiter"?) I take offense to this cynicism in my name.

    Extreme offense.


    please read more carefully (5.00 / 4) (#166)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:44:40 PM EST
    you asked for an explanation. You claimed you just wanted to understand. I gave you one and now you attack me for it by pretending you didn't even understand what I said. Apparently you didn't want to "understand" you just wanted to argue. when McCain used the phrase against Hillary, she hadn't used a lipstick analogy applied to herself one week before.

    Heh, sorry. (none / 0) (#169)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:50:24 PM EST
    I am jumping around too much. I forgot the thread I was in.

    I was actually trying to understand why women would, in general, be offended by the comment. (Which is what the woman said to whom I initially responded )

    I get the lipstick subtext. I am not offended by it, but I get it. The reason I am not offended is that Palin is not offended. She is trying to gain political points over it. I am also not offended because politics is a contact sport and should be played as such. The game is on.


    then I hope (4.25 / 4) (#171)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:54:24 PM EST
    you were just as equally not offended by any staements that have been made that were characterized as racially motivated.

    McCain used the term to refer (3.80 / 5) (#206)
    by tree on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:45:49 PM EST
    to Hillary's healthcare plan, not to refer to Hillary herself. Obama used it to refer to his opponents in the Presidential race. There's the difference in offense. I don't think Obama was doing it intentionally but I think he has proven tone deaf throughout the campaign. This is just another example of that.

    I don't see it as sexist per se (4.66 / 3) (#235)
    by daria g on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:05:15 AM EST
    I don't know what it was.. His delivery, like he's doing bad standup comedy.. the fact that it's pretty vague as to what the "pig" is and what "stinks" - if he is talking about policy, WHAT policy?  What in particular?  I was more annoyed that it came off like he didn't even have to bother drawing a specific comparison between himself and McCain, he could just get away with some cheap laughs and saying obviously the other guys stink.  What's that about?  It was just kinda lame IMHO.  It's the dismissive attitude that seems insulting, like the other day when he said Palin was a "mother, governor, moose shooter."  Not offensive in and of itself, but being dismissive - yeah, she's cool, she's no big deal, who cares.  

    nor do I (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:00:51 PM EST
    the objections are political from opponents of the Dem. ticket. Don't take the bait.

    HUH? (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by bridget on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:40:07 PM EST
    I am trying to get them to explain themselves (1.00 / 1) (#106)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:04:12 PM EST
    like usual, further questioning generates the sound of crickets.

    Sheesh! (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by wasabi on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:42:15 PM EST
    I guess we just have to concede that Sarah "owns" the word lipstick now.

    Obama, apologize?  What for?

    Well. (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by lansing quaker on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:45:33 PM EST
    Considering she's the only one on a major party ticket that wears lipstick, then yeah, I'd say she does own it.

    Unless Obama, Biden, or McCain have something they'd like to tell us.


    My Head Hurts... (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Brillo on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:50:11 PM EST
    I can't even tell which of the posts in this thread are sarcasm and satire anymore.  Like Alice in Wonderland, through the looking glass we go.  

    And yes, I'm sure I'm probably sexist for bringing up Alice.  Some sort of knock against Palin, don'cha know?  


    I doubt we agree on this topic (none / 0) (#115)
    by glanton on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:11:40 PM EST
    But that comment is still the funniest I've seen on here in a while.

    Nicely done.  :-)


    What does the phrase do? (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by christinep on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:06:12 PM EST
    Yep, we are arguing about strange things anymore. But, I don't think Obama did himself any good with the comment. Whether intended or, as my husband suggests, a flummoxed slip, the "pig" comment in the context of the past week gets a chuckle from supporters and a sneer from opponents. Turning to the important independents, most studies show that they like the vision, clean, hopeful and all-around nicey-nice statements from candidates. Tradition says that independents abjure sarcasm and snideness, etc. If so, what did we gain from a Presidential candidate appearing to make that kind of statement about a Vice-Presidential candidate?

    Your last point (5.00 / 2) (#226)
    by Fultron on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:15:14 AM EST
    is exactly right. Obama shouldn't be wasting time going after Palin, especially in such a petty way. She's a decoy. Didn't they learn anything from her speech at the convention?

    No one cares what McCain says about this, especially if you need to dig up Hillary quotes from years ago...the problem is Obama set himself up for Palin to score another direct hit on him with some snide sarcastic comeback. Two in fact: one about sexist pigs, and one about Alaskan fish. It'll be that easy.

    Then we're still stuck at Obama vs. Palin instead of Obama vs. McCain, and that battle is a loss by default. McCain-Palin can't win on policy, and they're counting on stupid distractions like this to keep scoring points.


    Only owns it in connection with animals (none / 0) (#72)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:45:07 PM EST
    the Clintons are not the subject (5.00 / 0) (#71)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:45:07 PM EST
    and either is racism. Stay on topic.

    I don't see it as (5.00 / 4) (#77)
    by rooge04 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:48:27 PM EST
    insulting at all. Horribly worded, terrible time to choose to say something so silly, though.  And sadly, when Obama's campaign brings up the "gender" card, they have very little credibility on the issue.  
    The problem is that they tacitly condoned it throughout the primaries and even fanned the flames.   And while I completely agree with the campaign that McCain is being nasty and playing the gender card and doesn't have a leg to stand on in this "offense", Obama is not the person to speak on gender right now.   Yet another reason that he should have chosen Hillary.

    Of course this charge wouldn't have teeth (5.00 / 8) (#87)
    by blogtopus on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:57:27 PM EST
    if Obama hadn't already proven that he is prone to childish sexist remarks. Whether he meant it as sexist or not (I don't think he did), this is just the chickens (or is it chicks?) coming home to roost.

    Live by the half-perceived slur, die by the half-perceived slur.

    Can't say I like it (I DO want Obama to win) but McCain is just beginning to take advantage of a duck sitting in his own trap.

    Sometimes (5.00 / 11) (#90)
    by sas on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:58:19 PM EST
    I am stunned by the Obama campaign.

    Are they dumb or just plain amateurs?

    Let us assume he meant no lipstick connection to Palin.  Wouldn't you think someone would say  - We probably shouldn't mention that, since she had a lipstick line a week ago, or lots of women might think  there could be a connection, even though it might be very weak.  Maybe we ought to avoid that line......."  DUH!  DUMB!

    Let's assume he did mean a connection - then surely it was a rank amateur attempt to claim no connection.

    Dumb or amateurish....take your pick.

    should be fired (5.00 / 2) (#232)
    by bigbay on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:38:13 AM EST
    whoever put that in his speech, or advised him.

    It's not sexist if you watch the video, but they should have known Mc Cain would jump on it.


    My wife (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:58:21 PM EST
    had never heard the expression before.

