In every presidential campaign we get a phony outrage. One side or the other huffs and puffs and blows away all the real issues with a long, drawn-out and totally meaningless discussion over a stupid incident that doesn’t feed one hungry person, get us any closer to the end of the war in Iraq or provide any health care for the millions of citizens who can’t afford any.
This time we’re wasting time over whether or not when Barack Obama said, “You can’t put lipstick on a pig” he was taking a cheap shot at Sarah Palin, the self-described “pit bull with lipstick.” Palin’s running mate (who’s zooming who?) John McCain hurriedly released a commercial blasting Obama and later appeared on The View where he was roughed up by Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and even Barbara Walters.
Of course the right-wingers on radio and television and in the blogs are swearing up and down, “Oooh! Oooh! Obama dissed Palin. He called her a pig! Oooh!”
Which according to Factcheck.org, an impartial site that monitors the ads and statements of both campaigns for truthfulness, accuracy and spin, couldn’t be farther from reality.
Let’s start with what the ad gets right. It does seem to be true that Republican v.p. candidate Sarah Palin wears lipstick. And it’s true that she mentioned this particular cosmetic choice at the convention, when she joked that lipstick is the only difference between a hockey mom and pit bull, as the ad shows before it goes completely off the rails. If this were a CoverGirl commercial, we’d be all set.
But it’s not; it’s a political ad. And it goes on to imply that Obama made a personal dig at Palin, calling her a “pig,” and that commentators decried his sexism for derailing the campaign. This is bunk. link
A simple thing like facts isn’t slowing down the false indignation of right-wingers who have never given a damn about sexism or women’s issues until Palin got in the race.
When it comes to “lipstick on pigs” John McCain was way ahead of Obama:
In Iowa on Oct. 11, 2007, McCain panned Sen. Hillary Clinton’s health care plan, calling it “eerily reminiscent” of the plan that failed during Bill Clinton’s administration, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.
“I think they put some lipstick on a pig,” McCain said, “but it’s still a pig.”
On Feb. 1, 2007, McCain blasted a Senate resolution that would have criticized President Bush’s strategy in Iraq. Some had praised the resolution as a compromise measure, but McCain disagreed. “It gets down to whether you support what is being done in this new strategy or you don’t,” McCain said. “You can put lipstick on a pig, [but] it’s still a pig, in my view.”
It is simply impossible to view the complete remarks by Obama and conclude that he’s making a veiled and unsavory reference to Palin. Her name never is used in the preceding sentence. In fact, it’s hard to see how one could interpret Obama’s lipstick-on-a-pig remark as referring directly to McCain, either. We think it’s very clear that Obama was saying McCain’s effort to call himself the “candidate of change” is like putting lipstick on a pig, trying to dress up a bad idea to look better. Agree or disagree with Obama’s point, but his remark wasn’t the smear that McCain’s people have tried to make it.
If anyone’s doing any smearing, it’s the McCain campaign and its outrageous attempt to distort the facts. Did Obama call Palin a pig? No, and saying so is Pants on Fire wrong. link
We have reached a low watermark in this campaign when gas prices are spiking back up, financial insitutions are crumbling (Lehman Brothers) or requiring a federal bail-out (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), the Cold War is heating back up, over 40 million Americans have no health insurance, and McCain and the right-wing want to play semantics over pigs and lipstick.
You know you’ve crossed from merely being absurd to downright idiocy when even Karl Rove has no love for your negative advertising.
“McCain has gone in his ads one step too far, and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the 100-percent-truth test,” said Rove. “Both campaigns ought to be careful about… there ought to be an adult who says: ‘Do we really need to go that far in this ad? Don’t we make our point and get broader acceptance and deny the opposition an opportunity to attack us if we don’t include that one little last tweak in the ad?'”
McCain once said he would rather lose an election than a war. He seems to have modified that to he would rather lose his honor than a election.
I love how the Republicans have gone from almost total disinterest in the presidential campaign to complete confidence they have got this thing in the bag since Palin made the scene.
Sure Palin has revitalized a Republican base that was lurching around like zombies in a George Romero flick, but I’ve yet to read even ONE suddenly cocky right-winger that has considered, “What if Palin has woken up overconfident Democrats that thought they had this in the bag?”