What I love about the breathtakingly dishonest McCain ad about Obama's lipstick remark is that it so completely inverts the traditional elites-versus-Middle-America dynamic. If you didn't know anything about who said what, you'd probably assume it was some good ole' boy who alluded to lipstick on a pig and some liberal women's group that took offense. Instead it's basically the opposite. 

Which makes me wonder if the McCain campaign isn't being too clever by half here. Yes, there may be one or two deranged Hillary dead-enders out there willing to believe Obama called Sarah Palin a pig. But I think there are many, many more "ordinary Americans" who've heard the expression several thousand times and have no idea what the fuss is about.

On the other hand, because it's so hard to imagine the GOP playing the gender card more brazenly than a feminist literary theorist, maybe a big chunk of vaguely tuned-in Americans will assume it's the Democrats who are on a hair-trigger alert for political incorrectness. Sounds implausible, I know. But I wouldn't have thought we'd get this far with the lipstick controversy and I was clearly wrong about that...

--Noam Scheiber