    I assume she's not the only one.

    That said, this sort of thing makes most normal people roll their eyes, not erupt in outrage against the Obama campaign.  The fact that McCain used the exact same analogy to refer to Hillary's health care plan is the clincher.

    Go to hear you say that Steve... (none / 0) (#104)
    by prose on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:02:36 PM EST
    you've done a great job walking the line of supporting Obama but not over the top (like me).  If you don't think it will play with most people that makes me feel better about it.  Thanks for the insight tonight.

    Passive aggressive (5.00 / 4) (#111)
    by DaveOinSF on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:06:48 PM EST
    "Lipstick" immediately followed by "old fish".  Of course he was referring to the Republican ticket, in the typical Obama passive-aggressive fashion we've grown accustomed to.

    The comment was insensitive? (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:19:37 PM EST

    In a political campaign?

    How shocking.

    Puh-lease stop. My eyes are about to roll out of my head.

    Just played this clip to my girlfriend today... (5.00 / 10) (#163)
    by Southsider on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:42:14 PM EST
    ...and she was actually pretty irate about it.  (For those who don't remember, she was a Clinton supporter in the primaries but is not super-political and is definitely up for grabs right now.)  The funny thing is, it wasn't the "sexism" of it that angered her.  She DID think it was sexist, but I explained the context and that "lipstick on a pig" is a common turn of phrase (she'd never heard it before), and that seemed to allay most of those concerns.  

    What irked her about it, rather, was the ungracious tone he was using.  Pigs, rotten fish, etc.  Her reaction, which I found noteworthy because it hadn't occurred to me, was that this sort of rhetoric just sounded horribly unbecoming coming out of Barack Obama's mouth, that he should be above these sorts of jabs as a Presidential candidate.  And I have to say I actually agree with her on that one: the reason it's the job of the VP candidate to be the hatchet-man is precisely so the Prez can float above the fray and behave, well, presidential.  

    Obama's statement is a gaffe for all the reasons people have already explained here -- it wasn't intended to be sexist but was inevitably going to get that spin and fer cryin' out loud he should avoid these sorts of landmines -- but it's also problematic because, taken with some of his other rhetorical strategies lately, it makes him look like he's getting down in the muck with the (har!) pigs and dirtying up his sheen.  The most striking thing Noelle said to me, watching him pace the floor in that clip, was that "he looks panicked."  

    We can't afford to have Obama looking like that -- looking so darn REACTIVE -- if we want to keep our lead here.  He's playing an 'away game' right now.  Like Tony Soprano says, too many away games and you end up losing.

    I'm curious (none / 0) (#179)
    by indy in sc on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:02:59 PM EST
    as to whether your girlfriend was irked by the ungracious tones of Giuliani and Palin on the night of the Repub convention when they spoke.  Or in subsequent speeches by McCain and Palin.  Has she mentioned those?  I'm truly curious--just wondering whether it's tone in general that bothers her or the person at whom the tone is directed, or the role of the person speaking (or some other metric).

    She hasn't seen Giuliani's, but did see Palin's (5.00 / 2) (#196)
    by Southsider on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:32:47 PM EST
    And you know what?  She wasn't bothered at all.  Whether that's because Palin is just better at delivering these lines, or because she felt that Palin was entitled to a bit of snark after her mistreatment (and my gf definitely feels she's been wronged), I dunno.  It's part of what makes Palin a tough customer: like Clinton or Reagan, she can knock on you with a smile.

    exactly my point!.. (none / 0) (#216)
    by 18anapple2 on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:10:43 AM EST
    he looks completly disgruntled and his halo tarnished.

    You're all missing the point .. (5.00 / 6) (#200)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:41:50 PM EST
    Obama set this table during the primaries, and McCain's eating a snack there ... just a snack ... this time.

    He's sending Obama a message.

    "You want to play the outrage game?" he's saying. "I can play it too."

    The McCain camp thinks they've gotten inside Obama's head.  And they want to stay there, have him second guessing himself ... until the first debate.

    The phony outrage is almost humorous (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by Nowonmai on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:42:32 PM EST
    I wonder if they have to puke after all the spinning?

    Leave it to GOP Pundits to put a spin on anything Obama says. The "lipstick on a pig" has nothing to do personally with Palin, and McCain and his pudits know this. It's about the entire McCain presidential campaign.

    My equivalent is "You can put frosting on dog poo, but that won't make it a birthday cake."

    well (5.00 / 2) (#203)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:44:53 PM EST
    Considering they just ran an ad suggesting Obama was a pervert... I dont really know where they get off...

    My first post here...Hello. (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by Dudefirst on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:45:45 PM EST
    I am just not going to take it anymore.  I am mad as hell at the Republican Party.  I am mad at all those who have ever voted for a Republican.  I see Republicans as the purveyors of "new speak" that dreaded 1984 design to alter and twist the realities of life to suit only the acquisition of more wealth and power.  

    I once thought that all politicians were liars...now I know that it is unfair to characterize all those who represent us so harshly.  But, I do know that all Republicans are either liars or dupes.  

    Largely under the influence of an amoral animal, Karl Rove, this new Republican Party has bee shaped into a George Orwellian nightmare to frighten, lie, deceive, cajole, brow beat, buy, obscure, and lay waste to our democratic political process.  Every value I hold as a patriotic American Vietnam Veteran has been stepped on by the Republican Party.  Every dream I hope for our Democracy is now laid wasted on the altar of greed and corruption.  The future of my child and your children has been sold to the lowest bidder in a deceit of globalization.

    This President and his party have effectively bankrupted our country.  They take our money and give it to the Republican Vice Presidents company to pay to invade a nation by force of arms when they all knew the reasons for this invasion were not true and were in fact fabricated by them and then actively propagandized these lies to the American people.  High crimes and misdemeanors pales in comparison to the actual death and disability for profit enjoyed by the Corporations they represent.

    Be very wary my fellow Americans in how easily you accept falsehoods wrapped in an American flag.  You must make the effort to look at multiple sources of information.  If we simply accept a sound byte mentality in the adds we watch and fail in our duty to really understand the issues, then once more we will have failed in the trust you owe to us Veterans who enlist and fight and die for you.  Please do your homework.

    Once Ann Richards makes the joke funny (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by kredwyn on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:47:18 PM EST
    with her timing and accent, I think the joke should be retired with no one being allowed to use it again...ever.

    Without her inflections and such, it's just not the same joke.

    I think that the pig and fish (5.00 / 1) (#219)
    by 1jpb on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:32:46 AM EST
    cliches fit the circumstance perfectly.

    Even many folks who are upset by BO's use of these cliches would agree that they do describe the McCain-Palin situation-- they're using manipulation and lies to hide bad policies.

