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The Palin Pregnancy and the Party Platform

After Reuters published its story confirming the pregnancy of Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter, within seconds no less than five people -- in different geographical locations and with different political intent -- e-mailed me the story. Though I'm currently sitting in an apartment in central Warsaw, I heard the story before my parents did -- and they're in Washington, D.C. I don't think this lighting communication bodes well for the Republicans at all: The speed with which the dirty jokes/insults are travelling across cyberspace reminds me of the worst moments of the Dick-Cheney-shot-his-friend story and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

And no, it can't be dismissed as mere gossip. The Republican Party has been solemnly advocating "abstinence" over contraception for so long that the vice presidential candidate's daughter's pregnancy is legitimate news. Here's the language from the 2004 party platform:

"Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS. Therefore, we support doubling abstinence education funding. We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for contraception and abortion."

Didn't work in this case, did it...

By Anne Applebaum  | September 1, 2008; 2:51 PM ET
Categories:  Applebaum  | Tags:  Anne Applebaum  
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Next: A Typical Middle-Class Struggle

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Ha’aretz reports that Joe Biden told Israeli leaders that they would have to accept a nuclear Iran if Barack Obama wins the Presidency. Israelis expressed “amazement” at Biden’s attitude:
Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden was quoted Monday as telling senior Israeli officials behind closed doors that the Jewish state will have to reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran.
In the unsourced report, Army Radio also quoted Biden as saying that he opposed “opening a additional military and diplomatic front.”
Biden, chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has long been considered strongly pro-Israel. His nomination as Barack Obama’s running mate had been expected to shore up the Democrats’ strength with U.S. Jewish voters.
For those unfamiliar with Ha’aretz, it doesn’t exactly have a knee-jerk conservative spin. In fact, it’s at best a center-left editorial board. They’re not terribly sympathetic to the Bush administration or most of its policies. They wouldn’t have much reason to simply make this up.
If anyone doubted that an Obama presidency would surrender to radicalism and hostile forces abroad, this should clinch it. Biden has pretty much told the Israelis that they’re on their own, and America won’t bother to support them against the nutcases in the region. If Obama and Biden don’t have the courage to face Iran’s nuclear ambitions, then exactly when will they defend American interests?
And what of our Western allies? Europe wants Iranian nukes stopped just as much as we do, especially since they’re more directly threatened by them. Obama and Biden talk about bolstering our alliances, but it looks like they’re more interested in leaving them holding the bag.
Hugh Hewitt sees this as further evidence that Obama is nothing more than the second coming of Jimmy Carter:
American supporters of Israel have to understand that Obama-Biden is a disaster for Israel’s security. It would be Carter II, but without the keen insight that Carter brought to Iran policy.
It’s worse than that. Carter at least had a deranged notion of justice as a foundation; this just looks like cowardice.
Update: The Jerusalem Post says this conversation took place three years ago:
Army Radio reported that the Delaware senator was heard saying in closed conversations with Jerusalem officials three years ago that he was firmly opposed to an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reportedly claimed that Israel would likely have to come to terms with a nuclear Iran. He reportedly expressed doubt over the effectiveness of economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic and said he was against the opening of an additional military and diplomatic front, saying that the US had more pressing problems, such as North Korea and Iraq.
The Ha’aretz report didn’t mention a time frame. Still, either way, the message is the same: Biden won’t stand up to Iran, and since Barack Obama chose him for his foreign-policy chops, one has to figure that Obama agrees. After all, Biden is the man who once proposed sending $200 million to Tehran to pacify the mullahs.

Posted by: Worried in NJ | September 1, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The message is clear: TEEN PREGNANCY IS OK, ABORTION IS NOT AN OPTION.

GAY PEOPLE IN LOVE AND IN COMMITED ADULT RELATIONSHIPS CANNOT MARRY, BUT TEENS WHO HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THEY ARE DOING CAN. BECAUSE TEEN PREGNANCY IS OK AND ABORTION IS NOT A CHOICE YOU CAN MAKE FOR YOURSELF.

Welcome to the Republican State of Mind

Posted by: THEMESSAGE | September 1, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

You can just imagine the howls that would be coming from the Republicans if the daughter of a Democratic nominee was pregnant and unmarried at 17! They would be talking about the lack of family values among Democrats, etc. The Republican spin meisters have been going at full tilt to tout how Pallin has more "executive" experience then Obama and Biden as Governer and "commander" of the Alaskan national guard. Lets see how they try to spin this one! Slogan FAMILY VALUES, THE EARLIER, THE MORE (if white and christian), THE BETTER!

Posted by: Michael R | September 1, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Bristol Palin loves Jesus and decided to keep her baby. She has lived in alaska a state that borders russia for 17 years. She is highly qualified and experienced to serve as Secretary of State in the McCain Administration.

Posted by: Lindel | September 1, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised and saddened that the mainstream media has decided to write about the Bristol Palin's pregnancy.

It is a private, family matter. Period.

Just because Republicans have been dirty, vicious dogs is not reason for Democrats to sink to that level.

Fighting hard to win the Presidency is one thing. Attacking a young girl for making a mistake is a whole different ballgame.

It sells papers. But it is WRONG. The WaPo would be wise to issue a public gag order.

Posted by: Deep Blue | September 1, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Maybe McCain would let her have a White House wedding. Everyone loves a wedding, so that should solidify the white trash vote. And the NRA can give them a shotgun wedding to end all shotgun weddings. The happy couple could set up a double wide on the lawn on the VP's house - perhaps one of the FEMA trailers.

Posted by: Meg G | September 1, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

for worried in NJ---lets not quake more than necessary--the Godfather of Conservatism, St. Ronald the Forgetful, traded arms to the Mullahs for hostages. Iran will finish its nuclear buildup no matter what we say or Israel does--Iran is NOT going to attack Israel with a nuke--try to remember that Israel has 200 of its own; why would Iran attack a country that would obliterate it in retaliation? They are far more pragmatic than the MSM or the Wh would have you believe. They know people focus on Ahmendinejad, but HE doesn't hold the power to do damn near anything except flap his gums. Iran is surrounded by nuclear powers, including the single most unstable one in the region in Pakistan; national security and prudence would demand they explore attainment of nuclear weaponry. But having the weapon is a loooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnngggggg way from being able to precisely deliver it. The sad thing about our relations with Iran was that the Bush Administration could have achieved any number of goals and a landmark agreement with them in the aftermath of the Afghan war in 2001-02. Their allies in the Northern Alliance supported us, they closed their borders to prevent Taliban troops and sympathizers from escaping and then contacted the US to open discussions on all matters of interest without preconditions. Bush and Cheney were feeling triumphantg, and chose to label tham part of an Axis of Evil, effectively cutting out the initaiatives that moderates had moved the mullahs to accept. The result? a strengthening of the hard liners and the ascendency of Ahmedinejad, his blather, and all the rest. Whatever may be discussed, engaging the Iranians is far preferable to continued isolation--Israel's protection and survivability depends on the US ability to engage, not intervene militarily.

Posted by: bklyndan | September 1, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

So much for teaching abstinence.

Posted by: Phil Grimm | September 1, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Thank you! The issue is not the pregnancy but the arcane attitudes of the GOP on sex education that they want to imposte on the rest of us. Clearly abstinence ONLY education does not work. And the consequences are more than the life long responsibility of parenthood, but the deadly consquences of HIV. If Sarah Palin personally believes in abstinence only, that's her business, but she and John McCain have no business imposing such a policy on the rest of us that CLEARLY doesn't work.

Posted by: Dawn | September 1, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama's opinion:
At a press appearance in Monroe, Mich., Obama on Palin: "Back off these kinds of stories."
"I have said before and I will repeat again: People's families are off limits," Obama said. "And people's children are especially off limits. This shouldn't be part of politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as a governor and or her potential performance as a vice president. 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 a family deals with issues and teenage children, that shouldn't be a topic of our politics."

Posted by: James | September 1, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

so Palin endorsed her daughter's CHOICE to keep the baby. Good thing she got pregnant when she at least has a choice. How on earth can these people be so hypocritical and not even know it? heckuva pick, johnnie.

Posted by: rooney | September 1, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

To Worried in NJ...it looks like you wandered on to the wrong story...this sotry was about teenage pregancy and the failure of abstinance only education. So go somewhere else with your idiotic rant against Joe Biden.

Posted by: DW | September 1, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Here's what really bothers me (along with Sarah Palin's underwhelming resume):

McCain knew of this and surely Sarah Palin knew of this. Both of them are would-be players on the national political stage with all its glare and the lack of privacy it brings to everyone connected with the candidate and still they thought that having Sarah Palin, despite a lack of other real credentials to succeed McCain if he died, as the VP candidate was a good idea.

Neither of them cared about the feelings of a 17 year and her privacy? Not to mention that of the baby's father! They decided it was OK to drag these two young people into the glare of a national spotlight. Even if these two are going to get married, this is still embarrassing for them (esp. if they are fundamentalist Christians) and they don't deserve it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

That Palin and McCain if he knew, would expose a young 17 year old girl to national
scrutiny under these circumstances speaks volumes as to their raw political ambition.
This is a caring mother?

