Friday, September 12, 2008

Just as well he didn't mention silk purses

Apparently last year John McCain used the 'lipstick, pig, still pig' trope in reference to Hillary Clinton's proposed health care policy and nobody said a thing.

This was probably because everyone understood that it's a figure of speech, referring to policies not persons, and that McCain was not in fact calling Clinton a pig.

The Republicans know Barack Obama wasn't calling Sarah Palin a pig either -- if anything, he was sort of calling her the lipstick -- but it is in Republican interests to convince the US public that he was.

Given that he's black and she's a woman, if people continue to carry on in this demented fashion every time someone uses a concrete noun then the next eight weeks are going to be honeycombed with linguistic pitfalls, if not actual abysses, down which some unwitting candidate, speechwriter, administrator, journalist or gofer is going to fall about once every two minutes, some of them never to be seen again.

4 comments:

Barry Leiba said...

«some of them never to be seen again.»

With some of them, that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

But, well, if you are sick of it all, all the way down there, imagine how some of us are handling it. There are days when I want to gnaw my own ears off so I don't have to hear it any more.

Bernice said...

Yes it is being taken out of context BUT he should be a lot more savvy - when I heard it, my immediate thought was this will be an arse-biter. The Dems have to play Palin with great care, simply because of what she can be made to represent. And Obama should know that.
Good news this morning though - both Hil & Bill are engaging full tilt with Obama's last 8 weeks - he's gunna need it.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Barry -- you have my sympathies. I had an almost-deranged email after the 2004 US election from an online friend there, normally the most civil and reasonable of men, who was beside himself with sorrow and rage at the election result after months and months of having to listen to the buildup.

Yes, Bernice, my heart sank too. But if you listen to the audio, he seems to be speaking off the cuff at that point and unable to resist the allusion to the pit bull thing. One of Obama's best things is his ease in public and his fluency as a speaker, and all that beautiful ease will vanish if he has to watch his every word. It'll be interesting to see how Palin goes, Freudian-slip-wise, when and if they let her out of the bubble-wrap and she has to do more extempore speaking beyond just performing texts that were written for somebody else and then pinkificated at the eleventh hour.

Trudeau of Doonesbury has been very funny over the last month or two on the subject of Bill -- at one point Boopsie and Zonker are watching him rave on the teeve and Boopsie turns to Zonker and says 'Is he going to be all right?'

Bernice said...

Re Palin - Huffington Post has a lovely video of Palin attempting to explain the Bush Doctrine... I think the phrase "Please explain" would just about cover it.