The Next Hissy
So here's what the traditional media is going to be talking about for the next day. Be prepared for it. It's too stupid for them to ignore.
Today at an event in Virginia, Barack Obama mocked the McCain-Palin ticket's notion that they will change Washington. He didn't refer specifically to Gov. Palin, he didn't refer to the line she used in her convention speech about hockey moms and pit bulls. He simply used a common idiom.
"That's not change," Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said of what Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is offering. "You know, you can put lipstick on a pig," Obama said, "but it's still a pig."
The McCain campaign is going to try to frame this as a sexist remark.
Jake Tapper decided to make the connection for everyone, no doubt prodded by the McCain spin machine. He specifically connected the "lipstick on a pig" remark to Palin, despite it being an expression. Later in the same riff, Obama says that "You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called 'change,' but it's still gonna stink after eight years." Is that anti-marine life?
Ben Smith picked up on this too, claiming that "The crowd apparently took the "lipstick" line as a reference to Palin," because I'm sure he asked them all. The crowd certainly wasn't cheering simply because it was an accurate line, that McCain and Palin are a couple of liars, and that's a common phrase used to show someone trying to put a veneer over their true beliefs. Marc Ambinder has pushed back a bit on this, asking incredulously, "Suddenly, common analogies are sexist?" He also found instances of Obama using the phrase in other contexts. And there's also this:
McCain criticized Democratic contenders for offering what he called costly universal health-care proposals that require too much government regulation. While he said he had not studied Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's plan, he said it was "eerily reminiscent" of the failed plan she offered as first lady in the 1990s.
"I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," he said of her proposal.
Not to mention the fact that McCain has made notoriously sexist remarks in the past.
But the die is cast. If you don't think this will go large, please note that the Malkinites have already started in.
There's no doubt that this is going to turn into some giant controversy, despite it being COMPLETELY MANUFACTURED. Believe me, if there was a sexist remark made by Obama or one of his surrogates, I'd be the first person to jump on it. We have to protect women running for public office from being put on an unlevel playing field, and I'm very disappointed that far too many liberals seem to not understand this.
But this is ridiculous. And the newfound Republican guardians of feminism, the ones who spent the spring selling Hillary nutcrackers and Citizens United Not Timid T-shirts, are somewhat less than credible.
The McCain campaign has no honor and no shame, and they will try to ram this down everyone's throat. The goal here ought to be letting the traditional media know, from a grassroots level, that they ought to give this exactly the attention it deserves, which is none. But, this is a tailor-made manufactured story for the daytime talking heads to cackle over.