Sorry people, I can’t resist

by on September 1, 2008 at 3:00 pm in Current Affairs | Permalink

Which means I’ve been arguing this with Natasha.  But I’d like to point out: a) none of the commentators know the actual circumstances behind Bristol’s pregnancy, b) it’s unlikely the father was actually forced to marry Bristol; maybe he thought it was the right thing to do, c) I am very glad they are having the baby, noting that I do also favor birth control, d) There is and should be a general rule to treat candidates’ children with the utmost respect, e) I fully understand that John McCain needs to read Adam Smith on the division of labor, overconfidence, and also wise decision-making, f) when an attractive woman is criticized by less attractive men, large segments of the public respond accordingly, g) Obama is wise to say nothing about this, h) Palin should not be required to document every claim she makes about her personal life and it is little short of outrageous to demand gynecological information from her, and, most of all i) without families like this our nation would have no chance of affording the social welfare programs proposed by the Democratic Party.

I love the United States of America.

Addendum: Hail Kevin Drum, but read his commentators.

1 Anonymous September 1, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Right on, Tyler… I couldn’t agree more!

2 tdp September 1, 2008 at 3:21 pm

well said

3 k September 1, 2008 at 3:27 pm

dont you know you are paying for your parents retirment?
large families mean more people contributing to welfare funds.

4 Matt Juden September 1, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Ann makes a good point over at Feministing. There is obvious hypocrisy in McCain’s campaign’s press release statement that ‘Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby’ (emphasis mine).

5 mpkomara September 1, 2008 at 3:38 pm

That whole ‘getting the blogosphere back’ lasted all of, what, eight hours?

6 Barkley Rosser September 1, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Criticizing Palin for the conduct of her children or her relationships
with them or what she says about them is completely inappropriate and
will backfire on those engaging in it. Those arguing that such
criticism is sexist are completely correct.

However, defending “family values” does not extend to trying to use
the state bureaucracy to fire an ex brother-in-law. The real question
here is: did McCain know about Palin being under an official ethics
investigation for this behavior when he selected her? If he did not,
what does this say about his ability to select competent people for
high level positions in an administration run by him?

7 Bernard Yomtov September 1, 2008 at 3:43 pm

d) There is and should be a general rule to treat candidates’ children with the utmost respect,

Well, there should be, anyway. I seem to recall McCain himself making a rather nasty joke about Chelsea Clinton. I also remember some right-wingers went wild when it wa suggested that Chelsea, having dinner with her mother, drank a glass of wine when still underage.

That wouldn’t excuse attacks on Bristol Palin, but let’s not be too pious here about the rules,Tyler.

8 brent September 1, 2008 at 3:51 pm

I love how left-wingers can’t stop from being scum for even just one moment. Seriously, do you have to be evil 100% of the time? Relax, take a break. There will plenty enough to slander people about tomorrow. Seriously. Lay off the kids.

9 Anonymous September 1, 2008 at 3:56 pm

What has all this to do with loving the US?

Is “I love the United States of America” the American patriot’s “Amen”?

10 Unit September 1, 2008 at 3:59 pm

All this is hiding the fact that we must look forward to three economic nationalists (Palin, Biden and Obama) and one supposed free-trader (McCain) albeit a “maverick”, i.e. totally unreliable, sparring over the presidency of the US of A. Arghhh….

11 DK September 1, 2008 at 4:02 pm

actually Obama has spoken, to say: “My mother had me when she was 18 … I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories.” (from the ny times).

really a perfect answer. i’m right-of-center, but imho obama’s character stands out compared to that of both his supporters and the median presidential candidate of either party.

12 Trieu September 1, 2008 at 4:05 pm

I haven’t been watching much TV since this “story” broke, but is this really being debated? If so, the Palin nomination has successfully diverted the public discourse into the realm of identity politics, which is a little depressing.

13 just a yob journalist September 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Oh, come on, Brent…you right wingers (including McCain himself) appeared to have had no difficulty mocking Chelsea Clinton, so button up your cardigan and sit down and ponder the real point.

The real point is that McCain is incompetent. What presidential candidate in their right mind would pick an anti-sex-ed mom with a pregnant 17-year-old daughter to be their running mate? It’s sitcom material. You can’t help but burst out laughing if that’s what McCain did. But such appears to be his story.

