Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Obama Speaks

"The other side, suddenly, they're saying 'we're for change too,' " Obama told the crowd. "You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig. You can wrap up an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough." From The Dallas News.

Last week, forty million people heard Sarah Palin say that the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom was lipstick. This Obama utterance is not exactly presidential, to put it mildly.


The Daily Fuel said...

This article tries to give Obama's statement a little context.

I leave it up to you to decide whether it is convincing. Certainly, given the recent bulldog/lipstick joke by Gov. Palin, Obama could might have done better to choose a different figure of speech to convey his message.

Incidentally, as an Obama supporter, I find it extremely offensive that McCain and Palin keep telling their adoring crowds that Obama would raise "your taxes", when in fact he has made it repeatedly clear that he would reinstate the marginal tax rate to Clinton era levels only for tax units making more than $250,000 a year. Granted, many of the people at the Republican convention seemed to fall in that income bracket, so perhaps that's what Palin and McCain meant when they told their audiences that Obama would raise their taxes.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the certifiable gaffe machine speaks again. He is certainly proving to be quite dependable, at least in his tendency to err.

Heath Countryman said...


does calling them "tax units" make it easier for you to justify taking property from one group of people and giving it to another?


In regards to the pig comment, I think it is much adeau about nothing. While the word choice was poor given the comments by Palin, I have seen the entire comment in context and doubt very seriously that Obama was refering to Palin. He may not be that bright, but he is a skilled politician and he would have to know that it would be disasterous of him to make such a statement about a woman.

Republicans have been taken out of context far too much for us to willingly engage in the practice ourselves...

The Daily Fuel said...


Tax units was meant as in taxpaying family rather than individual earner. It is not my term.

Taxes go from one group of people to another all the time, unless you think that all the taxes you pay are spent exclusively on you. (Sometimes, they do not even go from a group of people to another, they go straight to the corporation(s) that lobbied for public money, in the form of corporate subsidies. Do you have a problem with that?)

I have absolutely no problem with what conservatives contemptuously call "income redistribution." I am for progressive taxation, whereas Republicans are calling for more and more regressive form of taxation (think about the Fair Tax, for example)and considering that the country's wealthiest make larger use of public infrastructure and services, either directly or indirectly, than lower income earners.

But anyway, that was not the topic of Dr. Groothuis's original post, so my apologies for taking it off-topic.

Jim said...

I point you to this website for a definition of libstick on a pig. It is a common saying.


Lars Larson said...

This is a perfect example of how you a DELUDING yourselves.

The ONE statement had nothing to do with the OTHER. It showed absolutely NOTHING insensitive when Obama said "lipstick on a pig" because it was not even made in the SLIGHTEST reference to Mrs. Plain REALLY BAD SPEECH!

What are you going to say know that Palin OWNS the word "LIPSTICK"?

Give me a break.

McCain has repeatedly said "lipstick on a pig"...was he calling Hillary Clinton a pig because it was in reference to her Second Helath Care proposal?

Dick Cheney beat the phrase to DEATH in 2004...is HE a misogynist?

How about you and your groupies tackle REAL ISSUES?

Anonymous said...


Yes, his is a common saying, and yes, John McCain said it, Dick Cheney probably said it, and I've said it.

HOWEVER, Obama's timing was poor and his insensitivity was great in this particular episode.

Consider these options:

1) Obama did not have Gov. Palin in mind when he made the remark, meaning that either:
a) He was not aware of her acceptance speech joke, suggesting a certain level of density.
b) He was aware of her joke and did not care if his comment was taken wrongly. This is reckless and stupid.


2) He did have Palin in mind when he made the remark, meaning that an insult was intended.

If it was not intended to be an insult, then why hasn't he apologized for the misunderstanding instead of (as usual) not taking responsibility for his statements?

Obama is not exactly exuding grace and class here. Someone who views himself as the savior of the nation should be able to speak more wisely than that.

Tom said...


You overlook what seems to me the most obvious option:

1c. Although he heard her speech and thus knew of her remark, he wasn't thinking about it at the time he used the cliche.

It is, as you note, a common phrase in political parlance.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


You logically covered all the options and exposed the truth--again. Thanks.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

1c is very unlikely, Tom. He was referring to McCain/Palin at the time and their convention emphasis on change. The line by Palin was well noted and very funny. People had it on their mind, especially since she is a woman.

The audience laughed and clapped like he has really insulted someone, which he did.