Sara Whitman

Sarah Palin Comes Out: Her Daughter is Pregnant

Filed By Sara Whitman | September 01, 2008 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: election 2008, John McCain, Palin pregnancy rumor, Palin's daughter, Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin just came out and acknowledged her daughter Bristol's pregnancy.

I was wrong. Palin did not fake her pregnancy. I have no idea how she looked like that but she did.

I have to admit, I was not only quick to judge, but quick to jump on the bandwagon that said she had faked a pregnancy to cover up for her daughter. If it were a man running for office, would I have drawn the same conclusions?

Am I being sexist in taking this tact against Palin?

I think so.

Time for pause.


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I have no idea if she faked her pregnancy or not, but the fact that she came out about her daughter's pregnancy now isn't evidence that she told the truth before.

Ricci - Palin's son is 4 months old. Her daughter Bristol, the one who is supposedly the mother, is 5 months pregnant. And that's still not good enough for you.

I know you really, really, really, really, really, really, really want to believe, but frankly, the whole smear campaign is now looking not just foetid, but batshit crazy. Andrew Sullivan is still demanding medical records.

This is doing the Left immense harm.

I mean what's next? Claiming McCain was the father? That's a serious question BTW, as it seems there's as much raving lunacy on the Left ow as there is in CWA, FOF, and even the Westboro Baptists.

Our most powerful weapon in support of GLBT rights is being able to show that those who oppose them are certifiably insane people, steeped in hate.

But if the Right - people like me - can show that the same kind of malicious sexism is mainstream in the Left, not just a crazy old aunt collecting Weeties in a stamp album in a back room, then the Left will take a huge hit.

Robert, I agree with you. My post was hasty. I didn't know the age of the baby Trig, but if she's less than 5 months pregnant, like, maybe just three months pregnant, it could still have been her baby. BUT - that's irrelevant.

I, personally, (and I made my own post here yesterday that was delayed in posting), think this isn't an issue for political debate. It's a distraction from the truly important issues -

1. Can Palin fill the office of VP
2. If that means taking over as President of the United States if McCain is dead or unable to perform his duties, is she the person we want at the helm of this country?
3. What are there positions on the issues that matter in this greater world beyond one poor, scared pregnant youth?

"We" pounce on opportunities like this (in my rarely humble opinion) out of frustration at the years and years of fingers that have pointed at "us", legislation that's been passed - or denied - because of who we are and how we chose to live our lives - whether it's LGBT, kink, sex work, the right to access abortion and birth control, etc.

This child didn't have a platform. This young person had sex - which, in this country in the laws and social atmosphere her mother and her mother's party work so hard to ensure - is frowned upon unless you're heterosexual (we assume she is), over an arbitrary age (we don't know what that age is), and married (we know she wasn't, but she will be now).

You're right - Obama was phenomenal. I couldn't be happier with his response. It made me very proud of "us".

I, personally, (and I made my own post here yesterday that was delayed in posting), think this isn't an issue for political debate. It's a distraction from the truly important issues -

1. Can Palin fill the office of VP 2. If that means taking over as President of the United States if McCain is dead or unable to perform his duties, is she the person we want at the helm of this country? 3. What are there positions on the issues that matter in this greater world beyond one poor, scared pregnant youth?

Well, yes.

I expect the Left to keep on being distracted though. Now that's great for McCain's election chances, but pretty darn lousy for the purposes of making sure the US has a good government, regardless of whether it's red or blue.

As someone on the Right, it's heartbreaking to see the same partisan stupidity on "our side" as well. Obama should be asked questions about the endemic corruption in Illinois, and his role in funnelling funds to various shady characters. The $100 million that went to worthwhile causes run by unrepentant (former) domestic terrorists, with nothing to show for it. But no, because the corruption in Illinois is totally bi-partisan, "our side" just as bad as "their side", instead we get overtly racist and utterly stupid witch-hunts about how secular or otherwise his primary school was back in Indonesia. Whisky Tango Foxtrot???

For Goodness' sake, are there no ADULTS around any more? People who will be looking at the freakin' issues? Thanks for a breath of sanity, Sara. The Left needs more like you. Sometimes I think the Right needs them even more.

I just want to point out that Andrew Sullivan is a conservative. I'm not aware that those rumors were especially generated by the left. More likely wags from Alaska. I don't think the story saw the light of day until reporters went up there.

I mean what's next? Claiming McCain was the father?

No, I heard it was Edwards.

