I don't understand all the praise I'm hearing from Republicans and Christian conservatives about Bristol Palin (the 17-year-old daughter of VP pick Sarah Palin) doing the right thing by having her baby and marrying the baby's father.
Is it a good idea for any 17-year-old high school student to raise her baby--and to do so with the baby's 18-year-old father, especially when that father is a self-described "f*#%in' redneck" who doesn't want children? Doesn't this sound like a prescription for disaster for everyone involved? (Don't even think about arguing with me over whether teenagers are well-equipped to be parents--with extraordinarily few exceptions they're not.)
Who benefits from this misguided scenario? Bristol? The baby? Bristol's boyfriend? The grandparents (who are looking forward to being "proud grandparents")? John McCain and the Republican Party?
This story is all about failure. Our failure to educate teens about how to deal with their sexuality (well beyond the mechanics of reproduction and abstinence). The failure of Bristol and her boyfriend, Levi Johnston, to use a condom every time. The failure of Bristol's parents to consider what is best for their daughter and grandchild. It's also a failure of good judgment. Whether or not Sarah Palin is qualified to be vice president (and she's clearly not), why would she catapult her teenaged daughter into the eye of a national media storm at such a challenging moment in her life?
The sad fact is that Bristol Palin has no choice when it comes to her future. So when Sarah Palin speaks of her daughter's "decision" to have the baby, keep it, and to raise it with the father who she will soon marry, she's being less than honest. There were no decisions to be made because Bristol's parents and her church have left her with no options other than those announced to the national press. The Republicans may claim that this is all about family values. To me it sounds more like crime and punishment.