Bristol Pregnant; watch "tolerant" & "intolerant"

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.

Ace says: contrast that to “I don’t want [my daughters] punished with a baby!

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?

The blogger to watch here: Ed Morrissey, who will be able to write compellingly, and more knowledgeably than most, about all of this. (And so he has, here)

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.”

More: Sarah & Bristol Melt Down the Left

Also writing:
STACLU: a roundup of reactions
Hot Air/Allah
Rhymes With Right
Amuse Cynic: is amused and no longer in need of reality tv

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Hantchu

    Extramarital pregnancies happen. The attitude of the traditional Right is to accept responsibility and to move forward in the most positive way possible. The attitude of the Left is to cover up the “problem” and avoid embarassment at all costs.

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  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender B. Rodriguez

    – Breaking News –

    “Teenager has sex”

    Oh wait, that’s not news, and that’s not what the headlines are saying. Instead, what they are saying is “Palin: Daughter, 17, Pregnant” (Washington Post). Of course, teenage sex is not news nor, would I suspect, is unmarried sex by the children of presidents and vice presidents and candidates news. I have no first hand knowledge, but I would be highly surprised if someone like unmarried Chelsea Clinton or the unmarried Gore girls are/were virgins. Actually, it is none of my business, and I only raise them as examples to make the point that I would suspect that practically all, if not all, of the children of presidents and vice presidents and candidates have been sexually active, or if not active, then have had it at least once (at least in the modern age). Point being, that they have sex is not news, it is not something for people to stop and be aghast at.

    Apparently, what is news, however, and cause for tongue-clucking, is pregnancy. Treating pregnancy as a disease, as a form of leprosy, and treating the pregnancy as the moral failing. Which is to say, the resulting child is the evil. Once again, this is an attack on the innocent. Once again, we see an anti-child mentality at play.

    Whatever may be the moral implications of teenage unmarried sex, a resulting pregnancy is not, in and of itself, a moral evil, as is implied by all this “breaking news” treatment. Indeed, the child in the womb is, and can only be, a moral good, a gift to the parents and to us all. True, it would be better, because he or she deserves it, for the child to be created and born within the context of marriage, a complete family, but the child himself or herself is precious, not an evil or something to be riduculed.

    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.”

  • fschmieg

    What is the matter with the POwerline guys?? They say McCain and Palin look like idiots. What are they thinking?? That is the last reaction I would have. There really is a lot of sexism in the country. Hillary Clinton was right about that.

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  • newton

    Anchoress, I noticed you ran one blockquote through the rest of your post… I don’t know if you intended it to be like that… You can erase this comment if you fix it! I won’t mind!

    [Thank you, newt - I'm really not in good shape for writing today - dealing with a stomach bug, so I'm grateful for the heads up. - admin]

  • Joseph

    Oh, good grief! The Sullivan material, particularly, is absolutely sickening. You are probably right, and the secular left will not understand that the Palin family is acting in perfectly conformity with their own Christianity. Such is the disintegration of our educational system that they know so little. I would go further than you and say that I see no reason why any Christian conservative would reject Sarah Palin. Certainly many would if the baby had been aborted, but serious discussion about the choices of marriage, single motherhood, or adoption after carrying the pregnancy to term are exactly what I would expect of Palin, you, or any of your Christian readers.

    As a Buddhist I generally fall on the other side of the argument of only teaching abstinence to adolescents. We would say in at least seven cases out of ten Mom Nature will have her way and asking an adolescent to turn that spigot off by sheer force of will is generally futile, particularly since their own religious choices are also in flux, and Christian reasoning for abstinence is simply ineffective when the young man or woman is insecure or confused in their own belief. But I have no confusion about why a Christian mother and father would wish their children to be abstinent. And it is a sad state of affairs when non-Christians do.

    I have very little heart to write more except to say that this Liberal, at least, wishes nothing but all personal happiness to the engaged couple and the grandparents.

    [Joseph - if you really want to be appalled, check out the comments here these people are still clinging to their fantasy that Trig is Bristol's baby, and that she either immediately got pregnant again (like...within a week of delivery) or she is THREE months pregnant, not five, or she's not pregnant at all and "their still lying...."

    There is something wrong with a spirit, when it flings around looking for any sort of outlet or hate valve. As this Time Magazine piece states Bristol's pregnancy has been known about for a while. And quite rightly, people know it's a thing that happens. I read the comments at that link provided, and I get a little chilled. I know there are extremist on the right, too...but...they seem to be so more vibrant and numerous on the left. - admin]

  • gs

    “Governor Palin, what will you do if your daughter chooses an abortion?”

    I presume Palin is ready for that question because the answer will be critical to up-for-grabs women voters.
    **************
    McCain knew about the pregnancy and wasn’t fazed. That–the right stuff, afaic–could be relevant when it sinks into the electorate’s mind. How would Obama have reacted?

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  • newton

    Anchoress,

    Cap’n Ed finally wrote this absolutely link-worthy piece!

    I left this comment over there, after I saw one disgusting comment left on Allah’s comment thread from someone who dared to call Bristol’s child a “bastard”.

