September 10, 2008

"Take up your bed and walk"

While Barack Obama was referring to Sarah Palin as a "pig," his running mate Joe Biden was asking parapalegics to stand up in front of the audience. What a team this one is.

For your further enjoyment—a compilation of genius:


  1. I heard talk today predicting that Biden is going to 'resign' and request 'Hillary' take his place. This to save Obama.

    I would not put it past them.

    Biden is running for senate, too. Is Obama up for re-electin to the senate?


    Note who's saying what, and in the context of whose ideas.

    McCain knows very well, as he has proved in the past, that "lipstick on a pig" refers to warmed-over ideas. Unless, that is, McCain was referring to Hillary Clinton as a "pig." Sauce for the gander, Senator. If McCain is going to be outraged and insist that his fans be outraged too, then he needs to start by being outraged at his own use of a folksy political euphemism when referring to a female candidate's ideas. Or just accept that, like himself, Obama used a euphemism that not is too easy to misunderstand as referring to a person rather than to her ideas.

    Or, a third possibility: there's a glaring double-standard at play. It's politically popular to smear Hillary Clinton six ways from Sunday because she's a woman that McCain's folks hate, but because they love Sarah Palin, people aren't supposed to go and do likewise.

    I really can't believe that intelligent people are falling for the outrage on this one. Welcome to the "taking it" side of what they've dished out for years now.

  3. Dear Anonymous

    In order to understand this comment, you'll need to use standard concepts of English language, verbal construction, grammar, and context. If you have particular trouble with these, as is evidenced by your misunderstanding of this situation, you may want to leave a name next time so I can help you seek some remedial English courses.

    You're wrong in every way possible about this situation. First - McCain or Palin have not expressed any outrage at all. Second, the outrage from the McCain camp is clearly feigned outrage, in fact - I sense glee rather than outrage--glee at the fact that Obama was foolish enough to use the speech writer's poorly chosen attempt at a joke.

    On another level - context means everything. McCain's use of the phrase was not in the same context as Barack Obama's use of the phrase. The audience at Obama's speech clearly understood that the use of the phrase "lipstick on a pig" was a phrase that could be understood as referring to at least Palin's use of "lipstick" as associated with a bit bull.

    So what this says about Obama, and what the Republicans are so gleeful about, is that he may have meant to say the phrase in order to make a backhanded swipe at his opponents that he could claim plausible deniability about later - in which case he does not have the political acumen or judgment to run the most powerful nation in the free world.

    On the other hand, he may have used this phrase intentionally to say that Palin is a pig, in which case he's a jerk and should not run the most powerful nation in the free world.

    So what the Republicans are saying (as I am) is that his lack of understanding in using this phrase at this time in this context shows that he should not be the next president of the US.

  4. I have no trouble understanding English, Richard, and if I were to seek a graduate degree I would certainly look to someone who understands the subject much better than you obviously do. I think it's funny that since you cannot defend having fallen for the "Obama called Palin a pig" lie and repeated it, you decide to invent a non-existent lack of knowledge of my native language on my part and deflect my comment on the basis of my anonymity. That particular proverbial dog won't hunt, son. You said what you said, Obama said what he said, McCain said the same thing in a remarkably similar context, and you remain in left field out of your unreasonable hatred of "liberals." I've seen it elsewhere. It's time you owned it.

    The difference between the candidates' contexts for this phrase was that Obama was actually referring to McCain's rewarmed ideas (note, please, NOT Palin's), while McCain was talking about Hillary Clinton's rewarmed ideas. Context is a basic part of reading comprehension. I invite you to look more carefully at the context before you lie about my reading comprehension again.

    You can say I'm wrong about this all you like, but it's your own blindness that is revealed by denying the truth. You're pretty obviously blind in every possible way on this one. Your misunderstanding of a common phrase has no bearing on whether Obama ought to be president. It has no bearing on whether McCain ought to be, either. It only shows how far you'll go to smear a candidate you don't like and defend one who's getting the sympathy of the same people who still relish skewering Hillary Clinton. That's not acceptable behavior for Christians.

    Just for the sake of "full disclosure," my name is Mary. No, I have no need nor interest in taking remedial English lessons from someone like you, Richard. You're still wrong, whatever my name is. Try addressing the issues without resorting to the illogic of ad hominem argument next time.

    Oh, and the breed name is "pit bull." I have no idea what a "bit bull" is, unless it's a literary device that illustrates hypocrisy on the part of someone daring to tell a fluent reader, writer, and listener of English that she needs remedial study in the language.

