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September 11, 2008

John McCain Wears Lipstick.

I'm just going to say it... the conservatives have lost their goddamn minds.

It was pretty lame when John McCain accused Barack Obama of being a celebrity and then picked Sarah Palin as his VP. It was bad enough when Sean Hannity said that the liberals were attacking Bristol Palin but he didn't remember Chelsea Clinton ever being attacked. Even if people were attacking Bristol, which I don't believe they are, it would be for something she did (getting pregnant at 17), unlike Chelsea who was attacked for something she couldn't control at all (being "ugly"). It was even worse when everyone who had accused Hillary Clinton of whining about sexism during her campaign (not that she was actually whining about it, even though she'd have had just cause to)... is now bitching and moaning that Sarah Palin is expected to prove herself as a qualified candidate just because she's female.

But now they have just gone too far.

The Republicans have their panties in a bunch over a Barack Obama saying:
"You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."
Why? Because it's sexist. Except... that it's not sexist at all and suggesting that it is makes no fucking sense. I know the GOP is fond of comparing women to animals (like when Rush Limbaugh called Chelsea Clinton a dog) but Obama didn't do that.

First of all, it's a fairly common expression. Basically it means that you can't make superficial or cosmetic changes and hope that it will make the product or outcome more attractive. Second of all, many many many many people - including John McCain himself - have used that expression in the past in the same way that Barack Obama recently used it. (McCain actually used it to refer to Hillary Clinton's health care plan, does that make him sexist too?)

To assume that it was a sexist remark is not only ridiculous, but it is also... kind of sexist. That expression has nothing whatsoever to do with women, except for the fact that coincidentally some women wear lipstick. If he was literally talking about lipstick, then you could suspect that he was calling Sarah Palin a pig... but clearly he was speaking figuratively about the McCain/Palin campaign. To imply that Barack Obama was referencing Sarah Palin's gender when he made that statement, the Republicans are basically reducing her to just her gender instead of acknowledging the fact that there are issues with their political platform.

For a while now, Obama has been talking about change (you know, a change we can believe in!) and McCain... hasn't been. Now all of a sudden, after repeatedly supporting George W. Bush's horrible decisions, now McCain wants change! I won't even get into the actual changes he wants to make (I suspect one of them is overturning Roe v. Wade, which terrifies me). I'll just explain what Barack Obama clearly meant. McCain's 'change' isn't really change at all. McCain's change is superficial and artificial and an attempt to disguise his bad policies. He doesn't really want change, he's just giving his old ideas a new name. McCain's change... is lipstick. Underneath this phony change, is just a replica of the lousy Bush administration... the pig.

Nowhere in that message does Sarah Palin's gender ever come into play. Sarah Palin's gender is irrelevant to me. I want the best candidates to be in the White House and whether or not she has a vagina or wears lipstick has no bearing whatsoever on whether she would be best suited for the job.

Obama also used another animal-based expression to explain this point:
"You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still going to stink after eight years."
He's saying that McCain can wrap up his policies in anything he wants, but they still stink. Does that mean he's calling Sarah Palin a smelly fish? Of course not. Not unless that fish is wearing lipstick. It really comes down to lipstick.

Sarah Palin made a lipstick-related joke in her RNC speech...
"You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."
So since Sarah Palin wears lipstick and mentioned lipstick... any mention of lipstick ever again has to do with Sarah Palin. I don't really see what that little joke has to do with her ability to be Vice President anyway. The Republicans cry sexism, while their own candidate is going on and on about being a mother. Does Barack Obama suggest that he should be President because he was able to get Michelle Obama pregnant? Nope. I don't care how many oddly named children Palin squeezes out... it's irrelevant. There is a huge difference between running a household of kids and running the country.

Sarah Palin's entire speech was... lipstick. It was all either slams on Obama (including the inexplicable contempt for community organizers) or the old song-and-dance about McCain's POW history. There was very little substance about her actual policies or qualifications. Palin may have proven herself to be an engaging speaker, but she wasn't really saying much of anything.

Perhaps Sarah Palin herself is the lipstick. A lot of people believe that McCain's selection of Palin was an act of pandering to women... a desperate attempt at getting both the "disgruntled Hillary vote", as well as all of the uninformed women who will vote for Palin just because she's female. So maybe Palin is the lipstick? Although Obama has stated that he didn't mean it that way either, he did joke about it on the Late Show with David Letterman:
"Technically, had I meant it this way she would be the lipstick, you see. The failed policies of John McCain would be the pig," Obama said, drawing laughter from the audience. "Just following the logic of this illogical situation."
John McCain is a pig. A sexist pig. The Republicans are being far more sexist themselves than anyone on the other side. Seriously, think about it. Harping on this stupid lipstick comment is their attempt at hypocritically playing the gender card yet again. Former Massachusetts governor, Jane Swift, was recently quoted as saying:
"As far as I know there is only one candidate in this contest who wears lipstick."
Sorry Jane, but we're not talking about actual lipstick. I know metaphors are tough to understand, but in this race, both McCain and Palin are wearing the figurative lipstick. And I happen to have it on good authority that former presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani wears real lipstick from time to time.


ceirdwenfc said...

Thank you again for your insight. I read this a couple of times a week, but the more I read, the more I want to be here. 90% of your political commentaries are taken directly from my brain. I cannot believe that the lipstick comment has to be explained, but I guess that "Iraq didn't cause 9/11 also has to be explained to these dimwits (and I don't mean the American people, I mean the Fox News Channel and John McCain. And Sarah Palin for that matter, who is the biggest dimwit of them all. Or she's the smartest. We will have to see how that turns out. As for us, we have an 11 year old son, and are currently looking for residence north of the border until Obama starts fighting back against the idiocy and the ridiculousness.)
Sorry about the above rant - this was supposed to be complimentary to you guys - I love this website. So glad we met.


The feelings are mutual.

(On all points mentioned).

Anonymous said...

You know, even if Obama WAS making the lipstick comment because of Palin's earlier pitbull jokes, it still doesn't necessarily make it sexist. SHE brought up "lipstick" in a joke already. Maybe he (or his writers?) DID use that figure of speech calculatingly, knowing that some people might remember Palin's joke and tie it all together. But it still doesn't make it sexist. Responding to an opponent doesn't become sexism just because that opponent is female, he'd have to actually make a sexist STATEMENT. And a lame expression about lipstick in response to an equally lame joke about lipstick isn't sexist. If her joke had been about fish and he gave us the old fish expression, would it still be considered sexist or would they just say he was making a retort? Just because it's about lipstick doesn't make it about women.


New t-shirt design:

You Can Put Lipstick on Sarah Palin: But I'm Still Not Voting For Her