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Women, Where Are You?

Posted: 09/14/08 07:05 AM ET

With all that is at stake in this election, is anyone else shocked and awed by the amount of attention the "lipstick on a pig" comment has received? Where is the outrage? Specifically, where is the outrage from women? Are we going to sit idly by and allow the press to portray us as hyper-sensitive chumps more concerned with voting for our "own" than for the serious issues that confront us as a nation? Are we really going to allow the McCain campaign to use us as pawns in this game? Surely, we've come too far for that. The truth is most women know something about lipstick. Sadly, most of us also know something about pigs. Let's call this what it is.

Lipstick is: Saying that you are going to change the ways of Washington and throw out the lobbyists.

Here's the pig: Hiring a former bank industry lobbyist as your campaign manager and employing a team of Karl Rove cronies to use the same dirty tactics of lies and distortions as campaign strategy.

More lipstick: Saying that our lack of energy independence "has been thirty years in the making and caused by the failure of politicians in Washington."

More pig: Spending 26 of the past 30 years in Congress voting again and again and again (including two votes in this past year alone) against investments in renewable energy while proposing a $4 billion tax break for the oil industry.

Lipstick: Choosing a female running mate to help tap into the "18 million cracks" left by women who voted for Hillary.

Pig: Voting against a measure aimed at helping women achieve pay equity. Voting repeatedly against funding to fight and prevent domestic violence. Voting against extending insurance coverage to pregnant women and infants. Voting against $214 million for breast cancer research.

Lipstick: Using all of the imagery, rhetoric and running mates you can summon to portray yourself as a friend to the middle class.

Pig: Proposing a tax package which ignores 101 million Americans including 37 million seniors while offering $2 trillion over the next decade in tax breaks for corporations.

The bottom line is that the "lipstick" controversy was a cynical attempt by the McCain camp to use the gender card to distract voters from the real issues at hand -- issues that McCain is counting on voters to ignore. Women are the only ones who can call them out on it. We need speak up and demand that the candidates focus on the issues that really matter to us and to the nation.

The truth is no amount of lipstick can cover up the fact that we are amidst one of the most serious economic debacles since the fallout of the S&L crisis and John McCain is one of the Keating Five. No cosmetics will make up for the fact that Senator McCain has openly admitted that he does not know enough about the economy. No ruby-red will disguise the truth that thousands of lives have been lost, our military has been strained by a two-front war, we haven't found bin Laden and our world standing has plummeted on the failed policies of John McCain and George Bush. No paint will cover the fact that John McCain's campaign is teeming with lobbyists and Washington insiders intent on returning us to the same cynical politics of deception and personal destruction while perpetuating the same bad policies of George W. Bush.

If it is one thing women know, it is lipstick can only do so much.