Far likelier, I think, is that Bristol tapped on her mom’s door Friday or Saturday and said,”Mom…um, there’s something you should know.” Then the Palins and the McCains went into damage control and decided to insist that, oh, sure, they knew all along.

Of course, this means McCain isn’t jaw-droppingly stupid…just a liar and someone who doesn’t properly vet his decisions before acting.

Yeah, that’s just the type of guy that should be prez.

14 odograph September 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm

I’m not going to criticize Bristol, I know nothing about her. And I’m certainly not going to in the gynecological direction.

I only have two questions:

1) when did McCain’s camp learn?
2) how did McCain’s camp learn?

This is now, for me, about the decision making ability of the Presidential Nominee.

15 brent September 1, 2008 at 4:33 pm

The moveon and dailykos types (aka liberal fascists) are fascinating. Evil, but fascinating. They’ve raised smears and lies to an art form.

At one point in time there used to be decent people in the Democratic Party. Now it’s soulless scum like Obama. Sad, really.

16 odograph September 1, 2008 at 4:50 pm

OK, my timestamp will appear on this post. It’s what I’m thinking right now. I’m with those who send Bristol their wishes and prayers.

I also think that the claim by McCain’s staff that they knew is a lie. There is just no way they would take that gamble. I think that lie is where the story should go next …

17 RCinProv September 1, 2008 at 4:58 pm

it’s unlikely the father was actually forced to marry Bristol

Oh really, why? On what basis do you make this claim? It seems just as likely that the alternative is true. Maybe even more likely, since the wedding–no date yet–was only announced when this pregnancy was revealed. In fact, I think there is a chance that the young man just found out about the wedding, too. I do not know how big of a chance, just as Prof. Cowen has no idea how likely it is that this was his unfettered choice.

And I agree with Obama that it’s not a story worthy of campaign attention.

18 a September 1, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Tyler says ‘noting that’ more than he ever used to.

19 odograph September 1, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Yeah, at a minimum this one will be hard to clean up:

When the Anchorage Daily News did report the news today, it pointed out: “The Daily News had asked Palin’s press secretary, Bill McAllister, over the weekend to address rumors that Bristol was pregnant. ‘I don’t know. I have no evidence that Bristol’s pregnant,’ he said on Saturday.”

Reporter Kyle Hopkins updated that later: McAllister said he found out this morning along with everybody else. I said people might find that hard to believe. ‘I guess they can call me a liar then, but that’s the truth.’ Again, he said the only time he talked to Palin about it was when she approached him and said rumors about Bristol weren’t true.”


Maybe this blindsided poor Bristol, but … the cover-up is sometimes more damaging than the crime.

20 ken September 1, 2008 at 5:36 pm

Of course, one could also say that the US needs a large population of taxpayers to pay for the costs of its wars. Why boldface only social programs? How much of the Democrats programs could have been funded with resources wasted in Iraq?

21 js September 1, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Sometimes I think Tyler is not distinguishing between i) voters finding Palin physically attractive and ii) voters wanting to vote for her. There is no reason, evolutionarily speaking, why men should find it difficult to think both: “I would like to have sex with her”, and “I would not like to see her in a position of power”.

22 Anonymous September 1, 2008 at 5:53 pm

The most obnoxious blogger in the world still has not posted anything about Palin, or Palin’s children. Impressive restraint. Or maybe just not blogging?

23 tgb1000 September 1, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Let me get this straight: Andrew Sullivan said something stupid and incendiary? I hope there is a film at 11.

24 shecky September 1, 2008 at 6:18 pm

If we need families like this to sustain social programs, perhaps the Democrats should begin supporting abstinence-only sex education.

Sullivan’s demand for such extensive disclosure would be excessive. If it were truly a demand. Such full disclosure might be reassuring to many. Echoing odograph’s guess, I have a feeling such a disclosure would have been really appreciated by McCain’s crew well ahead of time.

25 wcyee September 1, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Wow. Granted I’ve only been reading this blog for a short while, but 3 almost consecutive posts on L’Affaire Palin. Frankly, I could care less. The VP is inconsequential. That McCain’s VP was barely vetted, says more about him.

Frankly, I was more bothered by the vile right-wing crap concerning Michelle Obama and Chelsea Clinton in the past. I guess that just betrays my own political bias.

