Saturday, September 13, 2008

In a Pig's Eye

“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”
–Robert Heinlein

While the McCane campaign seems to be stubbornly and obsessively stuck on the subject of pigs, I thought it might be an appropriate time to suggest that the Republican Party consider changing its mascot. Elephants are noble creatures, but pigs are so personable—and so quintessentially American. (How many elephants do you see in the American heartland?)

Just think how well the noble pig would represent the current character of the GOP.

First, pigs like to wallow in mud. In 2006, factcheck.org, which keeps track of these things, made the following statement about the National Republican Campaign Committee’s TV ads: “What stood out . . . was a pronounced tendency to be petty and personal, and sometimes careless with the facts.” That certainly seems to characterize the current presidential campaign, in which the Republicans wasted days trying to accuse Obama of sexism for using a common expression—one that McCain himself has used to make a similar point.

Second, pigs will swallow anything. Since “change” seems to be a concept that resonates with the American people right now (for obvious reasons), McCain has taken to calling himself an agent of change. As many others have pointed out, he’s voted for Bush’s initiatives more than 90% of the time. How can a man who’s always identified so closely with George Bush now expect us to believe that he’ll somehow turn the great ship of state around and do things differently? We’ve asked, Senator Obama has asked, and McCane has refused to answer. He’d rather talk about lipstick and pigs.

Finally, pigs don’t do a whole lot of thinking. Mr. McCane has stated that he doesn’t know much about the economy. Ms. Palin believes in creationism but not global warming. George Bush has long since admitted that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (signifying that our brave American troops have been fighting the battle against terrorism in the wrong place and for the wrong reasons). But McCane thinks we can “win” the Iraq war. (What does “win” mean?) We’ve got assertions, slogans, and quips from the Republicans. From Barack Obama, we’ve got deep analysis that can really help us understand what needs to be done for America and the world. (If you don’t believe me, read his book, The Audacity of Hope.)

Today’s Republican Party is the tight group of insiders that have brought the country to where it is today—economically, militarily, and in the eyes of the world. John McCane thinks he can teach this pig to sing.

To this, I say hog wash.

2 comments:

Aaron said...

Props on the Robert Heinlein quote.

One thing I would throw in as a proviso: I'd be a bit cautious using factcheck.org without cross-reference. They're pretty good on most issues, but they've been caught ignoring/twisting facts themsleves on occasion and/or leaving out or misrepresenting things.

That being said, they've been legitimately caught out on such things by liberal, conservative, and libertarian commentators that I'm aware of, so it doesn't look like it's bias, just a selective understanding of what qualifies as a "fact."

(Case in point, the recent kerfuffle over their take on the Obama/2nd Amendment thing. I use this example in particular simply because it's the one with which I'm most familiar. For more information, see: http://www.saysuncle.com/archives/2008/09/23/fact-checking-fact-check/ )

Citizen Jane said...

Thanks again! I value your expertise when it comes to research, and I appreciate the tip.

I had a feeling that factcheck.org is a participatory sort of enterprise with good intentions. It provides some valuable clues to what's what, but of course behind it all is individual human beings making judgments, right?