The Truth about Pit Bulls and Lipstick

by Cody Lyon

Pit bulls with lipstick aren’t an especially pretty sight. In more harsh terms, they smell of oxymorons, sort of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

At this week’s Republican Convention in St Paul Minnesota, Senator John McCain’s new running mate Sarah Palin said ”œthe difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull” was ”œlipstick.”

Now it’s not that pit bulls themselves aren’t lovely canines, when they are given love, and trained properly by caring owners. These pooches can be truly some of the most affectionate animals around

But with her lipstick on a terrier analogy, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin set the house on fire at the GOP Convention after pontificating her resume, revealing some of her private and public persona to a curious nation by charming the audience, even introducing her family in the more personal eagerly anticipated getting to know you portion of the speech heard round the country.

But then the lipstick came off and the ideological pit bull stepped up to bat as Palin tossed out some classic right wing red meat into the Republican “pound” by lashing out at the “elite” media, Washington insiders, her opponents record’s and with an an almost deceitful fashion, utilizing her sisterhood to reach out to women voters by vaguely implying she had co-opted Senator Hillary Clinton’s role as the new “woman candidate.”

It was and is politics at its most clever. It is also politics at its most misleading at least as far as women’s and other social issues are concerned.

Still, according to a number of Republican spokespeople and pundits, much of the vetting, curiosity, criticism and shock over Senator John McCain’s politically crafty pick of Palin is simply media hype that has its roots in sexism.

But, that’s when the Republicans walk right into the land of the ridiculous by participating in a political system gone awry that has seen an epidemic of kitchen table issues going on the back burner while image and pre-packaged selfish identity political sell tactics command the front and center of political discourse.

As for sexist media coverage, there is no valid comparison between the treatment dished out on Hillary Clinton and the miniscule reportage on Governor Sarah Palin. The media and the people of America practically just met the Alaska Governor. Clinton, on the other hand, has seen her record, rhetoric, other assorted baggage and even her pantsuits picked clean by the press, much of which, covertly expressed its disdain of anything Clinton with shrill tactics that called into question character and motive, thus, at least in part, contributing to one of the boldest political derailments in American history.

In Governor Palin’s case, it might appear sexist when some question whether this Mother of five will have time for her children as vice President. True as well, some have made fun of her pistol packin, assault rife shootin NRA endorsement, echoes of the Democratic Primary Annie Oakley snip by Obama a few months ago when Hillary talked about going hunting, Yes, there will be unfair attention paid to Palin’s children’s private lives, an area that should be off limits since, in fact, it’s really nobody’s business but her and her family’s and how the Palin’s handle their affairs doesn’t really affect most American’s elderly parents social security checks or whether or not their child goes to a good school.

Of course, there will be those, like the many individuals who will not vote for Obama because of his race, or in fact those who didn’t vote for Hillary because of her gender, who might avoid casting a ballot for a ticket that could potentially lead to a female President, a nugget of sad commentary on a still maturing nation. But, really, that’s all irrelevant in the grand scope of potential tangible change considering the fact that one positive that will result from the outcome of this race will be, no matter what the narrow minded wish, a historic first will be seen in the White House in January.

Still, as we’ve seen throughout this election process, the power of self identity politics is alive and well and it is in part a reaction to our collective struggles with racial prejudices and a continuing culture of sexism. More unfortunate, is the power it possesses over an electorate that at times appears to lose site of what is truly at hand in this race to Pennsylvania Avenue.


Could it actually be a sign of pervasive sexism, that a woman candidate believes that in order to win her party’s approval she must prove she’s tough enough to run a nation by invoking analogous machismo by holding up a dog with a less than gentle reputation as an example of her strength? Is Palin and her party’s attempt to elevate her into a tomboyish tough love Mom with conservative virtues a party that deep down, at least appears to be complacent with a woman knowing her place in the grand political game of the true powers that be in the western world? While it might be true, that the Republican party claims to be a party that endorses a stronger philosophy of individual responsibility, does the scent of hypocrisy not waif through the minds of millions of women who recognize it is also a party that would deny them the right to choose?

Perhaps on a more basic level it might be worth considering the pit bull and lipstick analogy. Like any dog, a pit bull depends on its owner and trainer for guidance. As most people know, there have been countless news reports over recent years detailing pit bull owners who have bred and trained the dogs for cruel and vicious fighting matches. Usually, the dogs in question were seen as mere objects used by cruel, self serving owners who engaged in inhumane treatment all for victory in the dog fight ring, regardless of the cost to the animal itself.

On the day after the speech, New York City tabloid headlines were screaming pit bull with lipstick. But, there is a more important story about Governor Palin’s politically clever line and her party. Palin, like any other up and coming political figure has been trained, mentored and has let it be known that she subscribes to an Party ideology that has for the most part been responsible for one of saddest, most selfish economic, disastrous foreign policy reigns of our century. The results have led to one of the most destructive collective psychological downturns that this country has ever seen. Albeit hard to accurately measure, American’s are not happy with the direction the nation is now heading. Gloom is in the air as an occasional news report or perhaps more revealing, a casual conversation at the grocery store details heartache and struggle, perhaps Americans witness a foreclosure sign on a neighbor’s home, maybe the reality comes in the form of a knock on the door from a military officer with bad news regarding a loved one who bravely followed orders from a commander in chief who’s administration now appears to have engaged in the most sinful form of deceit.

