Behind closed doors

A long time ago now, former big-honcho of the Republican party Dick Armey made a slip of the tongue in reference to the openly-gay Barney Frank, calling him "Barney Fag". What I found amusing about that incident was that, to me, it was obvious that this was something that Armey said many times in private--perhaps to the degree that it had become habit. His mistake was saying it in public.

That strikes me as the explanation for Obama's amazing gaffe today: "You know, you can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig." I'm astounded that he would say something so crude and so demeaning. I've watched the video and have little doubt that he meant it to refer to Palin.

My guess is that this was a running joke on the Obama campaign plane, and that Obama Armeyed himself.

I always believed that Obama was a weak candidate. I based that on his microscopic experience and his far-leftist political philosophy and voting record, but I've been shocked by his meltdown in the last 2 weeks. I remember watching a snippet of his "press availability" around lunch time (Pacific) the last day of the Republican convention--just hours after Palin skewered him unmercilessly. (I've tried to find the video of that press sort-of-conference online, but can't find one.) That day, Obama was seriously off his game. He came across as petulant, thin-skinned, mean-spirited, and bitter. Instead of laughing off or making light of Palin's speech, he dug his hole deeper. Since then he has had that shovel in hand and has been going at that hole with the determination of a gold miner who has caught whiff of a mother lode.

Obama's biggest problem is that he has never actually been vetted. For all his talk about the very act of running for president being qualification enough to run for president, he hasn't actually ever been challenged. His elections in Chicago were a push-over--remember Alan Keyes' carpetbagging?--and he has sailed through this election with the strong breeze provided by the media gasbags. None of the Democratic debates laid a hand on him. None of his opponents and none of the press have even taken a decent whack at the Obama-pinata. No serious question or problem has been placed before him. It is becoming clear that he has a glass jaw. He can dance around the ring, he can turn a phrase like Mohammad Ali, he can jab at the air and occasionally land a glove on his opponent, but he can't take a hit. And he can't take a hit, in large part, because he has never had to take a hit.

In addition, the left is notorious for being particularly insular. That's why the reaction to Bristol Palin's pregnancy was so over-the-top; with no actual knowledge of religious Republicans to go on, all the media and the Obama campaign had to go by was their distorted stereotypes. Thus they milked the story in the belief that the Hezbullah wing of the Republican party would tie Bristol to a stake outside the Xcel center and burn her to a crisp--a premature celebration of the Minnesota State Fair's most famous element: everything on a stick!

With no one around him who has the slightest clue about middle-America, there is no one to give him solid advice about his predicament. He's living in an echo chamber populated by like-thinkers; but, what he needs is someone who can tell him that he actually has real weaknesses, and that playing to those weaknesses is not the way to win a national election.

I told people this evening that today is the day that Obama lost the election. That is how big I see his gaffe as being. It's the main story on Drudge, and Drudge doesn't pull his punch. He doesn't engage the question of whether Obama meant the insult to Palin or not. He clearly takes the side that Obama meant it. His headline is straight-forward and devastating, under a smiling picture of Palin:

Drudge has a handy-dandy counter on his page, which says that 28.6 million people viewed his page in the last 24 hours. Now, those aren't unique hits, but that's one hit for every 10 people in this country. I'd guess at least 10 million Americans will see this headline on Drudge tomorrow. And a large number of those who don't see it will hear about it from their friends or other news sources.

This is simply devastating to Obama (and remember, the crowd laughed, just as they did when he made his "clinging to guns and religion" comment. This is a man who is so used to preaching to the choir, that he has forgotten that the choir is standing before a very large congregation of people who don't sing the same tune they do.)

Perhaps a new saying is in order, instead of ones about pigs and old fish. Something like: "You can give a man an Ivy League education, but that don't make him smart!'

Update (1:42PT): Can I say "I told you so" now?

Well, this is interesting. From the official website of the Democratic party, dated August 30--even before Palin's speech:
"McCain's Selection of Palin is Lipstick on a Pig"
Which actually suggests that Palin's line was in response to the post on the Dem's website.