26 Jason September 1, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Their Decision to keep to term a Downs Syndrome baby, makes their family more expensive for the social welfare society the Democrats support.

27 JB September 1, 2008 at 8:10 pm

In the interest of truth:

Noting that his mother had him when she was 18 years old, Obama said families are “off limits” in campaigns. He was very impassioned.

“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,” Obama said. “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.”

Regarding to the accusation from the McCain camp that rumors of Bristol Palin were being spread by liberal bloggers, some with connections to the Obama campaign, the Illinois senator replied: “I am offended by that statement.There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us. I hope I am as clear as I can be. So in case I am not, let me repeat: We don’t go after people’s families; we don’t get them involved in the politics. It is not appropriate and it is not relevant. Our people were not involved in any way in this and they will not be. And if I ever thought it was somebody in the campaign that was involved in something like that they would be fired.”


28 Dennis D September 1, 2008 at 8:35 pm

It does seem Sarah Palin has an awful lot on her plate. Does she actually have the time to be Vice President? I assume the intent is to move to Wash DC and for Mr Palin to be a Mr Mom and thats fine but Sarah needs to address the issue

29 Cabalamat September 1, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Please, do not go judging anyone’s parenting skills by what their teenagers and grown children do

How else is one to judge parenting skills other than by how the kids turn out?

(Of course, if you agree with Judith Rich Harris’s thesis, parents make little difference to how children turn out.)

30 Anonymous September 1, 2008 at 9:18 pm

After all, Dick Cheney has a lesbian daugher, and got away with it.

Got away with what? Loving his daughter in spite of her sexual orientation? In spite of any of her choices that he disagrees with? He is *such* a hypocrite to love his daughter in spite of her choices and his beliefs.

Just guessing here, but I bet many (most?) parents, regardless of political orientation, love their children even when their children don’t agree with them in word or deed.

31 Terry September 1, 2008 at 9:53 pm

Palin’s peak? That only included 3 days in August. We will have to wait till next month to see. Why do you suppose Obama’s fund raising is down. Is the tide shifting?

32 Joshua E September 1, 2008 at 10:04 pm

I guess I’m not seeing how this is such a glaring error on the part of McCain’s vetting process. All I see is a lack of imagination to foresee that Sarah Palin would be accused of *not* mothering her child. And that her daughter would be accused of doing so. Who in their right mind would foresee that? I still have a hard time believing it, despite seeing all the crackpot theories. That they still aren’t letting go of. Unbelievable.

And why would the McCain campaign even think that her daughter being pregnant was an issue? Is it really all that rare for teenagers to get pregnant? I’ve been a high school teacher, I can assure you it isn’t. They probably thought this would be similar to Cheney’s daughter’s sexual orientation. Namely, a non-issue to most voters. Which is how it should be.

The only viable criticism is the idea that this somehow shows that her views on sex ed are ineffective. I’m not sure a sample size of 1 is much cause to draw that conclusion, particularly since pregnancy rates are remarkably similar after either form of sex education. If one approach was clearly better than another, we wouldn’t have such a contentious debate about it. I plan on teaching my daughters that there are a wealth of reasons emotionally and physically to choose abstinence, but I’ll also be teaching them about contraceptives and condoms. Do I really think either one will guarantee them avoiding pregnancy? No. I hope it will, but they’re going to be teenagers someday.

(note: From the studies I’ve seen, it appears that comprehensive beats abstinence-only on some metrics, but not by enough to overcome parents’ desire to control that aspect of their childrens’ education. This is a valid debate to have, but using Palin’s daughter as a pawn puts far too much responsibility on her. Teenage life is hard enough without dealing with this.)

33 Terry September 1, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Zogby poll Obama by 2
Rasmussen Obama by 3

34 odograph September 1, 2008 at 10:14 pm

CJS, if McCain and Palin knew:

1) They so misunderstood modern culture that they thought it could remain a secret.


2) They knew it come out, and were OK with Bristol becoming the most famous pregnant teen in the world, to be known for this all her life.

Are you OK with McCain/Palin choosing No. 2? No. 1 even?

35 Terry September 1, 2008 at 10:16 pm

Which polls, in your opinion, are the most accurate?

36 Zephyrus September 1, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Honestly, I think reading polls right now is like trying to measure wind speed in the middle of a tornado. Things are just moving too quickly to get an accurate read.