Posted by: jack perkins | September 1, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it makes me question abstinence only policies. It makes me question even more McCain's judgement in clearly choosing this woman on the fly, because he needed a woman. There are other Republican women who would have made a better choice.

Posted by: Jane | September 1, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

If my 17-yr. old was pregnant, and I had more kids, I'd re-prioritize my commitments.
I'd realize this is partly my failure at parenting (single most important duty of any mammal).
I'd be considering resigning my job not run for VP of the USA!

Posted by: my values | September 1, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

God I hate to hear that another teenager has made the same mistake billions of kids have done before, having sex before marriage, it is something the Right Wing nut jobs can not tolerate.

I am sickened by the need of the Palins to even have to announce it on the national stage. And to have the McCain camp feel the need to ask Democrats not to even broach the subject is laughable.

I am a Democrat and I would never use any one's child for political gain. McCain, you are addressing the wrong party. Yours is the one filled with intolerance that would use any perceived moral misstep to gain power. Have you forgotten Terry Schiavo?

My prayers go out to the kids involved. Hold your heads up high. You didn't do anything that most haven't done, you just wear the badge showing you did it.

Posted by: OldManTalking | September 1, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Worried in NJ:

Might I ask what Obama's Israel policy has anything whatsoever to do with Palin's daughter's pregnancy and what impact it may have on the ticket?

You wrote a post so lengthy that I had to scroll to reach it's end, and absolutely none of it had to do with the topic whatsoever.

What an idiot, not to mention rude. If you want to promote right wing nonsense, could you at least post it under the appropriate articles? What a moron!

Posted by: aBigSAM | September 1, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

This has already been a movie: Juno (or better, Juneau).

Posted by: Dawny Chambers | September 1, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

McCain is the "surge". Iraq did not cause 9/11, but he thinks that the Iraq War is justified. McCain is anti-tax for corporations/the rich. McCain is crude (calls wife a "c*nt" in front of reporters), intolerant, priviliged, disloyal (discarded disabled wife/children for much younger beer heiress Cindy). He is heading the party of "Family Values"!

Sarah Palin's actions/views are just surfacing. It seems as though several scandals are following her and they will become clearer soon. Her resume includes PTA, part-time mayor of tiny Alaskan town, and 18 months as Alaska governor. She is owned by Big Oil. She wants to drill in ANWAR. She thinks that global warming is a hoax. Her 17 year old daughter is 5 months pregnant and UNMARRIED.

These two are H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-S.

Posted by: Marilyn Delson | September 1, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

To worried in NJ: you must have taken classes with Karl Rove, you lie exactly like a Republican. Ha'aretz did not report that Joe Biden said that Israel "would have to accept a nuclear Iran if Barack Obama wins the Presidency." What Biden is said to have told (and this itself is hearsay, according to Ha'aretz itself) is that he doubts that the economic sanctions will work, and that he [Biden] does not want to open a supplementary military front. Nowhere is this general assessment presented by Biden (or by Ha'aretz) as contingent on Obama winning the presidency. And nowhere in the report is it said that Biden in any way told the Israelis that America wouldn't protect them "against the nutcases in the region". And your "update" re-the timing means nothing: you lie about the report itself, period.

It's not so much their policies that have turned the Republicans of the last decades into neo-fascists: it's their constant and uninhibited lying. Goebbels's best students.

Posted by: Makhno | September 1, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse


Thank you! The issue is not the pregnancy but the arcane attitudes of the GOP on sex education that they want to imposte on the rest of us. Clearly abstinence ONLY education does not work. And the consequences are more than the life long responsibility of parenthood, but the deadly consquences of HIV. If Sarah Palin personally believes in abstinence only, that's her business, but she and John McCain have no business imposing such a policy on the rest of us that CLEARLY doesn't work.

Posted by: Dawn | September 1, 2008 3:39 PM

____________________________________________
And being President or VP wouldn't allow them an unchecked platform to impose their private social values/beliefs. If it did, I'd be worried also.

Anyone who has a demonstrated track record of being a zealot for balanced budgets, clean government, energy independence, etc. the truly momentous issues of this campaign, will get my vote.

Posted by: Liz | September 1, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama says "back off the Palin children". Hear that Obamaites?
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/09/01/1321281.aspx

Posted by: Cheryl | September 1, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

This is a really sad story. A 17- year old is not capable of raising a child. And is too young to be married. She is just a child herself and has her whole life ahead of her. If she had the earlier special needs baby, the probability is high that this baby will also have special needs too. Palin should withdraw, remove this spotlight from her childen, protect and take care of them. No kid should be on the world stage at a time like this.

Posted by: Francis | September 1, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"Didn't work in this case, did it..."

How utterly classless...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Look at what has happened to the constitution, habeus corpus, and privacy in the last 8 years, and I would worry if I were you, Liz.

Posted by: Olive | September 1, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Here we go! A mother with evangelical belief has a daughter who is pregnant without benefit of marriage. What do say or do? Normally we would let the girl stay private. But her mother is ambitious and her mother's protege McCain even more so. So the girl has to have her secret revealed. What better example of vicious evangelical belief and practice!

Posted by: norman ravitch | September 1, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree we should not push too hard to complicate the young lady life, but it is relevant if Palin wants us to believe she has integrity. Abstinence does not work and government should not legistate morality. It is obvious McCain did not vet this woman and family because so many stories are brewing and will eventually erupt. His pick was a political stunt and will backfire.

Posted by: Duped | September 1, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin needs to remove herself from the ticket, immediately. Period.

Posted by: Sparky | September 1, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprise to know that Ms. Palin has ONLY 5 children!, but she has been married for 24 years!

Posted by: Nina | September 1, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

WorriedNJ America needs to worry about its own foreign policy before that of Israel. I am sorry to say but Israel is not the 51st state. And the only threat a nuclear Iran poses is to those with fetid imagination of nuclear Armageddon. Your own foreign minister has said that a nuclear Iran does not pose existential threat to Israel. It is hard to believe that a country like Iran would openly or secretly attack a proven nuclear power in Israel. WorriedNJ, Israel are perfectly capable of guaranteeing their own peace. And if not you can rest comfortable that if the Iranians strike they won't survive the nuclear barrage from Israel either.

Posted by: No,NotSo | September 1, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Democrats why don't you go all the way and smear the 4 year old for cussing in the house?

You people are lower than rat filth

Posted by: Tony V | September 1, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

This isn't much of a story. Like Cheney's family, it merely illustrates that evangelicals are human, which evangelicals already knew. Or Bush's daughter knocking back too many beers. Let's not go into Bill and Hillary Clinton, in which the situation is reversed, and Chelsea isn't held publically to blame.

What might be of interest is the who knew what, when. Either McCain doesn't listen to advice from advisors, or his advisors are Solomon-like creatures above fearing the blogosphere, or somebody's lying through their teeth about exactly when McCain and his team knew about this.

An announcement just in time for the evening news cycle on a day when the nation is glued to TV for convention and hurricane coverage does not sound like a well thought-through GOP Rovian response module.

It sounds like, HOLY CRAP, THE DAUGHTER'S WHAT???

Posted by: cw-la | September 1, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

A Better Combination

Regardless of race and sex, let’s look at the combination of McCain and Obama to see which is better.

McCain: a senator + a governor, who has administrative experience.
Obama: a senator + another senator, both have no such experience.

So the first combination is better. And what does her daughter's pregnancy have to do with her to be the candidate? If she is a capable woman and can help McCain to make US better, why don't we vote for her combination? American people made a mistake when they elected Bush twice. Will they make another mistake by elect Obama, who is unfit for the presidency, more talk than act. What did he do as a senator?

Therefore, I call on all Hillary’s supporters to vote for McCain. Besides, Obama squeezed out Hillary and didn’t even choose her for his partner.

Posted by: xlwoo | September 1, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I am saddened that the Washington Post has taken a personal family event and tried to politicize it. I must make it known that I am not a Republican, and I will be voting for Obama. Nevertheless, I think it is disgraceful how some media outlets are trying to turn this very personal family story into something political--especially when it concerns a deeply personal moment in a young woman's life.

Are we to judge Obama any differently because his mother was a teenager when he was conceived--does that have any bearing on his proposed policies? Are we to judge those teenagers who became pregnant despite the use of contraception?

Shameful--not over Palin's daughter, but of the media's reaction to her pregnancy.


Posted by: ZAG | September 1, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Have the child. Abort the candidacy.

Posted by: trace1 | September 1, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I find this so funny especially since Obama's mother became pregnant when she was 17 and unmarried.

And you have all these Obama supporters condemning Palin for her daughter doing the same thing his mom did. Perhaps her grand child will one day become president of the United States.

