Of pigs and lipstick

The McCain campaign is on the offensive, sensing momentum. But it risks hitting a wall if it gets bogged down in silliness.

Take the recent “controversy” over remarks Democrat Barack Obama made Tuesday, echoing the constant DNC talking point that a McCain presidency would represent four more years of George W. Bush.

“You can put lipstick on a pig,” Sen. Obama said. “It’s still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It’s still going to stink after eight years.”

The McCain camp responded as if the Democrat had accused his GOP opponent of hating hot dogs, baseball and apple pie.

The remarks were “offensive and disgraceful” said a spokesman for Sen. John McCain, claiming the “pig” reference was a shot at the GOP vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Yeah, sure. Does anybody believe that Sen. Obama is a raging sexist who would label Gov. Palin a pig? Of course not.

Thankfully, Sen. Obama refused to apologize for using a one-liner that has become part of the common vernacular over the past few years. Instead, he called out the McCain campaign for exhibiting the same sense of exaggerated outrage that so often characterizes today’s hypersensitive, politically correct culture of victimology.

“They seize on an innocent remark, try to take it out of context, throw up an outrageous ad because they know that it’s catnip for the news media,” Sen. Obama said. “This whole thing about lipstick, nobody actually believes that these folks are offended. Oh, we’re shocked. Everybody knows it’s cynical, everybody knows it’s insincere.”

He’s right, and refreshingly so.

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