Lipstick, uh, lipstick, uh pig, yeah, that’s it
A lot is being made over Obama’s lipstick on a pig comment. Some are interpreting it to mean he’s sexist. Some are interpreting it to mean he thinks McCain is a pig. If you wanna get real crazy, you could call it it Muslim ideology:
Now, Obama has resisted prevailing rumors that he is ( gasp ), Muslim. So, to use a pig as an insult kind of reinforces that prevailing issue. Sure, that’s not what it’s all about, but I believe the subconscious has a lot more influence on people than given credit. When you keep reinforcing something, it tends to eventually affect your overt actions. Used systematically, this is called brainwashing. Some media does it quite well by repeating the same message over and over and over. Eventually, some people just accept it as fact and alter their decision making process accordingly. The message has been put out there that he’s a covert in-the-clost terrorist-sympathizing Muslim. The last thing he needs to do is covertly reinforce that image. He just did that. The other side is he’s completely ignorant of Muslim tradition and therefore could be a liability dealing with the most pressing of our foreign relations issues. Not good.
Pretty nutty huh? Yeah it is. But to his credit, he’s now saying that it couldn’t be all that bad since he got the line from McCain. In other words, he plagiarized it, stole it, whatever. It was not his original line. The defense quite honestly, sounds worse than the “crime”.
And then of course, there is the issue of whether he’s slamming Palin because of her lipstick hockey moms comment. If so, then he’s sexist. Implying that hockey moms and pigs are the same.
But, the real issue with that quote in my opinion is the stammering delivery. I hate “uh”. It makes the presenter sound kind of stupid. It is Bush’s habit of stammering with “uh” that has killed his image in my opinion. Now, considering this was not an interview of any sort, but a prepared speech, that makes it even more disturbing to me.
Bottom line, using that analogy was a no-win situation for multiple angles. “Lipstick” belonged to Palin, the entire comment belonged to McCain, pigs having religious connotations which either he respects but carries a stigma in the US, or he is completely ignorant of, and while McCain was comparing it to an inanimate object, Obama was describing another person.
Bottomest line, it was a horribly poor choice of words for the context it was presented in. Someone should have clued him in. Or, most likely, he’s wingning it. If so, not good. People keep talking about what a magnificent speaker Obama is. However, so far, I am far from impressed. If it’s prepared and rehearsed, he’s good. If not, he’s quite often very bad. When the campaign’s over, he won’t have the opportunity to prepare himself for all deliveries. Think about that.
And while you’re thinking about all that, think about this cartoon:
And his speech 0m 9/8/08:
‘Watch out George Bush,’ Obama said with sarcasm, according to NBC News. ‘Except for economic policies, and tax policies, and energy policies, and health care policies, and education policies, and Karl Rove-style politics — except for all that, we’re really going to bring change to Washington ! We’re really going to shake things up!’”
Disclaimer, he had previously used the the cartoon and attributed Toles. However, I think if you’re going to lift lines straight from someone else, you need to cite them every time. If you don’t, then you wind up with people seeing the one incidence and thinking, well, it was stolen. Just another example that makes me wonder what exactly it is about Obama’s speech skills that make people think he’s very good at all. Of the speech we’re discussing now, the two most memorable lines were taken directly from a cartoon and his opponent. Of course, I have omitted the “fish stinks” line entirely. That one is so old and used that it really doesn’t say anything at all about the presenter.
Yet another update: I am quite pleased in the fact I was made aware of the Tom Toles cartoon plagiarism thingy apparently before Scott Ott was. Now, if I could just make my posts wittier or funnier than Scott’s, I’d be set!