Posted by: atomic | September 1, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin’s family is facing two challenges common to families in our country. Thus far they have been honest and inspiring. This family gave birth and welcomed their fifth child in a country where ninety percent of babies identified in utero with Down’s Syndrome are aborted. Out of wedlock pregnancy is a situation of great concern to every family and to our society as increasing numbers of children grow up in poverty without a father. Abstinence until marriage education stands on its own merits despite a cultural message of sex as an entitlement. Americans can see themselves in the Palin family, and wish them every success in loving and supporting each of their children, the grandbaby’s father along with their prospective grandchild. They have my admiration for the example they give.
PS John McCain has taken fatherhood seriously as well. This team reflects the character and issues of the 2008 campaign.

Posted by: Meg Yates | September 1, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Why is Palin off limits? Hillary had to fight tooth and nail in this race and Palin should get a free ride because she is a woman so we should'nt offend her. No one can point out McCains short comings because he is a War hero. It seems to me that what the Republicans what Obama to do is stand back and let them do or say anything about him but don't fight back. How fair is that?

Posted by: twim | September 1, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

hey tony v...sucks when your candidate gets smeared, huh? what comes around goes around...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

have children, Ms. Applebaum?

If so, you may grasp they sometimes defy, infuriate, ignore you.

If not, you have no place in a conversation about anyone's pregnant kid.

Posted by: Do you | September 1, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans have been lying about and slandering Obama the whole summer. They have been especially cruel towards his wife, Michele. Now they are pleading to not talk about Palin's family issues.

Sounds like the chickens are coming home to roost for the MCain team.

Actually, we shouldn't be wasting time on the child issue. It is cheap bait anyway to divert attention from Palin's real problems.

1. That she actually supported the Bridge to Nowhere while running for office

2. That she raised money for Sen Ted Stevens who is out of office on corruption charges.

3. Most importantly, that she is under investigation for abusing her authority to harass some people and fire others for not doing her personal work on the taxpayer's dime.

4. Add to all of that, she wants to force us to teach creationism in science classes and she wants to change our Consititution from a document that supports rights to a document that takes away human rights.

The kid problem is really just a sad diversion from more serious and detrimental issues surrounding Palin.

Posted by: tazmodious | September 1, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Michael R nailed it: if this were a Democratic nominee, we'd be BURIED in Republican outrage about how it just PROVES all liberals are amoral, terrible parents, lacking in 'family values', blah blah blah. There's no room for "private family matters" if they provide ammo for Republicans!

But since it's a member of their own party, those same Republicans will hypocritically pretend to be OUTRAGED that anyone would even mention it.

In other words: same old same old. If a Democrat does something, it's horrible, outrageous, illegal, amoral, and probably fattening--and we'll hear about it for years and years. If a Republican does the same (or worse), it's perfectly fine, end of story.

Posted by: jjjunob | September 1, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

So, do the Republican's get a Hatfield, a McCoy or some other genetically suspect clan from the back woods of some corner of
America?

Posted by: mikie44 | September 1, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't entirely believe that the father plans to marry Bristol Palin, despite what WorriedinNJ says about Israel. Sarah Palin says that Bristol says that the guy will marry her, but why hasn't it happened already? What has prevented the wedding from taking place?

Posted by: chain8 | September 1, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Man, what a soap opera!!! I agree with the second part of the comment by trace1, if McCain has any decency he should drop this idiotic ignorant extremist from the ticket, not because of the pregnancy but because, if he has any intention of being president, then he should be honest enough to recognize that he made a mistake and that it is TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE, given his age and his medical history, to expose the country to the very real possibility that this clueless imbecile could become president. Can it get worse than Bush - Cheney? Apparently so. I can already hear the entire world laughing and a majority of the U.S. population seeing their country taken over by people steeped in the worst sort of ignorance, the one that comes from being superstitious (or religious, no difference). As for the baby, I could not care less, it is their problem and none of my business.

Then again, I want Obama to win, so perhaps she should stay on the ticket ;)

Posted by: APD | September 1, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

McCain would be first in line to trash his opponent if the shoe was on the other foot. Remember his ugly joke about Chelsea when she was just a young teenager.

But here's one on John & Cindy McCain. Lately they've been citing Cindy's dad's wealth as being a fine example of an American success story. BULL! big daddy Jim Hensley got his start by taking the fall and doing time for a mob pal of Kemper Marley. He was rewarded handsomely with his first liquor distributorship. And in turn McCain was bankrolled by and introduced to Arizona's rich and powerful (including convicted felons).

Don't take my word for it....google Duke Tully, Kemper Marley, Fife Simington, Jim Hensley, Charles Keating....that's a start, the list goes on.

Posted by: Arizona historian | September 1, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

If this had happened to Chelsea Clinton, you can bet that the conservative Republicans would have held her up as an example of everything that's wrong with the Clintons, Democrats, and liberals and how they're destroying American values.

Now, it's the holier-than-thou Republicans ( conservatives, yet!), and suddenly everyone has to lay off her mother and her political party for the role they played in this pregnancy? Turn-about is fair play.

Her mother, obviously, did not pay enough attention to her daughter to ensure that Bristol practiced 100% of the time what her beloved Republican party preaches everyone else should practice--abstinence only.

What does this say about the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex education when not even a strongly Christian, staunch conservative Republican can convince her own daughter of the absolute necessity of 100% virginity?

Or, is it that, abstinence-only is just for those un-American liberals, and we conservative Republicans, since we're better to begin with and God's preferred people, if one of OUR children happens to violate this essential principle, well, gee, it's not important, and we'll be forgiven because God understands we are his chosen people, and these rules only apply to other people?

What hypocrites! What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!

Posted by: Leilani | September 1, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

These ARE the conservative christian values.
Just look at the demographics. They have the highest teen pregnancy rates and the highest incarceration rates, the highest poverty rates. Go ahead, look at the statistics for the rural south. Wherever fundies live these problems abound.

Posted by: Greg S | September 1, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

If you think for s second that McCain wanted this, you're insane.

Posted by: DFC | September 1, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"Americans can see themselves in the Palin family"

Yes. I can see myself getting pressured into a marriage I never wanted, to have a child I never wanted. Because of Mommy's ideology. A large mistake made larger. Oh, let's all coo for family values.

Say what you will about Obama's mammy, she was not known for taking political positions on abstinence-only sex education. I'm terribly sorry, but for all the unwanted children yet unborn, this one needs to go up in lights. Bravo Wapo.

Posted by: fzdybel | September 1, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"Americans can see themselves in the Palin family"

Yes. I can see myself getting pressured into a marriage I never wanted, to have a child I never wanted. Because of Mommy's ideology. A large mistake made much larger, stretched out to fill two lifetimes. Oh, let's all coo for family values.

Say what you will about Obama's mammy, she was not known for taking political positions on abstinence-only sex education. I'm terribly sorry, but for all the unwanted children yet unborn, this one needs to go up in lights. Bravo to the media.

Posted by: fzdybel | September 1, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Paulin's Cross:

Applebaum would free it, if the daughter had an abortion.

Posted by: 3rd-Party Advocate | September 1, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Of the two, which speaks worse of McCain--1) Not vetting Palin; or 2) Vetting her,but naming her anyway in the face of some serious charges arising from her governorship and mayoralty? That her young, unmarried daughter is pregnant has nothing to do with her competency for the VP, but does say a lot about her character--in that she is willing to put her daughter through a public humiliation.

Posted by: The Lynx | September 1, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Abstinence works just fine. This girl didn't abstain.

Posted by: JND | September 1, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

..."I'm surprised and saddened that the mainstream media has decided to write about the Bristol Palin's pregnancy.

It is a private, family matter. Period.

Just because Republicans have been dirty, vicious dogs is not reason for Democrats to sink to that level.

Fighting hard to win the Presidency is one thing. Attacking a young girl for making a mistake is a whole different ballgame.

It sells papers. But it is WRONG. The WaPo would be wise to issue a public gag order."...

Don't you just love good sarcasm?

Posted by: jim/redondo beach | September 1, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Palin only wants to fund abstinence-only sexual education, but it seems her unmarried 17 year old daughter is evidence that such policies do not work. If Palin cannot control or convince her own daughter (theoretically brought up to have the same values and ideals as her parents), then how does this bode for the rest of the entire heterogeneous nation?

It's interesting that Palin also applauds her daughter's "decision" to keep the baby when Palin's whole stance is to take away said decision from women in the first place.

Palin requests that the public and media respect the privacy of her daughter and family in this matter, and yet, if two gay people in a loving committed consensual longterm relationship would like to marry, it's time to involve the government.

McCain/Palin '08 - Hypocrisy at its best.

Posted by: Emma | September 1, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't going to respond to this one until I saw the comment on "rat filth." It's very simple: Abstinence is good because it doesn't work. Teenage pregnancy is just fine so long as the mama gets married. Remember: Wives must submit to their husbands (and their mamas and their daddies.) "Barefoot and pregnant" is a GOOD thing because what else (besides submitting) are they gonna do?

The hypocrisy of religious nutjobs never ceases to astound me.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I won't vote for McCain/Palin but I think this ought to be left to the family. No parent has absolute control over what a 17 year old does. I just hope that creating a marriage out of the mistake two 17 years olds made isn't a worse mistake than getting pregnant.

Posted by: Larry | September 1, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

My sympathies to the Palin family, however, you can't run for office and not expect people to see the dirty laundry hanging outside.

