Saturday, September 13, 2008

Obama hits McCain for 'phony outrage' over remark

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

On Tuesday, Obama criticized McCain's policies as similar to those of President Bush, saying: "You can put lipstick on a pig. 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."

The McCain campaign immediately jumped on the comments, arguing they were directed at Palin, the GOP's first woman on a presidential ticket. In her acceptance speech last week, she had referred to herself in a joke about lipstick being the only difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull.

Accusing Obama of "smearing" Palin in "offensive and disgraceful" comments, the McCain campaign demanded an apology — though McCain himself used the folksy metaphor a few times last year, including once to describe Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care plan.

The McCain campaign today issued an Internet ad that said Obama was talking about Palin and said of Obama: "Ready to lead? No. Ready to smear? Yes."

Obama's campaign has accused the GOP camp of engaging in a "pathetic attempt to play the gender card." The campaign noted two other instances of McCain using the phrase "lipstick on a pig" and its use by other Republicans such as House Minority Leader John Boehner and Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl.

More here.

Okay, so this is extraordinarily funny because not a single individual in the Republican Party, male and female alike, gives a shit about this kind of "sexism." I mean, sure, after three decades of feminist influence on the US, Republicans have become liberated enough to nominate a woman for veep, but absolutely none of them have a problem with lipstick jokes--after all, they've been railing away on whatever "politically correct" may mean for years and years. They just don't mean it, and it's very hard to take them seriously on this.

They are pretty good, however, at throwing hysterical bitch fits, so I guess we'll see if this hilarious attack on Obama gets any traction. Probably not because, in addition to being really funny, it's also bullshit, a straight-up lie, for reasons noted in the article excerpt above. I'm keeping my fingers crossed this time that the media does a better job, like they are with this lipstick thing, of pointing out the more absurd lies that the GOP likes to throw around in presidential elections--indeed, Krugman's got a recent column on how the McCain campaign is currently trying to outdo Bush's magnificent record with extreme lies; the whole "thanks but no thanks to the bridge to nowhere" meme is an almost funnier example.

Beyond all that, I think it's time for me to reveal what I think about this new presidential race wild card, Republican Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin: obviously she's a total right-wing kook, a complete nut, with lunatic Christian anti-feminist attitudes, and psychotic neoliberal distortions with which actual neoliberal economists would disagree, a perfect piece of red meat to throw the base for unity and poll attendance on election day. I also imagine that, by drafting a woman, the GOP is trying its hand at countering the diversity angle brought to the table with Obama's African-American ethnicity; however, as their utter feebleness with the pig lipstick attack clearly shows, Republicans are way out of their depth here, and Palin probably won't have much of an effect on voters who value diversity.

But I think there's more going on here than meets the eye. I think the real reason the GOP tapped Palin is because she's a babe. I mean, a major fucking babe. Okay, it might just be me, with my bizarre fetish for lawyerly chicks which dates back to my days as a high school debater, but there's just no way Republicans could be unaware of the raw librarian sexuality Palin brings to the race. In short, I feel certain that she was chosen, in part, to be a sex-object-for-votes, which is much more in line with where the GOP is on feminism than with its faux outrage over pigs and lipstick.

No seriously. Presidential campaigns are massive marketing campaigns in the truest sense: everybody knows that sex sells; it was only a matter of time before political parties started infusing sex into the products they sell. But what a product!

Hubba hubba!