Bristol Palin: Obama’s Response (In which yours truly proves himself to be a liar)

From a press gaggle earlier today (h/t Liss):

I have heard some of the news on [Bristol Palin] and so let me be as clear as possible. I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people’s families are off limits, and people’s children are especially off limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics, it has no relevance to governor Palin’s performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18. And how family deals with issues and teenage children that shouldn’t be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that is off limits.

Elsewhere: Hilzoy offers a measured, classy response @ ObWi/The Washington Monthly; TAPPED’s Ann Friedman disputes the use of the word “choice” in the McCain/Palin statement; on the opposite side of the aisle, Allahpundit speculates about the timing of the announcement:

The more I think about it, the more I think McCain probably did know [about Bristol Palin’s pregnancy]. The timing is simply perfect to release the news: You wouldn’t want to do it on Friday, lord knows, when she’s getting her intro to the country, and you wouldn’t want to do it later in the campaign when it’s closer to Election Day or even later this week when it’d distract from her convention speech. Now’s the time to do it, when it’ll be no higher than the third-most important story of the day.

If I’m right, then the nutroots’s smears about Palin’s own pregnancy gave McCain an amazingly fortuitous pretext here. Now he gets to play the victim — “we had to do it to stop those dastardly left-wing bloggers from hurting the family” — instead of just someone making an embarrassing admission.

In comments at ObWi, Ugh observes that the McCain campaign has taken full advantage of the aforementioned pretext served on a silver platter to reinforce the integrity of Sarah Palin’s (and, thus, by default, John McCain’s) pro-life creds, insulate their VP nom from further criticism, and get a few partisan shots in on Obama:

If the point of releasing this information was to “knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.” We only need to know one thing: Bristol is five months pregnant. We don’t need to know:

(i) that “Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said.”

(ii) that’s she’s decided to have the baby.

(iii) that’s she’s decided to raise the baby.

(iv) that she’s decided to marry the father.

(v) the father’s name is Levi.

Further, the McCain camp sure as fncking [sic] hell doesn’t tar Obama with this, such as with this nonsense like: “The despicable rumors that have been spread by liberal blogs, some even with Barack Obama’s name in them, is a real anchor around the Democratic ticket, pulling them down in the mud in a way that certainly juxtaposes themselves against their ‘campaign of change,”‘ a senior aide said.

So, we get to sit here and let the McCain campaign make at least three significant political points with this story, throw out a blatant lie that “the media to respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates“, and also accuse Obama of starting the rumors. Plus, they get an all purpose club to beat off any mistakes Palin makes from now until November.

Via his primary position as Pat Robertson’s pet news anchor, TBPTOT charter member David Brody explains how this revelation will help the McCain/Palin ticket with Evangelicals:

I’m sure lots of people will take their shots at the pro-life Christian woman but hold on a moment. If you think Evangelicals are going to ditch her for this, you’re totally misreading the situation. As a matter of fact, they are ready to fire back at any potential critics…

Look, this development will actually be positive for the most part with Evangelicals. First they hear that Sarah Palin chooses the life option even though she had a Downs Syndrome baby and once again the family (and Bristol) has chosen the life option in this recent case. That’s a double “ca-ching”. Let’s call this the Evangelical daily double. If anything, this whole situation will probably make more people around the country relate to her and her family. It makes them more real. Will there by some turned off by the whole pre-marital sex thing? Of course but this type of story doesn’t sink her at all with Evangelicals.

Finally, I give the last word to Steve Benen:

Sarah Palin apparently lied about abusing her powers as governor, firing a capable Public Safety Commissioner without cause. Campaign reporters find that mildly interesting, but during a lengthy interview between John McCain and Chris Wallace yesterday, the subject didn’t even come up.

But now that John McCain’s running mate’s teenage daughter is having a baby, now reporters are swarming around Steve Schmidt, demanding answers.

I suppose news outlets might justify their prurient interests, arguing that Palin’s family may have a Jerry Springer-like quality, but as the day as unfolded, I can’t help but find the whole thing ridiculous. Bristol Palin is not a candidate for public office. Her pregnancy is none of the political world’s business.

Amen. And, with that, I’m truly done with this.

My One (and Only) Post on Bristol Palin


The 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.

Bristol Palin, one of Alaska Gov. Palin’s five children with her husband, Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said.

“We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us,” the Palins’ statement said.

“Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support,” the Palins said.

The Palins asked the news media to respect the young couple’s privacy.

“Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media, respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates,” the statement concluded.

Thus (hopefully) endeth the liberal blogsphere’s recent feverish descent into panty-sniffing, tabloid-quality gutter-”journalism”; Karl Rove sends his regards on a job well done.

Look, no one knows how to turn lemons into bitter whine quite like perpetually aggrieved wingnuts. I’m of the opinion that these sorts of salacious fishing expeditions are courting a backlash from voters who don’t believe that digging into a politician’s private life re: his or her family should be political fodder. Frankly, it’s equivalent to casting aspersions on Obama’s citizenship, or trying to out John Edwards as an adulterer.

