Tuesday, September 02, 2008

You Go, Sarah Barracuda!

So it looks like the Palin family and the McCain campaign have finally found a way to put one nasty rumor to bed. Of course they've used a tactic that none of us expected- they announced that Sarah and Todd Palin's 17-year-old-daughter is indeed pregnant now. They say that she is "about five months" along the way. I wonder if the dirty deed was accomplished before or after Bristol got over her nasty bout with mononucleosis. I guess we know what she was doing during her 5 months of bed-rest while away from school. Anyway, the time-line (if accurately reported) would indeed seem to rule out that Trig is her baby. For some reason, a lot of Palin's fanatical supporters believe this somehow should suspend any investigations into her family's life. But that's a ridiculous supposition.

As I've noted before, Sarah Palin has politicized her personal life by claiming to represent the "family values" plank of the Republican platform. Indeed she led off with an introduction to her growing clan in her acceptance speech. She wanted potential voters to get to know what she is about. First and foremost she proudly proclaimed that she is a "hockey mom". And the Christian Right Social Conservatives ate that up. They applauded her decision to birth a child that she knew had Down's Syndrome. They cited her parenting as "executive experience". Who else can we count on to potentially lead our country, if not a good mother? So now when I am told that it is inappropriate, cruel, and/or wrong to shed light on her family life, I have to call "bullshit"*.

When I heard about the rumors that questioned the maternity of Trig, I immediately went on record as saying I considered them a distraction. I wasn't going to form any conclusions before I got as much information as possible. I decided instead to take Sarah Palin at face value, and confront her version of Trig's birth. You should know that well by now- it's the tale of her following through with a political speech in Texas while her amniotic fluid was trickling down her leg. It's the one wherein Ms. Palin is aware of the fetus' disability, and the attending risks of delivery... whereby she completes her speech and gets on an 8-hour airplane flight. She doesn't alarm the on-flight staff of her difficulties. She grins-and-bears her premature labor. After all, she's hunted moose!

Finally Ms. Palin touches down in Anchorage, where the state's most advanced and equipped medical facilities reside. But she chooses instead to be driven to her hometown doctor. She pops out the kid, regroups, and returns to work three days later. She juggles her Blackberry and her breast pump. This is the conservative version of heroic motherhood. What strength she has! She would never let parenthood get in the way of her work; she just lets her family accentuate her career. That's why she sure she can step up to the plate if something happens to McCain. Her kids will be alright. She has a large extended family. She ALSO so happens to have a pregnant daughter that we've just been informed about. But Ms. Palin is super-lady... all things to all Republicans.

What's remarkable is that she's as equally comfortable in knee-high go-go boots and a short skirt as she is all buttoned-down and preaching the benefits of abstinence-only education in our high schools. You know the type of educational institution I'm talking about- the kind that daughter Bristol recently spent 5 months away from. We should all be so lucky as that lovely teen-aged girl. She has a super-involved mama who can properly care for her disabled infant, give mothering advice to her kids, and assume the presidency should the worst-case scenario occur. In the meantime she just has to go on the road for a bit before she gets a super promotion that allows her to sit around and consider how her new job will best benefit Alaskans. You go, Sarah Barracuda!

* Here's another question that's gnawing at me- If the Palins were so concerned about Bristol's privacy, why did they choose to throw their kid under the bus when it became politically expedient to do so? If they were genuinely concerned about making sure her pregnancy did not become an issue, they could have simply kept her out of the public eye for the next two months. That's what they wanted to do anyway. Instead they decide to quell those "nasty rumors" by dropping the dime on their daughter. They could have simply released Trig's birth records instead, and everyone would have gotten red in the face and slinked away. Something is definitely rotten in the Great White North Territory. This needs to be addressed. The Palin family and the McCain campaign have made it all fair game right from the beginning.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this is sounding all too much like a search for aliens. Repeatedly mentioning something as a rumor as an attempt to legitimize and extend it, when there is clearly proof of her pregnancy (have you seen the multiple photos of her obviously pregnant?) Do you believe they were faked? Do you believe the current situation her daughter finds herself does not conflict with claims that was the mother of the other baby as well? Why not give this a break and get on to discussing issues. There must be issues other than personal life and pro versus anti-choice. I understand why you justify it as fair game since you contend it was opened by the other side, but does that make it appropriate and the correct path? And, by the way, what's wrong with mini-skirts?

5:45 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


Haha... you've perfectly anticipated the post I wrote today and plan to put up tomorrow. It'll explain how I feel about validating a "family values" plank. I don't necessarily want to give it away now. It's way too much fun to watch what's happening.

I will say this though- I wasn't the one that first mentioned the rumors on this blog. And I've clearly stated that I think that they are a distraction. I think that's clearly communicated in the blog that you are responding to.

PS: Mini-skirts lack the appropriate "gravitas" for the executive administration of our country. It would be like a male president wearing shorts. She comes off looking like a tart in that picture. Once again, she's trying to be "all things to all people", and failing miserably. How can you be a sexy, swinging girl AND be the paragon of family values? Sorry, I'm not buying it.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The eight hour flight doesn't include the stopover in Denver or Seattle.

I find her judgment in the circumstances, suicidal. Downs babies typically have respiratory and heart difficulties...particularly a premie.

Fine, take that risk for yourself but not the baby. they dodged a bullet.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they could have simply kept her out of the public eye for the next two months

Not likely, given the scrutiny of the press and blogosphere.