Zogby, however, is by far on the bottom.

And I worry most when Rasmussen is unfavorable to my candidate, and I’m happiest when Ras is favorable.

37 Terry September 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm

Rasmussen polls not only registered voters but likely voters as well making it a more accurate poll.

38 Terry September 1, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Show us proof that she has ever used force or will ever use force to spread her views. Obama said her daughter is off limits.

39 Joshua E September 1, 2008 at 11:38 pm


Sorry, I didn’t realize I had ended my life when I had kids. I have several friends from high school who had kids early and unplanned. They adore their kids and went on to have more. I wasn’t aware that the Palins’ youngest was automatically the oldest daughter’s responsibility, but I would say it’s a safe bet she’ll move out when she’s married, so I doubt she’ll be tasked with caring for her disabled younger brother.

Absolutely, disagree with her abortion stance. But why does her daughter choosing *not* to have an abortion offend you? Being pro-choice implies that there are two valid choices, does it not?

I’m sure both mother and daughter are touched by your concern for the misery and suffering they’re going to have. I’m glad you would extend your condolences to me, as well, I’m sure. Kids are such a hardship, after all.

This isn’t even a case of hypocrisy, since both she and her daughter have chosen not to exercise their right to have an abortion. If they’d had one but wanted to deny it to others, that would be hypocrisy. You or I may disagree with her trying to impose that decision on us, but that has nothing to do with their decisions for their families.

I reiterate, Palin’s or Obama’s views on abortion and sex-ed, or anything else, are fair game; Palin and Obama’s kids are not.

40 CJS September 2, 2008 at 12:28 am


I couldn’t even imagine the entire McCain/Palin team somehow believing #1. As for #2, I’m not bothered by it, really. It’s not as if she would have flown below the radar as progeny of a VP candidate anyway, and, really, I might be more bothered if they made a serious calculation of the VP nomination based on the amount of media coverage that Palin’s kids might receive. Her daughter is pregnant and is going to be married – not the end of the world, and not something that should even enter into the calculation, IMHO.

41 shecky September 2, 2008 at 2:09 am

At a loss as to how the pregnancy of Bristol reflects on the candidacy of Sarah? Seriously? For all my adult life, Republicanism has been nearly synonymous conservative social values. Is not pre marital teenage pregnancy is among the usual Republican culture war issues? I’m certain the true believers will find it in their hearts to overlook what might be considered a failure on the part of Palin’s parenting. I just wonder if such forgiveness would be extended to Palin if she happened to have a (D) after her name?

42 JohnMcG September 2, 2008 at 2:25 am

Does anybody think evangelicals would be so understanding if Sarah Palin had a 17 year old son who’d been discovered to be gay? If not, doesn’t the dispensation granted here highlight an awful lot of bigotry?

Yes, because as we all know, the revelation that Dick Cheney’s daughter is a lesbian (repeated in debates by Kerry and Edwards) cost the Bush/Cheney ticket dearly.

But do go on thinking Christians are bigots…

43 Andrew September 2, 2008 at 3:24 am

News flash! Palin loses the hard left vote!

Dems lose this one. McCain’s judgment error was not letting the Dem bloggers have a little more rope to hang themselves with. That’s why I don’t think this was a strategic move on their part, and yet, the “party that respects privacy” outs a 17 year old single mother. I really wish the lefties would just come right out and say that Bristol is wrong to expand her carbon footprint by soiling the world with a new human.

Sweden? Why Sweden? According to your graph…

…Sweden’s GDP and ours is virtually identical, and both significantly higher than Europe. Why start at 1996? And 1996-2000 was Clinton.

CIA factbook: “”Sweden’s long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 by the global economic downturn, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003 referendum.”

SWE GDP/capita = $36k
USA GDP/capita = $46k

Starting from much lower, in a gobalized world with a homogenous, educated workforce, why shouldn’t they be reverting to our mean?

44 Paul September 2, 2008 at 5:08 am


My reading of this situation is that the Republicans have outed the 17 year old girl as a way of shifting the media focus away from other, more harmful rumours about her mother.

And as for those rumours, Tyler I don’t think you can simultaneously argue:

(a) that Palin’s giving birth to a down-syndrome child is the locus of her popular appeal; and

(b) that evidence capable of rebutting a prima facie case that she did not give birth to a down syndrome child is off limits.

