Monday, September 01, 2008

Next up: Her 7-year-old is in drug rehab. "But it's all good!" says the McCain campaign...

I'm very late on this story, of course, and rest assured, I am not being holier-than-thou regarding the news that Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter is with child. "Been there, done that." But what I want to see is how the folks who make a living out of being holier-than-thouthe Christian right, which had a collective orgasm at the announcement of McCain's Creationist, anti-abortion pickis going to tap-dance around this one.


A couple of quick late-night P.S.'s. So I hear that the current rationalized pabulum from GOP voices is that they're "proud" of Sarah Palin because she's "authentic" and she gives voters a "real person" to vote for. Is that so? Well, but, wasn't Bill Clinton being "real" and "authentic" when he was sneaking off into the White House dumbwaiter or whatever it was to leave stains on the dress of that woman, Ms. Lewinsky? That sounded pretty real to me.

Finally, for tonight: What has to happen before someone of some stature in the Republican Guard, as we might call them, goes in front of a camera and says plainly, "You know what? This woman is an embarrassment." In fairness, I don't think we're quite there yet. Not yet. But we're close. We're damn close, in my view.


Elizabeth said...

I'm just chuckling, watching the GOPers spin this story a la "it's a personal family matter," "it's no big deal," "it happens to many families," etc. Yeah, right. Christian values, anyone? (Maybe if Palin was not so opposed to sex education at schools, this would not have happened. Oh well.)

No big deal, huh? I just imagine the GOPers' reactions if Chelsea Clinton was pregnant (and unmarried) at 17. It would be a major nail for the Clintons' cross, driven repeatedly and gleefully by the assorted pundits and C-haters alike.

Palin* appears to be a gift that keeps on giving. To Democrats. She just may end up to be McCain's undoing. (Not that I mind you, mind you.)

RevRon's Rants said...

You'll note that Obama stated flatly that Palin's daughter - and her personal life - should be off the table of political topics. Like you, Steve, I wonder whether the religious right will show the same kind of integrity in dealing with the Democrats. History would indicate otherwise.

Elizabeth said...

Oh dear. Now Laura Bush warns everyone (i.e. Democrats) against sexism toward Palin. LOL.

Laura, you don't say...Does "Hillary" ring a bell? No?

Clinton was supremely qualified for her job(s), and yet she was dissed in the most merciless and irrational manner by various Clinton-haters, with a good dose of sexism involved. And she did not leave slut pics of herself anywhere, and she has raised a fine daughter (not that Bristol P. isn't fine), and her politics and values were congruent. Imagine that. So if Clinton went through so much crap, why should we spare Palin?

A disclaimer: I like Palin. I would adore her if she were my neighbor. She is remarkable in terms of her energy and drive. But there are some serious cracks showing in that wholesome image she is trying so hard to present to the public. And that's not a good sign (though not a surprise, either).

Elizabeth said...

P.S. Those GOP spin-meisters, how nicely they orchestrated the Palin family appearance in Ohio when McCain first announced his VP choice. Notice that Bristol was strategically holding baby Trig *at all times* to conceal her growing tummy:

They just did not want to "spoil" the momentous occasion by this tiny blemish. McCainers rode high through the weekend in a festive mood, figuring that the elation of the convention, plus the mayhem of Gustav, would likely blunt the impact of this un-Christian revelation. Smart hypocrites, they.

Elizabeth said...

Okay, this is just an image to behold: the holier-than-you crowd outdoing themselves in a show of "compassion" and "understanding" as a reaction to Palin revelations.

Even James "The Rabid Fundie" Dobson apparently has discovered his inner human being in the process.

But this quote gets the cake, IMO:

“Authenticity is the most important characteristic for someone seeking public office,” said Nick Ayers, executive director of the Republican Governors Association. “Any news that comes out about her is not going to hurt her because it reinforces the point that she is authentically one of us.”

Call me stunned speechless in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

The rabid Daily Kos crowd really got a black eye today with their conspiracies concerning a faked pregnancy and a cover-up of "the real mother of Trig Palin".

The real non-story here is that a Bristol Palin chose life.

In other news, researcher have discovered that men find long-legged women with larger-than-average-sized breast attractive.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen this much smug schadenfreude since it came out that Dick Cheney's daughter was a lesbian.

As I recall, that didn't keep the religious right at home on election day.

Steve, were you and your wife an embarrassment when this type of situation ran through your family?

Cal said...

It's now being reported that her boyfriend is a hockey player. Now Gov. Palin can say she is a hockey mom and grandmom.

Cal said...

Isn't this also why a lot of people are turned off by politics? I mean both parties try to fit the issues to their particular candidate, even when evidence shows levels of hypocrisy.

