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Published: Saturday, 9/13/2008

GOP s lipstick, doctrine remarks demand Democratic umbrage

WE RE obviously in the political silly season. There s no other explanation for getting miffed about lipstick and pigs, and wondering whether the Bush doctrine has anything to do with church.

The federal deficit is spiraling out of control, and there s a war.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says unemployment grew by more than a half-million people, to 9.4 million, in August.

As the cost of living drowns low-income citizens, it is sinking the middle class.

Many Americans lack health-care coverage. U.S. students academic performance lags behind their international peers.

And though there was tension about North Korea before Kim Jong-Il was reported ill a few days before the anniversary of 9/11, Americans also worry about Iran, Pakistan, and India.

But the Republicans have been enraged about an imaginary insult John McCain says was a smear from opponent Barack Obama against GOP running mate Sarah Palin.

Many wonder why the GOP is not focused on the issues. Foreigners must be laughing this country to scorn.

America is broke, and people are jabbering about the Republican presidential candidate s age, their vice presidential candidate s Japanese-designed eyeglasses that start at $600 and yes, her hair the Democratic presidential candidate s work experience, and since the media are all in Alaska, they want to know where vice presidential candidate Joe Biden is.

This is serious, folks. Yet some on the front lines are trying to keep voters from demanding to know how a new GOP administration will solve our problems.

Mr. Obama said in Virginia on Tuesday that his opponent s policies are like George Bush s, and that though it s akin to putting lipstick on a pig, it s still a pig, meaning they are the same old policies.

The McCain campaign claimed it was insulted, and on Wednesday, Senator Obama came close to showing much-needed righteous indignation about the trumped up insult.

Senator McCain s hypocrisy takes attention from the issues. That s why the Republicans claim Mr. Obama was calling Mrs. Palin a pig. The Illinois senator wasn t even talking about her, and he s too much of a gentleman to call any woman a pig.

The lipstick on a pig remark is not new. At sometime a bevy of politicians in both parties have used the phrase, and that includes Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin.

These phony and foolish diversions, take the focus off the future, Mr. Obama said.

Then don t be John Kerry II, Senator Obama. Show more umbrage without getting into the gutter with them.

Bumping it up a notch and getting downright outraged at the Republicans shamelessness will take the wind out of their Swift boat s sail and shake the masses out of their stupor.

Meanwhile, tell me why the GOP has taken the Democrats campaign theme of change?

Before their convention they talked up experience, but then they put that aside, since more talk about experience would have called attention to Mrs. Palin s lack of it, which the GOP said was their problem with Mr. Obama.

Pay attention, people, because what you will get from this so-called maverick who s been a part of the Washington scene as a congressman and senator for a quarter century and reformer whom some wonder whether she was ever in Washington before her nomination is more of the same.

Mr. McCain s love for this nation should have compelled him to select a running mate who would promptly have the public s confidence in the event the Grim Reaper knocks on one of his seven doors sooner than even the actuaries think.

But somewhere between the Hanoi Hilton and a hotel in the Twin Cities he determined to do anything to win in November, and he chose the nice Alaskan governor to dazzle the people and keep them enraptured so long that when they finally wake up, they ll be stunned and wonder why they didn t more closely watch their can of soda.

Though it could be years before Mrs. Palin realizes she s being used to appeal to mostly single-issue voters, one day she may wonder why she let the party use her.

To be sure, she s a novelty. I like her too, but liking somebody doesn t qualify them to be president. She effectively balances her personal and professional lives there s that working mother thing again.

But you can only fudge once about not knowing the Bush doctrine. Of course, she and everybody else who didn t know before her interview with Charles Gibson sure now know that the Bush doctrine is the President s belief that when necessary, the United States should use military force against any state considered hostile or that tries to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

And with all of this chatter about nothing, tell me, has anyone noticed how little we hear from Mr. McCain about how he will solve the nation s problems?

Goodness, and we haven t even mentioned foreign affairs. Guess he ll leave that to Mrs. Palin, since Alaska is a stone s throw from Russia.

As a colleague said yesterday, she may never have met a foreign leader, but she once stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

And, you know that s right.



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