Someone above suggested that the whole not looking pregnant, travelling for 24 hours during labour to a friendly hospital etc, stuff had been resolved to their satisfaction. I’m very open to that possibility and would love to see those links.

45 Anonymous September 2, 2008 at 7:15 am

All you Americans that go on about sex education please explain something to me – when did you learn about sex? Did a nice man from the government have to come and tell you about it? I had sex ed classes at 9, 11, 13, and 16 years old, I already new everything covered in those classes by 7-8, so did everyone else I know. I have never met anyone who learned anything in sex ed.

Maybe because American men are so focused on female breasts?

46 nyongesa September 2, 2008 at 7:40 am

wow! i just wasted six minutes of my life….i’ll have to get up 7 minutes earlier tommorrow

47 Anonymous September 2, 2008 at 7:44 am

And the most obnoxious blogger in the world has still not posted anything on Palin! Amazing! Were they hit by a bus?

48 odograph September 2, 2008 at 8:38 am

“As for #2, I’m not bothered by it, really. It’s not as if she would have flown below the radar as progeny of a VP candidate anyway, and, really, I might be more bothered if they made a serious calculation of the VP nomination based on the amount of media coverage that Palin’s kids might receive. Her daughter is pregnant and is going to be married – not the end of the world, and not something that should even enter into the calculation, IMHO.”

But that wasn’t the other choice, CJS. The other choice was for Palin to stay governor, and for Bristol (we all know her name now) to fly below the radar in Alaska.

The mind boggling idea here is that if Palin and McCain knew going in that Bristol was pregnant, they were willing to risk a media circus, and Bristol on the cover of the National Enquirer, as part of their campaign. Paparazzi don’t just chase Democrats, they are out there after everybody that will move a supermarket tabloid.

So this cuts on two levels: horrible risk-taking for McCain on his own campaign, and risk taking on behalf of Bristol and her future.

On the campaign front this poll doesn’t show it looking too good

49 Brian September 2, 2008 at 11:34 am

Even on the commenter douche-bag ratio is too high. That sarchastic christian who posted at 7:35:41 AM is especially douchy.

50 lxm September 2, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Well, let’s put the shoe on the other foot for a moment. Imagine if Obama had a seventeen year old daughter pregnant out of wedlock. Obama’s position would remain the same: families should not be part of the political discussion.

But, the right would be running 24/7 with the story without any remorse, with a we-told-you-so attitude. No one would be able to shut them up. They’d crush Obama with it. Imagine the Rush Limbaugh parody song about it. In fact, if the situation were reversed, we would not be having this conversation about whether this subject is legitimate or not.

So tell me again why this pregnancy is off-limits?

51 odograph September 2, 2008 at 1:08 pm

When I go to Google News right now, and search “McCain” the top story is: McCain defends Palin selection process. This is bad news for John.

(I don’t think Alex was trying to distract us with Bigfoot and UFOs, but I’m mildly amused by that idea. (“Don’t think of a Bigfoot!”))

52 odograph September 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Quick Terry … what’s the top story over at People magazine?

53 Terry September 2, 2008 at 1:56 pm

You tell me. What is the top story? I don’t read that magazine.

54 d.cous. September 2, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Wow, you really do get the crazies out when you mention presidential (or vice-presidential) candidates on this blog. Then again, here I am.

I don’t really care to know more about this “issue” than I already do, I can’t believe this makes news. All I can think of is that the media was bored and disappointed that Gustav left New Orleans intact.

Choosing a running mate whose daughter is pregnant out of wedlock does not reflect poorly on McCain’s selection process if he’s looking for a qualified VP candidate; it just doesn’t. I suspect that his camp was unaware of the pregnancy when they made the decision, but it shouldn’t reflect poorly on them that they weren’t opening mail at the Palin house to see if any Gynecologists’ bills were showing up. If this is the sort of thing that makes or breaks a presidential campaign then America, the democratic process, and the planet earth are irreparably broken. Someone please send a comet to destroy us all.

If a teenager is taught to use contraceptives and then doesn’t do so, it doesn’t mean that mainstream sex ed doesn’t work. Hell, if someone gets pregnant while using a condom, which DOES happen sometimes, it isn’t (and shouldn’t be) dragged out as the reason to get rid of whatever sex education program they’re using in schools these days.