No matter how much lipstick one applies on the conditions and philosophy, facts bubble forth. And, once weaved together, those facts are very telling. And, it is imperative that voters do their homework and look beyond the makeup of both parties and understand what is at stake here.

Regardless of Sarah Palin’s gender, her charisma or any questions on negatives and positives regarding her ability to lead, there are greater, more stark choices in this election. In the end, despite the historic change our nation will witness with the election of either of these tickets, sexism, racism and all the prejudicial and reactionary baggage that comes with it will continue to poison our society. But, putting “lipstick” on Party ideology that endorses policy that has led us to what could be called the miserable place so much of our nation finds itself in today, only threatens the realistic changes that government can indeed make in all American’s lives.

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Cody Lyon

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  • Hillary Clinton thought to evoke her ‘manly-woman’ by downing a drink in a bar with the guys. Michelle Obama thought to overcome her natural ‘manly-woman’ by telling cute little stories about baking cookies. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, mixes everything up. She evokes her ‘girlie-woman’ by acting like a proud mama who shows off her family and a ‘manly-woman’ who enjoys hunting moose.

    I’m confused!

    “While not a Playboy reader, she invites a male acquaintance in for a quiet discussion of Chagall, Nietzsche, jazz, sex.” – not a Hugh Hefner quote

  • I saw her described as “tundra harpy” elsewhere. Her self-styled “tough” image is one that would have gotten any other woman laughed off the stage, but once more, anything is acceptable — lying, corruption, stealing other people’s property, whatever — as long as you are Republican.

    This. Must. Stop.

    The Rethug Party needs to be reminded in very forceful terms that America is not about fear. It’s not about playing war porn movies to scare people. It’s not about theft and corruption and forcing one religion’s nasty views on an entire diverse population. The only reminder I can think of is to see every Rethug up for re-election or election bounced thoroughly back to their caves.

    Let some adults run the country for a while.

  • The problem is, and maybe the point of this election is that all of the things you describe are really what most of America is about.

    The Rethugs have made this a referendum on those issues. I wouldn’t bet on the outcome.

  • Troopergate: A report will be issued in three weeks. Palin apparently improperly went through personnel records to get dirt on Wooten, her sisters then ex-husband to get him fired. She found some stuff, like I guess he shot a moose, and pressured her then police commissioner to fire him. When he refused she fired him. Abuse of office, violation of privacy.

    Membership with the Alaskan Independence Party: A right wing secessionist group. Her husband was a member, and she may have been. She apparently has addressed this group every time they meet every four years. There is evidence of her speaking in 1994, 2004 and even this year in 2008.

    The ‘Affair’: Do politicians ever not have these? Sarah had an extramarital affair with her husbands business partner somewhere around 1996. Todd found out about the affair and severed the business partnership, sold the dealership. Greg Hanson (the guy) also got divorced at that time and moved from the area. Something must have happened. He is also attempting to seal his divorce records but the court denied his request. Enquirer is all over this one.

    The Pregger Daughter: The 17 year old gets pregnant, and the original plan by Palin was to have her kid get married after the RNC convention and then announce she is pregnant and leave out details. However, two things apparently occurred: A) Bristol was adamant that she did not want to get married; and B) Enquirer called to say they were doing a story on the matter and already knew about it. Bristol does NOT want to marry Levi, and mom is apparently going to make her.

    Crazy Religion: Just what are her religious views. Her church is an Assemblies of God, who subscribe to what is called Dominionist theology, which means church take over of state government. They are also into missions to convert native americans and apparently Jews. The more you learn and hear the weirder the group seems. Is this a church or a cult?

    Hunting Animals from Planes: This one is out there and seems to be confirmed. The governor likes to hunt animals by shooting them from planes. Something that is illegal in Alaska without a Governors dispensation, and she apparently gives herself one from time to time so she can do it. In light of her wanting to fire Wooten for shooting a moose, this one seems weirdly wrong to me. Shooting an animal running along the ground from a plane???

    Six Colleges in Six Years: What is with that. A small matter, but I don’t know anyone who went to six colleges in six years. Why? She said she left one college because it was too rainy.

    Have I missed anything?? There is apparently going to be more because Sarah Palin has a very large extended family and lots and lots of enemies out there talking in what is a very small and close knit community. Should be dicey.

    She is currently holed up in Alaska for the next ten days, they are keeping her AWAY from reporters and off the campaign trail.

  • Hunting Animals from Planes: …Shooting an animal running along the ground from a plane???

    Door Gunner: Git some! Git some! Git some, yeah, yeah, yeah! Anyone that runs, is a VC. Anyone that stands still, is a well-disciplined VC! You guys oughta do a story about me sometime!
    Private Joker: Why should we do a story about you?
    Door Gunner: ‘Cuz I’m so f*ckin’ good! I done got me 157 dead gooks killed. Plus 50 water buffalo too! Them’s all confirmed!
    Private Joker: Any women or children?
    Door Gunner: Sometimes!
    Private Joker: How can you shoot women or children?
    Door Gunner: Easy! Ya just don’t lead ’em so much! Ain’t war hell?

