Sometimes our political conversation is really stupid, and the lipstick thing is one of those. It started with Sarah Palin asking at the Republican convention what the difference between a hockey mom and pitbull might be. The answer was "lipstick".
That's quite funny, except that a religious wingnut guy wrote a book about the proper way to subjugate women with a version of that joke: "What's the difference between a Doberman pincher and a woman with PMS?" Answer: "Lipstick."
That's not quite so funny now, is it?
Now scroll forward to the present time and the discussion about Obama criticizing McCain's economic policies by calling them more of the same and by noting that if you put lipstick on a pig it's still a pig:
"I'm assuming you guys heard this watching the news. I'm talking about John McCain's economic policies and I said here's more of the same, 'You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. Suddenly, they say, `Oh you must be talking about the governor of Alaska!' "
As Atrios pointed out, McCain himself used the lipstick-on-a-pig comment in 2007:
McCain criticized Democratic contenders for offering what he called costly universal health care proposals that require too much government regulation. While he said he had not studied Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's health-care plan, he said it was "eerily reminiscent" of the failed plan she offered as first lady in the early 1990s.
"I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," he said of her proposal.
All kinds of people use that saying. It's just a saying. At the same time avoiding that particular saying at the present time would seem to be a good policy for the Obama campaign, just so that McCain doesn't get to grab the public conversation again. Maybe they should hire me to read through the speeches beforehand?