Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's not her fault she's unqualified.

There's something I want to take a moment to emphasize as we go into Labor Day and its high-calorie festivities. My gripe isn't with Sarah Palin herself; she may be the nicest, brightest person on earth, and for all I know, if given the chance to serve as vice president, she might do a wonderful job. My gripe is with the cynical, Machiavellian thought process that resulted in her selection. So if I show photos of Palin as a young beauty queen, or talk about her five kids or her lack of Washington experience, or otherwise portray her as a political lightweight, I'm not "dumping on" Palin herself, even though it may sound like it. I'm pointing up the improbability of her being a legitimate candidate for vice president. When someone who has no business being chosen for such-and-such a position is in fact chosen for that position, you wonder: What's really going on here? The various SHAMblog items since Friday were intended in that vein: my thoughts on what's really going on here. And clearly, if you've been doing any reading or TV-watching these past few days, I'm not alone in those thoughts.

Enjoy the hotdogs!


monique said...

I read a lot of atheist blogs and they're posting a lot of disturbing news about Palin's views on abortion, her church affiliations, her stance on creationism in the classroom and her "family values" persona. She doesn't sound like anyone I'd be supporting if I were an American voter.

Dimension Skipper said...

No, you're not alone in many of the thoughts that you (and commenters, and news media, etc.) have raised and discussed about Palin over the last few days.

I'm still reading up on Palin in my iGoogle political feeds and so far seems to be providing me the most/best introductory detail. This morning they have two pieces...

Media obsession: 5 questions for Palin,
by John F. Harris, and

Sarah Palin: What we know now,
By Alexander Burns, that go hand in hand.

Thus far the answers take up less space than the initial questions, but on page two of "5 Questions" here's #4:

"4. What’s her family life like?

"This is an especially sensitive one. But based on conversations with journalists, operatives and average voters, it is one that is on a lot of people’s minds: How does a mother of five children who are still at home, one of whom is an infant born with Down syndrome, plan to manage the demands of a national candidacy or the White House?

"Is this a question that would be asked of a man? Certainly not in an earlier era, though cultural expectations about the role of fathers have changed enough that even a male politician might expect some questions on this score. And Palin supporters will surely, and perhaps legitimately, cry sexism if she is hazed about whether she is neglecting her family. But this is unquestionably a set of questions that Palin, as well as her husband, former high school boyfriend Todd Palin, can expect to face."

...Sound familiar?

Also, I found this other Jonathan Martin article, Palin electrifies conservative base, of interest in relating some GOP-affiliated reaction to the Palin selection thus far.

I'm sure it's way to early to draw any firm conclusions, though. Just have to wait to see how it all plays out... at least through the GOP convention anyway.

Hmmm, I guess I'm in non-lurker mode more than I thought I would be. And BTW, please feel free to address me as "DimSkip" if you're ever replying to anything I put forth here. That's how I often shorten it. Or there's always "Rich" which happens to be my real name, but I don't often use it online. [ I also tend to look up whenever I hear a phrase like "Hey Dummy!" in my general vicinity. ;-) ]

I'd like to point out too that I, for one, "get" that you often play devil's advocate and put certain things out there for consideration without necessarily espousing personal belief or emotional investment in such things. I actually appreciate that as to me it's a sign of considering both or all sides of an issue, not just standing pat on long held tenets without ever seriously questioning even for a nanosecond the basis for what you believe. Considering (and occasionally re-considering) differing views and philosophical angles and then actually adopting one shows a certain amount of reasoning intellect imo (regardless of the choice). It's quite often the folks who adopt a stance (perhaps based on limited "facts" understanding) and then never ever under any circumstances re-evaluate that stance who can come across as slightly scary. (And I'm talking in terms of issues where there can probably only be a personal sense of right and wrong, not a more definitive and obvious actual right and wrong legally and/or morally.)

Anonymous said...

The democrats have an unqualified person running for president - he will learn on-the-job from his #2. That's what the republicans did 8 years ago, and look where that got us.
The republicans now have an experienced guy in the #1 slot and a rookie in the #2 slot who will get the OJT. Sounds like a better package to me.

