Introducing: Cuppa-Joe- and Ray-Gates

Boy, has this election season gotten ugly. With nitpicking over individual words used in campaign speeches, you could be forgiven for thinking you had walked out of the Presidential election and into a mid-semester session of Remedial English Grammar. At every turn, somebody says something or pulls some minor infraction that feeds the cable news beast – and, frankly, appears to be sickening the electorate.

It is, of course, too early to assess what lasting impact this story is going to have on the race, but the way the audience at the Alliance For American Manufacturing forum in Pittsburgh received the candidates, and reacted to the issue, will be heartening for the Obama camp. Obama, who greeted the crowd at 8:45am, raised the issue and received applause. Clinton, addressing the same crowd later in the morning, brought up the remarks and received mostly silence, with a few audible impatient jeers.

It’s nice to see people getting sick and tired of the “He/She used word ‘X’ – that makes him elitist” attack. But Goddess forbid that we at the ArtMachine should ever let an opportunity to show our moral outrage slip by. So here are two stories I’m sure will be all over the news.

First – Joe Lieberman thinks that Barack Obama needs to answer the question of whether or not he’s a Marxist. This, I’m sure, would be the story of the year—if anybody aside from conservative wonks really cared what Joe Lieberman thinks any more. Then again, Joe Lieberman thrives off of media attention, and cable news is heavily populated by conservative wonks these days. So who knows? Maybe we’ll hear more about Cuppa-Joe-Gate in the future.

What’s more upsetting is what I’m lovingly calling “Rachel-Ray-Gate,” or just “Ray-Gate” for short.

On a section of McCain’s site called “Cindy’s Recipes,” you can find seven recipes attributed to Cindy McCain, each with the heading “McCain Family Recipe.” Ms. Handel quickly realized that some of the “McCain Family Recipes,” were in fact, word-for-word copies of recipes on the Food Network site.

I don’t it offensive that Cindy McCain (or one of John McCain’s staffers pretending to be Cindy McCain—oooo, kinky) plagiarized Food Network. No, what upsets me is the selection of recipes that Cindy McCain (or, again, one of John McCain’s costume-fetish indulging political staff) chose in order to give their campaign that down-home, man-of-the-people feel.

  1. Ahi Tuna with Napa Cabbage Slaw
  2. Passion Fruit Mousse
  3. Farfalle Pasta with Turkey Sausage, Peas, and Mushrooms

Dude. I’m a whiny, bitter, liberal elitist Food Network watcher (with degrees from those two great ivy league institutions, Virginia Tech and ETSU), and even I had to go to the article three times to convince myself I’d spelled “farfalle” right. I’m still not even sure it’s a real word. This is how you convince people that your family is a real, salt-of-the-earth group? Feh. I call a ”-Gate” on that.