Other Victorians

Bristol Palin is pregnant. Who's intolerant now?

When the 17-year-old daughter of a Republican vice presidential candidate turns out to be pregnant and unwed, our culture-war stereotypes turn inside-out. In 2008, under the appropriate circumstances, a Christian conservative can be more tolerant of teen sex than a liberal Democrat.

"Life happens," said Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), when Bristol Palin's condition was revealed. "We appreciate the fact that the Palins addressed the issue in a straightforward manner and that they are providing loving support to the teenager and her boyfriend," commented the Concerned Women for America. "Being a Christian does not mean you’re perfect," added James Dobson. "Nor does it mean your children are perfect. But it does mean there is forgiveness and restoration when we confess our imperfections to the Lord."

Some on the left have taken the same approach. Most significantly, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) asked his supporters to "back off" from criticizing the Palin family, pointing out that his own mother had been 18 when he was born. But others have plunged gleefully into the so-called scandal. Where conservatives called for tolerance and understanding, the libs said, Where was the girl's mom?

The high-minded approach to this was to bring up the pregnancy in tandem with Gov. Sarah Palin's support for abstinence-only sex ed, thus seeming to reduce the issue to a matter of public policy. The Stranger's Dan Savage, for example, wrote this on Monday:

Yes, ordinary American families face this situation all the time. Fewer would face this situation, however, if we had comprehensive sex education in the United States, and teenagers had access to accurate information about birth control methods and contraceptives were made easily available.

It should be obvious, but apparently isn't, that virtually no one following this story has any idea what Bristol Palin and her boyfriend knew about contraception, nor whether they didn't use birth control at all, used it improperly, or used it properly but it failed. If they didn't use any birth control, we do not know why they made that decision. We do not know whether Sarah Palin (who may oppose teaching about birth control in the government's schools, but is not opposed to contraception) talked with her daughter about birth control; nor do we know what, if anything, Palin's boyfriend's parents imparted to him. We do not even know how Bristol Palin feels about "this situation." In short, we don't have the slightest idea whether comprehensive sex education would have changed the Palin family's lives one iota. I'm no fonder of abstinence education than I am of any other form of social engineering, but the efforts to turn the Palin pregnancy into a school-policy anecdote are absurd.

But at least Savage paid respect to Bristol's autonomy. ("It’s great that Bristol is choosing to keep this baby. As the adoptive parent of a child born to a pair of unwed teenagers, I’m certainly not in favor of abortion in all circumstances.") Move away from the pundits and into the ordinary conversations of Palin's ordinary opponents, and the talk gets uglier.

"Way to go," writes one Boston Globe reader. "Great example for all young girls. Get pregnant at 17." Another adds: "She cant even control her own daughter in her home, and she wants to run the country!! no way!!" At mixx.com: "if Gov. Palin can't control what happens underneath her own house roof and how would she be able 2 run the White House." At Fox News: "if she cant control her daughter AND bring her up proper, she has no business as a Vice President." A blogger called the Homosecular Gaytheist, a handle that might suggest a certain social tolerance, instead calls Bristol "the slutty alcoholic daughter of Sarah Palin" and asks, again, "How will Sarah Palin fare in running the entire country after the inevitable death of John McCain if she can’t even run her own family?" Control, control, control. Foucault would have a field day.

And no, I'm not just cherry-picking obnoxious blog comments. I'm repeating the ones that resemble arguments I've heard out here in the real world, talking to neighbors and eavesdropping in cafés. (Well, not the "slutty alcoholic" bit. That one may be sui generis.) Some of this may just be partisanship gone wild, just as some of the Republican defenses of Bristol Palin would melt away if she were an Obama. But these aren't just hardcore Blue Team cheerleaders talking. They're normal Americans working themselves into high dudgeon because Sarah Palin was an insufficient Sex Cop. It's the same burst of puritanism that greeted the pregnancy of Jamie Lynn Spears. But it's a peculiar sort of puritanism, because it's aimed at young women who plan to keep their babies. Apparently, not everyone approves of the Juno narrative.

It's easy to accuse Palin's Christian defenders of fair-weather tolerance, to suggest that they wouldn't be so sanguine if Bristol, say, decided to raise her child without a father. It's easy and, in many prominent cases, it's probably right. But that isn't the only fair-weather tolerance on display.

Jesse Walker is reason's managing editor.

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  • Bingo||

    Bristol Palin is the new RickRoll.

  • guy in the back row||

    How set is Levi Johnson? I bet he's named ambassador to Canada or Secretary of the Interior or something equally good if McCain wins.

  • Bingo||

    Hey guys, here's an well-researched article about the issues and substantial policies of the candidates

    *clicks link*

    "Never gonna give you up,
    never gonna let you down,
    never gonna turn around and desert you"

    Bristolled again! *shakes fist*

  • ||

    I love how the word control and government are used together by people talking about this issue.

    At least they are not hiding what they really want from a Prez and VP. Someone who is good at controlling the lives of others.

  • #!&*!!%$||

    a Christian conservative can be more tolerant of teen sex than a liberal Democrat.

    I'm beginning to see almost everyone else is more tolerant of almost anything than a liberal DemocRAT.

    They are like Communist Secular Taliban.

  • Elemenope||

    Wow, way to lose perspective. Only one of the two groups (hint, not the one that ends in RAT) wants to control whether you can be pregnant or not. Only one of the two groups would like to criminalize reproductive freedom. Only one of the two groups routinely and repeatedly shames teenage mothers from the pulpit and from the podium.

    The stereotypes haven't been "turned inside out". They've just been clogged out by the rotten smoke of hypocrisy.

  • ||

    "A Boston Globe reader," "Another one," a commenter at "mixx.com" and a blogger nobody has heard of.

    No, you're not cherrypicking. After all, you've heard, you know, people. Saying stuff.

    How precisely equivalent to James Dobson, officials from the McCain campaign and Concerned Women for America.

    You quote precisely two people - Dan Savage and Barack Obama - who could be described as the liberal analogues of the conservatives you quoted, and neither of them said anything similar to the position you're attributing to "the left" broadly.

    Great work there, Jesse. Blog comments? Really?

  • Elemenope||

    Bristol Palin is the new RickRoll.

    I got fucking rickrolled by Andrew Sullivan yesterday.

    I was pissed. :-/

  • Urkobold™||

    BRISTOL HAS LARGE TRACTS OF LAND--JUST LIKE ALASKA.

