Lipstick on a Pig

I agree with Barack Obama that candidates should focus on big issues rather than “innocent” remarks like “You can put lipstick on a pig, and it is still a pig.” Personally, I don’t like it when candidates in general accuse their critics of racism and sexism.

But is this the guy who should be claiming the moral high ground? How often has he (or his supporters) expressed phony outrage over “innocent” remarks? Where did Geraldine Ferraro go a few months ago? And didn’t Obama say that his opponents will make an issue of him not looking like other Presidents on the dollar bills? Sounds to me like he’s accusing his enemies of racism. And Bill Clinton said not long ago that Obama loves to play the race card, anyway!

Come to think of it, a lot of liberals love to play the race and the gender card, especially when it concerns statements that politicians and conservative celebrities happen to make. Just ask George Allen, Rush Limbaugh, and Pat Buchanan!

I like something my friend Felix said under my post, “‘Natural’ in Romans 1:26-27”. He was specifically talking about political correctness in the homosexuality debate, but it can be applied to other debates as well:

The politically-correct are “actually not interested in mutual respect between two parties but instead their agenda is for all opposing parties just to shut up and submit based on emotional manipulation. This is no different from radical Islam (with exception of violence as a method of coercion, of course).”

And that’s the game a lot of liberals play! You either see things exactly as they do, or you’re a racist or a sexist in their eyes. I think that the level of political discourse should be higher for both Republicans and Democrats, but I get a sense of glee when the Left’s tactics are thrown right back in their face. Now they get to experience what they’ve made others feel.

And why’s Obama getting on his moral high horse about sticking to the issues? He’s the one who compared Palin to a pig! That sounds like picking a schoolyard fight more than generating a rational political debate.

(See update below).

Personally, I don’t think that one party is more righteous than another, since both sides have their problems and inconsistencies. But it would be nice if a lot of liberals just got off their freaking high horse!

To my family members: No, I’m not especially angry today, so this is not one of my depressant posts. I’m just speaking my mind on the issues.

And, yes, I think there are times when accusing people of racism or sexism is entirely appropriate. But the Left makes it a sport for political gain! Or, in the case of certain African-American leaders (e.g., Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson), political and financial gain.
Update: As many of you know, the Obama camp says that Barack was using an old cliche, one that Dick Cheney and John McCain have also used (which is documented). That’s possible, which is why I’m including this disclaimer. But a Democrat also introduced Joe Biden by saying that Palin is “someone with zero experience in national government, zero experience in foreign affairs. There’s no way you can dress up that record, even with a lot of lipstick” (see here). Should we interpret what Obama said in light of the words of another Democrat? It’s not full-proof, but it’s something to throw out there for consideration. Palin has obviously popularized “lipstick.”

Also, I can’t find the full text of what Obama said in that speech.

But I’m keeping this post up, since I think I raise some valid points. I think that the Left has made a sport out of looking for racism or sexism in all sorts of places–where they may not even exist. I’m happy when that happens to someone like Obama, who has done his share of playing the race card. But should we focus on more important issues? I think so.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
This entry was posted in Candidates, Current Events, Politics, Race, Sarah Palin. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Lipstick on a Pig

  1. Bryan L says:

    Did he really compare her to a pig though? That is the question? Does anyone who mentions lipstick in a phrase no matter what the context from now on automatically refer to Sarah Palin?

    Seriously the McCain campaign is trying to keep the focus on Palin (they’re nothing without her) and away from McCain/Bush. Just watch and see what other stuff they come up with the coming weeks and how they try to keep the attention away from the issues and the present state of the country under George Bush who McCain has voted with the majority of the time.



  2. James Pate says:

    I’ve not seen the context of Obama’s remark, but he was talking about Palin’s speech. I think that’s a good indication he was talking about Palin. I mean, maybe he wasn’t deliberately meaning to insult her, but was Geraldine Ferraro deliberately making a racist comment?

    Also, on some level, McCain/Palin are talking about the issues. Palin said she vetoed a lot of pork, whereas Obama voted for a lot of it. She’s presenting her side as part of the solution to our current problems, and Obama as part of the problem.