Obama shouldn't talk about the housing crisis when he received benefits from his mortgage company that the average person can't get, while Palin can't talk about abstinence when her daughter didn't practice it.

Elizabeth said...

That sounded pretty real to me.

And totally authentic.

Anonymous said...

Do you think McCain is into self-sabbatoge? Palin is sure a nail in his coffin. Hate to say it, but he should have gone with Mitt. GOP can't even get a convention off the ground and the Net is aflutter with Palin commentary. None of it good from what I can tell. McCain should have learned how to work the computer before he picked his VP.

Steve Salerno said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Salerno said...

Re Anon's question about whether my wife and I were "an embarrassment" when this situation ran through my family: Yes, in a way. I have often said that the relative struggles of our children--only one of whom has gone on to have a traditionally successful life--reflect poorly on me and Kathy, despite all the love and guidance we tried to give them. While it is true that "stuff happens" in all families--even "good families"--I believe that in general, problems like the sorts of trouble we've had in our family do not speak well of the parents. Certainly I was an embarrassment as a father. More like a joke.

However, that's not really the way I meant the word "embarrassment." I'm not saying that she's an embarrassment as a human being, but rather as a member of the ticket. As someone else says in this thread, we expect a certain level of decorum and propriety from our candidates in this country--yes, especially the women--and I think my wife was dead-on in her preliminary assessment of Palin: She looks like a stripper, or at least a former stripper. And now, with the latest revelation about her daughter, the family begins to take on a certain trailer-trash connotation as well. Is that fair? No. Of course not. But I go back to what a commentator was saying on ABC's fill-in coverage of the shortened Convention last night: The private sentiment among many GOP insiders is changing from "McCain hit one out of the park!" to "Is McCain out of his mind...?"

RevRon's Rants said...

"The real non-story here is that a Bristol Palin chose life."

I don't fault the parents for supporting their daughter - good for them. But what I find truly obscene is the way the far right is praising and pandering to the whole situation, when we know damn well that they would be collectively pointing fingers and issuing pious condemnations, were a Democrat in the same situation. Can you imagine the massive uproar if Chelsea Clinton had become pregnant out of wedlock? Or how loudly the religious right would have insisted that it happened as a direct result of a moral failing on her parents' part?

Ironically, the only person not caught up in this blatant hypocrisy is Obama himself, by flatly stating that the issue doesn't belong in political discussions.

RevRon's Rants said...

Steve - You're being too hard on yourself (A common parental activity). A parent can't impose appropriate behavior any more than the government can legislate common sense. Our children - like the populace - come to a point of wisdom at their own pace, often completely out of sync with the guidance provided to them. Parents and legislators try their best (one must assume), but have to realize that some things are wholly out of their control.

Mike Cane said...

Hey, the pseudo-Christians are very good at preaching "Raise a child up in the ways of God and that child will never abandon the path." (Paraphrased)

Bristol: WHOOPSIE!

And I dropped this in another thread but it's worth repeating here: Sarah Palin, Calendar Gal.

Maybe Quayle needed to do something like that...

Steve Salerno said...

I think Ron pretty much nails it in his comment of 11:32. That's why I chose the title for this post that I chose. And really, this is what annoys the hell out of me about politics in general, and not just from the right-leaning side of the aisle. Once a party commits to a candidate, it seems there's nothing that said candidate can do wrong. I swear, if tomorrow came news that Palin was a practicing crack whore who financed her habit by selling drugs at local preschools, the GOP (and the Christian right) would find some way to spin it so that it sounded like a positive; no doubt they'd tell us she's being "real," and that Christ teaches us to forgive those who falter...

In particular, I have to laugh at the way people like Rush Limbaugh and The Stupidest Man on Television (that's Sean Hannity, for the uninitiated) have rallied behind John McCain. Limbaugh is a guy who, during the run-up to the election that ultimately gave us GWB, devoted entire shows to making McCain out to be a hypocritical buffoon. But now he's at the top of the ticket, so suddenly John McCain is a war hero and a demigod. I don't often speak this bluntly, but it makes me want to puke on Rush's "golden mic."

roger o'keefe said...

In all fairness, don't you think you people are being just a bit hasty in judging Gov. Palin and McCain as well for that matter? In her three or four days on the national radar screen, what has the poor woman done to inspire the kind of venom, and the overall fear and loathing I read on this blog? And don't you folks at least think John McCain is a good man?

Mike Cane said...

Well, I've just framed Sarah in a way even the DUMBEST of the dumb pseudo-Christians can understand: Revelation 17:1-5

Dear God. The end of the world is as bad as TV!

Anonymous said...

"I think my wife was dead-on in her preliminary assessment of Palin: She looks like a stripper, or at least a former stripper. And now, with the latest revelation about her daughter, the family begins to take on a certain trailer-trash connotation as well."