Palin does have international experience - she has spent a lot of time negotiating with our largest international supplier of oil, natural gas and timber. Sure - it's Canada; but it's more than Obama has on his CV.

Why do conservative blacks and conservative women catch such heat from democrats? Is it because they believe that rights come from God and not the government? That life begins at the beginning?

If Palin comes across as shrill, screetchy or bitchy, she will be toast. But this "unqualified" argument is a loser: Ford used it against Carter; Carter used it against Reagan; Bush 41 used it against Clinton; Gore used it against Bush 43. And for Vice President, it's completely irrelevant.

Elizabeth said...

This piece summarizes Palin's significance:

Steve Salerno said...

I just wanted to piggyback onto what Monique said in passing about creationism. I'm asking an honest question here, and I am totally open to answers: Is it wrong of me to oppose the idea of having a Creationist (using the term in its most fundamental sense, as I understand it) in the White House? Is that a form of prejudice on my part? Or do I have grounds in proposing that such a situation represents a serious threat to the church/state dichotomy?

This is a very difficult issue for me. On the one hand, of course people are entitled to their private religious views. But when the view is Creationism, and you're in the White House, in a policy-making position...I don't see how someone who's committed to Creationism could possibly be fair and impartial on issues pertaining to church-and-state, educational policy, etc. Or am I seeing it wrong?

RevRon's Rants said...

Lessee... Mayor of a town roughly equivalent to that portrayed in "Northern Exposure." Managed the Eskimos concerns effectively, from what we hear. Then served a partial term as governor of a state whose population is less than the city of Houston, and whose pertinent issues bear little resemblance to what she would encounter in the White House. Of course, she is pro-oil...

Qualified? Hardly. More so than Obama? Only in a neocon's wet dream. And for the record, I'm not a Democrat. I simply see her selection for what it is: a political stunt. There's simply no way she's the most highly qualified for the job, even if she does have some value politically.

Of course, her apparent handling of that little personnel matter involving her ex-brother in law would give her some serious cred with the current administration's Justice Department.

Steve Salerno said...

Look, I have nothing against former sportscasters or beauty queens or anti-abortion Creationist mothers who have five kids, per se, but in totality, I just find it so hard to take this woman seriously as a candidate for the second-highest office in American public life.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Carter was - and still is -a creationist/ Divine plan/evangelical.
I don't recall this ever being an issue when he was president. That's because only Democrats raise this issue, and they gave him a pass.

Palin's biggest detractors are those who can't stand her pro-life views. But with a democrat-controlled Congress and Senate, the Supreme Court is safe. A Vice President is powerless in the abortion debate.

Steve Salerno said...

That's a good point about Carter, though somehow I think there's a difference between an "intellectual Creationist," like Carter, and an "emotional Creationist," which is the sense I get about Palin. In other words, I had more, um, faith in Carter's ability to segregate his religious views from his approach to governance. Which is one reason I voted for him.

Come to think of it, I've had an interesting voting record in recent years: Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama (again, barring some dramatic development. And did I leave out any elections?) Schizophrenic, huh? Just like my blog.

Mike Cane said...

Bristol Palin is pregnant

Oh, and as yet unmarried.

Go on, square *that* circle, Christo-Republicants!

Dimension Skipper said...

"Come to think of it, I've had an interesting voting record in recent years: Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama (again, barring some dramatic development. And did I leave out any elections?) Schizophrenic, huh? Just like my blog."

Perhaps. But with that track record, Obama now looks like a shoo-in.


Anonymous said...

Jimmy Carter an "intellectual creationist" and not an "emotional creationist"?

I'll bet you've never read Jimmy Carter's book of poetry "Always a Reckoning"
( Or how about his book "Living Faith"? Or perhaps "The Little Baby Floogle-Fleejer"? More schmaltz emotion in those three than in an Osmond Family reunion.

You have just left yourself open to the charge of being closed-minded (eg: woman= "emotional" and man = "intellectual").

Steve Salerno said...

