LIPSTICK-GATE….As the entire world knows, yesterday Barack Obama made the following comment about John McCain’s claim to be an agent of change: “You can put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. You can wrap up an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It’s still going to stink after eight years. We’ve had enough.”
Now, I’ve been aware of this remark, along with the idiotic Republican attempts to pretend that Obama was calling Sarah Palin a pig, since the words were first uttered. But only vaguely. The whole thing was so stupid that I just didn’t bother clicking on the various links to see what everyone was saying.
Just now, however, I happened to surf over to The Corner for the first time in a day and it was….instructive. The very first mention of lipstick-gate was a brief link at 6:53 pm. This was followed by a couple of straight reax posts and then this from Yuval Levin:
Does anybody really think Obama meant to call Sarah Palin a pig? Come on. Can this really be worth anyone’s time?
Of course not! That’s just dumb! This was then followed by an avalanche of 31 separate posts on the subject in less than 24 hours. Turns out it was worth NR’s time after all. And make no mistake: after a couple of hours of momentary confusion about whether they could get away with it, they decided that Obama had indeed meant to call Sarah Palin a pig. By early this morning everyone was obediently on board, the chum was in the water, and the moral dudgeon was so thick you could stir it with a stick. In fact, their only real argument was over how Palin should handle things: attack back or play it cool? (For the most part, they decided cool was the way to go.)
And that, my friends, is how it’s done in the big leagues. It’s the noise machine at work.