    It seems that there are a lot of folks in our country who are willing to give Palin and McCain a pass on their manipulations and lies.  I have know idea what breaks through this shield protecting Palin and McCain.  

    We've seen that diligently and scholastically  identifying the manipulations and lies doesn't break through.  There's no point in repeating this loosing strategy.

    Why not use some cliches that perfectly describe the manipulations and lies of McCain-Palin?  These cliches succinctly describe what the GOP is doing.  It is true that the GOP is dressing up (lipstick) BAD POLICIES (pig.)  

    These cliches do break through the media.  And, they accurately describe what the GOP is doing.  So, they should be unapologetically and vigorously fleshed out.

    I'd also like to hear alternative cliches that are equally apt and equally able to break through the media.  Ideas?

    While I'm sure that BO didn't mean to refer to the male chauvinist pig history of McCain, it is interesting, in retrospect, to note that McCain has an atrocious male chauvinist pig history regarding the extreme objectification and disparagement of many women (and at least one girl: Chelsea)--no amount of lipstick will change that pig.  

    Also, I just thought of Palin standing by while those two radio male chauvinist pigs went after the AK Senate Leader--no amount of lipstick will change those pigs, either.  

    I've never been so angry at Obama (5.00 / 2) (#234)
    by aedarrow on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:48:57 AM EST
    It was undisciplined. The "pig" thing was a talking point, I realize that. Biden mentioned it, Beckels mentioned it today. I'm not a neophyte about politics, I know how it works. But Obama must have been really angered or rattled to make such a hash of it. I'm a woman who did not back Hillary, I've backed Obama since before it was cool (a year ago March I was a volunteer).

    Seriously, I think he lost the election today. I could give a flip about "sexism" or a stupid pig comment. It's how it will play in the country. It just plays into every bad thing people think about him. Tonight I'm hopeless about the election and just disgusted at his indiscipline. Terrible terrible tactics.

    Let's all get real (part 2 hit enter too soon) (3.50 / 2) (#244)
    by lynnebrad on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:32:39 AM EST
    I just don't understand why everyone is flipping out about this. I think you are being too sensitive. You are not outraged by the outright lies the McCain is telling about Obama's positions. You aren't outraged by their attempt today to claim that BO supports sex ed for little kids when the intent was to educate kids so they are not assaulted by predators. Where is your outrage for that?

    Let's face it. Barack has been using that comment for months now...while Palin was still for her bridge before she was against it. I don't believe it was a slam on Palin as a woman. It was a slam on her as a politician. If McCain had made the same kind of remark, BO would have said the same thing. His comment about an old fish could be construed as an attack on elderly (McCain) people. Yet I hear no one up in arms over that.

    With all that is at stake in this election, IMO too many people are falling into the trap that the Repubs do every year..get people all upset about the wrong issues.


    Walking on eggshells (5.00 / 1) (#248)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 09:45:49 AM EST
    The Clintons and their supporters had to walk on eggshells every day of the primary for fear of being branded "racist" at every turn--and it didn't work, they were branded thus anyway. It seems to me Obama is getting a taste of his own medicine, and he should have been better prepared for it.

    As to this, I actually saw the clip where he made this remark, so here's my reaction FWIW. I didn't object to the "lipstick on a pig line," because it is an old cliche', but what astonished me was the audience's reaction. I don't think Obama meant it as a slam against Palin but that's how the audience picked it up--it seemed to surprise him, actually.

    At that point, he should probably have backed up and tried to correct the crowd's impression. Maybe it was too late. And in any case, his habit during the primaries was to encourage his audience's most sexist impulses, so maybe the habit is too ingrained at this point. Instead, he seemed flustered and then proceeded with the "old fish" line which struck me as just really weird and lame. It seemed to come out of nowhere, and it's not like "old fish" is some kind of well-known metaphor. It just sounded all wrong, all off. In short, I thought the whole thing was not offensive, but really lame.

    Civen the Obama camaign's hypersensiivity (4.52 / 19) (#8)
    by Inky on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:09:23 PM EST
    during the primary season to any phrase that could possibly be perceived as having racial connotations, "fairy tale," rolling the dice," etc., I don't see how they have any leg to stand on now. Because his phrasing can be perceived as sexinst (along with the "old fish" comment that followed it), q.e.d. it is sexist.

    It was wrong... (3.00 / 0) (#15)
    by prose on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:12:54 PM EST
    both times.  It's wrong now.  let's not let McCain get away with this crap.  McCain does not have the best interest of women in mind - he is trying to use them and gender sensitivity.  He has from the first moment that he announced Palin's candidacy.  

    In the primary, Obama's camp used race.  I won't defend that and I didn't then.  But I won't allow that to let McCain take that another step further.  His cynical ploy with Palin is sickening.


    Sorry for the typos (n/t) (none / 0) (#12)
    by Inky on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:11:59 PM EST
    Dishonorable. (4.50 / 8) (#5)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:07:46 PM EST
    Good.  See McCain and raise him.  Hit him where it hurts.

    What a transparent attempt to falsely divert the campaign from any discussion of issues.

    Of course, it's not a big deal if Josh Marshall isn't buying it, or the Obama campaign.  This is the kind of thing that will hurt a "loser" and bounce off a "winner".  I'm kind of eager (and a little nervous) to see which way Obama emerges.

    I'm offended and angry (4.50 / 12) (#121)
    by Prabhata on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:16:51 PM EST
    The pig comment goes with:

    "She's got the kitchen sink flying, and the china flying, and the, you know, the buffet is coming at me"
    "periodically, when feeling down, launches attacks"
    "You challenge the status quo and suddenly the claws come out."

    Now we can add the pig remark as to why I won't vote for a man who thinks it's OK to wipe his shoulders and look at his shoe when talking about his opponent simply because the opponent happens to be a woman.

    He can put a suit on, but he is classless and amateurish.

    I'm keeping score.  Sometimes I have second thoughts about voting for McCain, but Obama makes sure I don't forget why I swore back in May that he would never get my vote.

    what a surprise, coming from you (2.66 / 3) (#164)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:42:55 PM EST
    if McCain wins, I'll be sure to thank you for 8 more years of the religious right and more belligerent wars. (Not to mention SCOTUS)

    ya (5.00 / 2) (#230)
    by connecticut yankee on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:27:51 AM EST

    As a Hillary voter who is married to a Hillary voter, its time to move on.  Obama is a good candidate and I dont know a single Hillary voter, in real life, who isnt voting for him.

    Thank the candidate (3.00 / 5) (#172)
    by Prabhata on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:55:19 PM EST
    Don't forget that it's the candidate's responsibility to win voters.  It's not my responsibility to vote for a candidate simply because he has a "D" next to his name.  He lost my vote.