  • SIV||

    The high-minded non sequitur approach to this was to bring up the pregnancy in tandem with Gov. Sarah Palin's support for abstinence-only sex ed

  • Jennifer||

    You don't have to be "secular Taliban" to think that becoming a wife-n-mommy before you're even a high school graduate is generally a bad idea. Bristol Palin is still in the "party hearty" phase of life where she hangs out with her friends and posts photographs of herself proudly undergoing teen rites of passage like violating the bullshit drinking-age laws. Which is fine; at her age she SHOULD still be having fun with this newfound "almost-adulthood" thing.

    But if you're still at the party-hearty phase of life, you're too young to saddle yourself with the responsibility of being a mom. I'm sure she'll have more financial support than most 17-year-old moms, but she's still going to be cleaning spit-up and soothing a crying infant while her friends are out having ordinary teenage fun. And I think that's damned sad. If abortion violates her beliefs that's fine, but I still think it's too bad she won't be giving the baby up for adoption. A person who might make a great mother at 27 won't necessarily make one at 17.

  • ||

    Y'know, I've been a registered Independent for a while. Voted for Slick Willie twice, and still don't regret it. Voted for W twice only because the Democratic party managed to nominate not one, but two men who make me throw up a little in my mouth every time I see them. Would willingly and thoughtfully have considered voting for Hillary, especially if the Republicans had nominated Mitt.

    I'm pro-choice, pro-gun, pro-gay, pro-legal drugs - I'm no social conservative, ok?

    But I have to say - I've never been so disgusted with the media as I am right now, and I have never been so convinced that a large majority - a very large majority - of the left side of the blogosphere lives in a sewer.

    A media that has shed all pretense of neutrality and is actively manipulating, distorting and altering the news in order to swing the election to one candidate - that's fucking dangerous. It's not the politicians and blog denizens piling on Palin that disturb me nearly so much as the so called "respectable" media. Glenn Reynolds is right - if the McCain camp had just said that John Edwards is Bristol Palin's baby daddy, we wouldn't have heard another goddamned word about it.

    The major networks and newspapers have reprinted every vile piece of shit rumor or masterbatory fantasy coughed up by the cesspool blogs. Even Andrew Sullivan - whom I don't consider a journalist but whom I also did not, until recently, consider completely fucking insane - is saying that it's "not unreasonable" for Sarah Palin to provide prove that she is her own baby's mother. WTF???

    You've got the Neanderthals at DU saying that destroying one teenage girl's life is worth it if it gets Obama elected. You've got that crazed bitch in Philadelphia flatly stating that if Obama loses we will have a full out race war.


    Fuck all of them. I completely disagree with all of Palin's social views. I'm a RINO, for God's sake. It's gonna be a really, really, really long goddamned time before I vote for a Democrat again. I want McCain to win because there is a miniscule, but nonetheless real, chance that if he does the Democratic party might be retaken by adults who flush the crazies back down the toilet that coughed them up.

    And yes, I know Republicans play dirty too. But not that dirty. And if Sarah Palin were a man, I wouldn't be so fucking pissed off. But if Sarah Palin were a man, the media wouldn't be doing this to her. So fuck them.

  • Boston||

    Enough

  • Dagny T.||

    Foucault would have a field day.

    Glad I'm not the only one who delights in Foucauldian ironies. Discipline and punish, y'all. Delinquencies are tricky things to manage.

  • Bingo||

    What stubby said.

  • Urkobold™||

    JENNIFER IS ALSO BLESSED BY THE GOD OF LAND GRANTS.

    BOUNCY, BOUNCY.

  • zoltan||

    People are surprised at the latent sexism of everyday Americans? I'm shocked.

    The media is jumping on the most salacious story about the newest entry to the presidential race? I'm shocked.

    People who say they stand for one thing are actually doing another thing? I'm totally shocked.

    Is someone really crying about media treatment these days? The media are salivating dogs who will chew up any story they can find, especially when they get to pull down the moral humdinger. Just wait a couple years when some lefty screw-up does something proportional. The media will have a field day again. And someone will be whining about it again. It's like people never learn.

  • Jennifer||

    I want McCain to win because there is a miniscule, but nonetheless real, chance that if he does the Democratic party might be retaken by adults who flush the crazies back down the toilet that coughed them up.

    How irnoic; I have a mirror attitude. I want Obama to win because there is a miniscule, but nonetheless real, chance that if he does the Republican party might be retaken by adults who flush the crazies back down the toilet that coughed them up.

    Now if y'all will excuse me, me and my modern Republican friends must go fight terrorism and crumbling infrastructure and the bad economy and other serious threats to America by pushing for the passage of Constitutional amendments banning flag-burning and fabulous gay weddings. Priorities, people.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Why, again, is it a surprise that group identification is more important to most people than princicple?

    Odds are the same people that think criticizing Bristol is beyond the pale were making barking noises whenever they saw Chelsea Clinton on television ten years ago.

  • Snaporaz||

    Great rant Stubby and I agree 100%.

  • Elemenope||

    Odds are the same people that think criticizing Bristol is beyond the pale were making barking noises whenever they saw Chelsea Clinton on television ten years ago.

    No shit. One of those people was John McCain. Did he not tell some joke about how Chelsea is ugly because Janet Reno is her father?

    Very honorable, very classy.

  • ||

    Sarah Palin was chosen as VP specifically because her "personal story" would make for good TV.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  • ||

    I am reposting this article because unfortunately a teenager's pregnancy is in the news. It is shocking that Obama's campaign would attack a teenager with vicious unfounded rumors that claim Gov. Palin faked her pregnancy with her 5th child to cover for Bristol Palin. So it looks like Abortion is in the news; and therefore, I am revisiting Sen. Obama's position. The media has been covering these attacks against Gov. Palin's teenage daughter and continues to hide the negative news about Obama. Please consider:
    http://zachjonesishome.wordpress.com/2008/09/02/obama-would-evidently-throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater/

  • Main St.||

    You go stubby!

  • fyodor||

    But these aren't just hardcore Blue Team cheerleaders talking. They're normal Americans

    I don't get it Jesse. Are you suggesting "normal Americans" are not partisan? I'd say ordinary Americans are every bit as partisan as the folks who get paid to be. And to whatever degree liberals are being hypocritical about the propriety of teenage sex, that's what it's about. Hardly "man bites dog."

