Sunday, November 02, 2008

"Mine, Baby, Mine"

As reported here on October 31, Jake Tapper of ABC News wrote on Friday that Barack Obama had begun criticizing the Republican attacks on his tax policies. Obama noted "John McCain and Sarah Palin, they call this socialistic. You know, I don't know when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness."

Maybe it all began with Sam The Non-Plumber, A/K/A Joe The Plumber- or perhaps not. The Wheeling (W. Va.) News-Register reported on its blog that a crowd on October 12 in Brush Run Park, just outside of St. Clairsville, Ohio chanted "Mine, Baby, Mine." A bemused Sarah Palin responded "I've never heard that before. Do you mind if I plagiarize that? I'm taking it across the U.S."

And so she has. In a blog on washingtonpost.com, Anita Kumar reported that the following day at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, "The crowd started chanting "Drill, baby, drill." But she corrected them: "It's 'Mine, baby, mine.' " (Palin apparently also referred to the area as "the Hampton Roads," an understandable mistake by someone lacking interest in anything outside of Alaska or her own ambition.) The vice-presidential candidate has continued using the phrase in speeches.

I suppose it's true, as the News-Register reported, that "mine, baby, mine" is merely a variation of "drill, baby, drill," especially as it first was used in coal country. Still, it's an apt description, even a metaphor, for the Republican campaign theme of me first, country last.

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