    Blame Obama.


    enough prabhata (5.00 / 2) (#213)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:05:01 AM EST
    4 a day opposing Obama and no insults or name calling. You are violating the site rules.

    OK (none / 0) (#217)
    by Prabhata on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:11:01 AM EST
    You mean (2.66 / 3) (#221)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:44:19 AM EST
    sometimes your conscience interrupts your spite and you question your decision to vote for somehow who opposes everything you believe in?

    Great response by Obama (4.33 / 6) (#6)
    by dailygrind on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:07:49 PM EST
    He definitely shouldn't back down. This plays into , unfortunately, into the Democrats as weak if he does.

    I believe that the comment is highly offensive (4.26 / 15) (#1)
    by honora on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:02:35 PM EST

    as a woman. (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:31:15 PM EST
    I am UNoffended.

    Don't forget the fish... (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:37:13 PM EST
    Lipstick on a pig was a tad tone-deaf, given the context. And then he combines that with an "old fish wrapped in a piece of paper called change"? The latter is a particularly unpleasant, garbled metaphor that, inadvertently, puts some stink on the "change" meme. Look to find that one in an upcoming ad from the McCain camp.

    Also, if the McCain camp wants to nit-pick a little more, it's no stretch to claim that the "same old thing" is a diss on McCain's age.

    Obama poked fun of McCain and Palin's new "change" mantra.

    "You can put lipstick on a pig," he said as the crowd cheered. "It's still a pig."

    "You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink."

    "We've had enough of the same old thing."

    Soooo Wrong (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:17:11 PM EST
    THe fish is Bush's policies.

    McCain's campaign is the newspaper.

    But nice try.


    This discussion has now ascended (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:30:00 PM EST
    into the ranks of literary theory; what with all the parsing and multiple 'readings' as to who is being called what. Let's hope it doesn't take a Lacanian turn for the worse.

    Not really (none / 0) (#143)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:32:00 PM EST
    the reference was obvious in the context of his comments

    That was the Lacanian turn for the worse! (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:36:47 PM EST
    Yes. your statement was. (none / 0) (#156)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:39:30 PM EST
    I agree.

    Now (none / 0) (#208)
    by jar137 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:48:10 PM EST
    that is funny!  But I'm a geek.

    How about the whole thing just sounded gross (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by S on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:26:07 PM EST
    is that simple enough to understand...

    gross and yuky...a turn off...


    I fail to see. . . (none / 0) (#64)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:41:19 PM EST
    the problem with the word fish that you underlined -- although I've always said that the Obama campaign is going to use every possible opportunity to slam the "same, old, tired policies" that we've seen before.  So the old may actually have been targeted.

    Who or what is Obama calling (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:16:37 PM EST
    an "old", implicitly stinky, "fish"? Palin, McCain or both? Perhaps he means their platform, the Bush regime and/or the entire GOP.

    Either way, it's trash talk and, for the Dems, that's going to be dicey in this particular election where gender and age are at issue.

    Likewise, expect McCain/Palin to tread lightly around the issue of race while bashing away at other vulnerabilities that don't require any 'political correctness'.


    McCain. (none / 0) (#127)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:20:28 PM EST
    From the moment it was clear he was going to be the nominee, we've heard about "the same old, tired" program from the Republicans.

    Both sides have people dedicated to figuring out what language the candidates should use to define their opponent.  Although the idea is as old as rhetoric itself ("and furthermore, I understand my opponent masticates his food and has a sister who is a thespian in New York City!") the Republicans, notably Frank Luntz, formalized and perfected it.


    I didn't believe it was meant that way - until (5.00 / 12) (#136)
    by andrys on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:26:10 PM EST
    I saw that this happened again on the same day in connection with introducing Biden today at a campaign event.

      There's also a video it on the page.  What are the chances the image was put out twice in one day in events involving our presidential nominee and our VP nominee.  It's almost as if there was a bright idea to use this image.  Sort of a cynical joke.  Maybe not, but it doesn't come across well.

      For one thing, video of Obama's event showed people behind him laughing heartily when he gave only the first phrase, before saying "it's still a pig."  The 'lipstick' one rang the bell because we all heard that as one of the more memorable lines in Palin's acceptance speech.

     HOWEVER, I did not think Obama's was anything more than coincidence, nevertheless, when I first read about it.

     Until I saw it was also used at Biden's event (linked with video above):

    Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen report that Democratic Congressman Russ Carnahan introduced Joe Biden at a campaign event today. Referring to Sarah Palin's record, Carnahan commented: "There's no way you can dress up that record, even with a lot of lipstick."

     [ Re Obama's use earlier that day ]
     ... Given the tittering, shouts and raucous applause from Obama's audience, even AP reporter Nedra Pickler found Obama's audience drawing the connection between Obama's comment and Sarah Palin's convention joke.

    Vandehei and Allen, by contrast, cover for Obama. They assert that "he was clearly talking about the McCain-Palin reform rhetoric." Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental?  Maybe, but the evidence of Carnahan's remarks referring to Palin strongly suggests otherwise. And if Obama didn't understand the ugly reference to Palin, he appears to be the only guy in Lebanon who didn't.

    Via Hugh Hewitt.
    JOHN adds: ... I have mixed feelings about it. Watching the video, I think it's plausible for Obama to say that he wasn't talking about Governor Palin. On the other hand--come on. Does he seriously believe, given all the water under the bridge, that he can use the words "lipstick" and "pig" in the same sentence without people thinking he's taking a shot at Palin? His audience certainly took it that way. Maybe it's just another example of Obama's lack of skill on his feet, when he doesn't have a teleprompter to tell him what to say..."

    We've always known McCain IS sexist and has told some very lowdown jokes.  And he used it at a time while talking about Hillary Clinton's proposal (another who happens to use lipstick.)

      I'm still looking at probabilities -- and that includes
    the very-recognized impact of the use of 'lipstick' by the opponent in a good-humored moment in her acceptance speech, the fact that lipstick is used by women, and that this latest use took place twice on one day.

      All I can say is that it's jarring and sort of stupid because of how it happened to reference a word and image  used in a speech given tremendous attention.  So it's stupid.


    Great research and (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:37:59 PM EST
    thoughtful commentary. Thanks, as always, Andrys.

    Do you not see... (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by G Davis on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:27:29 PM EST
    Do you not see what the McCain campaign and all his Rove proteges are doing so successfully?  They are recreating a vigorous old time culture, gender and race war.

    They are doing their damndest to divide those 80% of the country that feel we're headed in the wrong direction and it's working spectacularly.

    They are setting the vernacular so no matter what anyone says about any subject it will stir our basest level of emotion against one another.