    And are they being hypocritical? I never thought most middle class liberals were totally down with teenage sex, I just thought they thought high schoolers should be taught about birth control and STD prevention because "they're going to do it anyway." Most of the potshots you quoted (aside from the crab who called her a slut) didn't express "intolerance" towards teenage copulation as much as they were just mindless and convenient partisan barbs at a conservative who would theoretically "control" her kid but apparently didn't. A little sad and ridiculous (yes, as the Blues should know), but hardly neo-Victorian.

  • SIV||

    she's still going to be cleaning spit-up and soothing a crying infant while her friends are out having ordinary teenage fun wishing they had a husband and a baby.

    Maybe it is different in CT.

  • ||

    Stubby...Well Said!

    It is getting old, real fast! And when the right blog-o-sphere started diggin' up dirt on Jeremiah Wright, Ayers, Flag Pins, during the primary and Charlie Gibson made Obama answer questions at the debate the Left Blog-o-Sphere was up in a big wha-wha over it! But now, when it fits their bill they shred a 17 yr old, and a mom over their personal lives. Leave them be people. They pleaded for the same when Clinton was getting BJs in the oval office, and now you live a double standard. You can't have your cake and eat it too! You want privacy for politician's personal lives, then lay this none story to rest!

  • shecky||

    C'mon, folks. In what world is the unwed 17 year old daughter of an abstinence-only endorsing socially conservative vice presidential candidate not a story? Of course it's salacious talk. It sure as well would be if it were Obama's daughter. The most remarkable thing is that it isn't quite as big an issue to liberals as some here seem to think it is. What is an issue is McCain's seemingly flawed choice, with all the flaws coming out in what appears to be an uncontrolled fashion. This seems to be the overwhleming issue among liberals regarding Palin.

  • ||

    "Way to go," writes one Boston Globe reader. "Great example for all young girls. Get pregnant at 17."

    You mean like the unmarried 17-year-old Stanley Ann Dunham, who got knocked up by Barack Obama, Sr. (whom she married before the birth of her child, even though Barack Sr. happened to be married to a wife back in Kenya)?

  • ||

    Y'see, Jennifer, there is exactly zero probability that McCain is going to push for either of those two things if he gets elected. I don't know if he's mentioned anything about it - but he won't. Flag burning and gay marriage is a dog whistle issue, just like abortion is.

    The second amendment issue has been, hopefully, settled, just like the abortion issue has been. The Supremes don't like going back and admitting that they got something wrong and they are terrified of what might happen if they ever reviewed Roe. Guns and abortion are legal, flag burning is not threatened and never will be in any real sense, and gay marriage is a state matter.

    It was Clinton who signed DOMA, and Bush never did anything regarding gay marriage. But you knew that.

    Just like Obama may have made noises about being pro-gay marriage. Who knows, he may have said he'll support gay rights. If he gets elected he won't touch the issue. I doubt that he'd even do as much as Clinton did vis a vis DADT, which is way less than he had promised to do.

    Red meat for the base, to be forgotten as soon as he's in the round room.

    The media never subjected Hillary or Chelsea to this kind of treatment. Well, they did it to Hillary after she had the gall to challenge Obama, but before that, never.

  • Bingo||

    Odds are the same people that think criticizing Bristol is beyond the pale were making barking noises whenever they saw Chelsea Clinton on television ten years ago.



    No, fuck this, stop assuming these things and this bullshit has to end.

    The Rev. Wright thing, the "fake" birth certificate, Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, Bush's partying kids, how many cars someone owns, war records from 30 years ago, the size of their carbon footprint. WHO CARES???

    It's a bunch of stupid inane bullshit and has absolutely nothing to do with how a candidate's policies are going to affect my life and my livelihood and my freedoms. It needs to fucking end.

  • Jennifer||

    Maybe it is different in CT.

    No, the same holds true throughout the entire country and the entire world: "If you're still in your 'party-hearty' phase of life, you're too young to be saddled with the responsibilities of motherhood."

  • Eric Haskell||

    I love the fact that the discussion on this page has matched us up with an ad for a free due date calculator.

  • zoltan||

    I agree with Bingo.

    "Way to go," writes one Boston Globe reader. "Great example for all young girls. Get pregnant at 17."

    You mean like the unmarried 17-year-old Stanley Ann Dunham, who got knocked up by Barack Obama, Sr. (whom she married before the birth of her child, even though Barack Sr. happened to be married to a wife back in Kenya)?


    You see? This is a good thing for Bristol. 17-year-olds give birth to PRESIDENTS. Hell, my mom was 18 when she had me and I ain't too bad off either. Not that I'm endorsing teen pregnancy.

  • SIV||

    Be nice if the backlash makes the Wellstone funeral look like a brilliant Dem PR move in comparison.

  • shecky||



    It's a bunch of stupid inane bullshit and has absolutely nothing to do with how a candidate's policies are going to affect my life and my livelihood and my freedoms. It needs to fucking end.


    Why? This stuff is the best part of election time!

  • ||

    I think the left is screwing up in the way it's attacking Palin. She's got some of that scary religious right aura about her, which could be safely attacked. Instead, many are going after her for her inexperience, which is very dangerous ground indeed, and for stuff like this, which is more likely to engender sympathy (à la the 90s' view of HRC).

    One real serious misstep that Obama will probably get away with due to our collective short-term memory was saying that running a campaign for the presidency constituted more executive experience than being a governor. That's so stupid that I did an actual double-take. Even for a "small" state like Alaska, that's incredibly untrue. Besides, I question how much Obama or any other relatively inexperienced candidate really calls all of his campaign shots.

  • zoltan||

    No, the same holds true throughout the entire country and the entire world: "If you're still in your 'party-hearty' phase of life, you're too young to be saddled with the responsibilities of motherhood."

    I have to disagree with this. What about people who want to be a mother or father at a young age? I attribute the infantilization of teenagers to why we don't think they could possibly be ready at that age. Though I don't think anymore than 1% might even want to do such a thing. As for the CT girls, wanting to have children because they watched a movie doesn't constitute "responsibly wanting a child". Then again, many adults with accidental pregnancies hardly fare better.

  • ||

    the issue is that the right has routinely blamed teen pregnancy on permissive, secular, liberalism and offered traditional family, religious values as the antidote.

    ooops.

