Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Swine, Lip Gloss and Catnip

Here is Senator Barack Obama, speaking in Virginia this morning:

I, for one, am delighted that Obama is not backing down from his 'lipstick on a pig' metaphor. We Democrats have done too much -- way too much -- backing down in the past eight years. It is time  for us to stand up and push back hard against the schoolyard-bully tactics of the Republicans.

Obama was absolutely right to liken the staggering failures and breathtaking incompetence of the Republican Bush-McCain government of the past eight years to a pig. With an economy in disarray and losing jobs every month, with energy and health care costs out of control, with a housing market in crisis and a foreign policy run amok, the pig metaphor might, in fact, be a bit of an understatement. It certainly is a little unfair to pigs. It is, however, a fair assessment of our country's current situation. No matter how much Republican McCain and Republican Palin try to spin the truth, nothing can change the fact that their policies are an utter and dismal failure. No amount of lipstick can pretty-up that pig.

The false outrage and feigned indignation by the Republican campaign machine at the alleged 'sexism' in Obama's metaphor is beyond pathetic. It is proof positive that the Republicans cannot stand on, or even defend, their appalling record. We could hardly expect otherwise. What else can they do? They have a record of failure and corruption and little else to show for the past eight years. They are well accustomed to lying and spinning and trying to change the topic. This is 'situation normal' for them.

What is very disappointing here is the way in which the mainstream media have hyped the so-called story and sympathized with the crocodile tears coming from the  Republican camp. Every journalist worthy of the name is well acquainted with the metaphor Obama used and the context in which he used it. They also know, if they've done any research, that Republican McCain has used the same well-known metaphor himself -- once in connection to Hillary Clinton's health care plan.  Still, most of the chattering classes in the media are seduced by the Republican spin. So they make pigs and lipstick the lead political story for the better part of two news cycles. Catnip for the media? Barack nailed it.

In the past day or two, we have finally begun to hear a few courageous journalists chastise their sycophantic journalistic colleagues and to stand up to the Republican lies. Cheers to Mark Halperin, Joe Klein, Taylor Marsh, Glenn Greenwald and others for calling out their too numerous colleagues who have allowed the Fourth Estate to sink to its current depths. 

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