Jesus. Get a grip Steve. You are really showing your sexist hatred and fear. You don't even realize it, do you. Were you ever so invested in trashing a male politician for personal issues? And I don't mean Bill Clinton. Your prejudice is amazing.

Steve Salerno said...

Roger: I think John McCain is a good man, yes. I think (in fact I know) that he has taken many positions that have hurt him within his own party, historically. But he has become far more political in recent months than I ever remember him being, and that takes away some of the luster, in my view. Also, some of his recent gaffes are a bit hard to take. And I admit, I just can't get past this Palin thing.

Mike Cane said...

Palin should withdraw from the race

Mike Cane said...

Dammit! Bikini photo is fake!

Elizabeth said...

It just keeps getting better. Now evangelicals and conservatives in general are saying what a wonderful story Bristol's pregnancy is. Why, they have been championing unwed teenage mothers all along, haven't you noticed? Shame on you, ruthless Democrats and your prudish, unforgiving moral codes!

From the venerable and ever-astute NRO:

Steve Salerno said...

Yes, this is a hoot-and-a-half. However, I must say, the media are surprising me somewhat in their disinclination to let the GOP and the Christian Right get away with it. Now, in all likelihood, that's only because the media's natural allegiance to liberalism-in-general outranks their allegiance to women-in-particular, but last night CNN's Campbell Brown actually gave me reason to be hopeful about the future of journalism. Boy (or girl), did she do a tough, unrelenting interview with GOP spokesman Tucker Bounds! (I could probably have a little bit of fun with his name, too, if I thought about it long enough, but it's been a demanding day already...)

Elizabeth said...

Even some journos have to be fed up by now, no?

I saw that interview, Steve, and thought, you go, girl! But, you know, this was almost unfair, because Mr. GOP Mouthpiece was so inept in delivering his talking points that one almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

Ditto for the GOP spokesman interviewed last night by a Chicago reporter for a local news station. The reporter asked if GOPers have decided to put up Laura Bush to deliver keynote at the convention because her approval ratings are so high, instead of her hubby, who is in the basement, ratings-wise. The GOP person responded with, I kid you not, something along those lines:
"Our sympathies are with the victims of hurricane Gustav. President Bush is committed to help the affected regions and his fellow citizens. Thank you."

Say what...?

It would be really funny if it were not so pathetic.

Elizabeth said...

It's two hoots and then some, Steve. I drove my kid back from school and listened to a radio report from the GOP convention. And I'm still LMAO. The interview went something like this:

Reporter: So what do you think of Sarah Palin?

(Not so) Random Republican:
She is totally awesome! We love her! She is amazing!

Reporter: What about her daughter's pregnancy?

RR: It's super duper cool! This is the best thing that's happened, ever! It's like the second coming of Christ, only better!

Reporter: But her daughter is an unwed teenager, you know that, right?

RR: And Holy Mary, Mother of God was an unwed teenager too! It's, like, amazing!

Reporter: What's your general impression of the convention?

RR: It's awesomely super duper amazing!!! The best convention ever! We have everything here: the hurricane, the baby, the woman!! It is super exciting! We can't wait for what may come next!

Reporter: Don't you think that the hurricane Gustav brings back memories of Katrina?

RR: So? It all depends on what your memories are.

Reporter: What flavors of Kool-Aid are they serving here...?


Okay, I made up the last question, but the interview more or less went as transcribed here. The answer "depends of what your memories (of Katrina) are" was especially funny (in that sadly pathetic way).

Let's see... RR must have meant those super duper hot and topless parties that went on in New Orleans in September 2005 and which were not reported by the liberally-biased media, who instead chose to flood us with images of starving and abandoned human masses. Thems libruls, they sure know how to spoil a party.

Steve Salerno said...

Eliz et al, the best one I heard today was from Sherri Shepherd on The View, who said--I am not making this up--"If she can run a household with five kids, she can run the country."

Excuse me? So then presumably we should just ditch the election and declare Becki and Keith Dilley a prez/vice-prez tandem by acclamation, huh? Inasmuch as they managed to get their sextuplets into their teenage years without incident.

And incidentally, who sez Palin can "run a household with five kids"? Here's a woman who was so dead-set against children being exposed to sexual content in any form that she opposed sex-ed and the distribution of contraception to minors. And we see how well that approach worked, just in her own house! Further, having read excerpts from the not-so-proud papa-to-be's MySpace page, I think it's pretty clear that the boy (who sounds like a real prize, by his own words) was roped into this wedding, just for appearance's sake. (And I'm still willing to take odds on whether that wedding actually happens.) So what is the message here? You force two teenagers into a marriage they don't want, just for the sake of "looking proper"? And you expose your "beautiful" daughter, of whom you are so "proud," to a guy who sounds downright menacing and is apt to be doubly menacing once he feels trapped in a life he doesn't want?

