So, Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol, age 17, is pregnant, and wants to marry the father of the baby.
The 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.
Hey, since Trig is only four months old, and Bristol is five months pregnant I guess the KosKidz can finally put the “it might still be a pregnancy suit” nonsense to rest. Andrew Sullivan can stop demanding to hear from Palin’s doctor, too – which should be a relief to him, because it must have made him very uncomfortable to be demanding records when so many with medical issues, fight to legislate for medical privacy. Right? (Lee Stranahan has more on that craziness. The die-hards really sound nuts.)
“Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support,” the Palins said. The Palins asked the news media to respect the young couple’s privacy.
We ask the media, respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates,” [Palin's] statement concluded.
Good luck on that, Mrs. Palin. The press rightly understood “hands off Chelsea” and they rarely if ever reported on the comings and goings of Al Gore’s kids, but you have an R after your name, not a D, so – I’m sorry – but “hands off Bristol” will mean nothing to them.
Senior McCain campaign officials said McCain knew of the daughter’s pregnancy when he selected Palin last week as his vice presidential running mate, deciding that it did not disqualify the 44-year-old governor in any way.
Well, it shouldn’t.
Leading by example: To Sen. Obama’s credit, he has made a very forceful and yes, classy statement:
“Let me be a clear as possible: I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people’s families are off limits,” Obama said, “and people’s children are especially off limits. “This shouldn’t be part of our politics…it has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as governor, or her potential performance as a vice president.
“And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories,” he said. “You know my mother had me when she was 18, and how a family deals with issues and, you know, teenage children, that shouldn’t be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that’s off limits.”
That is actually the first time I got a little misty-eyed from something Obama said. Well done, sir.
The politics of the uterus continues. Let’s see who can be be bigger, and who can be smaller on this issue.
Over the past 48 hours, the left had betrayed themselves as mean-spirited fools, capable of thinking anything about the Palin family. Perhaps, aware of that, they’ll do better with this issue. I hope they do.
Do consider this: The Palins could have quietly gotten their daughter an abortion, and no one would ever have known about it. Instead, they choose to be who they are, and deal with it, knowing how the world is. It’s not cowardly, whatever else you want to say about it. Quite the opposite; it’s authentic. These people have guts to spare.
My one prediction: the left – who really don’t understand Christians as well as they think they do (and that is because so many of us Christians [myself included] do Christianity so badly) – will gleefully announce that this will “kill” Palin with the socials cons. She probably will lose a few of the extreme sorts, but over-all, you’re going to see the Evangelicals support her.
You’ll immediately hear some wag (left or right) say “Palin needs to be home taking care of her family…” Which will not endear that wag to the millions of working mothers who do everything they can and more for their family, but still manage to have teenagers who do things teenagers do. It’s a statement that does no one any good; avoid it!
[Blathering blather edited out here, because I just can't even stand myself, I sound so lecture-y, and I'm not saying anything new. I need a retreat.]
If the Palins allow it – and they don’t have to because this is their private business, and not yours or mine – this could be the beginning of a long-needed national discussion on teenage sexuality, responsible sex, and teen pregnancy. Hopefully it can be a clear and honest discussion instead of one corrupted by political point-grabbing…but I somehow think the country has moved beyond healthy discourse.
So, let’s sit back and watch. I know if Bristol were my daughter, I’d be on her side; I’d probably ask her to consider the question of early marriage very seriously. But I know families where young couples have married early and gone on to have very successful lives together. I know older couples who married and fell apart within a year, so…let the discussion start without all of the “they’re doomed” sneering, or the “they’re wonderful” fairy tales.
This will also, once again, be a discussion about women’s choices – and the culture of life, and the culture of death. The feminists on the left need to be careful, here. They’ve been arguing that 11 year olds are “women” for a long time. They cannot suddenly play the “Bristol is a baby having a baby and she’s too young to know her own choices,” crapola.
Anyone want to make some predictions on what various bloggers, pundits and newspeople will say? And comedians?
I hope the Palins are as strong as they seem.
Deacon Greg – predictably – finds something utterly gorgeous in the midst of all this soap opera:
Solomon Henderson inherited just three things from his birth parents, who left him at an Ethiopian orphanage when he was 1 year old: a picture of Jesus, a plastic crucifix and HIV.
As one of some 14,000 Ethiopian children born with the virus every year, Solomon’s prospects for survival — much less adoption — were grim. But Erin Henderson’s heart stirred when she saw him, and she decided, on the spot, to adopt him.
”They told me that they weren’t sure he would live through the weekend,” Henderson said by e-mail from her home in rural Wyoming, where she lives with her husband and 11 children, two of whom are HIV-positive adoptees from Ethiopia.
Solomon, now an active 2-year-old with chubby cheeks and a shy smile, is part of a small but growing movement: Americans adopting HIV-positive children from abroad.
There’s a dose of perspective, for you. You’ll want to read it all.
Also never miss Ann Althouse: and her usual incredibly good commenters. Althouse notes the left is quickly going with the stupider narrative: Ladies: Put your career on hold until everything in you’re family stops happening.
Bender in comments below: “And don’t tell me again that Republicans are out of touch. Don’t tell me again that they do not know the experiences of everyday people. Once again, the Palins show themselves to be “one of us.”