I've got a new piece up at The Guardian's Comment is free America about the whole "lipstick on a pig" controversy. I covered my position on this subject here yesterday, but today I expand a bit on the tone-deafness of the comment and why Obama needs to be careful about handing the GOP anything to use against him, even if they've got to twist it out of shape to do it.
It was nonetheless exceptionally tone-deaf; Palin had, merely a week earlier, taken to the national stage and firmly associated herself with the image of a pitbull in lipstick. Inevitably, the "lipstick on a pig" line was going to invoke that widely-discussed bit of Palin's address, and Obama should have known to lay off of it. There's no reason to hand the most mendacious people in the world stuff to use against you.

And use it against him they did – positioning themselves as some sort of feminist crusaders, even as they simultaneously cast their own veep candidate as a helpless damsel being stalked by wild animals.

It's breathtakingly audacious, and just as infuriating.

Because here's the thing about the GOP erroneously playing "the gender card" by co-opting feminist rhetoric and twisting it into some funhouse mirror version of feminism to be wielded as a weapon against the Democrats: It contributes to a cultural environment in which legitimate complaints about sexist rhetoric are already not taken as seriously as they should be, where they are routinely dismissed with charges of hypersensitivity and hysteria. That the GOP will further discredit feminism in the process of destroying Obama is not a flaw of this strategy, but a feature.

That's bigger than Obama – and that's why I'm hard on him.

He can't give them anything.

Not an inch. Not a word.
The whole thing is here.

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