Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lobster and Leather

One of the more entertaining "stories" of the past week has been Michelle Obama's supposed room service order of Iranian caviar, two whole lobsters, a lobster hors d'oeuvres and champagne at the Waldorf-Astoria.

GOP radio hosts were quick to pick up on this little nugget from the Rupert Murdoch owned New York Post. Here's Glenn Beck taking up the subject:
Meanwhile Joe the plumber, speaking of Barack Obama, who's just like you, you know, because he -- I mean, he hangs out with people like Joe the plumber and Joe the Senator, you know, Joe Biden. He's -- may I say something to you? He's -- Joe Biden is Joe Six-Pack -- well, not six-pack as much as, you know, Joe, a bottle of fine Chardonnay. But yesterday Barack Obama who's just like you, is taking at the Waldorf Astoria. "I've got to get to the Waldorf." So he's staying at the Waldorf Astoria and he and his wife just want to order a little something in their room. "What do we have? Honey, what do you say, let's just call for something up in room service. I don't know. Just something to pick at a little bit, maybe, I don't know, some peasant food of some sort. What do they have here at the Waldorf Astoria?" Well, apparently at 4:00 in the afternoon yesterday (phone ringing)... "Room service. Yes?" "Yes, this is the Obama room and we would like just to have something to pick at, just something simple. What do you have?" "Well, we have some quesadillas." "No, no, I was thinking something a little more like maybe some lobster hors d'oeuvres." "Oh, those hors d'oeuvres things?" "Yes, what you said. I'd like some lobster hors d'oeuvres, two whole steamed lobsters, a little Iranian caviar. Do you have Iranian caviar?" "Ooh, I don't know, hang on just a second. Are we still only serving the Syrian caviar or -- yes, we have the Iranian." "Oh, that's lovely. I love, love -- the only conditions that I will set is that my meal must include Iranian caviar. Anyway, we'd like a little Iranian caviar, the two whole steamed lobsters, a little lobster hors d'oeuvres and a little champagne. After all, you can't have the 4:00 hour go by without a little bubbly."
Here's GOP National Precinct Captain Rush Limbaugh:

Don't forget Kerry was the guy who walked into a famous Philly cheese steak shop in south Philly and ordered a cheese steak and then asked for Swiss. He asked for Swiss and they didn't have any. They don't put Swiss on a Philly cheese steak, anybody that's a real American, average American would know this. So here's old Barry writing about the starving in Port-au-Prince because of white greed, and old Michelle, I guess they let her out of the closet, took the duct tape off long enough for her to eat 'cause she ordered some lobster hors d'oeuvres and then two steamed lobsters and Iranian caviar and champagne, at four o'clock in the afternoon. Must have been teatime at the presidential suite at the Waldorf-Hysteria.
Of course, GOP blogs got in on the action as well. Here's Carol Platt-Liebau at Townhall:
Sounds pretty tasty -- and pretty expensive. I guess that's one way of "spreading the wealth around."

Look, I don't begrudge the Obamas their caviar and lobster. I like lobster, too (caviar? not so much). It's just that the whole mentality strikes me as typical of Democrat thinking.

In that world view, the "government class" -- those who "care" about the poor -- are entitled to caviar and lobster, although it may seem sharply at odds with their much-touted kinship to "working people." But "the rich" -- who can afford to purchase caviar and lobster because of their own hard work and talent -- are to be demonized as "greedy," eating lobster and caviar is to be touted as evidence of "excess," and their wealth is to be spread around.
That little post has what it takes to win the Extrapolation of the Year award.

There are many other examples. Feel free to perform a Google search of your own and leave whatever links you find in the comments.

The funny thing about all of this is that...well, it didn't actually happen:
THE source who told us last week about Michelle Obama getting lobster and caviar delivered to her room at the Waldorf-Astoria must have been under the influence of a mind-altering drug. She was not even staying at the Waldorf. We regret the mistake, and our former source is going to regret it, too. Bread and water would be too good for such disinformation.
Somehow, I don't think this little slice of reality will matter to GOP hacks like Rush, Beck and Platt-Liebau. They were going to believe what they believed about the Obamas and Democrats regardless of any caviar dreams and champagne wishes.

What's really, really funny about all of this is that on the same day we found out that the story was completely made up, we...well, it's almost too funny to be true:
The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.
Again, it's almost too funny to be true. Don't hold your breath for GOP flacks to devote entire segments of their GOP shows to this subject. Don't hold your breath for GOP hack bloggers to devote entire posts that explain to their readers how a lobster meal that never happened means that Michelle Obama is a filthy elitist but a $150k shopping spree means that Sarah Palin is just a good ol' hockey mom from Alaska. The mental jujitsu required to bridge such ridiculous gaps is too much for even black belts like Rush and Hannity to muster.

BTW: How did CJ miss this one?

UPDATE: An emailer suggests that Mrs. Palin should get her own Joe the Plumber nickname: Sarah the Shopper.

UPDATE ii: Bill Kristol, wrong again:

McCain didn’t just pick a politician who could appeal to Wal-Mart Moms. He picked a Wal-Mart Mom. Indeed, he picked someone who, in 1999, as Wasilla mayor, presided over a wedding of two Wal-Mart associates at the local Wal-Mart. “It was so sweet,” said Palin, according to The Anchorage Daily News. “It was so Wasilla.”

A Wasilla Wal-Mart Mom a heartbeat away? I suspect most voters will say, No problem. And some — perhaps a decisive number — will say, It’s about time.

I suppose it is only fitting that a political movement built around the worship of an actor would find something "real" in a joke of a candidate like Palin and a made up lie of an issue like Joe the Plumber. I believe Ned Flanders said it best:

"I wish we lived in a place more like the America of yesteryear that only exists in the brains of us Republicans."

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