September 10, 2008

Come on, guys

And so our presidential election finally slips all the way into complete irredeemable inanity.

Does anybody really, truly think Obama meant to call Sarah Palin a pig? Seriously? Ah well, it matters not. I'm checking out of this one...

Posted by Dr. Frank at September 10, 2008 02:25 AM | TrackBack

Those links are two of the rightist of right-wing sites..

MSNBC has a good story about it:

As does the Chicago Tribune:

It's just more false outrage by the Republicans, trying to paint Obama as a 'sexist' and court the outlying Hillary supporters who they think they can sway with their deception.

-Dan, Washington, DC

Posted by: Dan at September 10, 2008 03:16 AM


Posted by: aaron at September 10, 2008 07:13 AM

False outrage or not, why was Obama so stupid as to hand them the stick they are now beating him with? I thought this guy was the master orator. Why did he say something so politically dumb? Very amateurish on his part.

I agree that it wasn't intended to be an insult, but do you think McCain would get off so easily if he "accidentally" said something similar during a rally?

Posted by: COOP at September 10, 2008 06:59 PM

Sure, COOP, points taken and all, but I don't like this "gotcha" approach to stuff people people happen to say, whether the target is Obama or Imus or Salman Rushdie or whoever. Now we have yet another common phrase that cannot be uttered publicly ever again because of fake outrage about something-ism. I hate it when that happens. Remember the gals who got to share a half a million dollar award because they happened to hear someone say "ride 'em hard and put 'em away wet"? ( Or the guy who was fired because he mentioned the Seinfeld Mulva episode? ( Same basic idea. And it's dumb. And if they can do it to presidential candidates, they can do it to you, too, if they haven't already.

I'm sure they will in fact eventually catch McCain saying something that could be twisted into a rude insult of some interest group or other, and then the fake outrage machine will kick in from the other "side." (That's the side that invented and perfected the technique, after all.) His defenders will say it's political correctness gone mad, and they'll be right. Just when I'm ready to like these guys, they let me down. A lot of people eat this stuff up, but I don't. The candidate who stood up and said "yeah, whatever" in that situation instead of going all outrage-y and victim-y would really have a place in my heart, but I guess that's not how you win elections. Instead we will have a parade of red Al Sharptons vs. blue Al Sharptons barking at each other endlessly on cable about totally dumb stuff, till November and beyond.

I know it will continue and no doubt get worse and even sillier as time goes on. It has just reached the level of "too dumb to interest me" at this point. Everyone has his own threshold, but Pig-gate is pretty much it for me.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at September 10, 2008 08:40 PM

I'm reluctant to drag this out, but here goes. Suppose that on Monday night my wife and I go out to dinner with her friends. During dinner she talks to her friends about our sometimes adversarial relationship and refers to herself as a pitbull in lipstick. Goes over great with her friends and they can't stop laughing. Tuesday night we go out to dinner with my friends. During dinner I talk to my friends about our sometimes adversarial relationship and make a smart remark about a pig in lipstick. Soon I'm on the floor cradling my now-destroyed nut sac and whimpering something about "not meaning it that way". Was I an idiot? Yes. End of story.

Posted by: Mike NYC at September 11, 2008 02:09 AM

Dr. Frank, you were mentioned on Pop Candy today in reference to good books for high-schoolers to read or something.

I think the pig/lipstick discussion is an issue of someone in Obama's camp not being very careful with a metaphor, or not making sure that the vehicle of the phrase didn't get confused with the tenor. (Vehicle being the signifier, tenor being the thing signified.) In this case, the thing signified actually does wear lipstick, just like the signifier does in the phrase. People inferred this oversight to mean that, because there was no longer a purely abstract relationship between the vehicle and tenor of the metaphor, the metaphor had broken down, and that Obama was just calling her a pig. Its something that Obama's people should have caught, because he, like a lot of other people, probably understands how metaphors work and don't work. It was a not very savvy way to say something that was actually a valid point in the real political argument but has now unfortunately been lost in debate over the way it was said.

Posted by: Nate Pensky at September 11, 2008 03:18 AM

I get it, Mike, but it's the Republicans who are doing the whimpering and whining here, disingenuous though it is, and I don't think it makes them look too good. That Katie Couric ad was extremely lame.


And thanks, Nate, for the heads up about Pop Candy.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at September 11, 2008 03:50 PM

Dan: The National Review is indeed Right Wing (though I think you'll find that many places, like the Weekly Standard, are "farther right").

But to think Glenn Reynolds is "the rightest of the right wing requires a special sort of political insanity that I can't even comprehend.

Unless of course one defines "rightest right wing" as "not being Unquestioningly For Obama".

Which kinda makes independence or libertarianism definitionally vanish. Convenient, maybe, but hardly accurate.

(Note in fact that Reynolds agrees with Frank that it's a tempest in a teapot.)

Posted by: Sigivald at September 11, 2008 09:45 PM

Yeah. Threshold met for me for sure.

My "favorite" part of all this is how the "media" is "covering" how the "media" is handling it. For instance, last night Anderson Cooper said something like, "I don't want to talk about the lipstick thing tonight..." then proceded to, you guessed it, talk about the lipstick thing.

But, yeah, if this is where the campaign is headed from here, consider me gleefully uninformed.

Posted by: Matt Riggle at September 11, 2008 11:06 PM

yes, "rightest right wing" does mean "not unquestionably for obama." trust me. i live in san francisco. we're better than you.

Posted by: lefty at September 12, 2008 08:28 PM

Obama made a novice's error, and the error of a fundamantally weak person and candidate.

He made a joke that his friends and supporters would think was funny. He is staying in the mental comfort zone of his liberal Democrat supporters and his campaign team.


The ONLY voters who matter at this point are swing voters in three or four states: MI, OH, PA, CO. Many of those swing/undecided voters are women.

Dissing a female opponent in a way that your fans will like but which undecided voters may not like is foolhardy.

Poor judgment.

I am a McCain supporter, and if "my" guy did something equally foolish I would say so.

Obama better get his head in the game, or he is going to piss the whole thing down his leg. Tough luck if so.

Posted by: Lexington Green at September 13, 2008 01:16 AM