Freedom from Blog

Don't call it a comeback . . . .

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Book on Palin

Pork barreller, secessionist, and--egads!-- book banner? How many words do the eskimos have for "crackpot"? What looked at first like a risky pick of an inexperienced governor of a minor state now looks like an epic implosion. She's not the new Dan Quayle, she's worse than Dan Quayle. And she's got the unwed mother to prove it. OK, cheap shot. The preggie daughter is clearly the least relevant of the revelations. Can we doubt, however, that if the baby shoe were on the other foot, the right wing media would be on a rampage right now about the decay of character in modern America? (Interestingly, her wikipedia entry suggests that pre-marital sex and quickie weddings are a mother-daughter bond.) This is less about her hypocrisy than theirs.

While we're at it, a question about her personal narrative. The pro-lifers have celebrated her decision not to abort her now four-month old baby, Trig, upon discovering he had Down syndrome. Frances has already raised some interesting issues here. But let me ask this. If you're a pro-life crusader and also the presiding governor of a state, do you really have a choice in this? Isn't having an abortion in these circumstances pretty much career suicide? Isn't it easier to just have the baby and then shunt it off onto somebody else? Say, by going back to work after three days and then jumping onto a VP ticket first chance you get? I don't think that women should have to give up their careers over family and child rearing. And we certainly do too much second guessing of women's choices. But this is the core of the "character" narrative the GOP is selling as a qualification for her being a "hearbeat away." In my book, you don't get moral credit for doing something that is in your obvious political self-interest. No blame either--she didn't do the "wrong" thing in having that child, and that's not my call to make anyway. But let's stop pretending that this decision had anything to do with character or judgment. Her choice was as non-existent as the ones she wants all American women to have.


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