Don’t Be So Fast to Refer to Palin’s “Son-in-Law”

A number of people in the blogosphere have pointed out that Governor Palin–or more accurately, her daughter Bristol–has been palin’ around with drug dealers. Remember Levi Johnston, the guy they trotted out as a prop at the Republican convention as the father of Bristol’s baby? Well, his mom got busted yesterday; reports suggest she had a meth lab in her house (don’t forget, Wasilla is Alaska’s crystal meth capital).

Well, that’s fascinating enough. But I’m just as fascinated by the absence, in ADN’s reporting, of any mention of an imminent wedding.

Johnston is the mother of Levi Johnston, the Wasilla 18-year-old who received international attention in September when Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, announced their teenage daughter was pregnant and he was the father. Bristol Palin, 18, is due on Saturday, according to a recent interview with the governor’s father, Chuck Heath.


Levi Johnston sat with Bristol and the rest of the Palin family in St. Paul, Minn., during Gov. Palin’s speech to the Republican National Convention, and he joined the family on the stage afterwards.

When Levi was rolled out in early September, it was always in the context of an upcoming wedding.

In other words, I’m not convinced there’re still plans for Sarah Palin to become Levi’s mother-in-law (emphasis on law, here). Don’t tell me the claim they were getting married was just a politically convenient claim?

Well, in any case, for those of you who had "Charlie Crist" in the politically convenient marriage pool, you may now collect on your earnings. 

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

50 replies
  1. scribe says:

    Well, there has to be a simple, roll-off-the-tongue word similar to son-in-law for “impregnator of your teenaged hell-child daughter who’s got no intention of marrying her but will stop by every now and again to play video games with the kid and then retire to the spare bedroom to work on making another”.

    That, or they’re waiting for the kid to give birth so she can look good in a weddin’ dress.

    Of course, if they get married too soon, it might cut them out of some benefits that Granny Sarah could skim out of the government’s budget.

    And, it also could be some holdover primitive fertility ritual. In one of the more “civilized” areas of this world, I’ve seen more than a couple times men come in to put their wives on the deed to the family house which they’d previously owned all by their manly lonesomes. Why? Because, now that she’s given birth (to a kid they recognize as theirs), the menfolk consider them as fully part of the marriage. Up until the kid, the wife was disposable and, no kid = no name on the deed. And these are whitebread ‘murcans whose families have been here a long, long time.

    • KenMuldrew says:

      “That, or they’re waiting for the kid to give birth so she can look good in a weddin’ dress.”

      Earlier in the week there was a fire in Palin’s church and the local TV station played some footage of the family (sans Sarah) attending church at the local middle school. The video shows that Bristol will have no trouble fitting into a wedding dress at present; she may have some trouble producing a baby this Saturday (Bristol’s due date), but getting into a wedding dress shouldn’t be a problem.

      • lokywoky says:

        I think that’s why there has been no real talk about wedding plans. Levi (using a little bit of gray matter) whill undoubtedly demand a DNA test on the baby after it is born. He would be absolutely stupid not to. When you mix teens with drugs and alcohol and partying – it’s never about just one, if ya get my drift. And the rumor mill up there has been on this long before Sarah was ’selected’. And I’m not saying this to badmouth Bristol – she’s just a kid – and kids do what kids do. (I spent years working with at-risk teens plus raised one myself) I just wish that she had had correct and useful information about birth control – that can change the whole equation.

        Water under the bridge now I guess.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Well, there has to be a simple, roll-off-the-tongue word similar to son-in-law for “impregnator of your teenaged hell-child daughter who’s got no intention of marrying her but will stop by every now and again to play video games with the kid and then retire to the spare bedroom to work on making another”.

      Uh, I’m not up on all the latest pop culture lingo, but if one applies the normal rules of back-formation (see here and here) I think the word you’re looking for would be grandbabydaddy.

      Indeed, now that I think about it, we can google for that. Yep, that’s the word.

  2. freepatriot says:

    charlie must figure he has a future in the repuglitard party

    boy is he gonna be pissed when the repuglitard party dies in his face

  3. BooRadley says:

    Thanks ew.

    This is good news for Republicans. It’s nice to see Alaska is adapting to lower oil revenues.

    I just loves me some old fashioned family values.