The whole thing is a mess and the right wing chickens have come home to roost as it were. Abstinence education tells kids nothing and to do nothing and the results are that when they do something, something happens.

Since the Right is eager for accountability, what are the statutory rape laws in Alaska? Does doing the right thing include prosecution where warranted? Is it warranted here? She turns in her fellow Republicans, what about the boyfriend?

Without being too cynical but if this was Chelsea Clinton who had become pregnant we wouldn't be hearing James Dobson say that we should let bygones be bygones. What hubris from the supposed spiritual elite. But then, past experience shows that the rules don't apply to the Christian Right, they're exempt, they're saved.

Posted by: slmdar19 | September 1, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Reproductive responsibility is clearly not Palin's strongest quality. I'm not talking about her daughter. A woman (or man) who is not knowledgeable about the risk of birth defects after 40 has questionable judgment. Furthermore, her actions in flying to Alaska after her water broke, endangering the unborn child, does not speak well for her claim to a pro-life stance. Rather it shows a disregard for the child's life. Pro-life is more than anti-abortion, Governor Palin.

Posted by: J graham | September 1, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm a die-hard progressive Democrat, but I think a candidate's children should be off-limits. I think the recent rumors about her family and pregnant daughter are really terrible... I am glad Obama made a strong statement against rumor-mongering -- he should, since he has usually been on the receiving end of that. A candidate's children should be off-limits. A candidate's personal life should only be public if it reflects on her or his judgment and ethical/moral conduct (e.g., Edwards' affair, which clearly shows a lack of both on hispart).

Posted by: Steve S. | September 1, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

What a shame about Bristol Palin's pregnancy. I think it is great for a woman to be on the ticket as a vice-president, but with just having a baby with Down's syndrome and now a teen-age daughter that is pregnant, I think she should resign, and give the devotion to her family. If it were me I would put my family first. This young girl and her younger brother need all of the loving care they can get from their mother. To be ambitious and driven is a great thing in many ways, but not when it is at the expense of your family. This doesn't seem like "family values" at all. Bristol Palin doesn't need to be drug through this in the public eye, and she needs the love and support from her family. How much time do you think Sarah Palin will be able to devote to Bristol, Bristol's baby (Even though it will be Bristol's) and her baby Down's Syndrome son, while being Vice President? It sounds lovely and wonderful to some that a woman with five children can be Vice President, but I worry about the children. How will this all affect them when they are adults? Will they see their mother as some driven woman more worried about being in the limelight at their expense or what?

Posted by: cyggy | September 1, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

To Atomic: Obama's mother was married and 18 when she had him.

Posted by: Dian | September 1, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

There are two things that troubles me. One if McCain knew about this then he must have known this would throw the daughter into the national spotlight. This says something about McCain's judgement. Who would do this to a child? This is about Bristol and the young man. The other thing that troubles me is getting married at age 17 because someone is pregnant. If the pregnacy was a mistake that is not a reason to get married. Palin's family already going through a nasty divorce that is calling her integrity into question.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T ed.. Not Used:
Like I asked before anybody seen the movie "Hustle and Flow."
Terrance Howard was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
for: Hustle & Flow (2005)
McCain has Terrance beat by a long shot. After Mrs. Palin's speech they might as well played the theme song "It's hard out here for a pimp." Mrs Palin and women are being used.. period.
Woman (young girls too) deserve better treatment and need to be respected, not used.

Posted by: McCain's lack of Judgement | September 1, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

It is a fact of life that teenage pregnancies happen and it is unfortunate. I take issue with Gov. Palin's (and the Evangelical right) hardline about abstinance-only sex education when such a plan clearly does not work - it did not work for her daughter and does not work for thousands of other teens every year. I would have much more respect for Gov. Palin if she were to acknowledge that fact and encourage real sex education in the home and at school. If she admitted, in light of her own family's experience and reality, that abstinance-only was not effective, she would give herself a great deal of credibility. Also, if her daughter considered giving the baby up for adoption as opposed to marrying at such a young age, she again would give her stance on being anti-abortion more credibility. Her statement notes that her daughter will have the entire family's support - lucky for them that they are in a position to be able to afford additional hired help as may be needed. Most people in their situation do not have that luxury.

Posted by: JLF | September 1, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Really, Anne - normally you are the very voice of sanity. There is no reason to believe that the girl did not know about contraception. Palin is a member of Feminists for Life which is not opposed to contraception and has members that do use it. Being opposed to formal instruction at school - and its attendant contextual messages, is not the same thing as opposition to contraception.

Teens can fail to use contraception properly or at all despite knowing that it exists. What is clear is that Palin is opposed to abortion and her daughter is too. But that is a separate matter.

The context here is that over the past few days utterly implausible claims about Palin's own last pregnancy being a cover for her daughter's have been pushed by "progressives" on the web to the point that she was led to a) address that, no matter how indirectly and b)no doubt to conclude that her daughter was already fair game to her enemies and the news of her actual pregnancy was next. (Time has a nice piece noting that it was an open secret in her hometown.)

So let's see. A woman chooses to have a Down Syndrome baby because she believes it is the right thing to do. Her daughter chooses to have hers because she and her mother believe that it would be immoral to abort. For these two acts of courage they get what? I'm male myself but it seems hard to avoid the conclusion that what a lot of women do in their personal lives is not seen as morally salient and thus worthy of respect. Or at least if they are politically conservative.

From a modern efficiency viewpoint both decisions are foolish - investment in relatively unproductive ventures. A day may even come when this view is so universal that it will be essentially incorporated into law much as immunization or other childhood interventions now are.

But the country is not there today. Are you?

Posted by: Concerned | September 1, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Don't blame the Media on this one. After all McCain knew and didn't care that Bristol would be thrown into national spotlight. I don't know what to say about Mr. and Mrs. Palin. Who would do this to a child. What if Bristol couldn't take the pressure especially, while in school. (Kids can be cruel) This don't make sense and there is nobody to blame but McCain and his lack of judgement.

Posted by: McCain Knew | September 1, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

You see....this is the fundamental problem with the Republicans. Sarah Palin is anti-abortion, which is fine. She is also anti-sex-education-in-schools. Obviously she is also anti-sex-education-at-home as well. People are applauding Bristol getting married. "Doing the right thing" as they put it. How is it the right thing when she probably isn't ready to be married even if she is going to keep the baby? What makes people think that just because someone gets pregnant, they should get married? Those types of shot-gun marriages almost always end in divorce. Sarah Palin can't keep her own home straight. If McCain kicks the bucket, how can she keep control of the country? Hillary managed to guide Chelsea through her informative years without a scratch. Sarah Palin obviously couldn't do the same. Maybe she was too busy with her political fights to pay attention to her 5 children. 5 children are a lot to take care of - if you have money or not. They take time and effort. Maybe she and her husband were too focused on the wrong things. Way to go McCain...you sure know how to pick'em!

Posted by: TheFundamentalProblem | September 1, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I am sure glad that behind all this rhetoric in both the articles and replies common sense people have a way to fight back. All the articles in the POST try hard to seem neutral but show their true Ossiah colors. In each article the put in little meanings that "I am right" or "I wrote an article a month ago that stated" and dish out, the lady is wrong.
Try to stop your kids in the end. Who here are parents.
Long live Hannity and Limbaugh! They see through it all.

Posted by: Fellow Human | September 1, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama says "back off the Palin children". Hear that Obamaites?
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/09/01/1321281.aspx

Posted by: Cheryl
**********************
Yeah, 'cause you and the merry band of toads running around and cutting and pasting every rumor about Obama were such ladies. Puleasse, I am afraid you will have to let this play out. Unfortunately, that is what happens when you put someone like this in the spotlight. awww, group hug!!

Posted by: drip, drip, drip... | September 1, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with my candidate, the pregnant 17y/o is not part of our political discussion, she's going have enough problems without 300,000,000 Americans passing judgment on her.
Teen pregnancy is the reason most cultures use to marry their daughters off at 13, as soon as they became capable of having a baby, back when abstinence was the only form of birth control available. It's never worked, regardless of the social and even legal penalties the culture attaches to unwed motherhood.
Folks, we're hardwired to reproduce, that's why humans still inhabit this planet. Hiding from that reality doesn't make it any less real.
Abstinence is a goal, not a policy. The inability to see that clearly is one of the reasons I don't ever vote for conservative Republicans.

Posted by: dijetlo | September 1, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

John McCain appears to have a history of making hasty decisions. "I make them as quickly as I can, quicker than the other fellow, if I can," Mr. McCain wrote, with his top adviser Mark Salter, in his 2002 book, "Worth the Fighting For." "Often my haste is a mistake, but I live with the consequences without complaint." The President of the United States should not be inclined to make hasty decisions.

Posted by: Raul | September 1, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe how we have candy coated the issue of teenage pregnancy, and glossed over the real issue here. Abstinence education does not work, condoms do, but you need to know how and when to use the thing but Bush spent millions to teach abstinence. See how it has paid off? Do you think it would pay off if we spent a billion or two? No way. Just think back to your hormones in the teenage years. Give me a freaken break!

