You wouldn't think it would be possible, because you probably have the good sense that the Lord gave a pile of saltines, for the McCain camp to contend that mentioning the word "lipstick" in any context was tantamount to sexism, but guess what? That's where we are today. Literally! I just watched Jo Ann Davidson -- a woman who didn't even respect Sarah Palin enough to learn her name a week ago -- on MSNBC saying that the concept of "lipstick" is now permanently branded to Palin. So while it was okay a month ago to use the phrase "lipstick on a pig" in public (John McCain) or use it as the title of your book (Torie Clarke), everything has changed, and now the expression can only be read as a chauvinistic cutdown of the Magical Unvettable Uninterviewable Vice Presidential Miracle.
Seems to me that there was a time once where a man could tell a gorilla rape joke, insult Chelsea Clinton, quip about beating your wife, dump your spouse after she's survived a car accident, and undermine your daughter's art history degree, and still run for President on the top of the GOP ticket. But that was all the way back in the halcyon days of...what? July 2008? Everything is different, now that we're five minutes into the GOP's newfound fondness for fighting sexism.
If there's one good thing to come from this new obsession, it's this: clearly someone in the McCain camp -- I'm guessing Tucker Bounds -- is reading Jezebel. How do I know this? Well, in this morning's edition of Crappy Hour, Megan Carpentier joked:
Anyway, what I want to know is how come since Obama's next line was about stinky rotten fish, no former female Massachusetts governor is calling out Obama for making inappropriate comments about the smell of Sarah Palin's vagina? Huh, Jane Swift? Did you miss that? Because I really think commenting on vaginal odor is, like, totally worse than saying she looks pig-like, not that he said that either but if this is taking-fake-offense day, that's the fake offense I'm taking.
When I read this earlier, I thought to myself, "Ha ha! Good one, Megan! That would indeed be THE STUPIDEST THING IN THE WORLD." But I'm not laughing anymore! Because "fish in a wrapper" is precisely the fake offense the McCain camp is faking being offended by now! Marsha Blackburn, in the course of going on MSNBC and making not a lick of sense at all, took up the very line of attack that Megan was satirizing, telling Tamron Hall:
BLACKBURN: It's what women of America are beginning to see. Because Senator Obama had the choice of Senator Clinton or Governor Sebelius to go in the number two spot on that ticket. He passed over them. The comments he made last night. He followed the lipstick on a pig comment with talking about old fish wrapped in paper. Senator Obama is a smart man. And he is very highly educated. And I think that it was unfortunate. He knew what he was speaking, the words he was speaking.
Yes, that's Marsha Blackburn, attempting to make something serious out of a point that Megan Carpentier satirized, mere hours before. Blackburn went on to say, "I think a lot of Republican women are putting on a lip gloss called pitbull. I think a lot of American women are taking lip gloss called pitbull and putting it on their list," which, honestly, DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL.
Of course the Obama campaign has been responding to this flat-out insanity all day. But if there's an essential takeaway for Barack Obama, it's this: there is an ever-widening crazy gap between his campaign and McCain's. Marsha Blackburn successfully went on teevee and prattled on for five minutes like she was the town drunk, and what did it cost her? Nothing! The Obama team needs to recognize this, and work to close the gap in unremitting insanity. Someone needs to step up, and infect the discourse with the same nutbag distortions that McCain hits him with on a daily basis.
Think about it: McCain is the classic example of the joker who can dish it out, but can't take it. When he was running those "Celebrity" ads, McCain himself spoke of them publicly as jokes and suggested that Obama needed to get a sense of humor. But when the Democrats shot back, all too briefly, with mockery of McCain and his seven homes, the thin-skinned "maverick" got deliciously incensed. If you want McCain to blow his stack publicly, you have to keep up the mockery, with vicious aplomb. I mean, I appreciate Obama's rational response to the matter, but at the same time, McCain's got an ad up with fracking WOLVES. See the difference?
At the very least, something needs to fill the gap while the Daily Show is on hiatus. I've secretly harbored a suspicion, by the way, that McCain times his campaign's extra dose of crazy-for-cocoa-puffs nonsense while Jon Stewart isn't around to call him out on it, but that's grist for another mill.
Crappy Hour: Pig Lips, Crazy Eyes, Camille Paglia And The Dear Leader [Jezebel]
When life gives you pigs with lipstick, make sexy bacon [Radosh]
BLACKBURN: Senator McCain and Governor Palin have been focused on the issues. They're talking about the high price of energy, increased taxes, which the democrat congress brought forward. They're talking about job growth in America. They're talking about how to reform and reduce the size of the federal government. And I think that that is what the people that were gathered there in Fairfax wanted to hear. And that is where their focus should be and where it is, on the issues. Now, it is unfortunate that Senator Obama chose the words that he chose and made that comment that he made yesterday. Quite frankly, I know that after he called a reporter sweetie he called her and apologized to her. And I think that probably he needs to take the time and apologize to Governor Palin.
HALL: Well, when you point out a second example at least right now, are you implying or are you saying that Senator Obama is sexist?
BLACKBURN: I am saying that there seems to be a pattern of activity here, Tamron. You know, the sweetie comment was not an isolated incident. It's what women of America are beginning to see. Because Senator Obama had the choice of Senator Clinton or Governor Sebelius to go in the number two spot on that ticket. He passed over them. The comments he made last night. He followed the lipstick on a pig comment with talking about old fish wrapped in paper. Senator Obama is a smart man. And he is very highly educated. And I think that it was unfortunate. He knew what he was speaking, the words he was speaking.
HALL: A McCain supporter and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said he did not think Barack Obama was calling Governor Palin a pig. He said Obama should be given some slack on this. What do you say to Governor Huckabee.
BLACKBURN: Governor Huckabee has a point there. The problem is, you know, he chose those words and he used those words. If it was an error, just as he apologized to the reporter for calling her sweetie, he should make an apology for this.
HALL: He said he's not apologizing and the republicans have phony outrage here and he is not going to apologize.
BLACKBURN: I think a lot of Republican women are putting a lip gloss called pitbull. I think a lot of American women are taking lip gloss called pitbull and putting it on its list.