Sep 12, 2008

Are you sure that's really a compliment, Governor?

Much ado (over nothing) has been made of Obama's alleged insult to Sarah Palin, and whether he was actually referring to Palin when he said "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." Never mind that each candidate has used this same expression dozens of times, always referring to issues and agendas. We'll leave that topic for another day.

What's got me more interested, and more concerned, is Palin's description of herself as a "pit bull with lipstick". Sounds rough and tough; sounds like just the thing to strike confidence in the hearts of American citizens, and strike fear in the hearts of foreign terrorists. The problem with this kick-ass analogy is that it fails to probe the exact nature of Governor Palin's proud self-reference.

Billy and I used to live in a neighborhood with at least a dozen pit bulls. Whenever one came down the street, even though most were on a leash, I always made sure I was holding Miranda in my arms.  I didn't want her even remotely within reach should the dog break free.

Pit bulls are, arguably, the most vicious breed of dog. Certainly this is affected by training and environment, but it arises from generations of breeding for aggression. Pit bulls will often attack for no reason and with no provocation, savaging anything within their reach. Children are often victims, with horrifying results. An uncontrolled pit bull doesn't use discretion when it attacks; it doesn't respond to redirection, or commands, or cries of pain, or even punishment. It just savages.

Governor Palin and the rest of the GOP might take pride in this analogy. Certainly, it struck a chord during the convention. But as a pastor and a mother, I'm certain I don't want my daughter (or anyone for whom I care) around any unrestrained pit bulls, canine or otherwise. And our country absolutely cannot afford a potential commander-in-chief who so clearly values aggression over insight.  Because I don't care how much lipstick is on that pit bull -- it won't be enough to hide all the blood on its lips.


Rachel said...

Great post.

At first I was excited about Palin as the pick for McCain's running mate (b/c she's a woman and, well, that's kind of neat), but the more I learn about her the more I dislike her. I've never liked McCain. I don't like Obama either so I have no idea who to vote for.

Anyway, that comment she made about being like a pit bull didn't sit well with me.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I found that analogy a bit disquieting as well. Though it would be easier to dismiss if her political views didn't seem to support it. She seems willing to follow in Bush's footsteps of a "we'll stop at nothing" foreign policy.

lara said...

alright maria! love that post!

Marie McKinney said...

You probably don't remember me, but we met last year when Communality hosted the Schools for Conversion... :D

Anyways, I completely agree with this whole post! What a horrible comparison, right?

Also, a month ago I was attacked by a stray pit bull! I was out taking a walk, and there was no provocation or anything. He didn't even growl before he bit. Scariest moment in. my. life.

Thank, God I only had puncture wounds, but still. Pit bulls are not cool. On the street, or in the White House.

billy said...

I could be wrong, but Gov. Palin might actually wish she were a pitbull by the middle of her debate with a seasoned expert on foreign policy like Joe Biden..that should be an interesting one....if she does well does that mean that John McCain should give her a milk-bone?...ha, ha...seriously, a good observation about a questionable analogy in age where we already have way too many people who are willing to attack and inflict personal injury on others....the combination of pit bull and reformer=what? An eerie combo....won't say more than that...

Alana said...

Comparing herself to a Pitbull with lipstick is not the stupidest thing that Palin has said. What she flippantly said about getting into a war with Russia is so far beyond the pale that I think she's off the charts stupid.

I FWIW I HATE Pitbulls (they are everywhere in this neighborhood), and thanks to them and those biting German Shepherds down the street, and the way dog owners don't leash their dogs, dogs in general.

Pigs on the other hand, are fine, intelligent animals that also happen to taste very good.

Janet said...

I would wholeheartedly agree. I'm pretty sure that the "you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig" was said by John McCain about Hillary Clinton a year ago. As you said, it's been repeated, and it may not have been original to him.

People can talk about Rottweillers all they want, but I would NOT have a pit bull in my house.

Anonymous said...

Quite well stated. You have put a "popular" comment in a new and valid light. I wish everyone would read your statement. Mom

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