  3. Bryan L says:

    If you haven’t seen the comments in context then you should. The longest I can find is a one minute clip and in it he is talking about McCain’s supposed plan to shake up Washington when in fact he isn’t going to change anything of significance. In fact he is speaking specifically about how McCain’s plan for change is nothing different and then he makes the lipstick remark and the old fish remark basically saying that dressing up their policies in the rhetoric of change doesn’t make it any better or any closer to actually being change.

    Bryan L


  4. James Pate says:

    Yeah, I could gather that this was his overall point from what I did hear. But the lipstick remark is obviously a reference to Palin’s speech. I don’t think that can be denied.


  5. Bryan L says:

    I’ll deny it. I mean it is a common phrase and it has been shown that both McCain and Cheney have both used it int he past (McCain in reference to Clinton’s health care) and when Cheney used it he got just as huge of a reaction from the crowd as Obama did (maybe more).

    Now I will say that I don’t doubt that some in Obama’s audience might have interpreted in the way he was accused but he didn’t look like he was meaning it that way and the one word similarity of lipstick is not enough.

    Did you see when he made the “dirt of your shoulder” gesture in reference to Hilary’s campaign tactics? The way he did that it was definitely a reference to the gesture popularized by the Jay Z song and video “Dirt off Your Shoulder” and he looked like he intended it that way by the way he smirked and played it up to the crowd.



  6. James Pate says:

    It seems as if the Obama camp is saying that Obama just used an old cliche. But was that what his audience was applauding? I have a hard time believing that he didn’t have Palin’s speech in his mind.


  7. James Pate says:

    I posted my last comment the same time you posted yours.


  8. James Pate says:

    Also, to pull a Steph tactic here (my statement may be wrong, but that doesn’t matter–see under my Iraq post), even if I’m technically wrong on Obama’s remark, I still like it when the left gets it own tactics thrown right in its face. Now, Obama acts like it’s wrong to accuse a statement of being sexist. How generous and lenient were his supporters to Geraldine Ferraro, though?


  9. Bryan L says:

    I’m enjoying the discussions with you James unfortunately I’m going to have to go to bed so this will be my last remark.

    “I still like it when the left gets it own tactics thrown right in its face. “

    Everyone likes it when people get a taste of their own medicine and nobody likes it when it is us getting that taste. : )

    “Now, Obama acts like it’s wrong to accuse a statement of being sexist.”

    When did he act like it was ok to say a statement was sexist? When did he even really address sexism claims? In fact there is video of Palin specifically speaking against charges of sexism in the Hlary campaign and how that kind of whining (I don’t remember if that is the word she used) doesn’t help women but instead they just need to work harder to prove themselves. Now that is all the McCain camp is doing in this race in regards to criticisms Palin receives (as well as phantom criticisms): throwing out charges of sexism. Its disgraceful and a distraction.

    “How generous and lenient were his supporters to Geraldine Ferraro, though?”

    I think there was a legitimate argument against what she said though. She basically said that his success could only be attributed to his race which was completely untrue and ignorant. Also if I’m not mistaken Obama tried to show he some charity towards her and even said she wasn’t a racists or anything. But she was wrong and people who think Obama’s race had everything to do with him being in the position he was/is are not looking at the big picture and do seem to show a misunderstanding of how the race works in politics. After all how much did it help Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

    Bryan L


  10. Mike (EkimKS) says:

    Here’s a clip of the
    lipstick remark

    I’m not an Obama supporter, but it looks to me that the “pig” on which the “lipstick” is being put, according to Obama, is McCain’s policies.

    I was actually leaning McCain, and voted for him in the primaries. But after seeing this being distorted into an attack on Palin, and after receiving chain emails attacking Obama with obvious lies, maybe I should give him a second look. If people have to make something up to say something bad about him, then maybe he’s not so bad.

    Interestingly enough, the YouTube clip that I linked tries to paint this as a smear by Obama. I guess politics is like religion, people are going to believe as they want no matter what evidence is in front of them.


  11. James Pate says:

    Thanks for the link, Mike.