So wait a minute, ANon 1:38: Are you saying that b/c the one I identify as "intellectual" happens to be a man, and the one I call "emotional" happens to be a woman, that means I am automatically, ipso facto, guilty of gender-based thinking?

Hmmm. I think someone else's biases may be showing here....

Elizabeth said...

My fellow Americans, this is your future VP (God and Christian fundamentalists willing). Please try not to gasp and/or drool (too much):

(Can't blame old McCain, what can I say... But also wonder what Cindy has to say about his illustrious choice :).

Elizabeth said...

As if we did not have enough Christian values from Palin, we learn that her 17-year-old unmarried (gasp! pass the salts, m'dears, pronto!) daughter is pregnant:

And this piece from Maureen Dowd is a nice satirical take on Palin (goes well with the picture I forwarded you earlier):

Anonymous said...

Hey did you hear about Palin's pregnant 17 year old daughter? She will fit right in with the Britney Spears set. The more I hear about Palin the more I am voting for Obama. Obama must be thrilled with McCain's VP pick.

Elizabeth said...

A letter to John McCain.

Dear Mr. McCain,

I applaud your choice of Sarah Palin for VP. It is about time we took the task of beautifying our government seriously. For too long, we've had to suffer the unsightly images of ugly politicians like Dick Cheney (god help us) or Donald "The Known Unknowns" Rumsfeld taking our country down the road of mayhem and destruction with ugly grins on their unappealing faces. With your excellent choice of the hot babe Palin at least we'll have the privilege of enjoying the process of taking away our liberties, destroying our environment, increasing our economic woes, and multiplying foreign enemies as all of those developments will be enhanced by Mrs. Palin's shapely figure and pretty face. It is a very smart political move, I must say, since you yourself, Sir, cannot compete in the looks department with Mr. Obama or even Biden. (No offense.)

I admire your strength of convictions as well as your always honorable motivation to put our country first, both clearly evidenced by your choice of Sarah "Guns-Babies-Jesus" Palin for VP.

I look forward to learning more about the other attractive individuals with whom you are going to populate your cabinet.

(Almost) truly yours,
An Undecided Voter.

P.S. Can we have Jessica Alba as the Secretary of State? Oh, and Brad Pitt as her adviser? Thanks!

Mike Cane said...

Elizabeth, you really need to get on Twitter. What you're showing here was all available within the first two hours of Palin's debut.

And now her Pastors: Palin and Her Pastors: “Those that die without Christ have a horrible, horrible surprise”

Anonymous said...

From anon 1:38:

Steve - I destroyed your argument about Jimmy Carter being an intellectual as opposed toan emotional evangelical. And I said "You have just left yourself open to the charge of being closed-minded (eg: woman= "emotional" and man = "intellectual").

Notice I didn't actually make the charge; I've just warned you that you have exposure on that front. You have judged Gov. Palin based on the democrat talking points and not on any in-depth knowledge; similar to your wife's snide remarks earlier.

I sense intimidation from a woman in a way that just doesn't come from a man. But I'll need a few more of your quotes to build a compelling case.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon 1:38 (I feel like we're quoting scripture again), hey, knock yourself out. (I get a kick out of people who reflect on their own debating tactics in such self-congratulatory fashion: you "destroyed" my argument! One pictures Vlad the Impaler marching in and slashing away with a broad-axe or some such...) I think Carter's status as a member of the intellectual elite has been pretty well certified, however. We're still awaiting the verdict on Palin's cognitive powers, though I must say, she seems to have very nice legs.

Elizabeth said...

Aw, shucks, Mike. And here I thought that I was such a news sleuth, delivering hot breaking stories straight from the wires. Must you shatter my illusion? ;)

Seriously, though, I visited Twitter the last time you ref'd it. The slut picture was not there yet (or I did not see it). I pulled it from another blog today.

Speaking of which: there is hot and then there is slut. Sometimes the two overlap -- and, granted, it is often a matter of subjective taste. Often. In the case of that photo of Palin, there ain't nothing subjective about her "come hither" image. Personally I have nothing against sluts -- but if we are going to have one as VP, then at least we should expect a significant amount of gravitas (as in substance, not pregnancies) to counterbalance the slut image and create a more positive impression. And I won't even go into the Christian values, though this -- Palin's image here -- should be a fine topic to discuss for fundamentalists in their churches and at dinner tables. No?

