Monday, September 01, 2008

Palin, her daughter, and republicans

Yesterday the big political news was that Gov. Sarah Palin's 17 YO daughter is pregnant. Lots of too-ing and fro-ing. Reporters were asking about it, Dems were following Obama's lead by putting it off limits, and Republicans were furiously defending it.

Yep. I agree, it's a private family matter that the junior Ms. Palin is pregnant. Leave her alone.

This newly disclosed fact does raise a few issues. First, did McCain and Palin anticipate that this pregnancy would be an issue? Given Palin's staunch pro-life and fundamental religious values, you'd think that her daughter's failure to live up to those value woulds AT LEAST merit some note. So, either McCain and Palin failed to anticipate the reaction, or they anticipated it and proceeded ahead anyway.

If they didn't see it coming, is that the type of foresight we want from these leaders? If they did see it coming, they consciously tossed the 17 year old into the national spotlight.

Ms. Palin preaches abstinence and disfavors sex education in schools. Well, given her abilities and her strong support for these views, I have no doubt that her daughter was raised accordingly. Nevertheless, the girl got pregnant. So if a woman with Sarah Palins abilities can't get her daughter to abstain, why would she think that this is good policy for society in general? Why would she think this would be effective? I say, if it doesn't work in her household, it's not likely to work well anywhere.

The Republican commentators are saying, well, the girl made a mistake, all families have issues, the important thing is that the girl is loved, she's going to have the baby, get married, she's going to do the right thing. Essentially they're saying, there's nothing to look at here, move along. Okay. But if when a 17 year old unmarried girl gets pregnant it's not a big deal, then why do Republican social conservatives deplore sex before marriage and unwed mothers?

All in all, I believe this is the first of revelations to come. Sarah Palin is unknown to most of us, so anything we learn is new. If the new is notable, it will seem to be another revelation. More to come, I'm sure.

1 comment:

fortboise said...

Bristol Palin is an awkward spot, no doubt about it, but now that everybody knows, I think she'll be fine. Teenagers have been getting pregnant for all of human history, after all. It may even be to her advantage, since there won't be the lingering shame, guilt and embarrassment that comes with keeping a secret.

Furthermore, it's a wonderful opportunity for us all to bring this subject out from under the covers and have an adult discussion of how best to provide for our children's well-being.

If I were Bristol's mom (or dad), and an older gentleman called and asked if I wanted to be Vice-President, but I'd have to make my daughter's pregnancy (really) public... tough choice! I guess I'd have to have a serious heart-to-hear talk with my daughter, first. I do think I'd lean to saying "yes," but take that armchair parenting with a grain of salt.