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Posted by on Sep 11, 2008 in Politics | 9 comments

Synthetic Outrage

I’m a little wary of even trying to say anything about the whole “lipstick” affair, because it seems to only give what I think is a trivial issue more strength. But, Clive Crooks says it best:

One wonders how much lower this election can sink. The furore over “you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig” sets a new benchmark. The idea that Barack Obama seriously intended to call Sarah Palin a pig is surely absurd. Yes, it was a stupid thing to say; and yes, many people in his audience enjoyed the implication; but I would be amazed if it was not just an injudicious unscripted remark. The Republican outrage over it is wholly synthetic. The Democratic outrage over the Republican outrage is mostly synthetic too–though not entirely, because there is some genuine anger over the way the race is going mixed in.

The Democrats urgently need to get a grip on this. When they rage at unfair Republican tactics, part of that fury unavoidably spills over into anger at the electorate for being so gullible as to fall for it. Far better to rise above this sort of stuff, and radiate confidence that the electorate will see through it. If Obama gets angry at the electorate, or can even be plausibly accused of it, he is finished.

Memo to McCain campaign:
Stop pretending that you’re outraged. You know Obama didn’t mean it.

Memo to the Obama campaign:
Stop pretending you’re outraged at the outrage. You should have ignored what amounts to nothing.

Memo to the media, bloggers and the general public:
Stop talking about this issue as if it were of grand importance. It isn’t and, by pretending that it is, you are giving this non-story legs it doesn’t deserve.

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • DLS

    The Obama campaign (and after the statement, the media) is the party at fault here. Let’s not mischaracterize the situation, Dennis. Obama _blundered_ once more. Obama fans (including the media) should cease their obscession and their neurotic and offensive behavior, which only makes them look worse. Move On [tm].

  • Many of the media spots that I read or listen to are discussing the rarity of policy discussions in this campaign. With hope, the result in this recent spate will be that the media will wake up and provide/research what they’ve been complaining about lacking.

    From DLS:

    The Obama campaign (and after the statement, the media) is the party at fault here. Let’s not mischaracterize the situation, Dennis.

    How about we just let the situation go? Seriously… do you want to debate actual positions on Iraq, Afghanistan, education, etc.? DLS, are you saying that this issue is more important than those?

  • Silhouette

    And also Memo to the Obama people, try to forget that you yourself used the same synthetic outrage at comments not even remotely “racist” to fend off a close look at who your candidate really is and how unfit he is to go up against the GOP.

    There is one case where gaining knowledge isn’t “better late than never”.

    It’s after the convention..

  • PWT

    How can McCain debate policy/positions with Obama when Obama keeps changing his position? NAFTA – might be OK afterall. FISA – hey Axelrod lobbies for AT&T, I’ll support it. And on and on…..

    Really, we are all just killing time until the debates when we can try to figure out how it is that Rove controls the McCain puppet, mind control or a small receiver strapped to his back.

  • PWT,
    Has McCain ever even argued with Obama about NAFTA or FISA?

    • PWT

      Which Obama position would you like McCain to argue against?

  • Rambie

    How can Obama debate policy/positions with McCain when McCain keeps changing his position?

    They’ve both “changed positions” over the last two years.

  • GeorgeSorwell

    I totally, completely, utterly, massively agree with every single word in this post.

  • AustinRoth

    George – I am outraged at your comment. 😉

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