Most (and I stress most, not all) unmarried 17 year old girls simply do not have the ability to responsibly raise a baby. By the way, that is a period at the end of the last sentence because that is a fact and I am not going to justify why because you’re intelligent and you know a fact when it is a fact. In fact, if that fact was not true then this is an issue we would not be discussing here.

Get real Republicans and pull your heads out of the sand. You can’t tell me that Sarah Palin jumped for joy when her daughter broke the news. Her worst nightmare came true.

Lets look a who Sarah Palin is for a moment. She has literally lied about the threat of Polar Bear extinction to attract more revenue for Alaska (using research from ExxonMobil), she abused power of office to have her brother in law fired, she lied about her position on the Bridge to Nowhere to get herself elected Governor (which obviously worked), she kills animals for fun, and she believes in Creationism (what a joke, go read the bible people because she hasn’t, and more than likely neither have the majority of you folks, at least word for word, cover to cover).

Our country is heading down the wrong path and 8 years with McPalin will put us so deep, Palins daughters, childrens, children will still be paying for the mistakes the Republicans have made the last 8 years. Take off your blinders Republicans and get bloody real.

Posted by: Get REAL | September 1, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Guys calm down! This is change we can believe in! :-)

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Dear Ms. Applebaum: Have you no compassion? No conscience? May you never have a teen age child who makes a poor decision with life long consequences. Your hubris is amazing.

Posted by: DrJeremiah | September 1, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

kahala wrote:
Obama made a statement to the news media earlier urging his supporters "to lay off the families and children" of the candidates; much like he urged the public to lay off Michelle when she was being criticized so harshly by some of her statements. He stated that if he became aware any of his staff had been putting out some of the hateful comments going rampant on blogs all of the Internet that "they would be fired." It just makes you Obamacrats look bad and it makes him look bad as your candidate when you throw out such hate and vitriol and Obama is smart enough to know that.
9/1/2008 6:53:58 PM

Posted by: McCain's lack of Judgement | September 1, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum –

Please stop your American woman bashing from Warsaw. Just do ALL American women a favor - stay put and keep your correspondence to your parents.

We women in America will be much better off with you out of the country – just stop writing!

Posted by: Please Stop Writing | September 1, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

So, Bristol Palin "will" marry the father of her "love child". Well, I wonder if the Social Conservatives have given any thought to the possibility that the father will not want to marry Bristol. Of course, since Bristol is not due to give birth until after the election, this really doesn't matter to a lying bunch of hypocritical right-wing nut jobs. The G.O.P. spin machine is running on high right now pumping out lie after lie for consumption by the American people. There are so many lies that are flooding the Internet from Republicans that I'll bet people around the world are laughing their heads off at us, and wondering if we will buy this pile of G.O.P. feces. I won't. But, I don't know how many of my fellow citizens I can count on to do the same thing. The Founding Fathers concept of an "educated electorate" flew out the window long ago in this country. Obama/Biden 08!!!

Posted by: caliguy55 | September 1, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

"Bristol Palin loves Jesus and decided to keep her baby. She has lived in alaska a state that borders russia for 17 years. She is highly qualified and experienced to serve as Secretary of State in the McCain Administration. Posted by: Lindel | September 1, 2008 3:13 PM"

Wow. I mean . . . wow. Where do you even begin here?

I doubt Bristol got pregnant on the first take. There was a love for something going on, all right--not sure it was Jesus.

Here's a shocker for you--non-Christians in difficult pregnancy situations have kept their babies, too.

Well, I don't even have to address the nextdoor-neighor-to-Russia thing. That would be shooting ducks in a barrel.

Posted by: Mike D. | September 1, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Our Palin made a fool of McCain...and more

so, the holier-than-thou right wing evangelists who insisted on her.

WHAT a spectacle. And what a joke in the rest of the world. Our vice presidency is a
plaything, for reckless old senile men.

Posted by: spectacle | September 1, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

This is not an issue about pregnancy, age, abortion, choice or disability. This is an issue about JUDGEMENT, both on McCain's and Palin's part. And THAT's what needs to be scrutinized by the Press and public. If McCain knew about the potential political ramifications of Palin's family status, he shouldn't have asked her to be his running mate. If he didn't, he should have. In either case, she shouldn't have accepted, knowing what the reaction would be.

Posted by: hayeseric | September 1, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

No-one is passing judgement on the daughter. The issue is whether the mother is someone we think has the character and strength to be president. As noted above, if her family is a mess, how can she manage our country?

Posted by: Gary | September 1, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

TO WORRIED IN NJ

Iran is an ancient, valuable and peaceful culture. No aggression for hundreds of years.

It may or may not be trying to get nuclear weapons.

Israel is a constant aggressor, trouble all over the world, and detested therein.

It HAS hundreds of nukes and conatantly
threatens to use them...and to blow up anyone else it doesn't like. It savages it's neighbors constantly. And practices genocide.

NOW, WHICH country should be blown up?

Posted by: tired of it | September 1, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow, people are defensive here. Ms. Applebaum is simply pointing out that a main plank in the Republican Party platform (from 2004 but will no doubt be adopted again) on abstinance-only education is OBVIOUSLY NOT practiced by the children of one of the major candidates. It is a very legitimate observation. It has absolutely nothing to do with women bashing. She is stating facts.

Posted by: JLF | September 1, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse


Palins wonderful family was put front and center, her motherhood hearlded widely, named in every blurb about her.

Oh, right, she and her daughter are splendid examples for the teenagers of Anerica. More, more!

We haven't heard much from the evangelist right wing, hmmmmm?

Posted by: disgusted | September 1, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you have been in Wasrsaw far too long to realize how political operators spin whatever. The Republicans are "against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS". So in Palin's case since the father-to-be will marry the mother-to-be, there will be no "out-of-wedlock pregnancy" and clearly there is no "sexually transmitted diseases" either in this case.

In current day America, spin is King.

Finally, I am neither making fun nor passing judgement on the Palins, just the spinners.

Posted by: Steve Chan | September 1, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Look, I grew up in NJ, where we had plenty of sex education and access to birth control. I know several girls who got pregnant despite this. These pregnancies are no more an indictment of the tradtional sex education than is the Palin case an indictment of absitinence planning.

All this is an excuse for hateful liberals to use a personal family matter involving a minor as an opportunity for partisan attack.

Of course, we have come to expect such hateful and nastiness from intolerant liberals.

Posted by: rmorrow | September 1, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

"We haven't heard much from the evangelist right wing, hmmmmm?

Posted by: disgusted | September 1, 2008 7:48 PM"

I guess that, like most hateful liberals, you didn't bother to do any research before unleashing your stupid zingers.

"Some evangelicals said today that they were not put off by the news, in light of the fact that Bristol Palin plans to carry the baby to term and marry the father. Cathie Adams, president of the Eagle Forum's Texas chapter, said she was pleased Palin's daughter was nearly done with high school and that she was going ahead with the pregnancy.

"This is a family that keeps dealing with challenges and they keep doing the right thing," Adams said, adding that humans are "fallen beings.""

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/01/AR2008090100710_2.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2008090101074&s_pos=

Posted by: rmorrow | September 1, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

If the Palin pregnancy is such a private and personal matter, why was it announced by the McCain campaign on Labor Day, pun not necessarily intended? Why wasn't it included in the Palin family bio released by the campaign on day one? Would anyone have cared so much about it then? What are they trying to cover-up?

Posted by: TNeedle | September 1, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I understand that teenagers become pregnant unexpectedly and that this is a family matter. What I question is the "family value" of a mother that knowing about her daughter's pregnancy chooses to put her in the middle of a presidential campaign, and strips her of any chance for privacy and a normal pregnancy. I would be curious to know what Sarah Palin's thought process was. What were the values she considered before putting her daughter through this? Finally, what is the age of the father? Is there a violation of the law here?

Posted by: williamhn | September 1, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Go up and read Meg G's comment at 3:24. Thank you Meg G!

Posted by: PJTramdack | September 1, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Message to Deep Blue: this is a story not because of some dark media conspiracy, but because Sarah Palin CHOSE to have a press conference announcing her daughter's pregnancy. News flash, Deep Blue: when you call a press conference, newspapers write stories about you.

What's truly hilarious about this story is that Ms. Palin had to make this admission this to head off an even worse rumor (which the respectable media outlets wouldn't publish). She had to be glad that her daughter was five months pregnant, because it made the daughter ineligible to have been the mother of Ms. Palin's youngest child. It's like watching an episode of Peyton Place with moose heads and whale blubber thrown in for comic effect.

Here's the question I have: Did Senator McCain even bother to vet Ms. Palin before selecting her as his vice presidential nominee? Or did he just figure that she was the only gun-totin' tobacco-chewin' arch-conservative woman in our entire nation who would take the job? What kind of a clown show is this?

Posted by: Steve | September 1, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Ma Palin's family life is fair game because she made it so. She is the family values candidate, so, let's talk about family values. Let's make this the family values election and scrutinize the families of the candidates. The GOP have set the rules: there are no rules when it comes to personal attacks and character asassination. I say go after Pop Pop McC's and Ma Palin's bona fides on family values until both of them are revealed for what they are. Let the games begin.

