Wednesday, September 10, 2008

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I'm amazed at how much Republicans seem to care about women these days.

Perhaps they always did. Call me crazy, but staunch support from conservative Republicans for the reversal of Roe v. Wade seemed to suggest otherwise to me. Not to mention religious views shared by many conservative Republicans that clearly put the woman's role in the home in second place at best, if you know what I mean.

The McCain campaign blasted Barack Obama for saying the following:

"John McCain says he's about change too, and so I guess his whole angle is, 'Watch out George Bush -- except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy and Karl Rove-style politics -- we're really going to shake things up in Washington.' That's not change. That's just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. You know you can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, it's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough of the same old thing."

The McCain camp demanded an apology from Obama for using the 'lipstick on a pig' remark, saying this reference directly mocked Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. How sexist and tasteless, they said, to call such a venerable woman as Palin a pig wearing lipstick! What a disgrace!

If you took Obama's words in this context, then notice the McCain campaign seems OK with McCain being compared to an old fish wrapped in a piece of paper with "change" written on it.

The McCain campaign was smart to pick up on Obama's 'lipstick on a pig' reference and twist it into an accusation of sexual harrassment their revved up, suddenly pro-female base will eat up and spit out as more votes come November. They've always been good at turning stupid drivol into real controversy to galvanize small-minded people. Just look at the "swiftboating" of John Kerry in 2004.

Never mind the fact McCain once frequently used the same term when describing Hillary Clinton's healthcare plan. It's not the same, they said. I'm assuming the only thing different about that situation was the guy who said it was white.

Anyway, while the playground tattle was smart, I hope the American people are smarter. I hope they realize this tactic truly was "a pathetic attempt to play the gender card," as the Obama campaign said in its response.

If otherwise smart Republicans take this reference and try to convince Americans that Obama's calling Palin a pig with lipstick, then it proves to me, beyond the shadow of a doubt, two things: They're willing to play on social ignorance to deflect attention from real issues (such as the lack of a proper vetting process on Palin), and that conservative Republican views of women indeed haven't changed.

If women were truly equals to conservative Republicans within McCain's campaign, the lipstick on a pig comment wouldn't have been an issue. The vetting process on Palin would have began months ago. And anyone with a down syndrome baby would have received a standing ovation.

All this controversy reveals is that Republicans are willing to shove Palin into a spotlight and whore her out as an agent for change, not because of her accomplishments or qualifications, but because she's a woman.

All this controversy reveals is that Republicans seem to want us reverted to a type of pre-Civil Rights thinking that criminalized a black man's audacity to even talk to a white woman.

All this controversy reveals is that Republicans are banking on people never seeing past Palin's gender and giving her the vote solely for the fact that she's a novelty on this large political stage.

And that, my friends, is the real disgrace.