  • BTS||

    "You mean like the unmarried 17-year-old Stanley Ann Dunham, who got knocked up by Barack Obama, Sr."

    Do you expect Obama to be a time-traveler and go back and exert some sort of reverse parental pressure on his mother? I think the entire point of the people who AREN'T ad hominem "her daughter's a slut" attackers was that Sarah Palin could be expected to have some responsibility for her minor daughter's actions.
    You can't say that Obama is supposed to have some responsibility for his minor mother's actions.

  • Jennifer||

    I have to disagree with this. What about people who want to be a mother or father at a young age?

    They're probably not the same people posing for photos showing themselves and their friends proudly imbibing large quantities of alcohol. (And for the kid's sake, I devoutly hope those photos were taken BEFORE Bristol caught pregnant.)

    It's not the numerical age that matters; it's what sort of things the person considers "fun." If you're 17 years old and your idea of a good time is babysitting the neighbors' kids, maybe you are emotionally ready to become a mom. But if your idea of a good time still involves all-night drinking games, you should probably hold off on acquiring "motherhood" status just yet.

  • ||

    SIV, you will and forever be known as the guy who said that 17-year-old girls are jealous of their pregnant friends.

  • ||

    In an earlier thread, we determined that McCain is probably the father.

    I'm voting Barr, 'cause I have no other option, but I have to say that McCain rises slightly in my estimation for not running scared from this or from the investigation currently underway. Neither looks like a major failing on Palin's part, and having trouble with your kids is an All-American experience. Only slightly, mind you. The man is insane. Which is maybe why he overlooked what most politicians would not have. Maybe my opinion hasn't changed.

  • ||

    And are they being hypocritical? I never thought most middle class liberals were totally down with teenage sex, I just thought they thought high schoolers should be taught about birth control and STD prevention because "they're going to do it anyway."

    fyodor,

    The conservative definition of hypocrisy is "the failure of a liberal to live by standards he's never advocated, but which were assigned to him by his political opponents."

    Did you know that Al Gore lives in a house? Sure he's spent a great deal of his own money to retrofit it, but it most certainly is not an unlit mud hut. Hypocrite.

  • shecky||

    Once again, get real, folks. We were bound to get a Jerry Springer moment from this election cycle. It could just as easily have been from the Obama camp. It may still be. But it came from McCain's. Don't blame liberals for the past or present fuckups of our Presidential candidates.

  • SIV||

    Jennifer,

    So Bristol should give up her baby for adoption so she can spend 10 more years getting drunk, high and laid?

    If she follows her mother she is going to marry the HS sweetheart anyways.They can still have some fun but in a more restrained and responsible way.A lot of youthful wild stuff is just courtship behavior anyways. She just grabbed the brass ring before the carousel made a full revolution.

  • ||

    It is fair and rational to object to Palin's sex education policies, especially considering what happened in her family. I think she's wrong about abstinence only education, although from what I've read, no studies have proven that comprehensive sex ed is any better at keeping teenage girls' legs closed than AO education is. It's a valid point and it's a needed discussion. That's not what I'm talking about.

    I'm talking about the other 90% of the shit being flung - about who really birthed the fifth baby, about how long she waited before flying home to give birth, about how she's "abandoning" her family to run for VP, the redneck shit, the refusal to call her Governor Palin and instead keep talking about her like she's still a small town mayor, the shit about how running a Presidential campaign is more qualifying than having served as a mayor and a governor because Libertate is right - that is some whacked out bullshit; the fact that no one talked about Tim Kane's length of time in the Governor's office when he was being discussed as a possible BO running mate; and I say again the whole redneck shit, the whole "Alaska is cold and full of scary looking animals and people carry guns and you can't find a decent restaurant or (shudder) even a taxi anywhere" and how all of a sudden her former pastor might have views that people object to and isn't that entirely fair? Isn't it? Don't we care what people are listening to in church? Don't we care about twenty year old DUIs? Don't we care if someone's husband might have belonged to a non-mainstream political party once? Because of course all that shit is applicable all of a sudden, you know....

    I have to quit now and go to a parents night for my first grader, whom I birthed at 38 but sometimes wish I had popped out at 17 because I had a lot more energy back then, but I didn't have nearly as much fun as 17 year olds today and could not, in fact, have popped out a baby because I was one of only four or five girls in the whole school who didn't "put out". Remember when it was called putting out? Hell, I went on dates in college - that's how fucking old I am....

  • ||

    Speaking of Gore, has anyone ever measured the total environmental impact of individuals from various countries and from various wealth demographics in those countries? It seems like a metric someone would have come up with.

    I'm sure we'll see bizarro world hypocrisy from both parties in spades before it's all through. Sometimes, I can't remember which party is which, especially when I think back a decade or more.

  • SIV||

    SIV, you will and forever be known as the guy who said that 17-year-old girls are jealous of their pregnant friends.

    They aren't in Mass? Or is that only in Gloucester?

    (must...not..make...sexist...reference..to ... cock trappers)

  • Fluffy||

    The high-minded non sequitur approach to this was to bring up the pregnancy in tandem with Gov. Sarah Palin's support for abstinence-only sex ed

    the issue is that the right has routinely blamed teen pregnancy on permissive, secular, liberalism and offered traditional family, religious values as the antidote.

    ooops.


    Gotta say that spoodge demon is making much more sense than SIV here.

    Christian conservatives rely on the narrative that America's values have decayed because we no longer bow with sufficient rigor to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and that the superior bowing ability of Christian conservatives means that they can be trusted to set things right.

    Anecdotes like this one help to demonstrate that they are deluded.

    Apparently these Christians believe that it's OK to get knocked up at 17, as long as you "ask for forgiveness" and loudly denounce as evil everyone else who gets knocked up at 17, or at least the ones who didn't get knocked up on top of the altar at church.

  • Elemenope||

    A lot of youthful wild stuff is just courtship behavior anyways.

    You must've had some pretty fucking WEIRD "youthful wild stuff". When I was a kid we did that shit, um, *because it was fun*.

  • Jennifer||

    So Bristol should give up her baby for adoption so she can spend 10 more years getting drunk, high and laid?

    No; she should hold off on being a mommy until she outgrows the attitude that getting drunk and high is the awesomest possible good time.

  • zoltan||

    I agree with that, Jennifer.

