The same, alas, cannot be said for the Obama campaign, which is going on the attack to deny that they meant anything at all by the use of the word "lipstick" by their candidate. Any seasoned political campaigner could probably have told Obama that this was exactly the wrong thing to do; by striking a "hard-hitting rebuttal" pose, Obama made sure that the story would remain in the news far longer than such a piece of trivia deserves. But I think we're getting a glimpse of something we needed to know about Barack Obama--he can't stand to be in the wrong, and so first he has to deny that "lipstick on a pig" was a slur directed at Sarah Palin, and then he has to up the ante by accusing the Republicans--I am not making this up!--of swift boat politics over his porcine cosmetic reference.
For the record, I think it's pretty silly of the Republicans to go after Obama for this remark; even if he did mean to insult Sarah Palin, it's not that big of a deal to use this phrase (though I still think that, this being the twenty-first century and all, we could come up with a few new phrases to express the concept of attempting to make something unattractive look more appealing). But Obama could have tossed this off with a laugh and an "I'm sorry if feelings were hurt" sort of generic apology-non-apology, and that would have been the end of it; instead, he's palpably running scared, on the defensive, and seeking to portray himself as the outraged victim over what was a rather petty, clumsy remark in the first place.
Not only are the Obama supporters nearly hysterical over the mere existence of negative press about their candidate, but some of them have truly gone off the deep end. Governor David Patterson of New York has decided that "community organizer" is now code for "black," and is accusing the McCain campaign of racism:
At the Crain's Business Forum this morning, Paterson drew attention to a phrase used numerous times by speakers at the Republican National Convention to describe Barack Obama's leadership experience: community organizer.I'm sorry, but saying that "community organizer" is code for "black" is simply ridiculous. It smacks of desperation, and shows just how rattled the Obama supporters are by his softening in the polls, by Sarah Palin's popularity despite (or maybe because of) their attack machine, and by the dawning realization that they could actually lose this campaign.
"I think the Republican Party is too smart to call Barack Obama 'black' in a sense that it would be a negative. But you can take something about his life, which I noticed they did at the Republican Convention – a 'community organizer.' They kept saying it, they kept laughing," he said.
Paterson sees the repeated use of the words "community organizer" as Republican code for "black".
"I think where there are overtones is when there are uses of language that are designed to inhibit other people's progress with a subtle reference to their race," he said.
In this post today Mark Shea links to an article by an Obama supporter who wakes up to this possibility, and then blames it all on the media (I'm not linking directly to the piece because it contains some rather strong language). The media! Yes, apparently the Obama supporters will wake up the day after the election muttering imprecations against America's news reporters, because if they'd only done their jobs and exposed McBushPalinCainReaganNixonHitler for what they really were, then no sane person in America would ever have voted for them, and NPR would rule the land as the voice of reason and sanity, and all the social programs a liberal utopian could ever have dreamed of could have been funded by taxing Nascar out of existence.
The Large Hadron Collider may not have imploded, or manufactured black holes, or otherwise caused dire irreversable damage to the world. But the Obama campaign is taking up the slack, spiraling out of control in an ever-accelerating loop as they keep crashing head-on into the reality that a firm commitment to liberal elitism has never won an election yet.