Posted by: PJTramdack | September 1, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

this is further proof that McCain "just doesn't get it," as Obama has stated. his cynical choice of a woman as VP, hoping to pick up Hillary supporters, and an ultra-conservative, to suck up to the religious right, is insulting on so many levels they're hard to count. McCain will do anything to win, including compromising and disrespecting our country by selecting such a backwater neophyte. how could he put us in such an awful position? there's something wonderful about Gustav showing up just in time to remind everyone of a Republican administration's abandonment of a great Southern city after Katrina and also watching stuffy, know-it-all conservatives try to act as if teenage pregnancy is a moral failing... except in this case, where it's proof of a family's resolve or whatever. this party thinks we're stupid, and that we'll buy whatever line they throw out there in order to save their own necks. we deserve better than this pack of liars, and it's great to see them finally getting the first licks of their karmic spanking!

Posted by: Antonio | September 1, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

It has become quite obvious that the media has something to fear with Sarah Palin. In two days, this woman has endured more scrutiny than Obama and Biden combined. Hang in there, Sarah. They fear an independent, self sufficient lady governor who has enormous charisma. In the end, you look pretty good along side a plagerist and drug user/part time real estate crook.

Posted by: robinV142 | September 1, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Could Gustav's untimely reminder to the Republican's of their enormous failure during Katrina, and the untimely blessing of Ms. Palin's daughter with a child be a sign from G-D? Perhaps a not so subtle reminder from a deity who's only begotten son spent his whole life as a Hebrew dissident who protested against war, empire, and railed against hypocrisy? Could it be that the party most blatantly violating the ten commandments may be the GOP, and its misguided evangelical right wing?

Is it harder for a camel to get through the eye of the needle than for a man with seven mansions to attain the presidency?

Posted by: arbiterveritatus | September 1, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

to steve: you say - "She had to be glad that her daughter was five months pregnant, because it made the daughter ineligible to have been the mother of Ms. Palin's youngest child". mark my words, this daughter is going to have a convenient "miscarriage" before this is all done.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Just imagine if a Democratic candidate's 17-year old daughter were pregnant. The Republicans would be howling about the Democrat's weak family values.

Posted by: mjames2 | September 1, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so much concerned that a this teenage girl is expecting - it happens. The most shameful thing about this is that the McCain camp says that they knew about this before he asked her to serve and they did nothing to get this story out there and handled. IF they really knew this as they claim they did, then why not just be honest and upfront and tell everyone before it becomes a story. How much better would it have been for evreyone and especially the girl if they had just said here is Sara Palin and here is her family situation - no story, no whispers, no shame. It's the McCain camp who has tried to hide this and make it shameful.

Posted by: SCDem | September 1, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

For people making excuses....

If you can't control your child that has lived in the same house with you for 17 years, how are you ever going to be able to control the likes Putin, Chavez, Sudanese leaders, Iranian leaders, etc?

If you proudly profess that your conservative values are the effective moral compass and the restriction of sex education to the topic of abstinence being the only teachable method of preventing pregnancies, then it seems only fair to call into question your judgement and oversight when the closest person to you other than yourself fails to follow rules that you preach should be the guarantee of a moral life for the rest of us

Posted by: John in DC | September 1, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree that a candidate's family should left out of the election process. This should entirely be a discussion on McCain's judgement in picking Palin knowing what he said he knew and knowing it would sooner or later leak out.

However, Palin sorta opened the door to her children's lives when she talked about her oldest son's enlistment into the armed service and upcoming deployment to Iraq.

Posted by: oriolefan2001 | September 1, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

It is true that Sarah Palin's family is a private matter. But her judgement (and John McCain's) is the relevant issue here. Can anyone explain why a woman who is 9 months pregnant with a Down's syndrome baby chose to take a 8 hour flight from Texas to Alaska AFTER her water broke? And why that 9-month pregnant woman took that flight to Texas in the first place. Airlines do not allow pregnant women to fly, I thought. Or did she use a National Guard jet with a personal physician on board? Sounds like really bad, callous judgement and overweaning ambition at best. At worst she knew at that point her baby was having trouble and she chose to ignore the health of her child that she now claims to love. Monstrous ambition. Poor decision. The same should be said about John McCain's judgement for his choice for VP, especially if he really did know the full details of Palin's background (as he claims). Harriet Miers? Tom Eagleton? How can this VP candidate go forward?

Family business is private, but evidence of really bad judgement is fair game -- as is the increasing evidence of a cover up.

Posted by: JMc in Boston | September 1, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I agree with "TheFundamentalProblem" poster at 6:51 PM.
Further, McCain apparently knew about the pregnancy and went forward with his selection. I am sorry for Bristol Palin,who is in the middle of this thing. But I cannot believe her mother has deliberately put her in a situation that will be a public ordeal. And this shows horrible judgment on McCain's part. His reasoning: The social conservatives will accept this situation because, oh, they just will. The folks dazzled by his Vietnam POW hero status wil just forgive the teen and her mom. And the rest of the voters don't matter.
I hope the voters have better sense. Again, I could never blame this child, who probably should have but did not follow the conservative lessons of "abstinence only." (How many of us have kids or friends' kids who have gotten pregnant outside wedlock?) I do utterly blame Palin for putting her child out there, and I do utterly blame McCain for this lousy choice. This doesn't show strength on Palin's part. It shows her ambition, and it shows McCain's incredibly bad judgment and lack of respect for the voters he is trying to attract.

Posted by: Pam | September 1, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Is there any phenomenon as predictable as the Democrats attacking someone's family members under the guise of "Quick! Before those nasty Republicans do it to us!"?

Now you're going after a 17 girl. And, simultaneously, commending each other on your historic attempt to "change the way politics is conducted".

Well, what can be expected by people whose strongest political passion is roused by the risk of not being able to legally kill your young.

Of the many, many things of which your empty suit candidate is wrong, the most obvious is his conceit that he will "bring folks together". Speaking from the right: We don't want to be brought together with the cult members of the Obama nation. You are vulgar people, although it must be admitted that your insipid philosophy is perfectly attuned to your shallow, petty world view. So, at least you are consistent, if boring.

Posted by: Hi Hypocrites | September 1, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

There is actually a measurable for your hypocrisy: Read over this blog and average out how many of the Democrats express their regret that the 17 year must endure this attention, which has been brought on by they themselves, led by the Obama team, who as usual lets others do their dirty work.

Get the hankies ready, whiners. It's going to be a bumpy election. This is exactly the kind of savage personal attack that will rile the Republicans.

Posted by: Hi Hypocrites | September 1, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

DeepBlue is right: this story isn't news...At least it shouldn't be...at least it wouldn't be if we hadn't been lectured at for the last 8 years by moralistic Christians who mask their bigotry in the language of "parental responsibility." It's not news but comeuppance and duplicity in the stridently judgmental sure is satisfying.

Posted by: markrw | September 1, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Mccain didn't do his homework. He met this woman 1 time and with her underwhelming resume chose her to appeal to pissed of Hiliary voters. She isn't a game changer but a desperate choice. Wake up!!!!

Posted by: Critic4U | September 1, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I am shocked that the Washington Post would host such a thread.

Posted by: Adam Bryant | September 1, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

To HI Hypocrities what kind of freak are you?? You have the nerve to call Obama backers a cult. You need to be locked up in a mental ward.

Posted by: Critic 4U | September 1, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that the republicans have such a hard time with hypocrisy?

I don't really see anybody here picking on the daughter, nobody is blaming her for what she has done or has had happen to her. It isn't her mother's fault either. It happened.

What we are most concerned with is the utter hypocrisy of the evangelicals and their republican party. And the fact that the republicans are always so willing to dig into the dirt of their opponents's families (Terry Schaivo, Bill and Monica) for political gain, but scream to high heaven when they perceive the same thing is being done to them.

Well republicans, your perceptions are incorrect. Nobody is blaming the daughter, nobody is blaming the mother, we are angry at the hypocrisy of the mother's religion and political party.

Posted by: hyp | September 1, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Worried from NJ, your unsourced comments sound a little unbelievable especially since the quotes within your article contain grammatical mistakes.

Are you trying to say that Obama will abandon Israel? Sounds more like republican fear mongering than real news.

Give us some sources so we can verify or else write your stuff at a fictional blog where it belongs.

