Saturday, March 15, 2008

On the Offense

Michael Kinsley steps in to apologize for everything.

First of all, I unequivocally dissociate myself from remarks by my second cousin to the effect that my worthy opponent is a “prize bitch.” My cousin is a dog breeder and thought she was being complimentary. She did not appreciate that such phraseology could give offense to certain segments of the population who are unfamiliar with dogs. Nevertheless, there is no room for canine imagery in a national political campaign, and Cousin Maisie has dropped out of our family in order to avoid causing any distraction from the central issues that we ought to be debating, such as terrorism and health care.

[…]

Let me be absolutely clear where I stand on all of this. There is no room for sexism in a modern political campaign. There is no room for racism either. There is no room for remarks that could reasonably be interpreted as sexist or racist. In fact, given the history of sexism and racism in this country, there is no room for remarks that could even be willfully misinterpreted as sexist or racist. There is no room for rudeness, or for the appearance of rudeness. There is no room for comments of any sort by anybody a candidate might have met under any circumstances in the course of his or her life, unless they have been vetted for sexism, racism, rudeness, or the appearance of these qualities by the campaign’s senior staff. There is no room for unfair accusations that the opposition candidate has engaged in sexist, racist or rude remarks, or that anyone he or she has ever met has engaged in such remarks. And of course there is also no room for perfectly fair accusations of this sort, which can be misinterpreted, and usually are.

Basically, in the modern political campaign, there is no room for remarks of any sort on any subject which could be interpreted as giving offense to anyone, and that covers just about every subject there is. Therefore, my campaign will enter a cone of silence from now until I am sworn in as president next January. And I call upon my distinguished opponent and her campaign to do the same. The stakes in this election are much too high for anyone to say anything.

I’m sorry if this post offends anyone. But if you’re not offended, I’m not sorry.