  4. Palli says:

    has anyone checked the gift registry in the appliance and baby departments at Walmart? Wasilla is big box store heaven

  5. FrankProbst says:

    Bristol Palin gets a pass in my book, by virtue of the fact that she’s a minor and pretty much has to do what her mother tells her to do. (”Show up at the convention and keep your damn mouth shut.”) I don’t think she ever intended to marry Levi, and I don’t recall ever hearing anyone saying that Levi had proposed and Bristol had accepted. The whole “future son-in-law” spiel always seemed like it was coming from campaign spinners, and no one in the press ever bothered to ask about it.

  6. KenMuldrew says:

    Oh, she could certainly be pregnant, but I wouldn’t expect the baby for another couple of months, at least. You can see the video footage here:…..=menu510_2

    Bristol is wearing the vest and non-maternity jeans and speeds up when she sees the camera.

    Everything Palin is just so bizarre.

  7. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    From the ADM article:

    charged with six felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance.

    (Deep, weary sigh…) So, she’s outdone Scooter Libby so far on the number of felony counts IIRC. Unlike Mr Libby, this woman may end up even doing time in jail.

    I despise and detest meth.
    But it’s not like she outed a CIA agent and (unless Scootie-Poot can prove otherwise) damaged the nation’s security. Something tells me that she won’t get any help from Babs Comstock funding her legal defense fund.

    Here’s hoping that grandchild won’t be anywhere near grandma’s ‘cooking’.

    • NelsonAlgren says:

      Don’t they also call Meth, Ice? If she skips bail, I wonder how long before Dog the Bounty Hunter will go up there and catch her. That would make an interesting reality show. Especially since Dog and family seems to fit in with the Fundie base.

      • LabDancer says:

        Maybe in the long run it’ll turn out for the best: It’s wouldn’t help granny’s electoral prospects to have grandkids named “Ice”, “Meth”, “Hi”, “Zoned”, etc, and we certainly do NOT wish the Democratic Party to be denied the opportunity to face an R-thoritarian ticket of Palin-Hunter.

  8. freepatriot says:

    off topic, but on theme

    repuglitards got NO CLUE about “Cause And Effect”

    peggy noonan writes an article about “the age of the empty suit”, and she somehow fails to mention the name of a SINGLE repuglitard responsible for leading us into this MESS

    george schultz gets a mention on the topic of OPTIMISM, but there ISN’T A SINGLE FUCKING WORD ABOUT WHO LED US TO THE AGE OF THE EMPTY SUIT

    we must have arrived in the age of the empty suit on some kind of pilotless craft, cuz nooners doesn’t mention the “HOW” part of the journey at all

    we could call it the age of the empty headed journalist too

  9. SparklestheIguana says:

    Congratulations to the lovely Mr. and Mrs. Crist, and the soon to be baby Cessna/Twig/Branch/Oak.

    OT (but is this ever really OT?)

    HANNITY: (snip)

    When do you think we can hear the Rahmbo dead fish tape and secondly when do you think — why do you think Fitzgerald is allowing Obama to get away with this release of information on Christmas week?

    But we only have 20 seconds.

    TOENSING: Well, I think Fitzgerald is a control freak, and he felt better about having it released next week. He controls a lot of things. He threatens a lot of people that you all don’t know about. He is a Spitzer. He is the next Eliot Spitzer, and the press ought to start looking at it.

    COLMES: What are you saying?

    HANNITY: Thank you.,2933,469485,00.html

    Yeah asswipe, what ARE you saying?

    • Palli says:

      They had to put Spitzer out of the game so the financial crap would after Jan. 20th. Now one of their USAs; no bother it didn’t work completely – but then you destroy your opponents with the army you have.. How does that quote go? Anyway, they are now left with the Noonans of the world.

      And it’s part of the plan, perhaps, also to keep Palin in focus -such a tempting & easy target for derision that we have to fall into mean-sounding and sexist terms too. Sorry but my womanhood cringes at colleagues using words like “squirt out.” If Bristol is pregnant..she’s pregnat and birthing is certainly not that.

      • Hmmm says:

        Palin as diversion while the preparations for the burning of Rome were made (TARP etc.) makes a certain amount of sense. Hadn’t thought of it that way before. Thank you.

  10. scribe says:

    Just think, though, how much fun A Palin Family Christmas at Blair House would have been. They could have made it a two-hour special on some obscure cable network catering to Country People, or even a weekly series.

    It would have been, like, a four-year long episode mashing up Rosanne, Jeff Foxworthy’s “You know you’re a redneck” schtick, Weeds, The Governor and J.J. and the Bush Twins Party Patrol, but without the high culture and with random babies. I can see the high point of episode one being Dad Palin roaring across the lawn on his snowmachine (regardless of whether DC had snow during filming), crashing into one of Levi’s mom’s junk cars in the weeds and then sitting down to observe a negotiation with some foreign dignitary over oil royalties.