*grins*

Her youngest son has Down Syndrome. The likelihood of a teenager giving birth to a Down child is so much less than a 40 year old woman. Give the woman a break. She has a pregnant teenage daughter, which is hard enough without 300 million people knowing and judging.

When she wags her finger at us over gay marriage and same sex partner benefits, 300 million people have an absolute right to know and judge.

Greg, I'm not sure the person being judged is Gov. Palin so much as her daughter. To have 300 million eyes suddenly turned on you and passing judgement when you are seventeen and haven't done anything out of the ordinary seems extreme.

As for passing judgement on the parenting skills of Sarah Palin, I don't think we can hold a parent accountable for the choices made by their children. Teenagers often act recklessly or impulsively - parents can't control that.

you know, regardless of whether she told the truth or not, it's about women's bodies.

and I have spoken to a doctor friend- teens with a down's baby is almost beyond rare.

yes, greg, you are right. standing up and saying we suck while she has a pregnant "unwed" daughter sucks but... I wrote this earlier today to a list, and I'm still thinking...

I took a long hard look at my own bias around this issue. on one hand, I not only don't care about how she chose to have her child, I think it's wrong to poke into it. it's privacy and to hear people discuss leaking amniotic fluid (which, by the way, can come out in a tiny little trickle), I was horrified. we don't talk about John McCain's penis and whether or not it can get erect, we don't don't about men's bodies, why are we talking about a woman's body?

we should know better. the women's movement declared our bodies off limits to public decision making.

On the other hand, to think she 'covered up' her daughter's teen pregnancy felt incredibly hypocritical. Like closeted gay republican politicians that fight hard against gay rights, to have someone fight against reproductive freedom (which INCLUDES birth control) be lying about her daughter's pregnancy for any reason- well, the moment was ripe to uncover the lies.

Stepping back... I have to wonder... do I want Obama to be under this kind of scrutiny? Do I want Michelle Obama to go through this kind of public undressing? will we start to comparing birth stories and decide who did it in a more responsible way?

this is starting to feel like a slippery slope. it's the kind of morality argument that is used against the LGBT community all the time.

Sara,
Would you consider her daughter's pregnancy another "Abstinence-Only" success story? Bush should be so proud. (sarcasm)

this is starting to feel like a slippery slope. it's the kind of morality argument that is used against the LGBT community all the time.

I have even heard multiple people actually arguing that this is a problem for Palin because she could have been blackmailed about it.

There are just so many ways to go after palin that don't involve torturing 17 year olds. We don't know anything about these peoples' home lives, and a national media circus has never been a good way to promote morality of any sort. Leave Bristol Palin alone, and focus on how horrible McCain and Sarah Palin will be for the country.

this is starting to feel like a slippery slope. it's the kind of morality argument that is used against the LGBT community all the time.
But it's all right when we do it, as we're so much better than they are....

No.

Sara, thank goodness there's some sanity left. You recognise that you were on the brink, and gave pulled back and said "what could I have been thinking????" This whole thing was foetid from the start.

There'll be many on the Left who will say "Oh, but the Right wouldn't think twice about persecuting the mother of Downes syndrome kid, nor publicly crucifying her daughter, the teenage unwed mother! The Ends justify the means, and anything we do to stop the ChimpyBushHailburton Zionist Entity is justified. They are EVIL and we are not. We're the good guys, so can do no wrong".

To those in the Left-centre, Right-centre, and independents, this will not play well.

This is no longer about Left vs Right. It's the Sane vs the Crazy. And both groups are equally represented in the GOP and DNC. The difference is, the Dominionists and Christian Taliban are not mainstream on the Right - not yet, anyway.

If McCain gets elected, it won't be because the US voters are wildly enthused by him. It will be because the DNC will be perceived as being driven by insane hatred. Calls for show trials of political opponents, that kind of thing.

"The difference is, the Dominionists and Christian Taliban are not mainstream on the Right - not yet, anyway."

Really??? Not from where I sit. It has gotten slightly better in the last year or two. But when religous right groups have veto power over GOP candidates, and have for decades, I'd say they're in control. Everyone knows that if McCain had his druthers, his running mate would be Leiberman.

I think, quite seriously, that she's the poster child for christian parents who are trying sooooo hard to teach morals to their children.

even good people get hit with teen pregnancy. check out the FRC's response... this is not back-firing.

this is fuel for the fire.

and I don't spell my name with an 'h.'

heathen that I am...

