September 10th, 2008

I think it's over--for McCain


There's been a lot of buzz concerning Obama and his remarks about "lipstick on a pig" recently.  Republicans and other conservatives are jumping on this and saying Obama was referring to Palin.   They think Obama was trying to echo Palin's earlier remark about pitbulls and lipstick. 

But if Obama was trying to echo Palin, why wouldn't he have said "pitbull" rather than "pig"?  "Lipstick on a pig," is a fairly common phrase.  If he was really trying to attack Palin, he would have used her word.  What's more, what he said before making the remark makes it pretty clear he was referring to policy, not persons.  You also see this in his use of the word "it" when referencing the pig, rather than "he" or "she".   He had in mind something that was gender-neutral when he said the pig comments--that is, he was thinking of policies. 

There are a number of videos about this on Youtube.  Just type in "lipstick on a pig", and they pop right up.  Here is a video of the remark and what Obama said before:  www.youtube.com/watch

The "lipstick on a pig" remark has a venerable history in American politics.   Dick Cheney used it concerning Kerry in '04: www.youtube.com/watch 

Sen. McCain used it when referring to Hillary Clinton.    Maybe Cheney meant John Kerry was a pig, and maybe McCain meant Hillary Clinton was a pig.   But I doubt it.  

Which brings us back to the Obama remark.  I do not think it was meant in the way many conservatives and Republicans are taking it.    They have, literally overnight, taken to calling this the death of Obama's campaign.  I keep hearing them say "It's over."    I thought, when I first heard this remarks, that there would be video evidence of Obama losing his cool, shaking his fists and denouncing McCain and Palin directly as pigs in lipstick and stinky fish.  When I investigated I found things very different. 

Those opposed to Obama seem extraordinarily eager to throw him into an early grave, politically speaking.   They want him beaten and out of the race.   They are willing to exaggerate Obama's statements and see implications that aren't there in order to discount Obama. 

This, to me, betrays an irrational hatred or fear of the Democratic candidate.  For some conservatives this election has become an excuse to bash the Left.   The Left is showered with insulting labels like being termed "Enemies of the Normal," , a "Freak Show," and the "Evil Party", among others.  

The more these conservatives and other members of the Right continue to smear Obama and the Left in general, the more I think they are becoming desperate.  A good sign of desperation is when your opponents, instead of confronting your arguments or making arguments of their own, start attacking you personally.   When your opponent has nothing good to argue for, they start flinging mud.   I think Republicans are running scared.  They're trying to use Karl Rove-style politics yet again to demonize Obama.   "He called Palin a pig!"  they shout, trying to stir up anger in the masses.   

This is why I think it's over for the Republicans.  They are running a crappy, muddy campaign based more on smears and anger than on actual policy, and they know it.  If they were to actually engage Democrats on policy issues alone, they would be trounced.   As it is, they don't want to lose, so they are trying to determine just how impressionable and gullible the American public is.  They hope that emotional force can carry them to the White House when clear and responsible policy won't.  

The difference in this election is that the Republicans are at something of a record low when it comes to public approval.  The public is not quite so ready to accept Republican pleading this time around.  We have had them for eight years, and I think Americans, in general, are tired of them.   

Thus my prediction that the Republicans have lost this election, barring a true blunder on Obama's part.  It's possible.  We will have to see.  For right now though, I am betting that we will see an Obama Administration in the near future.  When Republicans have to resort to their same tired smear tactics, you know they're running scared and trying to induce a mass mania where persuasion hasn't worked.  They can't win this election using issues, so they have to try and win by using personality. 

Too bad for them that Obama, besides having better answers to the issues, also has the better personality.