Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Biden's Big Mouth

Quite the running mate Obama has chosen. He recently said that if McCain and Palin were elected, it would be "a step back for women." Then came this gem:
I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there's joy to it as well, the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?

That's classy, using Palin's son with Down Syndrome to make false claims about your opponent. McCain and Palin support federal funding for adult stem cell research but oppose using federal funds for embryonic stem cell research. He is also suggesting that Palin must not care about children with disabilities if she doesn't agree with him on embryonic stem cell research. If Biden cares about it so much, how much money has he donated to private research into embryonic stem cell research? My guess is exactly $0.

*Update: Now Obama has called Governor Palin a pig. She has them running scared and they don't know what to do.


Tom said...

McCain said the same thing about Hillary's health care plan in 2007. This is an amazing non-issue.

Also, I think it's a little rich to accuse somebody of running scared in a sentence about Sarah Palin, when the person you're accusing of running scared is not in fact Sarah Palin.

Her historically unprecedented unavailability to the media is a de facto admission that she is unprepared on issues that matter. It is an admission that she was selected purely for political reasons.

Jon Vander Plas said...

McCain said the same thing about Hillary's health care plan, not about Hillary. Are you suggesting that Obama's followers are such sycophantic half wits that they laugh uproariously at a tired political cliche about McCain's economic plan? And why did they start chanting "no pitbull" right after? Clearly the people in the audience knew exactly what he was talking about.

I will agree that the McCain campaign has blown this out of proportion. A staffer should have ripped Obama for it and then let it be.

As far as media access: click here.

Rudi said...

Obama on Letterman last night:

"Just calling [ideas] change, calling them different doesn't make it better, hence lipstick on a pig," Obama said.

He then clarified his statements even more.

"Keep in mind, technically, had I meant it this way, [Palin] would be the lipstick. The failed policies of John McCain would be the pig, just following the logic of this illogical situation," Obama said.


Denotation: “the most specific or literal meaning of a word or phrase, as opposed to its figurative senses or connotations.”

Connotation: “an additional sense or senses associated with or suggested by a word or phrase. Connotations are sometimes, but not always, fixed, and are often subjective.”


Was Obama really talking about dressing up McCain's "failed policies" with the "lipstick" of Sarah Palin? Denotation- yes. Connotation, he was also obviously slamming Palin.

The "lipstick/pitbull" comment was in headlines around the world (and as John points out, EVERYONE in attendance at the Obama campaign stop understood the lipstick connotation to be a Palin slam).

Did the McCain camp over-react? Yes. But for one moment, let's pause to see what would happen if the shoe were on the other foot.

There are a few things that are still out of bounds in political slamming- both gender and race are (and should be) considered out of bounds as a topic of belittlement of an opponent.

This entire campaign, Obama has claimed to be about change (while McCain criticizes about his lack of experience) and McCain claims to be about experience (while Obama criticizes him for his lack of change).

What if (and I would NEVER support a statement like this... I'm speaking hypothetically) John McCain, referring to Obama's lack of experience said, "You can dress up a slave in free man's clothes... but he's still a slave." ?

It's the same "point" of "naming an issue something doesn't make it so." The denotation would literally mean "Obama says that he has the experience, but he doesn't." But the connotation would be terribly racist, and an obvious slam on Obama with race as a catalyst. The media would (rightfully) go crazy.

Calling Palin- a woman- "lipstick" HAS to be offensive to women. Granted, my hypothetical is worse, but the media gave Obama's sexist comment justifiable attention.

Tom said...

Jon-a different crowd, earlier in the day, in a different state, chanted "no pit bull". May I suggest you don't believe everything that Rush says?

Let me get this straight. Had Obama called Palin lipstick (which he didn't), that would be roughly equivalent to McCain calling Obama a slave. I am speechless. I am without speech. I don't even know where to begin.

And the shoe was precisely on the other foot last October. McCain used the exact same tired political cliche about Hillary's health care plans, and reasonable people did nothing.

Nice job controlling the media though. And keeping actual issues off the table for another day.

Rudi said...

A DIRECT QUOTE from Obama explaining himself:

"Keep in mind, technically, had I meant it this way, [Palin] would be the lipstick."

I never claimed that "lipstick" and "slave" were equivalent... I said that the slave comment would be much worse. I was simply using a parallel "off limits topic" (race/gender) to make the point that this is NOT, as you claim, a non-issue. It's a sexist remark that the McCain camp got too crazy about, but that doesn't excuse Obama for saying it.

McCain DID use this phrase. Big deal. The entire point is that Obama's use of the phrase was strategically timed with the Palin "lipstick" comment on everyone's mind.

Tom said...

It was a non-issue when McCain said it. It is a serious issue when Obama says it. I got it.

Kind of like Palin said thanks but no thanks to the bridge, and is for ethics reform, and against earmarks, and a fiscal conservative when there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise?

Obama said "HAD I meant it this way". Which in English means he didn't mean it that way.

Heck, even Bill O'Reilly said the media went too far, and that Obama didn't intend for this to be be a sexist remark. I forget though, is he part of the liberal media or not?

Obama has used the phrase before. Many others have on both sides of the aisle. The only thing strategic about this issue is how it attempts to keep any deserved media attention off of Palin.

Rudi said...

You're right... Obama didn't mean to call Palin lipstick. He called her a pig. Sorry- my mistake.

I'm with you AND with O'Reily, this HAS gotten too much attention, but it DID deserve attention (that was the point of my previous post).

Jon Vander Plas said...

Can we agree that it was a stupid thing to say and it offended people but that the McCain campaign and the media have made too big a deal out of it?

Rudi said...

amen, jon. You're always able to reach across the aisle and bring the parties together.

You're truely the voice of change. Maybe you should be on a ticket... only a few more years til 35...

Jon Vander Plas said...

If I'm going to run in 2016, I'd better get going on my resume. Prepare to be organized, community!