    When I saw a comment from someone in AP’s post stating that Bristol is having a “bastard child”, I was incensed. Those people accuse us of being “judgmental”, yet they have zero trouble acting like our judges, juries and executioners against us if or when we fall, like we all do in life.

    As I said before, my in-laws were barely out of high school when they found out they were going to be parents. Since they lived – and still do – in the New Haven area, they could have made a trip to the local glue factory Planned Parenthood clinic and ended it all there. Instead, they went to a church and exchanged vows “for better or worse”, in the presence of their families. Seven months later, their only child was born.

    My in-laws will celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary this month. My husband will turn forty next year. And of course, my in-laws will be grandparents a second time.

    I wonder what their lives would have been like if they had decided to “end it” at the glue factory. I would, in all possibility, have not met a well-grounded, well-educated and respected graduating midshipman from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy years later. He wouldn’t have been the father of my children.

    So, that’s why we love you, Ed. You know, as I and my husband do, that things happen for a reason – and a Divine reason at that.

    And to those who insist on “Perfection”, my message is the same: “Must be lonely at the top, Perfect ones. Here, have a couple of blankets. It gets cold up there, especially when you are too perfect to accept human warmth.”

  • LibraryLady

    I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a little shocked. Not that a teen was pregnant; happens all the time to all kinds of families.
    If McCain DID know this before she was announced, it should have been acknowledged instead of brought out like a scandal.

    I must say, I don’t envy the young dad. Todd Palin looks like a pretty tough guy!

  • newton

    One more thing, Anchoress:

    As you mentioned before, Alan Colmes tried to spread the rumor that the Palins eloped because they were pregnant.

    Big deal! If that’s true, so did Ron and Nancy! If you have read the biography written by Peggy Noonan, you would have seen that Patti was born seven to eight months after her parents married. Once again, the Reagans did the right thing. Isn’t that what taking responsibility and living your principles are about?

  • http://maxedoutmama.blogspot.com MaxedOutMama

    There’s nothing surprising in this. I don’t see why this should have been announced with the nomination either – I would have thought the country has gotten beyond this pettiness. The reason why this came into the spotlight is that the MSM started printing stories about Palin’s latest son being her daughters, and there were pics out there showing the daughter looking pregnant (as well as pics showing her mother pregnant).

    No, this will not turn off any Christians I know, nor Buddhists, nor any sensible people. The fact that it didn’t stop McCain is a testimony to his common sense, not his recklessness.

    This is all really being used as a proxy for a class battle. Everything but the words “white trash” is being bandied about in the press in the attempt to suggest those two words. Todd Palin also had a DWI in 1986, which news is being thrown around with joyous abandon, and of course the counting of the weeks between the Palin’s marriage and the birth of their first child is another piece of this attempt. Palin’s nomination is so offensive because she is not a NE upper crust liberal. Any moment I expect to see Carville out there grinning, talking about dragging 100 bucks through an trailor park again.

    This is indecent. Most of the US population will reject it because it is indecent. That the “trained journalists” felt the need to go down this path is a testament to their standards.

    [Good point, Mama - we're trying to be a nation that is "beyond racism" and "beyond gender" but we can't even get "beyond" a simple teen pregnancy, which is by no means an unusual or catastrophic event. We do, as a nation, need to have a talk about this, and maybe now we will. I just hope Bristol knows we're talking about the whole subject, and not just her. - admin]

  • http://maxedoutmama.blogspot.com MaxedOutMama

    PS: I would like to thank you for including Obama’s statement. I think it shows why he got the nomination instead of Hillary Clinton – he is a decent person.

  • gcm

    This would lead me to believe McCain knew of the pregnancy:

    In Wasilla, Pregnancy Was No Secret

    “So his name is Levi. That’s about the only thing that I didn’t know about Bristol Palin’s pregnancy. The rest of the details I picked up almost without trying, while talking about other things with townsfolk — some who know the governor and her family well, some who don’t. It was, more or less, an open secret. And everyone was saying the same thing: the governor’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, the father is her boyfriend, and it’s really nobody’s business beyond that.”

    http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1837862,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

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  • Sheliak

    “…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)”

    A quibble perhaps but I think it needs to be said that the reason the left doesn’t understand Christianity is that they are so arrogant and self-absorbed that they think they already do understand everything and everyone so no effort is needed or expected. I dare say that if every Christian in the world was a perfect example the left would still have exactly the attitude they currently have toward Christians and Christianity.

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  • birdyspice

    Typically, I don’t believe that children of politicians should be part of an election but in this case, it is Palin that uses her parenting skills in her resume and used her son’s enlistment into the military in her acceptance speech to validate that – all the while failing to mention anything about her pregnant teenage daughter.

    If she were truly proud of the both of them and their decisions, why talk about one and not the other? Pretty convenient, I think.

    The truth is that having a pregnant daughter completely calls into question one’s ability to run their own family, let alone a nation. I believe they were meaning to keep mum on this until after the election because admitting it would be political suicide.

    Palin cannot be applauded for her transparency because there was none. Overnight, liberals were spreading fast moving rumors that Trigg was really Bristols. Palin had to admit Bristol was pregnant because that truth was better than the rumor. The rumor could be too damaging.