Finally, moral standards are something to which people strive. The fact that we don’t fully live up to them is a much-needed source of humility, and an opportunity for self-correction. If you have a moral standard to which you have no trouble adhering, I might suggest that you have set very low standards for yourself.

Thank you for a well-put post, Tyler. Now please never mention this topic again 🙂

55 meter September 2, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Agree that this is a non-item, but by the same token so is the fact that Palin has a child with Down Syndrome.

It speaks of nothing, even though right-wingers will try (and have tried) to argue that it speaks of her sense of ethics. If you’re pro-life, you’re pro-life: nothing to be lauded there. If you’re pro-life and have an abortion, that’s newsworthy.

I’d say that if the right continues this rhetoric on the sanctity of ‘family values’ – which, let’s see, based on headlines from the past year or so includes pedophilia; anonymous, public gay sex; and now out -of-wedlock pregnanciesm, then it’s time to frame the dialog regarding exactly what those ‘values’ are. They seem to be the opposite of what the Bible teaches.

56 d.cous. September 2, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Odograph, I will cede you that point begrudgingly. Whether or not it makes a good president, we do highly value media savvy in our candidates.

I would guess that the media storm, and its inciting incident, were unpredicted. Morality aside, I would guess that any campaign would want to avoid picking up that kind of hot potato if it could. They could theoretically have been predicted but acceptable, and McCain’s people were willing to take the risk that the boost they’d get from having Palin onboard outweighed her family baggage, but that’s one heck of a gamble.

Either way, it works out badly for Palin’s daughter (if McCain did take a gamble with Palin, it was almost certainly at her daughter’s expense). The toll that running for president or VP takes on a family has got to be incredible, even when nothing like this comes up.

57 Sam September 2, 2008 at 4:02 pm

So, let’s see:

Sarah Palin, who advertises beliefs that are described as “pro-life” acts consistent with those beliefs when she decides not to terminate her Down syndrome son, Trig. Good for her – she’s not a hypocrite. (Of course, for Mrs. Palin and others in the “pro-life” camp, there’s no actual decision.)

Bristol Palin conceives a child. It’s probably not the ideal time in her life for that to happen, but teenagers are rather renowned for making mistakes. I don’t know Miss Palin’s opinions on abortion and the sanctity of life – either she shares her mother’s pro-life views, and so is acting consistent with those opinions in carrying the child to term, or she is in favor of “a woman’s right to choose”, and has exercised her choice to keep the child.

Exactly what is the problem here? She made a mistake, and is dealing with it, her way, and making her own choices. That’s called growing up. It seems that some of the commentators here and elsewhere would like to infantalize her by taking away her choices, forcing her to abort the child and go to college. Miss Palin has made her choices and is dealing with them. End of story, move on.

And it has nothing to do with the fitness of her mother to become VP (or, given Senator McCain’s age and health, Commander in Chief).

58 Anonymous September 2, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Cause I’m certain that if Palin was on the Dem ticket this entire debate would be framed exactly the same way.

There are ideologues in all parties, across the entire spectrum of political beliefs, and snarky comments don’t change that.

If you’re having a different experience, then you’re hanging out with a non-diverse group of ideologues.

59 Anonymous September 2, 2008 at 5:00 pm

They seem to be the opposite of what the Bible teaches.

Wasn’t it Oscar Wilde who said:
“The Catholic Church is for saints and sinners alone. For respectable people the Anglican Church will do.”

All hail St. meter! Are you Anglican?

60 glory September 2, 2008 at 6:31 pm

We now have a person running for office, who is potentially a heartbeat away from becoming President of the United States, who could potentially send us straight back to medieval times. She stated in a televised debate that she supports the teaching of creationism in schools; she does not believe global warming is due to man-made causes; she opposes state health benefits for same-sex couples; and she is not only firmly pro-life, but opposes abortions for women pregnant either due to rape or incest. Anti-separation of Church and State (that concept, first put forth by Thomas Jefferson, is immortalized in the First Amendment of U.S. Constitution otherwise known as the Establishment Clause); anti-science; anti-equality. These are not the characteristics of someone who can bring people together, but someone who can push them apart. Regardless of one’s political views, I find it hard to believe the the majority of this country support the candidacy of a person with such narrow-minded, backward-looking beliefs. Divisiveness is not what we need at this critical point in the evolution of our society and of the world, especially when challenges to the status quo haven’t been higher in generations. Do you think China, India and Russia are moving light-years backwards in their science programs to teach creationism? Do you really think we can continue to be competitive on an increasingly challenging global stage when science is something you learn from the Bible, and not from scholarly texts in biology, anthropology, chemistry and physics? I shudder to think what will happen to our knowledge economy in such a scenario.