    I'm begging you, if you feel McCain is the wrong choice for this country stop letting them win the war.  Stop letting them manipulate us.  

    It can only work if we let it.


    We're shocked -- shocked. . . (4.00 / 7) (#13)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:12:20 PM EST
    to find that you're offended.

    To pigs maybe. (3.00 / 7) (#10)
    by indy in sc on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:10:40 PM EST
    I'm pretty sure they don't like lipstick.  Otherwise, this is the McCain camp's new tactic--call every criticism sexist.  They know they'll get a rush of support out of it.  Many of the same people who claim that Obama's camp plays the "race card" will be the same ones who see sexism in every remark made by McCain/Palin's critics.  

    I would be shocked (2.55 / 9) (#3)
    by dailygrind on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:06:45 PM EST
    if you didn't spin it that way. So you go right ahead and be offended. Everyone else will simply find it amusing.

    Not the blogs I have been reading. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by honora on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:13:36 PM EST
    The notion that Palin 'asked for it' by injecting gender quips into the discussion, confuses me.  Is McCain/Palin making up an issue that does not exist, or are they reaping that they sow? Did Obama intend to respond to Palin's quip about lipstick, or was it just a figure of speech?  

    He was talking. . . (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:22:02 PM EST
    The notion that Palin 'asked for it' by injecting gender quips into the discussion, confuses me

    about McCain.


    In case you don't recall (2.50 / 4) (#22)
    by elonepb on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:18:10 PM EST
    She referred to herself as a dog.

    How sexist of Palin!!


    Obama also said he had a (5.00 / 4) (#128)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:21:24 PM EST
    "funny name". Is that, similarly, 'xenophobic' of him?

    It was a well placed figure of speech - (2.00 / 1) (#21)
    by prose on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:18:10 PM EST
    I think Obama wanted to say that no matter who presents Bush's policies - they stink.  That phrase has historically always referred to policy and situation - when McCain used it, when Cheney used it, and when Obama used it.  He is saying that no matter how you dress up McCain's policies, they are LOUSY.

    Notice that the Obama campaign DIDN'T make a big deal out of the community organizing criticism's overt racial overtones.  While they made some hay in the primary they have stopped.  McCain should learn from that.


    Inept use, I think... (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by santarita on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:01:03 PM EST
    The phrase is usually used as a way of saying that no matter how many frills one attaches to a policy or program, substantively and essentially the program is still horrible.  Obama was talking about how McCain was trying to use the change concept but that he really couldn't because McCain was advocating the same policies as Bush.  He then used the "lipstick on a pig" phrase.  It didn't really make sense in that context and it seemed contrived.

    Obama doesn't need to use lines like that.  It was good for a laugh but with the economy tanking, Russia saber-rattling, etc. why go for laughs?  

    And I think the response was pathetic.  How about one or two lines that says:  The McCain campaign is looking for any excuse to distract from the important issues that the country faces.

    As for calling McCain "dishonorable", I think maybe "dishonest" would be a more defensible term.


    Say what? (4.76 / 13) (#35)
    by myiq2xu on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:22:58 PM EST
    There was nothing racial about criticising Obama's experience.  Overt, covert or otherwise.

    BTW - Al Capone was a community organizer in Chicago too


    quit with the community organizer insults (3.66 / 6) (#53)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:33:11 PM EST
    MLK was a community organizer, so was Ghandi, so was Jesus.

    I mean, let's be real here. Community organizers are the backbone of many communities.


    the community organizertalk (5.00 / 9) (#60)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:38:59 PM EST
    only got started up because the dems started making fun of small towm mayors. the repugs hit back, just like people keep telling the dems to do.

    uh...excuse me? (1.00 / 1) (#74)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:45:44 PM EST
    Did you actually WATCH the GOP convention?

    yes, I did (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:52:08 PM EST
    and the repugs were making fun of Obama's community organizer resume history because the dems had made fun of Palin's small towm mayor resume history.

    No. They did not. (2.50 / 2) (#97)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:59:18 PM EST
    The media did. The Dems pretty much demurred until after the convention.

    AND even if they did, so what? Community organizer is actually more potentially effective than mayor. I know that our community organizers in my 75K town are more effective at changing things than any mayor we've had. It also doesn't change the fact that MANY great leaders have come from community organizers.

    Small town mayors? A town of 6K? A governor of a state with fewer people than many MANY cities?

    Puh-lease. This woman was not elected to be the VP candidate, she was selected by a man desperate for the spotlight. And it was reckless.

    And Al Capone was a businessman, not a community organizer.


    No, Obama's campaign (5.00 / 9) (#141)
    by magesuew on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:30:32 PM EST
    and Obama both denigrated Palin for being a small-town mayor before she ever gave a speech.

    I hate to say it, but I think Obama needs to worry about small town mayors and citizens' votes a lot more than he does community organizers. He still has the whole "bitter cling" thing to live down. I did not understand his denigration of small towns (or calling it "Wasilly" repeatedly) then and I don't now. It seemed churlish and just not politically smart. A lot of people live in small towns. I agree with the above comment, Obama invited the comm. organizer ridicule because he denigrated her as a small town mayor first.


    Hmm. I don't remember it that way, frankly. (none / 0) (#145)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:33:27 PM EST
    you seem confused (2.00 / 4) (#28)
    by dailygrind on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:19:45 PM EST
    I am not buying that you are offended by the statement because the statement had nothing to do with palin. But please continue to pretend it does. Like I said, most americans know this is a common phrase - th emore you protest that it's not, the more you tell us what you are really about. so pleas, please continue this. this can then even be pivoted into a debate over gender issues- a debate mccain would lose.

    I'm not amused (5.00 / 12) (#26)
    by myiq2xu on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:19:04 PM EST
    but the opinions of Obama and McCain supporters are irrelevant.

    It's what the undecided voters think that matters.

    Obama does have a pattern of these "misunderstandings" though.


    What you said n/t (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by bridget on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:20:35 PM EST
    I was more offended... (4.25 / 8) (#98)
    by Dawn Davenport on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:00:23 PM EST
    ...by his body language while delivering his quip:

    pause...slowly scratches forehead...delivers punchline...smiles at audience whupping it up in response

    If the remark were as innocuous as some folks want to believe, he wouldn't have gotten the same thigh-slapping reaction as he did after his dirt-brushing and poo-scraping vaudeville bit during the primaries.

    He does do quite an interesting (5.00 / 2) (#211)
    by kredwyn on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:00:40 AM EST
    pause thing to make sure that everyone gets his punchline.

    Not just poor pigs. . . (4.20 / 5) (#23)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:18:18 PM EST
    Pigs of all socio-economic status!