    Also, for the people who are criticizing Palin for her teenage daughter's actions: this girl is how many months away from being an adult in the legal sense of the word? I wonder how much of an uproar this would have been had she been of age.

    I also very much agree with spooge demon as well. These people say that teenage pregnancy is the result of "liberal" "secular" values? Why are all those family values religious right-nutters espouses all huge problems in the states that are up to the brim with churchy people?

  • ||

    I don't think I entirely agree with Jennifer, but her point does remind me of the local case of the woman who likely killed her daughter because she cramped her partying style.

  • fyodor||

    The conservative definition of hypocrisy is "the failure of a liberal to live by standards he's never advocated, but which were assigned to him by his political opponents."

    LOL, joe. Well for the record I think it swings both ways, and liberals should know better than to think parents should be held responsible for their kids having sex. But knowing better always plays second fiddle to normal, everyday partisanship.

  • ||

    This campaign: stupid election, or stupidest election?

  • ||

    But one last thing.

    Joe - you cannot seriously hold up Al Gore as an example of unreasonable rightwing accusations of hypocrisy? Could you? Even you couldn't do that? Even you can see that Al Gore's behavior and consumer habits - in his homes, in his vehicles, and in his travels - do not comport with his stated beliefs. More importantly, they do not comport with how he would like to force others - i.e., people with less money and power than him - to live. It is the fact that Al Gore is a walking caricature of the Learjet liberal that Republicans object to.

    It is not hypocrisy when you fail to live up to your own standards - that's just human nature. It is hypocrisy when you castigate and/or attempt to punish people who do, or fail to do, what you do or fail to do yourself.

    Sarah Palin pushes AO education and her 17 year old daughter gets pregnant. That's not hypocrisy. If Palin had helped Bristol get an abortion - that's hypocrisy, because Palin would like to see other girls not have that option.

    Al Gore is a hypocrite because his carbon footprint is bigger than the state I live in and yet he would gladly force me to live in the aforementioned unlit goddamned mud hut.

    It's okay, Joe. Call me a child and tell me to fuck off or do your "Begone with you, sirrah!" schtick. Honestly, it's kind of cute on you.

  • ||

    Elemenope
    Wow, way to lose perspective. Only one of the two groups (hint, not the one that ends in RAT) wants to control whether you can be pregnant or not.


    Double wow! Republicans do a lot of stuff, but I've never heard of them telling people when the can and cannot get pregnant.

  • ||

    Thank got Herr McCain picked Palin instead of Romney. Imagine how fucking bored we'd all be right now. And there will always be plenty of hypocrisy on both sides.....

    .......But still.... I hate Republicans, but I really fucking hate Democrats. At least you don't have to listen to Republican prattle on with their snobby fucking self righteousness about how fucking tolerant they are. Then turn on a 17 year old with such vicious alacrity. Fuck I hate Democrats.

  • shecky||

    And c'mon, Jesse. Your outrage is about as appropriate as the outrage one might feel over Reason, because Lonewacko posts about IllegalImmigration, or shecky posts about the amusement to be had over Palin's family.

    Stubby, you're being awfully selective. 90% of the shit I see flung is actually pretty valid shit. Most of which makes Palin seem like a generic social conservative big government Republican. But makes McCain seem like a cynical reckless hack for choosing her.

  • Bingo||

    Well, its gotten stupider every single election since about 1996 or so and the trend shows no sign of stopping. 2012 should be a hoot.

  • shecky||

    Double wow! Republicans do a lot of stuff, but I've never heard of them telling people when the can and cannot get pregnant.

    You haven't really been listening too long, have you?

  • ||

    Actually, about 90% of the talk I have seen about Bristol's pregnancy from Left or Right has been demands that we not talk about it.

    Other than that, I have been delighted to see Christian reactionaries become so liberal about the sexual behavior of teenagers. Although I did see one grump denounce it as an effect of the Sixties. The hippies did it!

  • Elemenope||

    ♪ --

    They tell people that become pregnant when they can and cannot become un-Pregnant. Any sort of state control over this shit pisses me off.

    And, yes, the whack-nut Christianist wing of the GOP would be more than happy to regulate when you can and cannot legally have sex, and with whom. It's been done before, in this country, and not that fucking long ago at that.

  • some guy||

    stubby, you're the reason i hope there is a hell

  • B||

    "Sarah Palin was chosen as VP specifically because her "personal story" would make for good TV.'

    And I guess you know this joe because you are a campaign insider. Please, quit fucking pretending you have a clue.

  • Paul||

    Liberal Democrats are more tolerant of other people's teen sex. Their own teenagers? Not so much.

    Kind of like that "Sex Worker" advocate who found out her daughter was a stripper. She weren't none too happy.

  • ||

    Is someone really crying about media treatment these days? The media are salivating dogs who will chew up any story they can find, especially when they get to pull down the moral humdinger. Just wait a couple years when some lefty screw-up does something proportional. The media will have a field day again. And someone will be whining about it again. It's like people never learn.

    Sexism? Liberal media bias? I dunno.

    But I am curious how this story about a politicians close relative's sexual behavior played in your town.

    [US Senator] Stabenow's Husband in Prostitution Bust
    It didn't get a lot of play here.

  • ||

    This campaign: stupid election, or stupidest election

    I am stealing from an earlier thread but we will have to use the following notation to represent the quantum of stupid in this election:

    to wit, stupider^n.

  • ||

    Apparently these Christians believe that it's OK to get knocked up at 17, as long as you "ask for forgiveness" and loudly denounce as evil everyone else who gets knocked up at 17, or at least the ones who didn't get knocked up on top of the altar at church.

    I would consider this way over the top, were it not for SIV. Nope, I didn't misunderstand him.

    fyodor,

    Well for the record I think it swings both ways, and liberals should know better than to think parents should be held responsible for their kids having sex. I would disagree with that, too, if I saw any liberals saying that. I agree with what I have seen liberals say, which is that the Palin family's situations blows the moralist, Christianist, anti-sex ed, liberal-values-are-destroying-the-family horse shit right out the window.

    stubby, if you think Al Gore's argument is that you should live in a mud hut, you are deluded partisan moron.

    Eight note, Republicans do a lot of stuff, but I've never heard of them telling people when the can and cannot get pregnant. I've heard them spend an awful lot of time telling people when they can and cannot have sex (some say this is related to pregnancy, I hear), and I've heard them spend an awful lot of time telling people when they can and cannot cease being pregnant.

