Prosecute the torture.

September 14, 2008

Jack Kelly Sunday

In this week's column, Jack Kelly dives into the whole (and increasingly important, doncha know) "lipstick on a pig" controversy.

The thing you have to remember, here, is that this is what Jack used his column space for: Lipstick on a pig. Not Governor Palin's ballooning of the Alaska budget ("fiscal conservative" anyone??) or her continued lying (yes, lying) about the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere." Or the jet that was sold ("for a profit" spake McCain) on ebay - except it wasn't.

No. We get the "lipstick on a pig" thing. And Jack isn't even spinning it very well. Take a look:

Speaking in Lebanon, Va., the day before, Mr. Obama said Sen. John McCain may claim he'll change Washington, but he's really just like President Bush.

"You can put lipstick on a pig," he said. "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 AP's Nedra Pickler said the remark drew "shouts and raucous applause" from his audience, whose members were "clearly drawing a connection" to the joke Sarah Palin told in her acceptance speech, that the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick. The McCain campaign demanded he apologize for the remark and rushed out a television ad criticizing him for making it.

Mr. Obama said Wednesday he meant no such thing. His profession of innocence would have been more persuasive if he'd attempted to disabuse his audience Tuesday of the notion he was referring to Ms. Palin, and if an Obama surrogate hadn't used remarkably similar language that day in referring to her.

First off, part his reporting is based on what Nedra Pickler wrote. It should be noted that Ms Pickler is not the cleanest of disinterested observers. As Mediamatters wrote:
In a February 24 Associated Press article about conservative attacks on Sen. Barack Obama's patriotism, staff writer Nedra Pickler quoted Roger Stone's assertion that "[Sen.] Barack Obama is out of the McGovern wing of the party, and he is part of the blame America first crowd." But Pickler identified Stone only as a "Republican consultant." She did not mention that Stone established the anti-Hillary Clinton 527 group Citizens United Not Timid which emphasizes its acronym on its website and on T-shirts...
My friend Johnny Mac's got a whole lot to say about Ms Pickler.

But, eventually and curiously, Jack writes:
I'm inclined to take Mr. Obama at his word, mostly because it would be really stupid to say such a thing deliberately. But the remark comes on the heels of unprecedented personal invective directed at Ms. Palin and her family from Obama supporters, and it does sound like a campaign meme. The video of Mr. Obama's remarks is on YouTube. Watch it and judge for yourself.
Ok...what? So he doesn't think Senator Obama called Governor Palin a pig? After using half his column space to write about it?

In any event, so here are the remarks on youtube:

Transcript:
Let's just list this for a second. John McCain says he's about change, too. And so I guess his whole angle is, watch out George Bush. Except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy, and Karl Rove style politics, we're really going to shake things up in Washington. That's not change. That's just calling something, the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig.
Where, again, is the reference to Governor Palin? The WATBs over at the McCain campaign demand an apology for the unfair smear of their VP candidate. But for what?

And anyway take a cloooose look at the text. IF (and this is a long stretch - a very long stretch) the metaphor does revolve around Governor Palin, she's the lipstick. The McCain claim that it's "different" is what's the pig.

Jack even continues the conservative whining by complaining about some mean things coming from an Obama surrogate regarding Governor Palin:
Mr. McCain chose as his running mate "someone with zero experience in national government, zero experience in foreign affairs," Rep. Russ Carnahan said in his introduction of Sen. Joe Biden at an event in Missouri. "There is no way you can dress up that record, even with a lot of lipstick."
But take a look at it again. This is from the St Louis Beacon:

Also speaking was U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, a Democrat from Missouri's Third District, which includes the Mehlville area.

Carnahan ticked off a litany of what he described as Bush administration failures: the war in Iraq, the national debt, high gas prices, exporting jobs outside the U.S., record home foreclosures and record student loan debts.

"This the record John McCain bragged about," Carnahan said.

Carnahan called McCain's decision to name Palin to the ticket a mistake. "He buckled to the right wing," he said of McCain. "She has zero experience in national government, zero experience in foreign affairs. And there is no way you can dress up that record, even with a lot of lipstick." He was referring to Palin's joke at the Republican national convention in which she asked supporters whether they knew the difference between a "hockey mom and a pit pull.

The "record" (i.e. "the pig") being referred to is either the Bush administration's many failures (Carnahan even uses the same word) OR Palin's "zero experience in national government, zero experience in foreign affairs." If anything (and again this is a stretch), she's the lipstick.

Don't these folks understand metaphor?

I'll leave it here with something from Obama's response to this whole "controversy":

See it would be funny, it would be funny except -- of course the news media all decided that that was the lead story yesterday. They'd much rather have the story -- this is the McCain campaign -- would much rather have the story about phony and foolish diversions than about the future.

This happens every election cycle. Every four years. This is what we do. We've got an energy crisis. We have an education system that is not working for too many of our children and making us less competitive. We have an economy that is creating hardship for families all across America. We've got two wars going on, veterans coming home not being cared for -- and this is what they want to talk about! this is what they want to spend two of the last 55 days talking about.

This is what the whiners over at the GOP want to talk about.

1 comment:

Gewurztraminer said...

It bears repeating:
When someone holds an opinion so tightly that the real data is unimportant, facts have no value, and the conclusions are already reached, then any data supporting the opinion is golden and any data contradicting it is propaganda, fabrication, exaggeration, or conspiracy. In such an environment, truth is unimportant and discussion is useless. You can't be wrong in guessing to whom the statement applies.