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