Sounds like good parenting to me. (And why isn't the women's movement all over this? Could they really still be making up their minds about whether it's worth it to have some woman, any woman, in the White House?)

Elizabeth said...

Oh no, Steve, the feminists are all over Palin, believe me. Read HuffPost or The Nation, for example (but that's just a tip of the berg). Palin, however nice a woman she is, is decidedly anti-women in her policies. No way. No how. No Palin as a representative of women's issues. Having a vagina and skirt does not make one women-friendly, that much should be obvious by now.

And, btw, I totally agree with your take on the Bristol-Levi (presumed) nuptials. What kind of a life do the Palins envision for their beloved daughter?

Elizabeth said...

Check these two blog entries by Jane Smiley to see, in general, the "women's movement's" response to Palin:

Elizabeth said...

"If she can run a household with five kids, she can run the country."

Fred Thompson and other GOPers say the same thing.

By this standard, no one is more qualified than the Duggars. Not only they can serve as the prez and VP, but also fill almost all cabinet positions with their brood:

The Duggars' qualifications to run the country are unsurpassed. Vote Duggar/Duggar (and Duggar, and Duggar, and Duggar, and Duggar...) in November!

Anonymous said...

The Palin situation is getting worse by the hour.
It is clear now that McCain chose her on impulse, without proper vetting, in a political gesture that cannot be described as anything else but shameless pandering. He had no clue about the skeletons in her closet. This is unbelievable. I'm sorry to say that I've lost all respect I had for the man. How can he talk about putting the country first with a straight face...

Dimension Skipper said...

It's not going to convince anybody one way or another as to what McCain knew about Palin and when he knew it but for what it's worth...

McCain explains Palin vetting
By Mike Allen

Elizabeth said...

Many social conservatives have rallied behind Gov. Palin and her family's troubles. The McCain campaign has said the Palins are like any other American family and that "life happens."

Life happens? Hey, what's happened to all that noble conservative ethics of the GOP -- you know, you make your bed and you lay in it; you and only you are responsible for your lot in life; make the right choices or else; and if else, then pull yourself by the bootstraps (a euphemism for "screw you and your misery")?

No, that's just not right -- literally. Life happens only to libruls who, as we all know, are lazy and looking for others to take care of them, unwilling to get themselves in the proper shape (mainly financial and social, but not only).

Life happens sounds like a motto taken straight from a hippie manual.

Besides, life happens? In case of a pregnancy? What happened to just say no? What happened to keep your legs together and, less so, your fly zipped"? What happened to the shame and stigma of unwanted pregnancy, both so readily heaped upon women (usually poor and black, but not only) by the ever-righteous conservatives?

Oh, wait, life happened. As if this explained and excused everything here, just because this particular life happened to a Republican VP candidate.

But wait, life does not just happen. Life, especially a new life, is a gift from God, isn't it, according to Christian conservatives. That means it does not just happen, but it is intended and preordained, by God himself, no less.

So, conservative Christians, you are utterly confusing the rest of us with your nonchalant, if not cynical, platitude here about life that happens.

If one did not know any better, one could think that you are turning into those good-fer-nothin' libruls, or some pot-smoking hippies. (Or, God help us, commies.) But then, as you, life happens. Either that, or you are hypocritical to boot.

sassy sasha said...

i'd like to see a woman in the white house too, just not THIS woman! what are they thinking??

Anonymous said...

How they can alibi for this woman and make it sound like she was "the perfect" candidate for the job? Don't they realize what a farce they're turnign this election into, and how insincere it makes them seem when they all line up behind her?

Anonymous said...

So I guess it's just too much for you people to wait and see what the woman has to say for herself.

Anonymous said...

"So I guess it's just too much for you people to wait and see what the woman has to say for herself."

She doesn't have to say anything. Actions speak louder than words. If you're going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk. No waiting involved.

Elizabeth said...

Well said, Sasha.

BTW, watch this brief and, ahem, entertaining video related to our subject:

Elizabeth said...

I hope to be surprised, but I'm not holding my breath: We know what Palin will say tonight -- it's what everybody else has said at this twilight zone of a convention. Their main themes go like this (not necessary in this order): unborn babies, Jesus, McCain war hero POW, Jesus, unborn babies, guns, freedom, unborn babies, Jesus, POW. And let's not forget unborn babies. And McCain POW. Uncertain times.

P.S. Unborn babies. Babies. Jesus. POW. Jesus POW. Unborn Jesus POW.

P.S.2. Let's not forget the unborn.

(Sorry if this sounds flippant, but it's not meant to; this is indeed how this convention has been going so far.)