As other bloggers like Rank and Michael Turton point out, in Taiwanese politics, machoism is not a force to be underestimated for male politicians (many women, in contrast, may run just on the fact that they're cute young ladies). And this has been one of the more emotional attacks against Ma Ying-jeou that resonates here.
Take this video clip, which was replayed a lot on Taiwanese TV, and makes fun of Ma for his girly response when asked if he was drunk (沒有啦, which in context might be loosely translated as "no, silly!").
Well, in a repeat of when former Foreign Minister Mark Chen (陳唐山) blasted Singapore for clinging to China's balls, A-bian has come out today and used the politically loaded Taiwanese phrase 卵葩 lan-pho*, often printed as "LP" by the media to avoid being too vulgar.
As the China Times article explains (loose translation mine):
In the latest salvo in the war of words between [President] Chen
Shui- and Ma ying-jeou, A-bian pulled all the stops in Tainan city today and
during a speech said that a president needed balls and guts, that he could not
retreat as soon as he met resistance, and attacked Ma for always beeing a step
behind and standing on the wrong side. A-bian wants Ma not to keep dreaming the
"China dream," and believes the Chinese Nationalist Party should remove "China"
from their name.
Ma Ying-jeou's office shot back, saying President Chen wishes to be a
suicide bomber, casually uses despicable language and wants to kill himself
along with others, something the people will not accept.
Ma Ying-jeou said, the recent dispute over the KMT [removing references to
unification and the 92 consensus from a party document] is merely a
misunderstanding and that the KMT has no dispute over the course it's going to
take. Recently, President Chen has frequently attacked him, an act unbecoming to
the office of the president. [He noted] that President Chen's days as president
are numbered and that he should spend them taking care of the people's
livelihood [a reference to one of the Three People's Principles of Sun
Yesterday afternoon, President Chen was at [a temple] in Tainan City's
Annan District [campaigning] and before eating with the local people, he made
special time for a media interview aimed squarely at KMT presidential candidate
Ma Ying-jeou to respond to Ma's recent statements that "If you want to be
president, you have to do something significant."
Chen Shui-bian said, Ma Ying-jeou talking about doing something significant is a bit like a daughter-in-law trying to instruct her mother-in-law."
Chen Shui-bian stated that there is no such thing as a "92 consensus," and that Ma
Ying-jeou should not cling so stubbornly to the formula. Now, the KMT has taken
steps to start removing the 92 consensus, but Ma immediately retreated under
pressure. "To be the president, you need to have balls and guts, and you cannot
retreat under pressure. Otherwise, how are we going to face the threat and
pressure from the Chinese army?"
Chen Shui-bian also stated that between the [retreat from China in]
1950 [of] former president Chiang Kai-shek, and the ROC's withdrawal from the UN
in 1971, that the ROC had already died twice. "Will it live again? I don't
believe so." As a result, A-bian stated that trying to re-enter the UN under the
name of the ROC was a lost cause.
added that on March 13, 1950, Chiang Kai-shek unconstitutionally resumed the
office of the president, and stated in a speech at Yangming Mountain, "Following
the loss of the mainland, the Republic of China has already died, and we are
citizens of a dead country." The ROC already had died one time even as Chiang
retook office, and he was merely "borrowing a body and channeling a ghost" [to
make it appear alive].
Wow. OK, so you can see, some pretty loaded language. Some female KMT legislators are obviously complaining, saying the president's language is crude and sexist.Thanks to Gmail, I have managed to keep this old link and email from the last LP controversy:
That link explains:「扶卵葩」一辭，是台灣的俗語，意指過度的奉承和巴結，這個辭在台灣民間是屬於非常普遍的常用詞，使用上顯得十分傳神，意涵中有很濃厚的鄙夷之意，我不知道其他語言中是否有類似的傳神字眼，但有一點可以絕對確認的：它很俗，卻絕對不是粗俗。
"The phrase 'embracing balls' is Taiwanese slang, and its meaning points to being
excessively flattering and currying favor; this phrase is counted as a frequently
used and common phrase among the Taiwanese people, and obviously when used it's an extremely vivid portrayal, and the meaning contains a very dense and spiteful
meaning; I don't know if in other languages they have a similarly vivid
description, but there is one point we can be certain about: it is crude [or
maybe common], but not vulgar [or dirty]."