Watch GOP "strategist" John Feehery get torched by Chris Matthews on Hardball last night. I have to hand it to Chris for focusing like a laser on this non-issue to get at the meat of the problem (and I've given a hard time for plenty of past wankery) -- he played that ridiculous McCain ad that says "Barack Obama on Sarah Palin" along with the lipstick on a pig comment. Matthews asked Feehery "Is John McCain saying that Barack Obama calling Sarah Palin a pig? Is he endorsing the message or not?"

Feehery refused to admit that the ad is suggesting that for about 13 minutes. He finally cried uncle after Matthews pummeled him with facts and inconsistencies on the use of the phrase. It was quite pleasant watching the squirming, dodging and that look Feehery had -- he had a full diaperload.

This is the crux of the matter -- it's not the ridiculous charge of McCain crying sexism, it's the fact that when cornered on their tactics in person, the GOP will not take ownership of their own political spinning. This crap is backfiring, and Matthews gave Feehery ample opportunity to say "yes, we think Obama called Palin a pig" or "no, we didn't mean that" or "we were tossing the charge out there for political gain."

Matthews was on target -- McCain signed off on this, paid for this, but wouldn't have the stones to go on camera and make a charge like this. I doubt anyone with direct ties to the campaign would either.

Then again, perhaps the GOP shouldn't trot out incompetents like Feehery to stick up for campaign strategy.