  • ||

    B, I'll put my campaign analysis up against yours any time you'd like. I've got my record, I haven't been shy about expressing my thoughts, and I think I've done pretty well.

    So, how's that mid-August Zogby poll you kept going on about working for you?

  • zoltan||

    J Sub D:

    Why can't a girl or guy just make a decent living in this country?

  • Elemenope||

    I am stealing from an earlier thread but we will have to use the following notation to represent the quantum of stupid in this election...

    Someone needs to do up a Feynman Diagram of the 'stupid force' interactions that undergird quantum idiodynamics.

  • ||

    Why can't a girl or guy just make a decent living in this country?

    Alycia Lorraine Martin was trying to. She obviosly wasn't doing as well as Spitzer's courtesan.

  • Bingo||

    The moron-wave function peaks every 4 years.

  • ||

    to wit, stupider^n

    Actually, you are stealing from me (I posted that equation) to respond to me. Do we implode now?

    I do some crunches, I refresh, and there's 10+ more posts. WHY IS THIS SHIT SO IMPORTANT TO SO MANY?

  • liberty||

    The media tried to tie Ron Paul to some racist congressional candidate. They'll do anything to destroy a candidate.

  • SIV||

    Elemonope,

    We are both guys, I think.We don't see the partying as courtship behavior.
    I've known women who started planning their weddings in kindergarten.The reason many don't get married at 18 is because they keep thinking they will do better if they wait. They are usually right about that hence our much later marrying age.

  • ||

    Even you can see that Al Gore's behavior and consumer habits - in his homes, in his vehicles, and in his travels - do not comport with his stated beliefs.

    No kidding. When I see Al Gore's fat ass riding a bicycle from place to place, I will then actually believe he gives a fuck about the environment. And what is the deal with his head? It just keeps getting bigger and fatter every time I see him. It is like he and Ted Kennedy share the same head-the-size-of-a-small-planetoid genes. His head alone consumes enough calories to feed three Ethiopians.

    Someone needs to do up a Feynman Diagram of the 'stupid force' interactions that undergird quantum idiodynamics.

    IMHO, this is the thread winner.

  • SIV||

    liberty,

    What is this 1997? There is a little black bar at the base of my browser window and when I hover over links it tells me where they go. I might of clicked on tubgirl for old times sake.

  • Dagny T.||

    This campaign: stupid election, or stupidest election?

    Oh. My. God. This whole election season went Full Retard. You never go Full Retard.

  • Jerry||

    Here we are talking about who is the father of Bristol Palin's child, while I still haven't gotten a definitive answer to who is responsible for Rielle Hunter's one. One Jerry Springer story at a time please, I can't keep up!

  • ||

    If only we could set the Federal "getting pregnant" minimum age at 21, none of this would be an issue!

    And Jennifer makes a good argument for setting the drinking age at somewhere around 10 ... if all kids could just get it out of their system, they could be responsible voters by the time they turned 18!

    stubby makes some good points, but preaching AO and not enforcing it in your own family is also a definition of hypocrisy, and goes agin' the "Do unto others..." dictum.

    That said, I don't give a Democrat's ass about this non-issue in a Presidential race.

  • B||

    "Did you know that Al Gore lives in a house? Sure he's spent a great deal of his own money to retrofit it, but it most certainly is not an unlit mud hut"

    You mean the house that uses more energy in a month than the entire principality of Lichtenstein used in the 1970s? The house that was recently reported to have used 10% more energy than before it was "retrofitted"?Or perhaps we should discuss his yacht that burns more oil than Saddam Hussein on his way out of Kuwait. Or perhaps we could discuss his jet. I could go to google and find out how much more fuel he burns taking a trip in that thing in comparison to how much gas my car burns in a year, but I am too damn lazy. Al Gore lecturing people on the dangers of climate change and excessive energy consumption is about as ridiculous as Ward Churchill castigating someone for plagiarism.

  • ||

    Oh. My. God. This whole election season went Full Retard. You never go Full Retard.

    Well, to be honest, it went Full Retard as soon as we found out about Palin's son...

    But your point still stands.

  • james||

    fuck you liberty

  • B||

    "So, how's that mid-August Zogby poll you kept going on about working for you"

    You have me confused with someone else if you are bringing up Zogby polls. The only thing I have ever said about Zogby is how inaccurate he is.

    "Sarah Palin was chosen as VP specifically because her "personal story" would make for good TV."

    Replace Sarah Palin with Barack Obama and VP with President and her with his in the above quote and I think you would be right for the first time in your life.

  • Dagny T.||

    Well, to be honest, it went Full Retard as soon as we found out about Palin's son...

    What happened to taking the high road, I wonder? (Not a criticism, though. That shit is funny.)

  • ||

    Oh. My. God. This whole election season went Full Retard. You never go Full Retard.

    Well, to be honest, it went Full Retard as soon as we found out about Palin's son...



    It went retard the instant Obama was accused of being a secret Muslim. It went full retard with the Reverend Wright and birth certificate stories.

    Face it, we are now in turbo-retard.

  • Rhywun||

    And yes, I know Republicans play dirty too. But not that dirty.



    Hee hee... ha ha... thanks for that one.

  • ||

    WHY IS THIS SHIT SO IMPORTANT TO SO MANY?

    Schadenfruede.

    And what the hell is the deal with all these posts? Don't you people have jobs?

    Oooh! OOOh! OOOh! Another new Palin thread....See you all later.

  • Dagny T.||

    Face it, we are now in turbo-retard.

    Hyper-Retard? Mega-Retard? Maxi-Retard?

    I like the last, because of the connotations to ladyparts, which have played such a big role in this election.

  • ||

    High road? Did I say something about a high road? I can't remember, I'm too retarded.

  • ||

    I love throwing Gore chum in the water.

    Dance, you fools, dance!

  • ||

    Hyper-Retard? Mega-Retard? Maxi-Retard?

    Meta-retard. We are retarded about our own retardedness. Now that's retarded, Kirk Lazarus.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Your parents are probably wondering where you are.
    Nah... I mean, I'm already pregnant, so what other kind of shenanigans could I get into?

  • Bingo||

    It went retard the instant Obama was accused of being a secret Muslim. It went full retard with the Reverend Wright and birth certificate stories.

    Face it, we are now in turbo-retard.


    I've got a feeling its going to find a way to become even more retarded before its over.