This entire teapot tempest will, I fear, only serve to promote sympathy among–and continue to fire up–the GOP faithful. All this rumour-mongering and armchair investigation has accomplished is increased media visibility for McCain and Palin and a choice opportunity for GOP operatives and their enablers in the MSM to stoke a sense of false grievance among party activists and low information voters.

For these reasons, any discussion that puts Palin at the centre is, I feel, going to backfire. What needs to be focused on is what this VP pick says about McCain’s judgement. After spending an entire campaign cycle placing experience at the top of the debate, John McCain did a complete 180 and made a reckless decision to place an inexperienced, largely unqualified far-right ideologue one heartbeat away from the presidency.

Ann Friedman at TAP nails it:

It’s clear that Republicans believe that what made Hillary Clinton such a good candidate was her gender, not her political experience or positions on the issues. And McCain’s decision to pick Palin shows he took this message to heart and chose to add her to the ticket primarily because of her gender. In so doing, McCain has turned the idea of the first woman in the White House from a true moment of change to an empty pander.

The Biden pick was seen by many as a shrewd acknowledgment that Obama was willing to compensate for any deficiencies he might bring to the Oval Office (eg, a lack of foreign policy acumen; few connections on the Hill); with Palin, McCain seems to have been merely gunning for a game-changing short-term campaign spike. In other words, a wholly political decision entirely divorced from the best interests of the country should he become president.

I believe we should hammer McCain’s state of health, his questionable judgment, his utter lack of seriousness with regards to the office of the President–and leave Sarah Palin herself out of the equation as much as possible. Investigative hit pieces on Palin’s “baby bump” (or lack thereof) only serves as a distraction from the real issues at stake: who is better prepared to govern the nation and serve as Commander-in-Chief come January. A view that, apparently, puts me in the minority at CFLF, a position I am by now quite used to occupying.

h/t fern hill

Gone Till November

by matttbastard

Cliff Schecter dissects The Maverick’s shoddy record on veterans’ affairs legislation:

In 2005, Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), now chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced legislation that would have increased veterans’ medical care by $2.8 billion in 2006. He also introduced another bill that would have set aside $10 million for “readjustment counseling services” — a program to provide a wide range of counseling, outreach and referral services for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, to ease their readjustment back into society. (This program was started in 1979 for Vietnam veterans, so one would think McCain is quite familiar with it.)

But McCain — and other Republicans who are more concerned with using government funds for tax cuts for multimillionaires or for corporate subsidies to oil and gas companies — voted this effort down.

The following year, Akaka requested $1.5 billion for veterans’ medical care and an additional $430 million for the Department of Veteran Affairs for outpatient care and treatment for veterans. But, once again, McCain voted against these proposals, while offering no measures of his own, and without pushing his party to help U.S. veterans.

In 2005, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) saw their respective veteran amendments killed. These amendments would have funded additional medical care and readjustment counseling for Iraq veterans with mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder or substance abuse disorder. McCain voted “no” on both.

In 2005, and again in 2006, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) proposed legislation that would have indexed veterans’ healthcare benefits to take into account the annual changes in inflation and veterans’ population. She proposed paying for the indexing by restoring the pre-2001 top tax rate for income more than $1 million, closing corporate tax loopholes and delaying tax cuts for the wealthy. One guess as to how McCain voted.

In early 2006, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) proposed an amendment for additional funding to shore up the collapsing infrastructures at veterans’ hospitals around the country. The bill would have mandated a minor rollback in the capital gains tax cuts that the Bush administration has given to the richest one-fifth of 1 percent of Americans. McCain, presumably more concerned about the 100-plus lobbyists associated with his campaign than the health of veterans, opposed this amendment.

Not long after, in February 2007, the Washington Post exposed horror stories about the crumbling infrastructure at Washington, D.C.’s Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

In February 2006, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) sponsored an amendment that would have rolled back capital gains tax cuts so that much-needed equipment for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan could be purchased. McCain and the Republican leadership made sure those tax cuts stayed in place, and, as a result, the troops didn’t get what they needed.

Finally, in June 2006, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) authored a bill — S. Amdt. 4442 — “to require the redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq in order to further a political solution in Iraq, encourage the people of Iraq to provide for their own security, and achieve victory in the war on terror.”

It received 13 votes. Needless to say, McCain’s wasn’t one of them.

McCain was also noticeably absent on two measures that members of both parties should be able to embrace.

The Homes for Heroes Act — which Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) introduced in April 2007 — would have helped provide housing for low-income veterans and helped tackle the problem of homelessness among America’s military veterans. The bill died, though the House overwhelmingly passed a similar bill in July; its companion version still awaits a new vote in the Senate.

The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007 — introduced by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) — restores the old GI Bill and provides returning troops with the more robust educational benefits enjoyed by the men and women who served in the three decades following World War II. Although this bill did not initially make it to vote, it was incorporated into the new GI bill that the Senate — absent McCain, who was at a fundraiser in Caliornia — passed in May.

(Read the whole damn thing or the terrorists Russians win.)

Now, wait a minute. I’ve got news for you and your lyin’ eyes–John McCain loves veterans more than a rap kid loves breaks (and they crush on him MSM stylez, too):

Yeah! Fuck y’all and your so-called “facts”, hippies–McMaverick has the American Legion on his jock! PS: noun! Verb! POW!

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