Leftists and Hot Stoves

The farce of Obama’s lipstick on a pig comment reminds me that leftists often behave something like toddlers touching a hot stove. Non-leftists warn them not to use some tactic or to advocate some policy because history shows that it leads to woe, but like a toddler warned about touching a stove, they do it anyway and get burned.

Leftists began accusing non-leftists of communicating in a euphemistic code back in the ’70s, when leftists denounced the use of the phrase “law and order” as racist code. Later, leftists said that the invocation of “states’ rights” during the ’80s, by western states who were upset by the high degree of federal control over the majority of their lands, was racist even though the matters involved had nothing to do with racial relations. All along, non-leftists scoffed and warned leftists about the consequences of presuming to read the minds others. 

For the past 30 years, leftists have educated the public to look for the hidden message in everything that politicians, activists and pundits say. Now, like a howling toddler, the Left find themselves surprised that Obama got burned by using the lipstick-on-a-pig idiom. Given the Left’s history of pouncing on the least little verbal ambiguity of non-leftists, why should not the rest of us hold leftists to the same standard?

As with the trap of identity politics, leftists employed a tactic purely for its immediate benefit, without thinking of the long-term consequences. Now they’re sucking on their burned fingers. 

Leftists do differ from toddlers in one important way: toddlers eventually learn not to touch hot stoves. 

9 thoughts on “Leftists and Hot Stoves”

  1. It is pretty ironic.

    It’s a bump, but McCain is (temporarily) ahead of Obama on the intrade futures market.

    It’s funny to see a candidate who benefited so much from speech codes in the primary run into them now.

  2. SteveK made the same point in the comments to this post. Leftists have spent a long time telling us there’s a secret “code” behind every word, and now they’re getting burned by it, in large part because normal people have a hard time believing the lipstick statement was an innocent coincidence. It reminds me of internet posters who get offended if you criticize their lackluster analysis or research, but turn around and make personal attacks in a passive-aggressive, disguised way, thinking people won’t notice. Once you’ve made it clear that you consider X an attack, if you do X, it’s an attack; don’t expect any leeway.

    Watching the Obama campaign, the media, and internet leftists right now is like watching a youtube video of drunk rednecks with gasoline and matches trying to deal with a beehive. It seems like it’s only a matter of time before something bad happens. The only question is how bad will it get before they finally wise up.

    McCain has passed Obama on Intrade, and in some polls. If they keep it up, McCain will walk away with the election.

  3. This is a kind of small example. The one that really disturbs me is when Rep. Conyers and others criminalize their political disagreements with their opponents, in this case the entire Bush administration. Now Sen. Biden is tantalizing his hard-core left supporters with that prospect. The reason this is so dangerous is that it inhibits the orderly succession of power. Who would be willing to step down if faced with prison upon leaving office? That’s how they do things in Pakistan, among other earthly paradises.

    So far, it’s all noise, but they may have to resort to more outrageous antics to attract the attention they crave.

  4. Obama said: “You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It’s still gonna stink.”

    Obama has not been caught by “code”, but by a clear interpretation that fits what he said.

    He only needed the one “pig” remark to criticize policy. He needed both of these remarks to insult each of Palin and McCain personally with individual images.

    Palin is the one who pointed to her own lips when she made her remark at the Republican convention, that she was a pitbull with lipstick. Obama set up Palin as the pig, when he referred to lipstick, but not to policy.

    McCain is now pushing the idea of change, and Obama set up McCain as the old fish, when he referred to “You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change”

    All of this is important only because Obama presents himself as presenting policy, not personal attacks. Obama demeans himself by name-calling.

  5. Andrew A – I think the old smelly fish remark was actually aimed at Palin.

    Mitch – this is their continued blindness, they unleash code speech on the country never thinking it could be turned against them, and now they are getting caught in it, and now they want to criminalize their political opponents? Don’t they know they are going to end up on the wrong end of that one, too?

  6. Mitch,

    Yes, there plan to criminalize previous administrations is very dangerous especially it prelaces the long established constitutional mechanism. Can image the field day that the Bush administration could have had if it unleashed the full investigative and prosecutorial powers of the federal government upon every political appointee in the Clinton administration?

  7. Sorry, I forgot to mention, but when I saw the title of this post, my first thought was that it would take a Democrat to steal a hot stove without waiting for it to cool off.

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