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.