  • Naga Sadow||

    You should've gone to China, you know, 'cause I hear they give away babies like free iPods. You know, they pretty much just put them in those t-shirt guns and shoot them out at sporting events.

  • B||

    "I love throwing Gore chum in the water.

    Dance, you fools, dance!'

    Sure that's why you do that, because in reality you actually believe Al Gore is a hypocrite. You were only trying to provoke us. Sure thing joe.
    All along I have been saying shit about Obama just to piss you off. I was really just trying to see how many times you would use the phrases "Bush bots" and "Republican talking points" in one day. I actually intend on voting for Obama.

  • Dagny T.||

    Meta-retard. We are retarded about our own retardedness.

    Not only have we drained the word 'retard' of all meaning, I think the meta-retard thing did some damage to the space-time continuum.

  • Naga Sadow||

    You better pay for that pee-stick when you're done with it. Don't think it's yours just because you marked it with your urine!

  • Bingo||

    Now if we get retarded about meta-retardation and how retarded it is do we create some sort of self-sustaining singularity of pure retardedness that consumes all meaning from existence and which congressional district would be most likely to vote it into office?

  • Dagny T.||

    Nah... I mean, I'm already pregnant, so what other kind of shenanigans could I get into?

    This is one doodle that can't be undid, homeskillet.

    (I've refrained from all Juno references until now, okay? I blame Naga.)

  • Naga Sadow||

    Would you like a free condom? They're boysenberry.
    No, thanks. I'm off sex right now.
    My boyfriend wears them every time we have intercourse, it makes his junk smell like pie.

  • Bags||

    stubby, if you think Al Gore's argument is that you should live in a mud hut, you are deluded partisan moron.


    ok, who's posting under joe's handle? Even the real joe, being the vapid shit stain that he is, couldn't help but recognize the irony of that statement.

  • ||

    Not only have we drained the word 'retard' of all meaning, I think the meta-retard thing did some damage to the space-time continuum

    If you and Naga keep up with the Juno stuff, I think we're going to pull off what the Large Hadron Collider can't. A retard-plosion.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Dagny T.,

    I'm gonna take the Joe route and say that I meant to infect you with the desire to post Juno references. For my own obscure reasons. Not like I was just watching the movie about two hours ago and was LMAO.

  • Naga Sadow||

    That's a wise choice because I knew this girl who like had this crazy freak out because she took too many behavioral meds at once and she like ripped off her clothes, and dove into the fountain at Ridgedale Mall and was like, "Blah I am a Kracken from the sea!"

  • modd||

    Remember people, religious conservative's children don't get to have fun ever (theoretically). Drinking is frowned upon, recreational premarital sex is frowned upon, etc. Ergo, they tend to have family earlier in life at least to indulge in the sex (Urge and urge and urge always the procreant urge of the world). If Bristol is to be a mother at a young age, so be it. I know it's hard NOT to project onto others because our way is always the best way. Fair 'nuff. But Libertarians, I always fancied, were about letting people live the way they wanted to live.

    As for the culture wars, Libertarians should be aloof. Those are other people's kids. We don't care about them. Let the others fret. Our own, we can teach them our own beliefs.

    Much ado about nothing. Hypocrites a-go-go. Business as usual

  • Dagny T.||

  • Dingell Norwood||

    OT

    I love throwing Gore chum in the water.

    He jobbed three debates to Bush and he still almost won !

    Gotta suck

    There are worse retirements than being a rich psuedo-science crank and his wife is still kinda hot.

  • ||

    You know what? I'm going to throw on a skirt, take off my underwear, and make your retard-plosion proud!

  • Naga Sadow||

    Christ!!! I almost got a nosebleed from reading that. Keep workin' on it, Epi. Soon you will be able to hold the world for ransom.

  • Dagny T.||

    And I'm going to see if I can get a wrench to strip my nuts.

  • ||

    Well, yes, but I'm afraid I prematurely shot my wad on what was supposed to be a dry run, if you will, so now I'm afraid I have something of a mess on my hands.

    (ok, have to go now--good stuff)

  • ||

    How about this. We agree that the daughter is a big deal, if everyone who ever had sex before they were 18, stressed over being pregnant or having gotten their g/f pregnant, or was pregnant when they got married agree to vote for McCain? That should cover about 99% of the adult age population in US and settle the election.

    What the hell is wrong with people?

  • ||

    One other thing. Last I heard it was a free country and anyone of age can screw whoever they hell they like and have as many kids as they can support.

    It is nice that people like Jennifer are so interested in this girl's party life. But, ultimately it is none of anyone's business how many kids this girl any more than it is anyone's business that Jennifer waits until she is 40 to have kids.

  • Anti-Globalism||

    You're going to upset the mainstream media and the crowd they service.

    Standards = bad; no standards = good.

    Some Christians have standards. Christianity bad!!1!

  • thoreau||

    I don't want to see an election decided based on a pregnant teenager unless the teenager got knocked up by a candidate.

  • Matt||

    So, basically, 20+ years of right-wingers decrying premarital sex and vilifying those who engage in it is the same as a couple more-or-less anonymous blog commenters making most likely tongue-in-cheek statements about Bristol Palin being a slut? Give me a fucking break.

  • ||

    Oh, no, I love Gore, B. I'd have voted for him ahead of Obama.

    It's still just very easy to get people to write idiotic things by using his name.

    Dingell, you have odd taste in women.

  • ||

    "I don't want to see an election decided based on a pregnant teenager unless the teenager got knocked up by a candidate."

    That was her mistake; not sleeping with a candidate. If she had gotten knocked up by John Edwards, it would have been tabloid trash not worth printing.

  • ||

    Joe,

    Al Gore, before he went batshit insane over global warming, was not a bad guy or politician. He was never a crazy when he was VP. I don't know what the hell happened to him after 2000. He went out there and he just didn't come back.

  • Mad Max||

    "It's a bunch of stupid inane bullshit and has absolutely nothing to do with how a candidate's policies are going to affect my life and my livelihood and my freedoms. It needs to . . . end.

    "Why? This stuff is the best part of election time!"

    I think you are right. I initially went out of this thread in search of something more intellectually stimulating. I found the "cultural relativism" thread, got bored, and came back here.

    I realized that I actually like this stuff. And why not? Us common folk have for years enjoyed hearing stories about the misdeeds of the ruling classes. It makes our servitude more bearable - our masters may be power-hungry fiends who want to force us to surrender our property, liberty and lives, but at least they can't force us to take them seriously.