I have been reading a fascinating book about Intel’s Andy Grove by Richard Tedlow. It traces Mr. Grove’s childhood and eventual escape from Hungary in 1956, and the remarkable life he has built since his move to the U.S. Mr. Grove is a man of science, of determination, of massive intellect and is a lifelong learner. He has used his powers to fight both prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease, and was employee #3 and the architect of growth at arguably the most important company to bring us into the PC generation and out towards the Internet generation. I wonder what Governor Palin would think of Mr. Grove’s life story and the role of science in his personal and professional development? It is hard to imagine this self-proclaimed “hockey mom” being impressed. Rest assured, I am.

When I see the U.S. through my prism – being whatever you want to be if you work hard enough, inclusive, edgy, aggressive about ensuing our personal freedoms, innovative, caring, focused and fierce under duress, willing to change but without compromising the spirit of our Constitution – it saddens me to see where we find ourselves. Eight years of a fractious, troubled Administration, with the possibility of not more of the same, but perhaps much, much worse. It angers and scares me that Mr. McCain would choose someone like Governor Palin as his running mate. We are, without question, the laughing-stock of the world, which will come even more into focus if Senator McCain and Governor Palin actually win. It is almost as if the election has become merely a game to him. Let me assure you, Senator McCain, this is no game. And if I am right and there are millions of others who are just as angered and as scared as I am by your actions, this is not a game you’ll be able to pursue after November 4th.

61 PJ September 2, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Glory, sorry to interrupt your rant.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

Could you please point out to us where Sarah Palin has opposed this clause. Thanks.

62 Anonymous September 2, 2008 at 8:27 pm

i) without families like this our nation would have no chance of affording the social welfare programs proposed by the Democratic Party.

I don’t follow exactly what it is about this family that makes social welfare program affordable. Is it having lots of kids? Is it teenage pregnancy? If that’s the case should lower socioeconomic groups be seen as “cash cows”, rather than social welfare burdens, because of their higher fertility rates.

So if we vote Republican we won’t need families like this anymore?

63 Andrew September 2, 2008 at 9:48 pm

So, why am I expected to know when and how to un-italicize someone else’s comments when it’s probably a 10 minute code fix? Externalities my boy, externalities.

64 Zephyrus September 3, 2008 at 12:10 am

Oh my gosh, everyone. When Bush spoke tonight, there were GREEK COLUMNS to his sides. What does he think, he’s the Messiah or something?

65 dcpi September 3, 2008 at 8:18 am

So the new rule must be that any candidate with a teenage child or children is politically radioactive and no longer viable as they could end up being in a “grandparently way” at any moment. No wonder our political bench is sooo deep. Perhaps we should all spend a day in the corner of the room reflecting.

66 ZBicyclist September 3, 2008 at 9:22 am

IGNORE: just wondering if this will turn off the italics

one two three. Off now?

67 Anonymous September 3, 2008 at 11:35 am


68 samis101 September 4, 2008 at 3:17 pm

I think it is not irrelevant. Palin is against sex education with the exception of abstinence only. This approach has been an absolute failure with respect to her own family. I can’t believe that this is barely being mentioned, as Palin’s “family values” ideas/policies are central to her political philosophy and one of the main reasons (aside from her gender/perkiness) that she was added to the ticket.

Imagine if Chelsea Clinton had been a lesbian like Dick Cheney’s daughter, or if one of the Obama’s daughters was under 18 and pregnant? The Republicans wouldn’t have stopped talking about the moral decay in the Democrats. Heck, they turned Kerrey and Max Cleeland into cowards while Cheney deferred numerous times and Bush was AWOL, taking catnaps, etc.

This blog has interesting and insightful economic and social analysis, but the political posts often sound like they taking straight from Republican Party talking points.

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