Unbelievable that Palin let that photo stay available on the Web, given her public responsibilities and image. (It is obvious that the pic was taken with her permission at least.) What was she thinking (if anything)? And what does it say about her judgment and priorities? And how does it all square with the so called Christian values she purports to represent? Oh, wait, I was not supposed to touch that. (And neither are you! So says GOD..., er, GOP.)

RevRon's Rants said...

I think the point that anonymous missed whilst congratulating herself on her debating prowess is that there's a world of difference between someone who has deeply held beliefs and someone who strives to impose those beliefs on others, whether they like it or not. While Carter has always been a person of deep faith, he lived it, rather than shouting it. Perhaps the difference is too subtle to some, but it makes all the difference in the world to most people.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Vlad the Impaler Anon 1:38, you don't read a lot of SHAMblog obviously. Steve is very emotional. Read some of his past blogs. He is way more sensitive than me and I have a uterus. I wonder how long you will stay around to "destroy" his arguments. I have seen a few of your type around the blog and you guys (girls) never stay around too long. Steve's wife's comments were not "snide." They were very on point.

Steve Salerno said...

You guys/gals have said it all here, and much better than I could say it as your host and (alleged) moderator. I do want to pause a moment to make formal note of the first appearance of the "S word" as it pertains to our illustrious new v.p. candidate, and that such characterization was introduced not by me or some other loutish/leering male, but by Eliz.

The wife always told me, women are much harder on other women than the average man would ever dare be. No pun intended. ;)

Steve Salerno said...

Speaking of which, Kathy took one look at the photo and said, "She has ugly toes." Priceless.

Elizabeth said...

Well. I knew that the slut word would come back to bite me in the, er, posterior.

I used it very pointedly. And just so there is no misunderstanding: I think that is a great photo and it shows how hot a babe Palin is. She looks awesome (and I love the shoes:).


We all (okay, many of us) have pictures taken in our more, ahem, frivolous moments. We (okay, I speak for myself perhaps) do not post them on the web. And if "we" do that, it is assumed (I think; I hope) that "we" realize the possible consequences of such a decision. If "we" want to open a dating service, etc., such a pic would be a welcome adornment. But if "we" try to project a professional image and/or run for a public office, etc., "we" would do better refraining from such a move. Because if we don't, what does it say about our judgment, among other things? A picture is worth a thousand words (some of them beginning with an "s").

Again, Sarah Palin is a hot babe; but Sarah Palin the VP candidate can (and should, sigh) project her hot-babe-ness without the slut attire (or save the said attire for private eyes only). Is all I'm saying, so don't you be lecturing me here on how unforgiving we women are towards each other (though you're welcome to call me a prude, if you must). If I could, I'd say to Sarah, "Sister, that photo has to go. By all means keep it, put it in your dresser or in Todd's wallet, but, by God, remove it from the Web. For your own good. Please?"

P.S. Will have to research those shoes. Any info will be appreciated.

Elizabeth said...

One more thing and then I'll leave this subject alone (will try at least):

That come-hither image of Palin would be great if she were aspiring to the position of VP in France. But this is the US and she runs on the Christian conservative values platform. It just does not compute. (Or so says your prudish Aunt Edna.)

Elizabeth said...

The wife always told me, women are much harder on other women than the average man would ever dare be.

This because women retain their brain power and sound judgment when faced with images like these; as opposed to men, whose thinking and judgment suddenly shut down, overpowered by their, ahem, second "brain." (Also see already ref'd here by Mike.)

(Do I sound sexist? Oh dear...;)

RevRon's Rants said...

