You Can Put Lipstick On a Fib

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

I'm a feminist writer. This means I advocate for women to have the same rights and opportunities as men. It does not mean I sent my daughter to kindergarten with a prophylactic in her Polly Pocket lunchbox.

Can you put lipstick on a pig?

As a feminist, I support candidates who support feminism, for instance, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. I do not support whichever party’s slate has the most female body parts. That would be sexist.

I support Obama for some other reasons: When he was interviewed by David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, at a magazine publishers’ conference and Remnick asked him to explain how he is different from President Bill Clinton, Obama paused, cocked his head and said with a clever smile, “I inhaled.” He also writes books, things near and dear to my heart.

But these are stupid reasons to support a candidate, aren’t they? Yes, they are.

Just as stupid, is supporting Sarah Palin for the inane reasons folks are offering up:

Because she is “fresh.” What does that mean? The only fresh thing I've noticed about Sarah Palin is her mouth. And I suppose her mama taught her to put on fresh underwear every day. ...

Because she can reach out and practically touch Russia and Canada, thus possessing an executive-level understanding of foreign policy. Whoa there! Although Palin defended this proximity as enhancing her credentials, saying, "Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of,"* millions of Southwesterners can reach out and lasso Mexico, which qualifies them for nothing but a long border-crossing wait, a cheap drunk and the opportunity to learn a little Spanish. And a whole mess of them know that Palin can chant "executive" until the moose come home, but it won't correct her sentence structure.

Because she’s a “conservative feminist” dedicated to women’s issues. Oh, is that what she demonstrated as the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, where she approved cutting rape kit funding from the city budget and charging rape victims for their forensic test kits? Is being a conservative feminist what motivates her to encourage our white male dominated legislature to define women's reproductive rights? Is it her conservative feminism that puts those little form-fitting skirts on her comely caboose? I suppose it's conceivable that someone might claim Palin was practicing conservative feminism in her executive oversight and stand on women's rights — someone whacked out on Arctic snow.

Because she likes guns. So do millions of other folks, but that doesn’t qualify them for the vice presidency — or for gun ownership, come to think about it. Remember Dick Cheney and his hunting buddy’s shot-marked face.

Because she has a pregnant, unwed teenager. I can surely sympathize, but I wouldn’t reward Sarah Palin with the vice presidency for that failure — and it is indeed a failure, albeit a shared one. Neither would I reward her — or even sympathize with her — when she parades her disabled infant and pregnant teen through the international media and then complains that folks write about them. Don't drop you drawers in the tundra if you don't want to be put upon by bloodsucking Alaskan mosquitos.

Because she claims she said “No” to the now mythic Alaskan “Bridge to Nowhere." What is myth, is that Sarah Palin killed the project. As many now know (and her admirers still ignore), the bridge died a slow, bureaucratic death at the hands of Congress, which withdrew the earmark for the bridge after it had become a pork-barrel embarrassment for all, including Palin, who had campaigned for it. And as governor, Palin did not return the federal funding; she redirected the 223 million porcine dollars — our tax dollars — to other projects in Alaska.

Her claim that she stopped the bridge is a fib, a large, rotund fib, and Sarah Palin’s pants are on fire. Her snarky little smirk might make her delivery entertaining (and I write this freely, having a snarky smirk of my own), but it does not make her a competent, honorable leader.

Sarah Palin can put lipstick on a fib, but it’s still a fib, and I suspect she knows it.

So how about this, how about casting your vote for sound reasons? How about choosing our next president and vice president because of their track records on clean energy and reproductive rights and public education and pay equity and the Geneva Conventions and civil rights and access to healthcare and Social Security and voters’ rights and the military-industrial complex and foreign policies and honesty? And their ability to articulate a linear thought.

Love, K-B

©2008 Kit-Bacon Gressitt

* During the week of September 22, 2008, CBS News anchor Katie Couric met with Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at the United Nations. Much of the discussion focused on foreign policy, which some say could be Palin's weakness. What follows is an excerpt of an exclusive interview with Gov. Palin.

Katie Couric: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

Sarah Palin: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundary that we have with Canada. It's funny that a comment like that was kinda made to … I don't know, you know … reporters.

Couric: Mocked?

Palin: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

Couric: Well, explain to me why that enhances your foreign-policy credentials.

Palin: Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of.

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