    – “Full Metal Jacket”

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Oh flap, flap, flap goes the local news about the governor spending 50 bux or so of the state’s money to fly home for the weekend, etc. but I note her speech to the (pregnant and non-pregnant) fresh cheeked grads at the June 8 commencement of the Master’s Commission program held at the Wasilla Assembly of God, (the church where she was baptized at age 12.)

    Here’s an excerpt from her 8 minute speech.

    “What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys as you go out throughout Alaska — I can do my part in doing things like working really, really hard to get a natural gas pipeline.” Palin said. “Pray about that also. I think God’s will has to be done, in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that. But I can do my job there, in developing our natural resources, and doing things like getting the roads paved, making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and making sure our public schools are funded.

    “But really, all of that stuff doesn’t do any good if the people of Alaska’s hearts isn’t right with God. And that’s going to be your job,” she said. “As I’m doing my job, let’s strike this deal. Your job is going to be: to be out there, reaching the people, (the) hurting people throughout Alaska, and we can work together to make sure God’s will be done here.”

    MORE at

    State paid for trip when Palin told students to pray for pipeline
    Anchorage Daily News
    Published: September 7th, 2008 01:57 AM

  • According to ABCNews Blogs

    Web Site With Speeches and Sermons From Palin’s Former Church Shuts Down as Religious Views of Candidate Face Scrutiny

    September 03, 2008 12:38 PM

    Officials of Gov. Sarah Palin’s former church, Wasilla Assembly of God, in Alaska, shut down part of their Web site Wednesday, stating that their server could not handle the higher-than-normal traffic.

    The part of the Web site no longer functioning appears to be the section where the sermons of senior Pastor Ed Kalnins were available, including one from 2004 — after Palin left the church — where he suggested heaven wasn’t necessarily in the cards for anyone who voted for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

    Also no longer available is the video of a speech Palin delivered in June at the graduation service for the church’s School of Ministry. (part of which is excerpted above)

    Here’s the WIKI on the Assemblies of God cult.

  • “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • There’s something *in there* – you can smell it.

    And the operatives that have been handed this coverup are just *praying* they can get to November without it coming out in public.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Not that I am good at this but there’s no cached file, no anything….

    “I despise ideologues masquerading as objective journalists.” – Bill O’Reilly, March 30, 2007

  • – eom

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Thought so. I’ve met and/or know many busy women in influential positions who seem to be able to tackle all multi-tasking challenges – home, family, business, career – while barely pausing for breath. But look closer and you will inevitably find a husband hiding in the shadows whose ego must be carefully nursed. Sometimes these alpha males are satisfied with just gently torpedoing their wife’s inititives or being boring at parties – other times the unspoken deal goes along the lines of “ok, I’ll let you stay up late at night, but only if I get to sit in on policy meetings.” Think I’m kidding? Oh no, I’m not.


    Sept. 16, 2008 | WASHINGTON — Not long after Sarah Palin was sworn in as Alaska’s governor in December 2006, her husband, Todd, started showing up in the state capitol in Juneau. He’d hang around her office, or he’d sit in on meetings with Cabinet officials or legislators. He’d leave for a few weeks to go work his $100,000-a-year oil job on the North Slope, then come back to Juneau (or Anchorage, depending on where Palin was spending her time). At some point, the “First Dude” became enough of a fixture in the statehouse that people just sort of figured he belonged there.

    Soon, Todd Palin was getting copied on e-mails dealing with official state business. He had already helped write the state budget, gotten involved in personnel matters and called up lawmakers when he — or Sarah Palin — had a bone to pick with them. Apparently Palin’s inner circle figured they better include him on messages about pending legislation or ongoing controversies, too. The First Dude’s involvement in Palin’s efforts to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the state police force have now earned him a subpoena from the Legislature, and he also allegedly intervened to have John Bitney (a former friend) fired from the state payroll for having an affair with the ex-wife of one of Todd Palin’s buddies. The Washington Post reported last week that the Palins billed the state $1,371 for Todd’s airfare to Washington, when he joined Sarah Palin at a National Governors Association conference, and for the whole family to fly around Alaska watching him compete in the Iron Dog snowmobile race.

    In the Palin administration, Todd appears to have had an unusually strong role, the extent of which remains unclear. He is not on the state payroll and was never elected — but the First Dude has crossed over from the standard-issue supportive political spouse to something far more influential, weighing in on policy and political matters in ways that few observers seem to understand. His apparent influence in his wife’s administration — some in Alaska have referred to him as the “shadow governor” — has raised questions about whether a Sarah Palin vice-presidency would hand the same type of backstage power to Todd, and what that might mean in the running of the U.S. government.

    MORE at the link.

  • and they were worried about Bill.

    “While not a Playboy reader, she invites a male acquaintance in for a quiet discussion of Chagall, Nietzsche, jazz, sex.” – not a Hugh Hefner quote

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