People Bearing Glass Wombs Should Not Throw Policy Stones

I think Obama’s response to the news that Sarah Palin’s 17-year old daughter is perfect: to stress that a teenaged mom, with the support of her family, can still raise her child to be President.

… my mother had me when she was 18. How family deals with issues and teen-age children – that shouldn’t be the topic of our politics.

It sounds like Bristol Palin will have the family support to go through a challenging, life-changing event, and I hope that support helps her succeed at being a teenaged mom as well as Obama’s mother did.

That said, I think Nate’s question–asking why, if this is such a shameless event, the family and campaign hid that news over the weekend–is an important one.

I think it’s wonderful that Bristol Palin has chosen to have her baby, and I’m sure that she’ll make a wonderful mother.

But if it’s such a wonderful thing, let’s be out and proud about it — not try and change the subject. Let’s disclose this in the People magazine interview. Let’s not bury the news when there’s literally a hurricane bearing down on Louisiana. And let’s sure as hell not confuse the overheated rantings of the liberal blogosphere for the series of decisions made months ago by mother and by daughter that led to a 17-year-old child becoming pregnant.

The media ought to be more responsible than to take the McCain campaign’s spin at face value. If that irrelevant distraction about rumors in the blogosphere belongs in this — than certainly things like these do: What is Palin’s position on contraception? What is her position on sex education? Does she believe that sex outside of marriage is immoral? These questions are not remotely personal, but they’re certainly a part of the story.

Likewise, I agree with Anonymous Liberal’s point: this rumor got started not by liberal bloggers, but by Republicans in Alaska wondering why a 44-year woman carrying a high-risk child would delay medical attention for over 10 hours after she went into labor.

I know for a fact that is not true. The reason I know that is because I first heard the rumor within minutes of the media reporting that Palin had been tapped to be McCain’s VP. And I heard from friends from Alaska, not liberal bloggers. Read more

My Thoughts on Palin

Admittedly, I have mostly been driving all day, listening to L. Patrick Gray’s rebuttal to Mark Felt (and Bob Woodward), punctuated by surveys of Nebraska’s and Iowa’s excellent public radio stations (the guy from Minnesota with the Obama bumper sticker who filled up the same time as me was listening to Rush, and warned me that Rush’s comments on Palin weren’t worth the trouble). So these aren’t influenced by all the smart and witty things already said about McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin to be his new girlfriend running mate. But here are my thoughts on Palin.

  1. McCain believes all the BS in the press about the PUMAs–even though none of them showed to the Convention, and even though Hillary and Bill did such a good job reaching out to Hillary voters.
  2. McCain believes women are too stupid to understand the difference between women’s issues–and women. 
  3. McCain saw in Palin a fellow-traveler: someone who makes loud nods to "maverickyness," even while abusing power.
  4. McCain just sacrificed every legitimate claim to environmental creds he had to Palin’s fight against the polar bears. I do hope the DNC does some ads pitting Palin against the polar bears, because Palin’s suit against the polar bears is her one act that affects national governance.
  5. McCain is sinking deeper and deeper into the oil culture that corrupted Bush and Cheney’s Administration. It’s like crack cocaine for Republicans–they can’t keep away.
  6. I wonder whether Paris Hilton’s ad made McCain see the wisdom of running with someone who is hot–rather than another wrinkled white dude like Lieberman.
  7. Apparently, Palin isn’t going to be able to help McCain with his ignorance about Wikipedia culture.
  8. McCain is apparently down to one campaign event a day–though, admittedly, that’s still a laudable activity level for a guy who turned 72 today. But Palin has 5 kids, the youngest a special needs kid. When exactly do these two plan to campaign? Particularly since it’ll take Palin an extra several hours to get anywhere to do any campaigning.