Posted by: Used to be from NJ | September 1, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Just a note: I don't usually post back to other posters because it is pretty useless. Everyone has his/her own opinion so you wind up shouting past each other. But I just wanted to point out a couple of facts. to "Hi Hypocrites" who posted at 10:10 PM.
First, the news flash went out via Reuters, a British news agency. I assume that the source was McCain's press conference.
Second, in regard to the Democrats going after the mom and the child: I noticed that Fox News was covering the O'Reilly show as usual today; it was all about this story. Lets see: Dick Morris and Laura Ingraham were both there discussing it with O'Reilly. Not my business to characterize what they thought of it, but it was a lot of coverage. I checked NBC and MSNBC at the same time, and the story was about Hurricane Gustav, and the reporting was from New Orleans and Plaquemines Parish south of N.O. By the way, Plaquemines Parish experienced a lot of flooding today.
I am from the Mississippi area and today I am a lot more concerned about what is going on on the Gulf coast. Whatever happens with politics, will just happen.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Gov Palin totally ignored airline regs that you can not fly after 34 weeks. She was 36 weeks pregnant when she flew from Texas back to Alaska while in labor. This shows no regard for the airline regs that the Republicans are so fond of. No concern for the unborn child as being in labor on a plane can mean oxygen deprivation.
Didn't care about the baby as she went back to work after 3 days before feeding -very difficult in a baby with Down's can be established. I am not surprised her oldest daughter is pregnant. Have a baby get married and get the hell away from her self absorbed Mother. !!!

Posted by: clearheaded in NY ! | September 1, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I just posted a comment regarding coverage of the story, but I don't mean to be "Anonymous." Just forgot to put my name down.

Posted by: Pam | September 1, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Dear Worried in NJ,

Fear mongering is sooooo 2004.
Ain't gonna work this time, pal. You and the rest of the lunatics on the fringe of the far right will have to come up with a different trick this time.
Because us dems, we're gonna fight you back every step of the way.
You throw out a lie like you did in your post, and we will hit you right back with FACTS proving how Reagan, HW Bush and W Bush are to blame for the situation with Iran.
Obama offers a different approach.
That's what CHANGE is all about.
Taking the FAILURES of Republicans and making CHANGES so that we have success.
Get ready for it!

Posted by: Not Worried at All in NC | September 1, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I think most (especially the right-wing nuts) are missing the point. Sarah Palin is strongly for abstinence-only policy. So, either she did not teach that to her own children which makes her a hypocrite or she taught and failed, which is an example of the fact that abstinence-only policy does not work. It's not Bristol Palin shouldn't have done what she did, rather it's about the policy standing of Sarah Palin.

Posted by: terp | September 1, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

All this is an excuse for hateful liberals to use a personal family matter involving a minor as an opportunity for partisan attack.

Of course, we have come to expect such hateful and nastiness from intolerant liberals.

**************************************

Oooooooh, touchy, touchy!

S'matter, the wife got mad at you for not recycling your beer bottles?

Not a single poster on this thread criticised Bristol. However, Gov. Pailn was rightfully questioned on her ability to manage her career and her family affairs.

Additionally, if she is going to advance abstinence education, is it unreasonable to expect a public figure such as herself to practise what she preaches?

As for us progressives being nasty and hateful, well, sadly some of us are.

But when I think about how John Kerry's legitimate military record was trashed by power-hungry right wingers, it doesn't inspire feelings of good will within me.

So, Mr. Morrow, tough nuts; this is a free country, and Americans are permitted to say whatever they wish in the marketplace of ideas - no matter how foolish it may sound.

Posted by: WilliamB1 | September 1, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Ms. A said that the abstinence policy "did not work". I beg to differ. It is obvious that abstinence was not tried. This was no immaculate conception nor will it be a virgin birth.

When I was Associate Dean at a big university we gave out free birth control pills and condoms. There were and still are many pregnancies. Then we gave free abortion insurance to the failures.

Neither abstinence or pills work when not used.

Posted by: Gary Sweeten | September 1, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Now there is a chance that the vice presidency will be held by a woman with all the class of Lynn Spears (i.e. Britney's mother). Just when you think the nation's disgrace cannot be magnified, the GOP figures out how.

Posted by: Anon | September 1, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

It's nonsense to say we must leave the Palin "children" alone. Bristol's decided she's a grown-up, ready to be a parent. Welcome to the adult world.

Posted by: dyliepie | September 1, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

"Didn't work in this case, did it..."

Anne that was "Cold blooded!" Great point. That was with fencer grace too!

I agree. Idealism is one thing, but people need to be practical and accept human nature and urges.

Posted by: GC4Life | September 1, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Worried in NJ, thanks for your lengthy post which had nothing to do whatsoever with poor Bristol's forthcoming shotgun marriage, but was notable for its veiled jingoism and overall intolerance towards peace efforts.

If that isn't making friends and solving problems, I don't know what is!

Posted by: WilliamB1 | September 1, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Mr. WillimaB1's assertion that American citizens have the right to free speech is true, except in colleges and universities run by Liberals. Ask Larry Summers about the right to free speech in those Orwellian Ministries of Truth.

And, should the Democrats control both the White House and Congress, the Fairness Doctrine will be used to extend the Liberal practice of shutting up the opposition where it has the power to do so to radio and television.

Here's a piece of information for you professor/propagandists: 1984 was a cautionary fable - not a blueprint.

Posted by: Hi Hypocrites | September 1, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

"I am shocked that the Washington Post would host such a thread.

Posted by: Adam Bryant | September 1, 2008 10:17 PM "

Are you kidding? Liberal hatred is the foundation of the Post blogs. Go to any of the Post blogs and you will find that it is 95% hateful and bigoted liberals. The Post thrives off of stories like this.

I hope that none of the hateful lberals ever find themselves in a family crisis and recieve such hatred from strangers. Political partisanship has caused liberals to forget the basic rules of civilized humans.

Going after an innocent 17 year old is par for the course for the liberal bigots on Post boards.

Posted by: rmorrow | September 1, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

If the Republicans hadn't been such pricks about unwed mothers all these years, I wouldn't care about Palin's daughter getting knocked up. So much for family values. This election is about emancipating our country from the control of the do-as-I-say-not-that-there's-anything-wrong-when-I-do-it religious hypocrites.

Posted by: The Wolf | September 1, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

TYpical morrow, you miss the point entirely.
Nobody is going after the daughter, not one person here has said anything bad about here.

It's the HYPOCRISY YOU FREAKIN IDIOT.
Not only are you rightwingnuts out trying to tell everybody else how to live, and trying to LEGISLATE those demands into existence, but you are also not living up to those same demands.

It sure looks like do what I say and not what I do.
PUnish those who disagree, but no punishement for those of us who do agree, but don't do it anyway.

Posted by: typical | September 1, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I know girls from high school who got pregnant despite the fact that we had detailed sex ed and access to free contraception.

Do you hateful liberals think that is proof that sex ed and free contraception is a failure and is descredited?

Of course not. That's why you are a bunch of liberal hypocrites.

Posted by: rmorrow | September 1, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I now girls from high school who had lots of sex and never did get pregnant or catch stds. Some of them were "good christians" too.

That has nothing to do with this. Why don't you adress the hypocrisy Morrow, are you blind to it?

Posted by: typical | September 1, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

"TYpical morrow, you miss the point entirely.
Nobody is going after the daughter, not one person here has said anything bad about here."

That is a lie. Plenty of people here are attacking her. Are you blind or just a liar?

"It's the HYPOCRISY YOU FREAKIN IDIOT.
Not only are you rightwingnuts out trying to tell everybody else how to live, and trying to LEGISLATE those demands into existence, but you are also not living up to those same demands."

You know nothing about my views on the subject. I am pro sex ed, but I am anti-attacking little girls.

Do you understand the difference? Do you feel stupid for making assumptions that anyone who is disgusted by personal attacks on a 17 year old girl isn't neccessarily your bigoted version of a consevative.

"It sure looks like do what I say and not what I do. PUnish those who disagree, but no punishement for those of us who do agree, but don't do it anyway."

What are you rambling about? Who is being punished? You just want to turn anyone who doesn't share your narrow, hateful and intolerant views as a villian.

Hey look, if you hateful liberals think that this issue is the most important one to discuss today, it says a mountain about how unserious you are and how driven you are by petty socially divisive issues.

You guys are just as hateful and intolerant as the old Jerry Falwell crowd. You just funnel your mindless hate in another direction.

Posted by: rmorrow | September 1, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

At least Bristol and her boyfriend didn't use an evil condom.

Posted by: A. Reader | September 1, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Here is how you react to this.

First close your eyes and imagine that Chelsea Clinton turned up unmarried and pregnant while her mother was still running for President.

Next, imagine what Limbaugh and the rest of the Republican slime machine would say about this. Consider how long they would keep in on the forefront of their programming and consider how many hours a day they would harp on it.

This is how far you can go with this. As far as the Republicans would take it were the shoe on the other foot.

Posted by: MorganaLeFay | September 1, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

It's simple. According to the "family values" of her own party, this woman failed in her basic responsibility to parent her daughter toward a sensible, adult, and mature life. Imagine the job she would do with this country.

Posted by: Lost in Texas | September 1, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

"I now girls from high school who had lots of sex and never did get pregnant or catch stds. Some of them were "good christians" too.

That has nothing to do with this. Why don't you adress the hypocrisy Morrow, are you blind to it?

Posted by: typical | September 1, 2008 11:17 PM"

Your logic is pathetic.

We all know plenty of people who had sex without getting pregnant or stds. I know. I was one of them. So, I don't know who you stupid point was directed at.

Let me go slow so the dumber liberals can understand.