    That's LOL funny Larry ;-o (none / 0) (#149)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:34:58 PM EST
    Jeralyn... (4.00 / 4) (#9)
    by prose on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:09:32 PM EST
    I'm glad you didn't fall for this.  McCain is so obviously cynical with all of this.  He is belittling the real sexism that exists in this country.  

    Sarah Palin is sexist (2.66 / 9) (#40)
    by elonepb on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:26:28 PM EST
    She referred to herself as a dog. I'm highly offended that she would call herself a dog during the middle of this important election year.

    Sarah Palin deserves to apologize to Sarah Palin immediately.


    How is likening herself (4.40 / 5) (#46)
    by Inky on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:29:42 PM EST
    to a pit bull the least bit sexist? If anything, it's just the opposite.

    Proud member of the pitbull brigade... (5.00 / 1) (#209)
    by kredwyn on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:55:24 PM EST
    As a designated driver, I managed to wrassle drunken friends into the car and drive them home, prevent drunken lotharios from taking advantage of my drunken friends before I could wrassle them into the car, and have been known to stand up to 6 ft tall bullies who thought they could get away with harassing my drunken friends because they were young, female, and...well...drunk.

    Our motto is "Grrrrrrrr!!!" (loosely translated, "you mess with me? eh...you've messed with me. You mess my friends or family...now you've got a real problem.")


    I know what Palin was trying to say (1.80 / 5) (#62)
    by elonepb on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:40:42 PM EST
    What do you call a female dog?

    Palin was inferring that about Palin.

    How dare she.


    Your voice is sorely needed (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by glanton on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:57:46 PM EST
    Stay in the game

    I don't recall ... (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Inky on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:06:19 PM EST
    Palin comparing herself to a female pit bull. How do you infer that?

    Palin's comparison (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by Prabhata on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:30:17 PM EST
    Just because Palin compared a hockey mom (she considers herself one) to a pit bull, it does not give Obama the right to insinuate that she's a dog or a pig.

    Obama is going for the kill.  After offending Hillary Clinton supporters, he is now killing any hope that women, who were not Hillary supporters but undecided, would ever vote for him.  By the time November 4 rolls around he'll have lost all men and all women to McCain.


    you can only hope (1.00 / 1) (#167)
    by progrocks on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:47:31 PM EST
    but keep posting it!!!!

    lighten up (1.00 / 1) (#124)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:17:55 PM EST
    This is snark, correct? n/t (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by standingup on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:34:29 PM EST
    but (none / 0) (#228)
    by connecticut yankee on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:17:58 AM EST
    I think the larger issue is that she wanted to put lipstick on a dog.  As a pet owner that offended me.  I wasnt sure if she was talking about dressing up a normal pitbull or if this was code for animal testing. It sorta confused me.

    I didnt like it and I'd like a personal apology for my dog Shmoop.  


    Jonathan 3 (4.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:13:54 PM EST
    is a chatterer, see the comment rules, no more comments today and you are limited to four a day in the future.

    Plus, I thought she was a dog... (4.00 / 7) (#29)
    by Berkshireblue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:19:50 PM EST
    is she dog or pig, I'm confused? How funny that McCain wasn't so offended when HRC was called a bit*& to his face, or when he used that same lipstick comment in reference to her health plan. Please, I just hope Obama is smart enough not to apologize in ANY way.

    It's this simple (none / 0) (#47)
    by Lou Grinzo on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:30:09 PM EST
    If Obama apologizes then he's too stupid to be president.

    And I say this as someone who will vote for him on election day, come hell or high water.


    YES!!!! (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by glanton on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:16:51 PM EST
    The only people who need to be apologizing are the people calling for Obama to apologize.  It doesn't matter who they apologize to, so long as they purge the silliness.

    Stand by it, Obama!  Especially now that you have come out with the great "increasingly dishonorable" line about McCain.  Stand by it, let them puff their chests and blubber.  Sound and fury, signifying nothing--par the course for McCain's nonissue presidential campaign.


    So this is where it takes us... (4.00 / 1) (#178)
    by lynnebrad on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:01:10 PM EST
    You can evaluate everything everyone says and find some issue with it. Even in this thread.

    LANSING QUAKER makes the remark "Considering she's the only one on a major party ticket that wears lipstick, then yeah, I'd say she does own it. Unless Obama, Biden, or McCain have something they'd like to tell us."

    So what is the implication you are making, Lansing? That it is somehow "odd" if a man chose to wear lipstick? You can't even make your own argument without invoking a thought that many others might construe as demeaning.

    This will never end. If you want to infer ill intent, then consider it an equal opportunity "ill intent" device as he also referred to "old fish".

    Let's face it. It is politics and the dirt will fly all over. The reality is: you cannot win an American election unless you go dirty.

    If a politician want to have the opportunity to do all the good things they want to do, you have to fight with everything you have in order to win the election. Or you won't win. That is the simple fact.

    Can't you see this after the Kerry election? How can Kerry, who went to Vietnam, get nothing for his service when two cowards who avoided the war win the election?

    I may be cynical, but I firmly believe in politics, the ends justify the means.

    I agree 1000 percent (5.00 / 2) (#198)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:36:08 PM EST
    had HRC gone nuclear on Obama like she SHOULD have and then gone on to do the same to McCain we wouldn't BE here having this discussion.

    Obama himself said in PA that he was bringing a gun to a knife fight.

    Now the campaigns are both all a-tither because their knives and guns tactics are being out knifed and out gunned?

    Love all this hope, change and maverickness.  I can hardly take it!


    just to clarify (none / 0) (#237)
    by lynnebrad on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:12:18 AM EST
    my comment above

    "So what is the implication you are making, Lansing? That it is somehow "odd" if a man chose to wear lipstick? You can't even make your own argument without invoking a thought that many others might construe as demeaning."

    may not be clear. I was trying to say that Lansing seems to be implying it is odd for a man to wear lipstick. My point was that it is impossible to go through life and never have a slip up or say something you don't mean.

    My other point was that if his comments were intended to be mean, then he was being an equal opportunity meanie because he made fun of Palin and McCain (old fish). Yet I don't hear anyone complaining about that. We should be consistent.

    My last point: this is all political. If your favorite candidate makes a slip, it was a slip of the toungue. If the candidate you don't like makes a slip, it was intentional.


    Homerun (3.66 / 6) (#58)
    by glanton on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:38:09 PM EST
    This phony lecture on gender sensitivity is the height of cynicism and lays bare the increasingly dishonorable campaign John McCain has chosen to run.

    That was one of the best lines of the entire campaign season.  Because it is true.  There is only one lie in this entire campaign season bigger than the "Maverick" lie.  And that is this notion of McCain and honor.  

    Hmmmm.  I wonder if a McCain spokesperson has shot back with, don't call him dishonorable, he was a POW.  If they haven't yet, they will.  