"(Do I sound sexist? Oh dear...;)"

The short answer, Elizabeth, is "yes." While there are plenty of examples supporting your point, I think it's a bit of a stretch to apply it to all men. Some of us have actually *emerged* from adolescence! :-)

Now, I appreciate the hotness factor as much as any 17-year-old, but don't allow that other brain to rule when the outcome of a given situation really matters. And I agree wholeheartedly with the obvious incongruity between the slut factor and the demands of the religious right, even as I chuckle at its absurdity. To paraphrase songwriter Leonard Cohen, sex without God is pornography, and God without sex is piety. Perhaps common sense will eventually prevail, and we'll see the emergence of a Sluts for Jesus movement. There is, after all, historical precedent in the person of Mary Magdalene.

Myself, I describe the ideal woman as one who is profoundly nasty, but with class. Yet I realize that such a woman would never make it as a politician in this puritanical country. Ah, well... :-)

Mike Cane said...

This is the latest Sarah Palin photo.

OK, I think it's time we thought Palin Calendar here ...

Steve Salerno said...

Mike, is that real or was that photo-shopped? I don't have time today to chase down its origins.

Steve Salerno said...

Somehow I think I shouldn't bring this up on the blog...but I assume some of you heard Bill Maher refer to the ticket as "McCain and the MILF"?

Anonymous said...

Revron, the only high horse is yours but Steve's comes close too.

About women being nastier to other women than men, Steve, your wife (working moms are evil) should know.

Mike Cane said...

Steve: If you look at the URL, it's from Current's site. Current, the TV channel created by AL GORE. Not Pshopped, as far as anyone knows.

McCain/MILF was on Twitter within *minutes* of her being announced. And this was up on the Net within an hour: VPILF.

Hey, at least the Trig rumors are all dead now. A pic of a very pregnant-with-Trig Palin were published last night.

Steve Salerno said...

Mike, thanks. Yeah, I kinda figured Maher was late to the party, especially since he didn't even know how to pronounce her name (called her "Pall-in") during the open for his show.

Well, one thing we can safely say: Sarah Palin is anything but Sarah Plain and Tall. She sure likes having her pic snapped, no?

RevRon's Rants said...

This comment appeared in today's online version of the Houston Chronicle, and I think it makes a pretty good, objective point:

"If a woman were to come to a company seeking a position of executive secretary with five children, one newborn with lifelong time and emotion consuming special needs, and during the interview process mentioned her teen daughter was pregnant and unmarried, that she had virtually no experience to recommend her for the job, she would be shown the door, politely, but shown the door nonetheless.
Here we aren't interviewing for the job of secretary, or even CEO, but for Vice President, and possibly for the office of President itself. The absolute hubris of this choice is breathtaking, that McCain should have so little respect for the voters and more importantly for the needs of our nation."

While there are certainly "safeguards" in place to prevent an employer to disqualify an applicant based upon the above criteria, anyone who has spent any time in corporate management knows that those "safeguards" are routinely (and appropriately) circumvented for the overall good of the company. The safeguards in place in this case are the American voters, who will hopefully exercise some common sense (despite historical evidence to the contrary).

Anonymous said...

She sure likes having her pic snapped, no?

So what? So does Obama.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon: Oh really? So where are all those pictures of Obama in a speedo? I guess he was too busy writing thoughtful, introspective books like The Audacity of Hope.

Look...I may be wrong, but I think you can tell a lot about people by the way they carry themselves and the pictures by which they like to be represented. We haven't even gotten into Cindy McCain here, but she seems to be cut of the same cloth as Palin (except Cindy McCain does it in Gucci). If you were watching the (abbreviated) Convention at all yesterday, there was that one classic scene, with Laura Bush juxtaposed against Cindy ("Gee, I wish I could outline my eyes in something even just a little bit darker") McCain.

Don't tell me, Anon, that at that moment, millions of women--not men, but women--weren't looking at their screens and thinking, "What we have here is class [Laura] vs. ass [Cindy]."

Elizabeth said...

LOL, Steve, over your previous comment. And agree.

"I may be wrong, but I think you can tell a lot about people by the way they carry themselves and the pictures by which they like to be represented."

---Absolutely. Even the blog pictures. :)

"We haven't even gotten into Cindy McCain here, but she seems to be cut of the same cloth as Palin (except Cindy McCain does it in Gucci)."