You folks are claiming that because Palin supports abstinence education and her daughter got pregnant:

a) One or both of them are "hypocrites"

b) Abstinence-only education has been proven ineffective

Do you also think that if a mother provides her child contraception, yet that child gets pregnant:

a) One or both of them are "hypocrites"

b) Contraception education has been proven ineffective.

If you believe one, you have to believe the other or you are a hypocrite. I presonally believe that neither is the case, that a mother's politics are not necessarily the politics of the child, and that teenagers of all political persusasions get pregnant. I also think that attacking a 17 year old girl for political reasons is the behavior of a scumbag.

Posted by: rmorrow | September 1, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

"First close your eyes and imagine that Chelsea Clinton turned up unmarried and pregnant while her mother was still running for President."

You would never know about it because, until now, the press respected the privacy of minor children of politicians. Yoru argument is moot.

Posted by: rmorrow | September 1, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Hope and change = attack 17 year old girl for getting pregnant

That's the kind of hope and change America is waiting for! With their focus on important issues like this, Democrats can't lose in November!

Nighty night hate mongers. Enjoy your anonymous trashing of 17 year old girl you never met. How progressive.

Posted by: rmorrow | September 1, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that Sarah and Todd Palin are excited about the impending arrival of their grandchild--who wouldn't be? But my heart goes out to them. Doesn't everyone with children want them to get good educations, have solid financial footings, and be physically and emotionally mature before taking on the responsibility of children? To me, one of the major pitfalls of the teenage years is unplanned pregnancy and the derailing of a child's potential.

However, there is simply no way that I can now support McCain-Palin. I have a 5 year-old daugher and I do not want Bristol Palin held up as a role model for my child.

I fully agree that Bristol Palin's pregnancy is a private matter and I would like for it to stay that way. I certainly do not want my daughter to get the idea that getting pregnant and/or married at 17 is something to which she should aspire. Therefore, I do not want to see Sarah Palin or any of her family in the White House.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

YESTERDAY REPUBLICANS: Palin is an example of what America needs, Democrats are desecrating family values (gay marriage, babykilling) and are the scum of the earth!

TODAY'S REPUBLICANS:
Anybody can make a mistake! Democrats should stop being so judgmental! you guys have no heart!!!

LOL!! HILARIOUS!!!!!!

My faith is renewed, indeed GOD CANNOT STOMACH HIPOCRITES!

Posted by: MOTHER TIME | September 2, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

"No-one is passing judgment on the daughter."
Everyone is passing judgment on the daughter. You yourself are holding her up as an example of her mothers poor judgment.

"The issue is whether the mother is someone we think has the character and strength to be president."
How does this speak to her character Gary? Are you suggesting she is duplicitous in her daughters problems? Do you think she knew her little cupcake was getting deflowered? I don't agree with Sarah Palins politics, I would never vote for Sarah Palin but from what I know about Sarah Palin, she's not involved as anything other than an agonized parent.
"As noted above, if her family is a mess, how can she manage our country?"
Because you don't manage your family, Gary. You pray over them, you talk to them and quite often you just shake your head and hope they don't ruin there lives before the smarten up a little bit.
Apples and oranges, babe.
That said, she's got major issues when it comes to professional judgment. I would refer you to the trooper gate scandal for a better look at how she would handle being vice president.

Posted by: dijetlo | September 2, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

This goes right to the heart of what is wrong with right wring Christian teachings.

For a child to grow up and be a productive member of our society, they must internalize well thought out values, have guidance and discipline (discipline does not mean punishment), the practice of helpful habits like respect of others, a connection to all humanity throughtout the world, respect for themselves and in their abilities, hope for creating a positive future. How do they get that?

By being treated with respect themselves, seeing their family members show respect for others, having their questions answered as they grow with respect to their understanding and being given the opportunity to make choices with guidance and knowledge throughout their lives.

This limited Christian view dictates what they should believe, makes morality an outside in experience, limits their view of the world around them, and leaves them helpless in a sexual world without the tools to protect themselves.

Most importantly dictatorship does not lead to self respect or respect for others, the two main ingredients for making mindfull, compassionate decisions.

Posted by: Mary Ellen | September 2, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I was already having trouble with McCain as our candidate, but I will not for him now due to Sarah Palin. My own daughter was appalled. I was hoping for a "clean" ticket and this is not the one. Obama gave a good speech, but I'm not totally convinced. That could change. At least all of Obama's skeletons are out and done with.

Posted by: Cindy | September 2, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Conservative Republicans pride themselves on family values and say Democrats have none, but here they are caught out twice in one week in their own hypocrisy, for isn't the most important family value of all that of taking care of children? Sarah Palin and her family were put forward as the shining example of what a "good" conservative Republican, evangelical Christian mother and her family should be, an example we should all emulate.


Sarah Palin fails in that regard in at least two instances. Her Down Syndrome baby needs her now, when he is at his most vulnerable, in the first year of life. But she is gallivanting around the country, pursuing her ambitions, so he's going to have to make do while Mommy has her day in the limelight.

Now her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. Mom opposes sex education and birth control, opting instead for abstinence-only education. As Dr. Phil would say, how well did that work for your daughter, Ms. Palin? Or perhaps, as with her baby, she was too busy pursuing her own ambitions to be VP to be there for her daughter when she went out with her boyfriend and came home from her dates and may have wanted to talk.

So much for the vaunted family values of the Republicans--another sham that they pick up when they can use them as a weapon against anyone that opposes them but that they quickly drop when it becomes inconvenient for their political agenda.

It's so beautiful this is coming out now and that conservatives and evangelical Christians are having to turn themselves inside out and upside down in order to align their so-called values with the behavior of their chosen Republican role models.

What is it the Bible says, something about forgiving others if you want to be forgiven yourself? Conservative Republicans refused to forgive liberal Democrats, and now having refused forgiveness to others, they want it for themselves? I'm sorry, but I think Jesus said if you don't forgive others, God will not forgive you, and He would know, wouldn't he?


Posted by: leilani | September 2, 2008 3:55 AM | Report abuse

"Didn't work, did it". EXCUSE ME???
Abstinence always works.
The fact that preachers kids sometimes act inappropriately, doesn't mean that the sermon isn't right on.
Abstinence didn't fail...sometimes children, even children of role models, fail to practice it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Ms Applebaum,


...the language from the 2004 party platform:

"Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS."


Which part of the above sentence can be refuted?

"Therefore, we support doubling abstinence education funding. We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for contraception and abortion."


Contraception education makes sense, although many of us who were well aware of safe sex still had occasional unprotected sex as teens. As an adult, I do not believe it`s the public school system who should be giving children referrals to abortion clinics without parental knowledge. Surely we can find some middle ground between the wacko lefties and righties.

Posted by: bender1 | September 2, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree. Palin's daughter's decisions whether to have premarital sex, keep a baby, and get married at 17 are HER business. She should be left alone.

If my daughter did the same thing, she should be left alone.

Similarly, if she decided to not get married, and raise the child as a single mother, she should be left alone.

Likewise, if she decided to give up the baby for adoption, she should be left alone.

On the same note, if she decided that she is not ready to give birth and wanted to terminate the pregnancy, she should be left alone.

It's very simple. Do you want people to respect your privacy, let your family make its own decisions free of guilt and judgment, and leave you alone? THEN DO THE SAME FOR EVERYONE ELSE AND LEAVE US ALONE!!

Posted by: BigMikeinDC | September 2, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I would like to suggest that we change any reference to the Monica Lewinsky scandal to "the Clinton intern scandal." It does not seem fair that Ms. Lewinsky continues to be named while Clinton is not.

Posted by: Betsy Barber | September 2, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I've started a three purpose website in regards to this story

1 To separate fact from fiction in regards to Sarah Palin

2 To write about Alaska

3 A girlfriend and myself are being stalked by a violent sociopath career criminal drug dealer-for the past four days I have been unable to communicate with her-police are on the case but I want to get the word out if something has happened or is happening to her

The website can be found here:

www.sarahpalinrumorcheck.blogspot.com

Posted by: Rodney | September 2, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Palin is a hypocrite! Her statement: "We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents."

'Decision' to have her baby? Did Bristol REALLY have a choice? The same choice that Palin now wants to deny all Americans?

Palin would not be a hypocrite if she said "We forced Bristol keep her baby and are proud to become grandparents."

Posted by: Buddydog | September 2, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't Mr. Gerson come up with a new article to apply his Evangelical Republican spin to?? I'm waiting!!

I want to ridicule not Mr. Gerson PER SE, but the hypocritical gun-toting, meth using "religious right", you know, the people of this earth that are closest to God and believe in "His judgment" for people who have not followed his word.

The same ones who believe in separatism for the State of Alaska, you know what I mean! The same people who invoke the name of God, over and over, in public speeches and elsewhere, just as Adolph Hitler did in Germany before he began exterminating human beings.

Posted by: sanity | September 3, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't give a damn what her daughter and crazy boyfriend do.

Palin is a fake selling snake oil with John McCain. Just wait and see if they manage to get elected!

Posted by: sanity | September 3, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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