Congress Speak: Making up the pig

“Let’s not perfume the pig here. The Democrats have some seriously deep fissures that they are going to have to mend outside of any formal rules committee.”

— Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, in a May 29 appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”


 “Lipstick on a pig!”

— A heckler at the May 31 meeting of the Democratic Party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which ruled on Michigan’s and Florida’s primary delegates.


 “You can put lipstick on a pig, but guess what? It’s still a pig.”

— Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinOrrin Hatch, ‘a tough old bird,’ got a lot done in the Senate Democrats are all talk when it comes to DC statehood The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Iowa), discussing in April 2004 a Bush administration proposal to eliminate overtime pay.


“You know the old saying about putting lipstick on a pig? Well, I smell bacon.”

— Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) in a May 21 House floor speech on U.S. trade policy.


“Calling this surrender a ‘withdrawal’ or a ‘redeployment’ is like putting lipstick on a pig. No matter what you call it, it is still a pig.”

— Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) during an April 26 speech on the Senate floor about supplemental funding for the Iraq war.


Definition: (phrase) an expression used to illustrate that something unattractive cannot be beautified or otherwise positively changed by any amount of makeup or other exterior alterations.

Suggested synonyms: ignoring faults, overlooking substantive problems.   

Synonyms Congress members should avoid: giving Medusa a makeover, primping a gorilla, shampooing a mullet.

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