IMO she shouldn't have accepted the offer knowing how closely she'd be investigated....to say nothing of having a baby. Too much ambition.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, comparing her in a mini-skirt to a President wearing shorts is a inappropriate comparison. First, she is not the President. Are ypou suggesting that any man who wore shorts before a candidacy was announced is summarily disqualified. Mmmm...I have to check those JFK family shots once again. Second, and I'm not saying you are, but if you're talking about "that picture" (as you say it) of her in a miniskirt and revealing top circulating around the Internet, you might want to think again.. I doubt that was shot as part of her public life (it was in a kitchen), and in any case it appears that it may be a composite; i.e.; her head on another woman's body. Oh, the power of Photoshop and the new press. If you have others of her in mini-skirts and revealing outfits, please send them my way for further analysis judgment. :-)


7:57 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


I think you are missing the point. We've already had this interchange. This is about the way she is being sold to the nation. If you listen to conservative pundits talk about her, you'll notice how many of them refer to her as sexy, hot, etc. For god's sake, she's the one that's playing up her beauty pageant past. Have you actually read how she talks about herself and her appearance? Why don't you share the context of the photo I linked to? What was the message of that particular blogger? Go back and look at it again.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I was missing a point. I was making a couple. In stating that a woman who has not yet been nominated wearing a mini-skirt is akin to a male president wearing shorts, you've stretched that logic beyond reasonableness. Males who have been president have worn shorts, and she is not the President. Second, the photo is an obvious fake, as has been shown on several blogs. It's a cut and paste of her head when she was wearing an appropriate dress at a social function. I would think, as a photographer, you'd have seen the disconnect and neck that doesn't work with the rest of the body. Those were my points. If you're going to use them in your arguments...well...put in a disclaimer. Now, on the other hand, if you're simply making obfuscating statements to titillate, that I can accept.

I'm having trouble enough with her selection, but I'm reserving judgment on her and her judgments until I hear more reality rather than rumor. Looking forward to her speech, and then meeting the press.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

I hear you... but how about addressing the original post that I linked for you in the other thread. What do you think about that reaction from conservatives? What do you think about their concurrent claim that she is "breaking the glass ceiling"?

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Current prediction(s)...
Obama wins with 54% of the popular vote; the world reacts with reserved optimism. Nothing much changes at least for the first two years of his Presidency.
Biden somehow manages to keep that same public smile for his entire Vice-Presidency, though photogs periodically capture a non-smiling Joe.
McCain eventually retires from public office, retreating to one of his homes (as that six, or seven?)
Palin gets a $1,000,000 advance for her book, "The Beauty Queen Who Would Be President" and goes on a two-year publicity tour.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll give you my thoughts about the reaction from conservatives when I read and hear more.

Re her breaking the glass ceiling, I'd say that was true IF she herself had broken it by climbing up the proverbial ladder with her qualifications and a legitimate process. Seems to me the ceiling was cracked from above, the ladder lowered from the attic, and she was pulled up through a small hole with a surprised (but very pretty nonetheless) smile on her face.

[Still laughing about the drag-queen quality reference..I simply do not agree...remember. it's not about looks :-)]

9:41 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


Hmmm... too much time in between now and the election to call it. I've been wrong enough to shy away from getting into that type of speculation.

However, on Sunday night I predicted that Palin would soon bow out of the race, citing family reasons. I'd say that Palin is going to have her own reality TV show on some Christian Channel within the next five years. And thousands of so-called liberals will guiltily eat up every minute.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Torn ligament said...

However, on Sunday night I predicted that Palin would soon bow out of the race, citing family reasons.

I dunno. Attending the convention is going to be pretty heady stuff. The pressure on her now, no doubt she has given bowing out some thought, must be tremendous as she's caught up in the machine now. In fact, she must feel a bit like the boyfriend.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Torn Ligament,

You know, I actually have a lot of sympathy for the Palin family (but absolutely none for Sarah). I have the impression that Todd Palin is a grounding influence, but I have no evidence to back that up. It's hard for me to feel badly for the boyfriend, but mostly just because of the meat-head comments on his MySpace. He's been radically jerked out of his youth. But I guess that's what abstinence-only sex ed gets you.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Dagrims said...

So...what's happening in the Pittsburgh art scene these days?

10:30 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Don't worry. This is only a distraction until the weekend.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Torn ligament said...

It's hard for me to feel badly for the boyfriend, but mostly just because of the meat-head comments on his MySpace.

Yep, 18 and thick. Apparently, he's being brought to the convention tomorrow so both of them can be exploited.

Seventeen, pregnant, and paraded around, that poor girl must be completely mortified by now. I don't think Mom will withdraw now. If she wasn't the problem before it's looking like she's sold out her family for her own ambition. Todd doesn't seem like the kind of guy to be dragged to DC. Married to the Gov of Alaska is one thing while he works locally. Don't think there's many fishing jobs in Washington.

2:49 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

So how much pushing is required before they drop the whole "family" bit? I have a hard time believing the Christian Right is THAT stupid.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Torn ligament said...

My take?

I don't think the reason the right is swooning for Palin is because of family values. I think they've gone overboard because of the pretty family thing.

Forgive me, but as a non-American, since coming to North America I've always felt that many of your citizens felt the need for a royal family. The Kennedy's were for a while with the Camelot meme.

Celebrities, the faux royals, are treated with awe and fascination. I think the Palin visual provides the archetype that fits this need....and with a Downs baby, what could be more precious.

This is why no-one on the white right cares a fig for Palin's background. She could be a serial killer at this point and all those faces at the convention would be shouting, 'Yay, for Serial Sarah.' Same thing over at Althouse. I hope Simon and Victoria have some Valium on hand.

9:54 PM  

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