    Obama will spend the rest of his life wondering (3.50 / 2) (#245)
    by aedarrow on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 03:40:26 AM EST
    why he rejected the obvious road to victory, that is, choosing Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential nominee. However reluctantly, Clinton would have had to accept. McCain's choice of vice presidential candidate made obvious after the fact what the party professionals felt in their fingertips at the stadium extravaganza yesterday: rejecting Clinton in favor of the colorless, unpopular, tangle-tongued Washington perennial Joe Biden was a statement of weakness. McCain's selection was a statement of strength. America's voters will forgive many things in a politician, including sexual misconduct, but they will not forgive weakness.

    That is why McCain will win in November, and by a landslide, barring some unforeseen event. Obama is the most talented and persuasive politician of his generation, the intellectual superior of all his competitors, but a fatally insecure personality. American voters are not intellectual, but they are shrewd, like animals. They can smell insecurity, and the convention stank of it. Obama's prospective defeat is entirely of its own making. No one is more surprised than Republican strategists, who were convinced just weeks ago that a weakening economy ensured a Democratic victory.

    the word "dshonorable" should be used (3.40 / 5) (#63)
    by pluege on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:40:46 PM EST
    in every sentence possible referring to mccain.

    • as a torture victim that voted for torture just recently
    • as a two timer spouting sanctimony
    • as a campaign finance reformer violating campaign finance law
    • as a misogynist toolin' a neophyte
    • as a panderer and congenital flip-flopper

    mccain and dishonor are synonyms.

    I'm with you. . . (none / 0) (#75)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:46:14 PM EST
    (except on the campaign finance issue, where I think Obama is actually more vulnerable).  McCain is not a particularly honorable man -- no more so that Obama is particularly an agent of change.  But he seems to get undeserved credit on that score.

    If Rove has taught us anything, it's hit the opponent on his strongest issues, not his weakest.


    Great points all (2.00 / 0) (#86)
    by glanton on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:56:34 PM EST
    But I don't think it's fair to call it Rovian when what is being said is true.  Saying Kerry served dishonorably in Vietnam was a lie.  Saying McCain is running a dishonorable and cynical campaign is there for all to see.

    There are two distinct issues. (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:10:47 PM EST
    The issue of whether your attacks are truthful ought to be separate from what aspects of your opponent you want to attack.

    Many Democrats seem to want to cede the "honor", "service", and "veteran" issues to McCain on the grounds, I suppose, that he's too strong on them to attack.

    But he isn't.  He's often behaved dishonorably (witness his Keating Five reprimand, his behavior with his first wife, his joke about Chelsea Clinton, etc).  

    And he's certainly no friend to veterans in his legislative record.

    Those areas are the ones where he should be attacked -- not areas where he's weaker.  That's how to weaken his support, rather than harping on the things his supporters know about but have reconciled themselves with.

    If you want to limit your attacks on the opponent's strongest credentials to the truth, great.  That's honorable.  But that doesn't change the fact that you should be hitting him on his strongest, rather than his weakest, issues.


    I see your point (none / 0) (#130)
    by glanton on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:22:11 PM EST
    And agree: The effectiveness of the attack comes less from its truthfulness than from its ability to undermine his "strong suit."  But what is particularly pleasing to me is that it is BOTH effective on that level, AND true.

    Would LOVE to see Obama continue hitting them there, that's for sure.


    A Rocky moment? (none / 0) (#138)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:27:55 PM EST
    I hope I'm detecting a moment similar to something that happened in one of the Rocky films, where Rocky had to let himself get beat up in the ring a bit in order to get mad enough to fight back.

    For reasons that have never really been clear to me, I think Obama really had it in for Hillary Clinton and I think that gave some extra impetus to his primary campaign.  I haven't detected the same degree of dislike towards McCain.  Maybe McCain's aggressive dishonorable campaigning is finally pissing Obama off enough to fight back.


    well (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by connecticut yankee on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:13:24 AM EST
    I used to like McCain but I have to say that he's really running some ugly stuff.  I'm voting for Obama but I wish McCain wouldnt lower himself like that.

    and "bad judgement" (none / 0) (#103)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:02:14 PM EST
    experience means nothing if your judgement is terminally bad.

    Just look at Dick Cheney.


    Well, they should win (2.00 / 0) (#83)
    by glanton on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:54:04 PM EST
    I was very impressed that the Obama people shot back so quickly with the "dishonorable" line.  THey should say it every day about McCain, that and some derivative of the word "cynical."  Because both of these words are so evidently true the Obama campaign risks nothing in pointing it out.  

    Your points about McCain and the Clintons are of course true.  But now, the likes of McCain and Sean Hannity have nice things to say about Hill.  They think Hill supporters are dumb as a bag of hammers.  Well I supported her strongly and know a lot of others who did as well, and we are all smarter than hammers.  ;-)

    Yes.  The lie of McCain's honor is about all he has left to offer voters who have not yet made up their minds, if such voters exist anyway.  And that lie needs to be exposed.

    This seems to be a theme they are developing (none / 0) (#123)
    by vj on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:17:35 PM EST
    Here's their response to McCain's "Sex Education" commercial:

    "It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls - a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds. Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn't define what honor was. Now we know why."


    Exactly (none / 0) (#135)
    by glanton on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:25:56 PM EST
    And the timing of this is pretty good, all things considered.  McCain and Palin just finished a full-on marketing blitz with the two of them starring as ethical maverick reformers.

    Undermine the lies, undermine the lies, undermine the lies.

    America needs John McCain like a fish needs a bicycle.


    Here is the video. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Tony on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:18:22 PM EST

    You can all judge for yourself.  Personally, it seems like he was talking about McCain himself.

    The audience got it (5.00 / 10) (#45)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:29:24 PM EST
    Does anyone really think that line is that funny if you are not thinking it refers to Palin?



    And How Many... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Brillo on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:31:32 PM EST
    Have heard the 'lipstick on a pig' saying?  This is something incredibly well ingrained into the country's language/culture.  

    About as many have heard "rolling the dice (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by skuld1 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:43:35 PM EST
    And if I recall, there was some "outrage" re: that statement as well.

    I don't think he was referencing Palin, but really, he should not have used that line.  Not one person in his campaign realized that the line could be interpreted as a sexist swipe?  If he just used the old fish line, there would be no issue here.


    I disagree (slightly). (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by EL seattle on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:24:28 PM EST
     If he just used the old fish line, there would be no issue here.

    Today's fish line is not too different from the snarky fish "Greek adage" that Dukakis used in 1998, which was something along the lines of "The fish rots from the head down."  As I recall, that quip was viewed by a lot of folks as being rather crude and ill-mannered, and not really not very presidential in tone. Moreover, I don't think that either of Obama's put-downs today had much to recommend them in terms of style or grace.