  5. So the suggestion that you have trouble understanding basic English has been mentioned before, eh? Your strong emotional response shows that this was not the first time you have been called on that.

    I'm not overly bothered by the typo in my comment, but thanks for pointing it out. I'll refrain from fixing it at this point so anyone else who may read this can see what your level of interaction is after you whine about ad hominem that didn't exist.

    Yes, I repeated the accusation that Obama had called Sarah Palin a pig. And I said in my comment that I didn't actually believe that he was trying to say that. I was using humor in my post.

    But the fact still exists that Obama knew good and well how his comment would likely be interpreted by those who heard it. His body language made me think that he had already discussed the possible inappropriateness of this statement and preferred not to say it. But say it he did, an attempt at rhetorical humor I believe. And now he has given those of us who disagree with him another thing to point at to show how very poor a candidate for the presidency he is.

    If you will compare the two presentations, you'll notice that McCain clearly referenced Clinton's ideas in his use of the lipstick-on-a-pig phrase. Obama did not do this. He took a detour from his line of thought to plug the statement into the speech. That opened up the possibility of the audience thinking that he was referring to Palin even though the immediate context of his speech was about McCain's ideas. This is a technique that was perfected by Bill Clinton and has become well-used by the Democrats since then. It allows them to say things that they should not say and then to later claim that they obviously did not mean it that way. ("It depends on what your definition of 'is' is.") That would be disengenuous - not my repetition of what he implied in an off-hand introduction to a video on a seldom-read blog.

    But context has multiple levels. There is the context of the direct sentence, in which Obama left the meaning open while McCain made it clear that the statement was about "ideas." Then there is the context of the paragraph (from which Obama took a detour with his insertion of the phrase in question). Then there is the context of the speech. Then there is the context of the election cycle.

    Because of that last-mentioned level of context, Obama's use of that phrase was a gaffe. No - no one thinks he was saying that Palin is a pig. Most of us realize the truth - that he was knowingly allowing his audience to draw that inference. That was a bad decision on his part and an indication of his lack of character.

    These are the ways that we Christians are able to determine how best to handle elections - "by their fruits you shall know them." Obama's fruit is now being seen.

    In parallel, those who are denying the obvious intentional use of this phrase calculated to get a rise out of an anti-McCain/Palin audience are missing the point by about 180 degrees.

    That's not ad hominem; it is a simple observation of fact.

  6. resort to ad hom and it's perfectly acceptable and I'm just "whining" to notice it, but it's unacceptable for me to poke some fun at a language nit-picker's spelling? Well, it's your blog, so you're certainly welcome to set any ridiculous double-standard of conduct you wish.

    And no, you're the first person in my adult life to make the suggestion that I need remedial English instruction. Perhaps you ought to read a little closer what I actually wrote. But had you done that, you'd have had little to argue with, and isn't that what this is all about? Ad hom is ad hom, except when you resort to it; that's when it magically becomes fact. Your blog, your rules. I get it. You get to pretend you know what's inside Obama's head, you get to pretend you know that other people besides you have suggested remedial English study to me, and you get to pretend pretty much anything you want to if it helps prop up your political preferences. By all means, don't let the truth stand in the way of your fanciful inventions.

    You lied in saying that Obama called Palin a pig. I noticed and called you, a Christian, on such conduct. Your response says volumes about your character, Richard. You win. It's your blog. But your lie is still a lie, your ad hom is still ad hom, and you need to live with the fact that you resorted to both.

    See you around, Richard.

  7. Anon/Mary - You've obviously missed the point.

    What Obama did was use a phrase he knew was inappropriate because he knew how it would be taken in the context of this political election cycle.

    That's it. Nothing more. I am not repeating a lie, nor am I lying myself. I am pointing out the gaffes of the Obama campaign, which campaign I would like to see fail.

    Your response to the situation shows either ignorance of the English language or intentional rejection of the obvious. The ad hominem attack would have been to accuse you of the rejection of the obvious. I did not do that, but rather chose to believe that you were ignorant of English grammar, rules of context, and rhetorical methodology. That is not ad hominem although I admit that I said it in a less than flattering way.

    I am not setting a double standard. You are welcome to point out any typos I make as I am pointing out lapses in judgment that you show. That would be a same standard, not a double standard.