Sara,
I'm not getting down on Palin because of her daughter and you are right about good parents. It has nothing to do with her parenting skills. It has to do with the Bush Abstinence-Only policy. Palin could actually blame her daughter's pregnancy on this failed policy . . . one that she supports. One doesn't even have to mention her daughter when talking with her and just ask her opinion on the policy.

"Do you support Abstinence-Only education when it comes to sex?"

"Yes."

"So, you are okay with unmarried teenage girls getting pregnant when the schools could have given them choices in protecting themselves?"

"You're talking about my daughter!"

"No, you're talking about your daughter. I'm talking about the Bush Abstinence-Only policy."

Seems a simple way to bring out her hypocrisy.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | September 1, 2008 8:29 PM

Step back for a minute and think about how different the reaction would be if Palin were Black or Latino and had announced that her 17 daughter was pregnant. FRC and the morals patrol on the right would have been frothing at the mouth talking about bad parenting, lack of Christian values and the permissiveness promoted in pop culture.

I am not saying that to say that we should be raising the issues with regard to the real life Palin situation, but just to point out how cynically social conservatives use their outrage (or in this case, lack of outrage) over teen pregnancy. It would be even worse if the instead of a pregnant daughter it was a teen-aged gay boy who had become HIV positive.

I am not really interested in what goes on in the Palin family, but I am amazed and disgusted that Palin and others like her think that they should be able to make family decisions in private while they try to legislate what options other families have.

"Step back for a minute and think about how different the reaction would be if Palin were Black or Latino and had announced that her 17 daughter was pregnant."

Excellent point.

"FRC and the morals patrol on the right would have been frothing at the mouth talking about bad parenting, lack of Christian values and the permissiveness promoted in pop culture."

BINGO!

"It would be even worse if the instead of a pregnant daughter it was a teen-aged gay boy who had become HIV positive."

Of course she can become HIV+ and pregnant as a heterosexual girl.

There isn't much discussion about the wisdom of putting her daughter through this scrutiny by accepting this nomination. And on top of putting her baby through this candidacy, and the hypocracy factor of being against sex ed and condoms in schools, how can she be considered a traditional familiy's values candidate?

I am honestly uninterested in her daughter's sexual history or pregnancy status. I AM very interested in the Governor's policy history and expreience, such as it is.....nearly non-existent.

Years ago, When I was visiting this country on business, I remeber snickers from attorneys in Manhattan about Bush I's contention that "Dan Quayle is qualified to lead."

This seems more of the McSame....

Today when I was checking out the news footage about this I took a good look at the pictures of her daughter.I saw a scared young woman with an unhappy upset look in many of the pictures.She's 17 five months pregnant and doesn't need to be crucified to feed the American political meat grinder.She needs to be allowed to be her age and spared the bad press even if it means giving her mother a free pass on this subject.While being 17 and pregnant may not be the same as being lgbt none the less it has had to be a tough one for her given her family's position and now her mothers VP acceptance.I think I can afford her some compassion and a hope she gets through this allright and without unnecessary guilt for making a mistake many teens do.

Stepping back... I have to wonder... do I want Obama to be under this kind of scrutiny? Do I want Michelle Obama to go through this kind of public undressing? will we start to comparing birth stories and decide who did it in a more responsible way?

Too late, Sara.
Michelle Obama has been under scrutiny ever since her husband declared he was running for the presidency. From the GOP trying to raise hell about her Princeton senior thesis to them trying to make her look like an Angela Davis clone.

I don't have any sympathy for either Botox Barbie or Sarah Palin. If you're gonna hold Michelle Obama to some lofty standard that shifts every time the GOP opens its mouth, then I'm applying the same lofty standard to the other women in this presidential race who don't share her ethnic heritage.

Let's see, one party's Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates are solidly married, one to only one woman, the other remarried only after being widowed.

The other: the Presidential nominee was a bigamist who dumped a woman who waited for his return from a POW camp in favor of a rich shrew, while his running mate has such strong family values that her daughter has been knocked up at 17.

Which ticket is the real family values ticket?

Which ticket will the family values bleaters going to be supporting?

Families come in all shapes, sizes, orientation, and genders. Maybe this will be the year the so-called "family" groups learn that. More likely, pigs will be taxiing to runways. They've been hypocrites for years; this nomination proves it.