    Also, Palin doesn’t have a history of being forthcoming as she did not reveal her own pregnancy until she was 7 months pregnant. And of course, her judgment as a mother was called into question after her water broke in Texas, one month prematurely, and she still boarded a passenger plane making 2 stops before finally arriving at a hospital in a remote area of Alaska to have the baby.

    Some say her family has taken a backseat to her ambition to further her political career.

    I don’t feel comfortable with this VP pick at all. She may be qualified to run a small city or a pretty insignificant state.. but a potential president. I don’t think so.

    As recent as a month ago during an interview, her lack of education becamse pretty apparent. I paraphrase, “Someone needs to tell me what the vice president actually does”. Perhaps if she had attended a top tier school and studied government and law, she’d have known the answer to that question. Unfortunately, she got her irrelevant degree from a 3rd tier school in Idaho and instead of following up her education, she went fishing.

    To be a potential president, you should first become an expert on its history and laws, don’t you think? 25 of 43 presidents were lawyers and/or studied law. It’s kind of a prerequisite if you’re gonna sit in the big chair all day signing bills into law.

    I am completely worried that this uneducated woman will be sitting at a dinner table of world leaders one day and won’t be able to hold an intelligent conversation. What an embarrassment that will be.

    [Birdy - you don't think Palin had the right to talk about her daughter's pregnancy on her own schedule, when she wanted to? Are you saying she HAD to discuss it right then and there? Sez who? You? Why? "having a pregnant daughter calls into question being able to run a country?" Why? Did Al Gore's son being arrested for driving 100 mph while holding pot mean he was automatically unable to run a country? Does the left, all tolerant and compassionate, really believe that this is such a catastrophic event? Obviously, since pregnancies SHOW they were not planning on keeping it a secret, and if you've read the links I provided, you see it is not "political suicide" - most people - if they are being intellectually HONEST - understand that teenagers do these things, and this happens in all sorts of families. I'm rather surprised that the "tolerant" left has suddenly become such a bunch of finger wagging prudes. Oh, why am I bothering to respond. Blahblahblah, talking points, talking points - not elitist enough (you hated Harry Truman, I guess?) - not East Coast/West Coast enough and scaring the pants off of you for other reasons entirely but no, you don't actually want a dialogue, you just want to sit there, stew and hate. It's pathetic. You folks make me tired. And sad. - admin]

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender B. Rodriguez

    What an embarrassment that will be.

    The real embarrasment is when folks do not think for themselves, when they do not have an original thought in their heads, but merely cut-and-paste absurd and frivolous inanities from their elitist “betters.”

    I am completely worried that this uneducated woman will be sitting at a dinner table of world leaders one day and won’t be able to hold an intelligent conversation.

    Completely worried that she will be sitting with world leaders? So, then, you are pretty confident that the American voters will like what they see of Palin and elect her and McCain? You should be confident of that, especially since you and the rest of the party of hate has decided that it cannot win by promoting the positives of Obama and Biden, whatever they are, but must instead engage once again in the tried-and-true tactic of personal destruction. It might be what “you believe in,” but it is hardly “change.”

    Now, there was a time when Obama was trying to cure the Dems of this disease, or at least he mouthed the words of hope and change. But it is clear that you are a cancer, and you have invaded the Democratic body too deeply, whether he was sincere or not. Your pestilence is pervasive, but it will hurt yourself the most. Hate only succeeds in destroying the hater.

  • Terrye

    Things like this happen and rather than try to hide it the Palins have decided to deal with it openly. Just like thousands of other families do every day.

    It is not just the left who is acting silly. The boys at powerline were hoping for Pawlenty and so they have done little else but complain about Palin. Today they said that she and McCain were both idiots.

    I won’t be reading them anymore. Sore losers. They don’t like Condi Rice either, maybe it is a woman thing.

  • Terrye

    Birdy:

    If it was political suicide why did McCain even give her the nod at all? As for running her family, that comment is just naive.

  • Leslie

    The reason the left thinks that Christians are hypocritical is because they believe in the perfection of man. We know that man is sinful by nature and there was only one Perfect Man. We need a Savior, not because we behave perfectly, but becasue we can’t. They just don’t get it.

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  • http://sailorette.blogspot.com/ Foxfier

    Leslie -
    Thank you! That actually helps a LOT to understand somefolks.

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  • Jim

    Dear Anchoress,
    Can we do something besides supporting Bristol on these blogs? I am just a nobody, but I would like to see a blog/blogs who know how to do things or have connections to open up a thread where we can send a message of support to Bristol. An online baby shower perhaps. With all the evil attention she is getting, I want her to know that there are decent people in the lower 48. (Or is that lower 55 if your a Democrat?) I believe she is a strong girl from a strong family, but knowing she has the prayers and support of thousands of good people sure couldn’t hurt. Is there a way for a simple post to gather signatures of support that could be sent to Bristol? Maybe a site to send online congradulation and best wishes cards (of course screened before forwarding to her) I am sure you can come up with better ideas. Thank you for caring.

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