I've refused to even dignify it with discussion, but yes I did end up reading a lot about it.
Andrew Sullivan made the same argument I saw all over dKos:
If McCain had vetted her, the Internet wouldn't have to. And this would be a private matter if the McCain-Palin campaign hadn't made the baby a key campaign point. Once they made it a reason to vote for someone, it's reasonable for bloggers to ask questions about it, especially when there are so many strange twists to the story.I just . . . I don't see that it has all that much relevance. Sure it's scandalous, so if it's true someone's gonna break the story and it'll be all over the papers because American culture these days is like that, but if that's the biggest thing you can come up with in your "vetting" of her? And I'm sure people would be quick to say that no, that's not the biggest thing, it's just one of many, but if there are plenty of substantive things to investigate then why is the tabloidy one the one getting all the press? (And I don't mean MSM press, I mean dozens and dozens of dKos diaries.)
From the comments on the Sarah Palin Baby Story Ender dKos diary:
No if this was Michelle OOff of friendsfriends:
The media would have burned her at the stake and then investigated.
Sorry no sympathy from me.
by around the way girl on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 11:58:43 PM EDT
Oh, so let's be just like that.No if this was Michelle O the media would have burned her at the stake and then investigated.And so we are supposed to emulate these people?
I mean, don't we think that kind of noise machine stuff is actually wrong?
by Caj on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:27:13 AM EDT
If it was Michelle O,
you and everyone else here would be condemning such smears.
In fact, you would be horrified and disgusted.
by callmecassandra on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:30:05 AM EDT
Seriously, people. This is an anti-choice Creationist anti-gay-rights person who thinks global warming is a myth. And I'm getting an itch to vote for her just to spite the sexist Democrats who think this kind of shit is okay.In a flocked post, one of my LJ friends wrote:
You want to criticize? Awesome. Criticize Palin's policies. Criticize her beliefs about homosexuality or abortion or the environment. Criticize her lack of experience or her corruption in office or any number of comments she's made. There's so much in there to complain about! I'm totally down with that! But criticizing her daughter, or criticizing her for protecting her daughter? That's the path you choose? Nice job, guys. NICE JOB.I hadn't even thought about the place of the daughter in this frenzy of attention (in part because I hadn't actually seen the "Bristol Palin must have been pregnant, look at these photos, belly fat doesn't distribute like that" dKos diary yet), but apparently other people had. Ann Althouse wrote:
Pictures are posted, with captions like: "Sarah's waistline never changed. Her wardrobe still remained tight and professional." Note the gratuitous insult to pregnant working women. They can't possibly dress in a professional manner. There are also enlarged photos of the 16-year-old daughter with comments about the shape of her abdomen. The whole world is invited to talk about that teenager's body.And for the "Do you see how bad this makes the Left look?" files, Ann Althouse again:
Despicable, sexist trash. Shameful.
Daily Kos struggles to understand how the hell to blog about Sarah Palin:I think she overstates/misrepresents a bit, but it's not an entirely off-the-wall criticism. (And I'm hardly holding up the Left as a bastion of always being fair -- nevermind giving them a generous benefit of the doubt -- in their interpretation of the statements/motivations of people on the Right.)[...] There is so much more that we could be highlighting regarding Palin; we don't want that to be tarred with "from the same people who smeared Palin's teenage daughter..."[...] Nice to see that their main concern is preserving their own credibility so they can carry out other, more effective, attacks. Because the whole point of appearing to be decent and feminist is to be able to push your political agenda.
And on the "as a good mother, Sarah Palin should stay home" talking point, Ann Althouse yet again (she made a lot of smart posts, shuddup):
MadisonMan said:I think the way to support a child through a pregnancy is to be there for them, not to embark on a national campaign -- sure, it's "only" 2 months -- that will shine the spotlight on the child. Anyway, that would be my reaction as a parent.Oh, that looks like a meme. Sarah Palin must stay home with her special needs baby. Sarah Palin must stay home with her about-to-be-married, pregnant daughter. Ladies: Put your career on hold until everything in you're family stops happening. I know, MM is a man and he's saying he'd stay home too, but would he? Would a man forgo his career to be there for a family member who is experiencing an important life transition?
Remember when John Edwards decided to go on with his campaign after his wife got a diagnosis of inoperable cancer? Now, I think Elizabeth Edwards was probably excited about the campaign and wanted to go on with it. In that light, why are you assuming that Bristol Palin isn't excited about her mother's campaign? Unlike Elizabeth Edwards, Bristol is not facing her last days. She's just starting out -- all caught up in life. Presumably, she intense and positive about her pro-life beliefs, her love for the baby's father, her impending wedding, and the new baby on the way.
I imagine her eager to run around with the campaign, spreading the pro-life message to young people. Why should you think she would prefer to mope around the house, feeling ashamed, absorbing maternal comforting? On the campaign trail, she will be a loved and praised pro-life heroine, and she -- and her mother -- are likely to convert others to the pro-life side, with their glamorous and very positive image. Pro-choicers beware.
At least Obama himself is a classy classy guy. Kita quotes him as saying:
I have heard some of the news on this 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.One of the dKos diaries following that statement reminds us to think before we speak (or blog or whatever) and ask ourselves:
Is it true?"Is it kind?" is of course the part I have the most trouble with (truths are sometimes hard, &etc &etc). The blogger references Wee Mama's diary from February for the idea, and in the comments to that February diary, responding to someone on that very point, Wee Mama says:
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
Kind is not a synonym for nice. Kindness seeks to avoid unnecessary hurt and to offer support for growth or in trouble. Sometimes the kindest thing to do is to speak up about painful or evil things.