I worry about her daughter and I do feel that families and kids are off limits, but I'm not willing to completely ignore the story in the sense that I wonder why she would accept this offer knowing what scrutiny her daughter would be going thru, at the same time it really resonates in my mind that this woman does not believe in contraception, so much that here she has just had a baby, and might continue re-producing all thru her duties should McCain win in the General Election and I think wow she won't be our best advocate for safe sex or any HIV. AIDS programs as it is obvious this abstinence only stance is more than a belief or lip service but something she supports, believes and obviously practices, that is kinda scary.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | September 2, 2008 3:52 AM

No matter how this cuts why is it women always carry more of the burden? Whether it is Michelle Obama, the Palins, their children why do politics seem to have to equal keeping women on the defensive.

Barack Obama made me proud when he said that children of candidates are off limits and anyone in his organization who commented would lose their job.

On a stealth level, anything that keeps the fundies in their prayer bunkers instead of the polling booths on election day. In a public manner our whole country has so much healing to do. We have so much potential if we can abandon hate and much of it around the world is toward women.

I will repeat again that I think any attacks- or perceived attacks- on Palin or her daughter will backfire in our faces.

it will make her an even more sympathetic person.

and the last thing in the world we need is sympathetic on the republican ticket.

I think we stick to Alaska being close to Russia does not make her a foreign policy expert and go after McCain for his lack of family values.

I agree. I think the majority of parents in this country can relate to the fear of a daughter getting pregnant. This gives them a lot of sympathy for Palin, which would hurt Democrats if they try to push the issue.

I don't get it, and I'm not it's not true, why we think that any personal attacks on Republicans will backfire but not any personal attacks on Democrats.

Republicans made up attacks on Kerry's military record. If Democrats were planning on doing something similar to McCain, hundreds of liberals would speak out against it, not because of its morality or immorality, but because they'd say that it'd backfire by making us look crazy.

If Obama had a 17-year-old daughter and he announced that she was unmarried and pregnant, the right would stop at nothing to make that an issue and no one one the right would be worried that it would make them look crazy or unsympathetic. And it would probably help them win an election.

But people consider doing that to a Republican and, whoa, we can't get personal. People would think that Democrats are mean.

I'm not saying that specifically about this post. George Lakoff just wrote a similar entry on the Huff Po. Several journalists are already saying that if Biden shows off the fact that he knows more at the VP debate than Palin does, he'll come off as beating up a poor, defenseless woman (arguing that with their typical lack of self-awareness that prevents them from seeing that they'd be the ones pushing that narrative).

It's not that any of this is true or untrue, but I want to know how we got to a place where any personal attack on a Democrat or his/her family is OK but not a Republican or his/her family. Is it how the Republicans do it? Is it the fact that our traditional media is in bed with the Right?

"If Democrats were planning on doing something similar to McCain, hundreds of liberals would speak out against it, not because of its morality or immorality, but because they'd say that it'd backfire by making us look crazy."

I think that liberals would speak out because of the immorality of it. I would, and that's what I'd expect from my fellow liberals. And it's because we know the effects of scurrilous attacks. It's the "do unto others... " thing.

I think the reason the Republicans pull it off is because they are Morally Indignant and True Believers. People tend to be brushed back ferocity.

There seems to be an assumption that liberals don't have *any* values, rather than different ones. So therefore, we can't be truly outraged; just political opportunists.

There seems to be an assumption that liberals don't have *any* values, rather than different ones. So therefore, we can't be truly outraged; just political opportunists.
Given the racist and sexist treatment that Michelle Malkin and Condi Rioe have received from a small but vocal minority on the left, it's not so much an assumption as a not completely incorrect perception.

There are embarrassing assholes on both sides of politics.

The sooner both sides clean up their act, the better. A functioning democracy requires two opposing parties that are sane.

"Given the racist and sexist treatment that Michelle Malkin and Condi Rioe have received from a small but vocal minority on the left,... "

That's an extremely broad charge to make without any attribution or specifics. Given its scurrilous nature, that hardly seems adequate.

The pick of Palin absolutely shows that John McCain lacks the judgment needed to be POTUS. If he didn't know, he should have. If he did know, he shouldn't have picked her. McCain has a history of mistakes.

No, Obama shouldn't pick on Palin's daughter (I can, however), but he can Palin's total lack of experience and McCain's poor judgment in picking her, as a litmus test of electability. However, he won't have to. She has to debate Biden, after all. He will eat her lunch in a way that only Dan Quayle can understand.

it is interesting that a "unidentified" staff member said McCain was pissed he didn't get his first two choices- lieberman or ridge.

seems johnny does blow his stack a bit, huh?

not sure I want him in control of the big red button.