Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lipstick-Wearing Pigs in Time

Imagining myself the sort of mystifyingly stupid voter that the McCain campaign wants us to be or hopes we already are, I recently undertook to discover the sinister reach of Barack Obama's disparagement of Sarah Palin as a pig who wears lipstick. What I found shocked me to the foundations of the idiot I was pretending to be for the sake of this exercise. To wit:

  • The rot has spread to General David Petraeus himself, spanning not only ideology and distance but time itself. The 9/8/2008 New Yorker, which arrived in my mailbox before Barack Obama's hurtful pig reference, quotes the general as follows:
    General Petraeus kept saying, ‘Things are going to be worse before they get better.’ . . . He wasn’t trying to sell anything. He was very adamant about telling it like it is: ‘Don’t put lipstick on the pig.’ ”
    For shame! Doesn't he realize Palin has children who might read that?!?
  • A google book search returned 186 hits of "lipstick on a pig," many from books that appear -- I stress appear -- to have been written well before Barack Obama ran for president, let alone began demeaning the governor of Alaska.
  • One of the books in question bears the calumny in its very title -- Torie Clarke's 2006 book Lipstick on a Pig. I've never read that book, but the GOP-friendly idiot I'm impersonating has to assume it is packed with dishonorable anti-Palin japes.
  • Wikipedia has an entry on it that finds references to the expression going at least as far back as 1980:
    In an article in the Quad-City Herald (Brewster, Washington) from Jan. 31 1980, it was written "You can clean up a pig, put a ribbon on it's [sic] tail, spray it with perfume, but it is still a pig." The phrase was also reported in 1985 when the Washington Post quoted a San Francisco radio host remarking "That would be like putting lipstick on a pig" in reference to plans to refurbish Candlestick Park (rather than constructing a new stadium for the San Francisco Giants).
My research indicates we have to be bravely stupid enough to conclude that the Obama campaign has been busily planting the seeds of Palin's diminishment since Obama himself was in his late teens.

1 comment:

media kingdom said...

this lipstick issue demonstrates yet again that McCain's strategy for winning is based on personal attacks and distracting people from the main issues...