    Yeah, Bryan, I tend to go with the old Sarah Palin on this. That’s not to say that Obama should be above scrutiny and have to defend himself every now and then, but throwing out charges of “racism” and “sexism” is usually like saying “How dare you criticize me? I’m (fill in the blank).”

    And, yes, I think Ferraro is wrong, since Obama has his share of charisma. But charisma is pretty subjective. If Ferraro wants to think that there’s not much that’s appealing to Barack Obama (in terms of qualifications, etc.), then that’s her right.


  12. steph says:

    The context was a criticism of Republican policy which was the same as McCain’s use of it in criticism of Democrat policy. I can’t believe Republicans are so paranoid as to take an old cliche out of context, twist it, and interpret it as an attack of Palin. It is they who are the owners of sarcastic attacks on personalities, not Obama. The audience are applauding because of the allusion to McCain’s use of it or just because audiences over there applaud all the time during political speeches.


  13. steph says:

    I’m repeating what I said on Bryan’s blog – I’ve just seen several clips of McCain using the same expression in different speeches. The analysis is that Repubs are claiming Obama’s use is an attack of Palin in order to attract Hillary voters who hate to see a sister scorned. Our news also showed a Republican advert claiming that Obama wants sex education for pre-schoolers against Obama saying pre-schoolers should be warned about sexual predator. Interesting misrepresentation.


  14. James Pate says:


    I don’t think Obama ONLY supports talking about sexual predators in a kindergarten sex ed program, though that’s certainly part of it.

    He said:

    “‘But it’s the right thing to do,” Obama continued,’ to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools.” – 694k –

    That was a conflict between him and Romney. Romney attacked him on that, when his own state had sex ed for kindergarteners.


  15. Anonymous says:

    Games, games, games–as old as politics, itself. Taking things “out of context” is “food for fodder” to a campaign, so to speak. Each party, each politician, is as guilty as the next one. The media is then able to concentrate on the “fluff” instead of on the real issues. So, it is the voters who really suffer, since the vast majority of them only know what they are told by the media.


  16. steph says:

    I know Obama supports sex education in schools – I do to. Look at Palin’s daughter and all the other pregnant teens. But he does not advocate sex education for pre schoolers. It is warning only warning them about sexual predators and how to identify them. I saw him say this.


  17. James Pate says:

    He may say that now, and he may even include talking about sexual predators in his program. But that quote I provided indicates that he supports sex ed for kindergarteners. He denied that it should be explicit, but he does want it to be medically accurate. I wonder what he means by that.


  18. steph says:

    The clip wasn’t from ‘now’ responding to criticism – it was a clip news journalists dug up from previous discussion on education. Your link doesn’t work and it is a blog. I don’t believe everything on blogs. Mind you there is nothing wrong with calling things by their proper names when teaching children about predators. I think there is something very naive about this criticism of Obama.


  19. James Pate says:

    All you have to do is google “Barack Obama AND sex education.” I know there are You-tube videos that present him saying that quote.


  20. steph says:

    what quote? I don’t actually care. He is not advocating a full blown sex education programme for pre schoolers. He wants them to be warned of predators and that involves several explicits doesn’t it. Has Obama himself really “played the race card”? Mind you I have heard and read lots of Americans, Dems who favoured Hillary and Republicans too, who said they would never have a black man leading the country or sentiments to that effect, so if he has it is certainly justified, but I haven’t heard him.


  21. steph says:

    your google search “has problems” and this was the best I could find. Seems pretty sensible to me


  22. James Pate says:

    What quote? The one where Obama said that sex ed for kindergarteners is the “right thing to do.”


  23. James Pate says:

    Well, I saw Obama say that people will say he doesn’t look his other Presidents on a dollar bill. If he’s attacking McCain, then that’s pretty low, since this is a man who adopted a little girl from Bangladesh.


  24. steph says:

    Sex ed for kindergartens as Obama describes it is absolutely right unless you want your children vulnerable and in the dark. I didn’t have it but was lucky to have an intelligent mother who informed me.

    I really don’t see how that is an attack on McCain!! and what on earth has his adopting got to do with it. Sounds like a reference to himself, and funny. He’s right.


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