    And, for comic relief, Sarah’s Dad popping into the meeting to ask if she’s seen his moose-gutting knife and her sister’s hunting license.

    Hell, it could have gone one until she got someone to take care of McCain and enable her to move the whole tribe to the bigger place down the street.

    • scribe says:


      Should read:

      Hell, it could have gone on until she got someone to take care of McCain and enable her to move the whole tribe to the bigger place down the street.

    • freepatriot says:

      careful with that satire, oh might scribe

      just when you think your’re being witty and original, the wasilla snowbillies will put you to shame

      it’s tough to satirize people who have a negative self awareness ratio

      you have to be ready to go where no man has gone before

      like me …

      introducing America’s new favorite reality show:

      The Sarah And Blago comedy hour

      I can see Alaska from my porch

      FUCK YOU

      it needs a little tweeking but I think I’m on to somethin here …

  11. freepatriot says:

    I just want to be prepared to slam Palin for the ultimate proof taht her family was nothing more then props to her .

    why bother to slam her for personal reasons

    lets SLAM this stupid fucker for POLICY REASONS

    princess pandora’s whole fucking family is a demonstration of how fucked up repuglitard policies are

    abstention only – bristol proves how well that work (provided bristol squirts out a kid on schedule)

    patriotism – what’s his face, the first dude, doesn’t he belong to a group that wants to destroy the constitution ???

    In America, patriotism is truly measured by your DEVOTION to the constitution, so if you want to destroy the constitution, you’re kinda the opposite of a patriot

    I could go on, but there is only one point that really matters

    If bristol palin DON’T squirt out a kid, then the policy becomes personal, and sarah palin’s whole fucking life becomes fodder for the mill, especially the CHURCH that taught her to lie, and DEFENDS her lies in the face of mankind

    if princess pandora is a representative specimen, we may have to deport the entire population of Alaska to Pluto

    • scribe says:

      why bother to slam her for personal reasons,
      lets SLAM this stupid fucker for POLICY REASONS

      I’ll tell you why:

      1. It’s hard to be really cutting when you’re going after someone for being on the wrong side of the issue about … medicare deductibles or something similarly wonky.

      2. That bitch deserves all the cutting she can get dealt on her.

      3. There is, among commenters like myself (and I speak solely for myself on this one) no small degree of resentment-driven-hatred for the simple reason that Palin is a willfull, conniving dolt being elevated to a place of public prominence where she can do a lot of damage to me and others like me, and she is being elevated to that position solely because she is a piece of ass. People like myself work at real jobs which require real intellectual effort and attainment, and it is the height of insult to have to perceive someone as stupid as she being put in charge of anything and proceeding to fuck it up. And I mean anything – she couldn’t run the local PTA Bake sale anywhere except into the ground. The sad part is that the likes of her rarely get what they deserve, and one can’t just go out and give it to them, either.

  12. plunger says:

    I’m on record, right at the outset, that Baby Trig was in fact Bristol’s – Sarah lied when she claimed it was hers – and that Bristol is not now pregnant.

  13. randiego says:

    Well, his mom got busted yesterday; reports suggest she had a meth lab in her house

    I’m sorry, even Aaron Freakin’ Sorkin couldn’t write characters and plots this good…

  14. ocaster says:

    Amazing!! The biggest bunch of wha wha crybaby sore winners!
    I could say that the hate spewed here at an accomplished woman and her minor child is simply unbelievable.
    But then again you’re probably democrats.

    How “progressive” you all are. My God.

    • bmaz says:

      I personally apologize. You are right. Sarah is very accomplished….

      Cause it ain’t you average white hillbilly trailer trash that could get as far as she has.


      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Aw, masaccio — I just figure s/he’s scared that twolf might do up a Photoshop of Sarah Palin.

        I still can’t get dreadful image of JabbaRove outta my head… ;^}

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Well, that plus the direct hit that scribe scored in his third item @26, plus freep’s ‘market research’, as it were, about Palin’s target audience. Ouch!

          BTW: Your Oxdowns on CDSs are awesome. Thx.

  15. cblyeth says:

    At least the boy got some nice threads from Saks Fifth Avenue courtesy of the RNC. That plus a trip to the big city (and to think – Minneapolis must seem so warm to the Wasilla Hillbillies) – not bad for some quick stud service!

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