  8. Richard, I heard one commenter say nobody gets it.

    That Obama was referring to McCain as the "pig" and to Palin as the "lipstick." That makes perfect sense to me.

    Either way, I agree - the McCain campaign is very happy Obama said what he said.

    As far as I've been able to tell, it's the news media that has made hay of this thing.

    I tell you what -- these debates are going to be very interesting to watch.

  9. Lynn - I agree with the commentator you mentioned except to say that I don't think he was really referring to McCain as a pig either, but rather McCain's perceived adherence to the "Bush doctrine." I am quite sure the "lipstick" part of the analogy was meant to be Sarah, which is why McCain's new ad today talks about the Obama camp's disrespect. After all - they did say that the only reason she was chosen to be on the McCain ticket was that she was pretty.

  10. Richard (direct quote, original entry):

    "While Barack Obama was referring to Sarah Palin as a "pig," his running mate Joe Biden was asking parapalegics [sic] to stand up in front of the audience."

    The amazing thing is that Richard, a professing Christian, proudly claims not to have lied, after having posted this sentence. That was my point, which seems to have eluded you, Richard. Funny how political opinion ("I am quite sure the 'lipstick' part of the analogy was meant to be Sarah . . .") becomes the end for which some are willing to forfeit honesty. Anything is permissible, apparently, when there's a "liberal" to be trashed.

    Blind. And untruthful. Carry on!

  11. Mary/Anonymous - Do you really have nothing better to do than to spend time on my blog looking for ways to showcase your stupidity?

    I have already explained that the phrase you quoted was placed there in jest. You have successfully convinced me of the accuracy of my initial impression of your American-English language skills (or lack thereof).

    And your comments about how I should conduct myself as a Christian are highly unChristian in and of themselves. We Christians were not instructed by Christ or the apostles to be the watchdogs over how other followers of Christ act. We are to make sure that we are following Christ's teachings and the further teachings of the scriptures. We are to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling," as the Apostle Paul admonished us. Nowhere are we told to force others into the mold that we think they should follow.

    The other thing we are told to do is to share the gospel with all people. Perhaps you could better spend your time finding a way to share the gospel with Barack Obama, which he has obviously not heard in his "Christian" church. Were he to find Christ, I'm sure it would positively impact his stand on the issues.

    I will share the gospel with Barack should I ever meet him, but that is not likely in my social life as I tend to hang out with those who lean Republican. And although my office is about three blocks from the White House, I'm not expecting him to reside there, so I'm not likely to see him while I'm on a lunch break either.


  12. More ad hom, and more rationalizations. You rationalize that it's "unChristian" of me to notice and say anything about your untrue statement, but somehow if you afterward claim that a lie is "in jest," that magically makes it not a lie. Whatever.

    That's some hubris there, that you assume Obama needs to hear the gospel from you. However much you may hate him, he does profess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, as I assume you yourself do. Well, perhaps Obama will share the gospel of Jesus Christ with you sometime, Richard. But then, as you say, you don't hang around Democrats and other "liberal" sinners, so you're above ever hearing the gospel from anyone other than your own Republican brand of sinner.

    Tell you what. I will trouble you about your lie no further, since you're saying that lies are truth and Christians admonishing other Christians to tell the truth are "unChristian." It's clear you have more interest in saving face than in dealing with your public falsehood, and more interest in castigating a visitor to your home base than in dealing honestly with me. Your choice. Your blog. I'll leave you to it. Hope that makes life more comfortable for you. I have had, and continue to have, many more things to do than spend the few minutes I already have here at your smear-Obama-central-but-I'm-
    still-a-Christian blog.

  13. I'm back, Richard, but only to say the following:

    I apologize for repeating my objections to your original statement, and for calling attention to your spelling errors.

    I forgive you for your inaccurate speculations about my motivations and my command of the English language, and for having called me stupid.

    You have my word that I will not comment further on your blog.


  14. Thank you, Mary. If you care to come back without the pseudonym, I'd like to carry on a real conversation with you. I fear that the extensive dishonesty between the two of us made it hard for us to carry on a true conversation. You are welcome here, but will need to be as up front as possible and be willing to listen to and discuss my explanations.

    You may not be stupid or have a poor command of the English language, but not allowing me the context of whatever writings of yours I may have read left me to surmise only based on what you wrote here and it did not, and does not, appear that you interacted with my explanation of why I found Obama's intentionally poor choice of words to be problematic.

    Perhaps after the anger dissipates, you can return and we can discuss things reasonably.


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