---Agree. There is certain consistency to McCain's choices, you gotta admit.

"Don't tell me, Anon, that at that moment, millions of women--not men, but women--weren't looking at their screens and thinking, "What we have here is class [Laura] vs. ass [Cindy].""

---You must have read my mind, Steve. LOL.

Don't get me started on Cindy "I'm size zero* and I steal cookie recipes" McCain. The woman is airy like a feather.

And even though I have not much good to say about the Bushies, I like Laura -- she seems the saving grace of this family (or at least marriage).

*This is not a put-down of her slim figure, but a comment on her bragging about being "size zero" for Vogue. Really? Size zero? And why is this information worth sharing with the general public...?

Now practically speaking, apart from the tragicomical implications of such a statement, a woman Cindy's age who says she is size zero is either lying or sick (anorexic? still popping pain pills suppressing appetite?). It's just not a good thing to be size zero. Thin is good and healthy, yes; but size *zero*?

Additionally, she sends a completely wrong message to young women who may look up to her.

And... I better stop here. (Still LOL.)

Elizabeth said...

More on Palingate today: The father of Bristol's baby has been identified and is described by somebody in the know as a young man with a "huge potential."

This remarkable young man (who is 18) has a MySpace page where he presents himself as follows:

"I'm a f - - -in' redneck" who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

"But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some s- - - and just f - - -in' chillin' I guess."

"Ya f - - - with me I'll kick [your] ass," he added.

He also claims to be "in a relationship," but states, "I don't want kids."

A huge potential, as you can see.

Oh, and he does *not* want kids.

RevRon's Rants said...

"Revron, the only high horse is yours but Steve's comes close too."

I was wondering how long it would take for the Pee Wee Herman defense to emerge. To those unfamiliar, it goes, "I know you are, but what am I?" Certainly easier than defending one's otherwise insupportable positions. :-)

Steve Salerno said...

Ron: I hear ya. In fact I was watching The View this morning and they were talking about how, with Palin, we'd have "someone in the White House who's just like us, with our family problems, etc..." And I'm thinking--and in fairness, I have to say in retrospect this applies to the Obamas as well, and it has me reconsidering my position on how "nice" it would be to have little kids in the White House--do we really want someone in the Oval Office who has "family problems just like us"? Isn't there enough to think about in running the U.S. without being distracted by unplanned pregnancies, shotgun weddings, etc.?

Dimension Skipper said...

A picture may still be worth a thousand words, but in these internet & PC (personal computer, not politically correct) days those thousand words are not necessarily truthful.

It's photoshopped. And personally I didn't really need Snopes to tell me that, but it came up as their new item for the day.

Steve Salerno said...

Thanks, DS.

See folks, this is why I asked the question initially, and why we need to be careful. I'm not sure this changes much in the big picture (NPI), but it definitely derails a certain specific portion of this thread, no?

It's funny, though--and I admit I've fallen prey to this--we all spend so much time talking about photos and such, when apparently there are far more ominous things to consider, re Mrs. Palin.

Elizabeth said...

Let's hope the other pic is a fake too. (I really do. And will gladly wear the scarlet S letter for "stupid" for being so gullible.)

But... And I hate to say this, but how can we be certain which pics are fake (apart from noting the obvious indications when they are present)? You can bet that if there exist questionable pics of Palin on the Web, the GOP propaganda machine would be heavily involved in discrediting them and manipulating their provenance. (If you think this is far-fetched, then I kindly implore you to open your eyes.)

I look at the Vogue cover with Palin and see that it's been, well, brushed up. She is not that thin in real life. It's a common practice to manipulate celebrity photos in the media -- Palin in Vogue included.

Having said that, let's hope these pics are indeed fake. There is plenty to be concerned about without them.

Dimension Skipper said...

Hmmm, I could have sworn I put the Snopes link in the previous comment, but it's not showing up there now, so maybe I forgot to actually put the lime in the coconut, uh, I mean the link in the HTML.

And perhaps others only checked Snopes because I otherwise referred to it as the source of the debunking page.

At any rate here's another stab at doing the link as I intended it...