    Disagree (none / 0) (#180)
    by lynnebrad on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:03:06 PM EST
    So why aren't people up in arms about the "old fish" line? Isn't he referring to McCain?

    Whey aren't people intellectually consistent and bemoaning that statement as a slam on the elderly?



    Rolling The Dice Outrage Was Fake (none / 0) (#218)
    by FreakyBeaky on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:25:54 AM EST
    And so it is about lipstick on a pig.  

    Nothing to see here.


    Not that I disagree with your comment (none / 0) (#85)
    by shoephone on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:55:22 PM EST
    But I note that you asterisked one of those insults and spelled out in full the infinitely more offensive one. Just an observation.

    I still agree with the point of your comment. McCain is a hypocritical S.O.B.


    I initially spelled all of them out... (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by prose on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:00:49 PM EST
    then thought about correcting it, and only remembered the one.  I've been drinking wine tonight. Not my first oversight.  My apologies.

    Apology accepted. (none / 0) (#108)
    by shoephone on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:05:06 PM EST
    The moral indignation of some comments on this thread has compelled me to crack open the bottle of Grenache!

    Mageseuw (none / 0) (#105)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:03:25 PM EST
    you are over limit for a new commenter, 10 a day, adn 4 a day for comments expressing opposition to the Demcoratic ticket. You can come back another day.

    question for Jeralyn (none / 0) (#204)
    by S on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:45:44 PM EST
    Jeralyn, what are the rules here?  it seems like comments sometimes disappear?  Please explain the rules and also how does one rate a comment...

    just to be direct, I am not a troll...I am a long time Dem activist who has some serious concerns



    A load of crap (none / 0) (#193)
    by Roschelle on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:27:17 PM EST
    If America falls for this bologna...the Extreme right could never chant the battlecry Country first ever again!

    Am I the only (none / 0) (#222)
    by onemanrules on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 12:49:54 AM EST
    one getting sick of this political correctness garbage? It's getting hard to say anything without somebody getting upset. I mean there have to be some boundaries, but this is rediculous.

    yup (5.00 / 1) (#224)
    by connecticut yankee on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:06:57 AM EST
    100% with you.  Obama has been very good about sticking to the issues.

    I think there are quite a few republicans here looking to stir the pot.  Which is easy to do.  I always thought some of the Obama-Hillary stuff was accelerated by republicans as well.  Its very easy to do on the internet.


    In response to Politically Correct.... (4.00 / 3) (#231)
    by josephine55 on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:29:40 AM EST
    I'm just sick of all you people still trying to defend this loser.  It's not what is politically correct, it's the fact that Obama is out of his league.  He's like the boy that never grew up and you want him to meet leaders of the world?  Will he dust the lint off his shoulders when he gets angry with Putin? I am just shocked and amazed that he's made it this far...I wonder if this is the beginning of his downfall?  Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

    you have made one other comment (none / 0) (#233)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:46:54 AM EST
    on this site stating your intent not to voe for Obama. You are limited to four comments a day, and reminded to read our comment rules. Personal insults are not allowed period.

    I'm totally with you (none / 0) (#229)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:27:46 AM EST
    This walking on eggshells over language is absurd.

    Um, you're kidding right? (none / 0) (#247)
    by aedarrow on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 09:10:41 AM EST
    A slip? a gaffe? Obama just innocently and/or randomly used images that invoked Palin (lipstick) and Mccain (age)? Someone lauded for his rhetorical skills didn't see where that was going? Someone lauded for his intelligence couldn't foresee that, even if innocent, his images would be interpreted as references to Palin and Mccain? This is not even a close call (my wife gasped when i told her what obama said about pig/lipstick, without knowing any context or having me prime her with a reference to Palin), and Obama can't have it both ways (I'm a brilliant speaker, but not responsible for the obvious implications of the images I use).

    So much for post-partisanship and elevating the discourse. I just feel like he's undoing the work we all did for him by shooting his mouth off.

    I don't know, the more interesting question is whether Obama is starting to come apart at the seams. As his party's Presidential nominee, he should be doing battle with John McCain, not Sarah Palin. But he seemingly can't help himself. Over the last couple of days, several generally apolitical people have told me that they think Obama has been melting down ever since Palin's nomination was announced. Hysteria does appear to be sweeping the Obama camp, with over the top attacks on both Palin and McCain. One wonders whether their internal polling numbers are really, really bad.

    Sorry, but I have a bad bad feeling the election is not going well, to put it mildly.

    Faux Outrage (none / 0) (#250)
    by Matt in Chicago on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 10:48:05 AM EST
    I feel a little bad for Obama, but after having watched him use Faux Outrage throughout the campaign against big mean Hillary, I am having problems when he levels the charge against others.

    While I honestly don't believe that he intended to make a sexist remark... the fact remains that it was another unforced error on his part.  Instead of talking about education yesterday (does anyone even realize what he was there to talk about?) he now has to "defend" himself... from himself.

    Here is some free advice (yep, it is worth what you're paying for it :)

    1. Stop going after Palin!  She's running for VP, you're not.
    2. Stop allowing fake scandals about Palin to crop up... at this rate if something really bad is actually uncovered no one is going to believe it.
    3. Stick to your message and start telling us why we should vote for you.
    4. No one but the party faithful is really buying the "McSame" stuff... it is a cute slogan, but he's had 10 years to build his image and it is going to take more than 60 days to tear it down... especially with people saying what a maverick (god I am sick of this term) choice he made with Palin.
    5. You can win on issues... everything else is just a distraction.

    It's flying. Fly, little lipstick comment, FLY! (none / 0) (#251)
    by goldberry on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 11:10:14 AM EST
    I know it shouldn't fly.  I know it is the politics of personal distraction.  
    Butcha know what, Jeralyn?  It wouldn't work if Obama and the DNC didn't leave themselves open to it.  
    Hey, for all we know, the Republicans have the "brush that dirt off your shoulders" ad all lined up to follow.  
    It is working.  Women are disgusted.  I've hear at least one tell me today that Obama lost her over it.  
    Like Obama says, it's not "just words".

    The pig statement could be construed (none / 0) (#252)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 11:19:33 AM EST
    as an insult to women.  But knowing how clever Rove is, he probably heard Obama say it in stump speeches and they put it in Palin's script just so they could scream sexism the next time he said it.  Maybe we should have caught that when she made the pig statement in her acceptance speech.  It did seem odd to me at the time, but I didn't follow through on why she'd use that terminology.  

    Macaca (none / 0) (#253)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 03:32:01 PM EST
    Will this be Obama's macaca moment?