It's photoshopped. (I definitely put the URL in there this time!)

And just in case that one doesn't come out right either, well, here's the plain text version of the Snopes link for copy-n-paste purposes...

Anonymous said...

I hate both parties equally, but this Palin broad has pushed me into Obama's arms. She is, from all I have read, a class A hypocrite. What has happened to the GOP? It has turned into a party of loons and hypocrites.

Obama, though I disagree with a few of his points, seems like such a class act next to them. He maybe selling rainbows and lollypops, but at least he does it with some dignity. The GOP looks like the trailer park of America now. What a nice image on the world's stage.

Yes, I do believe a pregnant 17 year old reflects on her parents. So would a 17 year old male who gets a girl pregnant would reflect on his. Parents are responsible for children until they are 18 years old. I would be horrified if it happened to me. I would think what was lacking in my parenting for my child to do this. Don't tell me! Palin will be the sexiest granny as the VIP of the United States. Lovely.

Is Palin's pregnant 17 year old going to continue her education? What are her options? Don't give me the extended family bull. She still has to get through school, which is much harder with a child. Oh, her baby can have childcare with her baby brother. Cozy.

Elizabeth said...

The last Anon (12:01): I agree with you on all counts. This situation does reflect badly on the Palins for all the reasons you've mentioned and then some.

Was the decision to have and keep the baby really Bristol's or her mommy's, looking for a PC family resume in the difficult situation?

How old was she really when she got pregnant -- 16 perhaps? What's the age of consent in Alaska?

What kind of life do her parents imagine for her -- 17, with a baby, forced to marry a guy who appears to be a jock-troglodyte type, to satisfy the mom's political agenda and maintain her pro-life Christian image?

Note that Palin's bio mentions that she was pregnant and unmarried when she eloped with Todd, her then boyfriend (she, the twice-born staunch Christian moralizer).

Frankly, it all stinks.

There are also questions about their eldest son who, despite the patriotic young man image presented by the GOP propaganda, appears to have some behavioral problems. Whose decision really was it for him to enlist? I know he is technically an adult now, at 19, but was he pressured by his parents?

Additionally, I was under the impression that when mom is busy pursuing her political career, Todd is a stay-at-home dad. Well. It appears he works two jobs and has a very active hobby that requires lots of practice away from the family. So the question, who the hell does take care of these kids? has to be answered, especially in light of Palin's politics.

The above paragraph begs the next question: Why have five kids (and perhaps more) if neither of the parents is willing to give enough time to them?

Yes, all these personal matters matter, more so with each passing day and continuing revelations of Palin's family life and politics, especially as they pertain to women's issues, and specifically her anti-choice, anti-contraception and anti-sex education stance. But not only.

Steve Salerno said...

I think Eliz makes some valid, highly pertinent points here. Last night I decided I needed to do some penance, so instead of saying a few dozen Hail Marys (as the nuns used to require of us during "released time"), I forced myself to watch Sean Hannity's take on the GOP Convention. And Hannity had his undershorts all bunched up over the media's "unfair" treatment of Sarah Palin; I think he might've even used the word "unforgivable" once. He seemed to feel that everyone is focusing unduly on all these aspects of her "personal life," and ignoring her platform and agenda.

But see, when you're a Christian right-winger, the personal is your political. More to the point, Christian right-wingers tend to want to impose their values on others (and Palin has shown such tendencies even in her short stint in public life, via her attempts to ban books, fight sex-ed in schools, reverse Roe v. Wade, etc.) Now, I could almost see all of that if she herself walked the walk. But she doesn't! She's another one of those fundamentalist hypocrites who clearly feels that the Rules are for other people--not for her and her family. (If you screw up, God help you! But if she and/or a member of her family screws up, oh, well, then it's all about "God's love" and "pride" and "beauty," blah blah...) And if it's also true that she's hard to work with (as has been reported) and something of a dim bulb (as seems apparent), then what exactly is her appeal as part of the ticket? Why should America "embrace her," as Hannity urges?

I know that one speech doesn't make all that much difference, but I'll certainly be watching hers with interest.