  • JGR||

    joe maundered: "I love throwing Gore chum in the water."

    That's fine, as long as you're not expecting Teddy to save your chum when he's in the water. He doesn't do too well with that part.

  • ||

    stubby, you're the reason i hope there is a hell

    Aw shucks. I've never been anyone's reason to hope there is a hell before.

  • Nick||

    Just wondering why society as a whole (including myself) thinks it's a good idea to wait until we're long past the sexual prime of our lives to get married and have kids? Back in the day, it made no big deal to be a pregnant teenager and was completely logical. Probably many of our grandmothers were.

    On that same track, why do we think that younger kids shouldn't get jobs (under the simplistic perception that "child labor is evil"), when that's the age when kids most want to work and find adult responsibility to be exciting? Parents might let their kids mow our lawns, but would be outraged if their neighbor put their kids to work sewing shirts or stocking books in a summer job for a profitable company? I started working summers in a children's bookstore in 6th grade, a few years before it was technically "legal" to call me an employee. I think it was one of the best experiences of my life to be trusted with important projects and even the boring work at such a young age, and get paid for it...

    These are strikes against the Right and the Left, who have made teen pregnancies and (non-forced) child labor into bogeymen that are killing our children. Society has become so devoted to preserving childhood and preventing kids from growing up too soon. If there's one thing this Babygate story says, it's that this sort of story really should NOT be a big deal or anything of a controversy. I'd love it if someone took the time to find these commentators' ancestors and publish the dates of birth and marriage among their grandparents and/or great-grandparents. We might as well show everyone to express any opinion on everything to be a hypocrite at one point or another.

  • ||

    "Last I heard it was a free country and anyone of age can screw whoever they hell they like and have as many kids as they can support. "

    John, I thought you of all people had heard of these folks called "Republicans."

    People are having fun with Palin because she is the darling of the very Puritan faction of the GOP that pushes abstinence down the throats of our teen-agers, fumed when sodomy laws were stuck down (read Scalia's dissent for some fun), want to ban reproductive freedom, etc., etc.,. Liberals don't hate unwed mothers and teens who have sex, but we do delight when people who do get bit in the ass.

  • ||

    Throwing the Puritan meanness of Puritans back in their face is like, fun.

    And it makes TAO cry and his tears are so yummy!

  • ||

    "Liberals don't hate unwed mothers and teens who have sex, but we do delight when people who do get bit in the ass."

    How is it that you are so sure that Palin hates unwed mothers? Further, her daughter is getting married. That would make her a wed mother. Lastly, only bigoted moron thinks evangelicals hate unwed mothers.

    God must like stupid people, because he sure makes a lot of them.

  • ||

    One more thing, where does Palin or anyone else for that matter say that you can't teach your kids whatever the hell you want about sex? It is people like you that want to shove sex ed down everyone's throat. I frankly don't think schools ought to teach a damn thing about sex. I will do that. I don't want the state telling my kids what their values are. That is my business as a parent, not the state's.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Chappaquiddick?
    Really?

    Super Mega OK Retarded.

  • Neu Mejican||

    John | September 3, 2008, 10:11pm | #
    One more thing, where does Palin or anyone else for that matter say that you can't teach your kids whatever the hell you want about sex? It is people like you that want to shove sex ed down everyone's throat. I frankly don't think schools ought to teach a damn thing about sex. I will do that. I don't want the state telling my kids what their values are. That is my business as a parent, not the state's.


    Values do not equal accurate information.

  • ||

    "Values do not equal accurate information."

    Yes and it is your job as the state to tell everyone, including five year olds all of that acurate information. Parents cannot be trusted to be accurate so we must do it for them about everything, including things as private as sex. It is the State's job to teach everything and reach into every part of everyone's life.

    Everyone loves government as soon as their ox gets gored or someone does something they don't like.

  • ||

    I love all of this retarded bullshit about how this girl got pregnant because her mother didn't teach her about contraception. Clearly, everyone who knows about that has never said fuck it and risked getting pregnant and no one is is "informed" ever accidentily got pregnant. No teenager ever disobeyed their parents.

    Look at it this way, if a pro gun NRA guy's daughter shot someone with an unregulated handgun, would you clowns be on here saying he is a hypocrite? Afterall he did advocate free access to guns and his son did shoot somone. It is the same logic.

  • Neu Mejican||

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/3813424

  • ||

    The problem with Gore was that he catered to the far left to win the primaries--as is customary--then he forgot to move back to the center that he'd lived in most of his career, well, ever. With all due respect to his fans, he's lost it. People who think his position on the environment is based on science need to stop getting their science from movies. And despite the comments above, he has been a mite hypocritical.

    If Gore had remained the Gore he was in the Senate, he would've easily beat the incredibly lightweight presented in GWB. Of course, as is their wont, the Democrats see Bush, hate him as much as humanly possible, then rush out to anoint the Democratic version of Bush.

  • Neu Mejican||

    John,

    Sex education, like science, or history, is a content area that schools have a responsibility to teach as accurately as possible.

    Censoring information from a curriculum is poor educational practice no matter the subject.

    Sex education is part of basic information about how the human body works. It is called biology, health, etc...it is never bad to provide information to children...even when they are five.

    Accurate information is value free.

  • Rusty Trombone||

    Levi\'s as lucky for getting to bang her as he is stupid for not knowing to wrap it first. Sure, she looks a little chubby now, but before she got knocked up that was some hot teenage ass. I\'d hit that (and you know you would too). And have you seen the rack on that babe? I\'d still do her, even [especially] pregnant

  • NM||

    Erm... Values free.

  • ||

    "One more thing, where does Palin or anyone else for that matter say that you can't teach your kids whatever the hell you want about sex? It is people like you that want to shove sex ed down everyone's throat."

    Have you read the Republican Party Platform for Alaska? It lists "promiscuity" as a "social dysfunction" that they support "combating." It says that sex education "must be abstinence-based."

  • Rusty Trombone||

    Fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck. Stupid links:

    Should be, before she got prego and nice rack. See what happens when I get all excited and stuff?

  • ||

    Palin said our boys are doing God's work in Iraq. That hockey player was doing something else in her daughter.

  • ||

    "Further, her daughter is getting married. That would make her a wed mother."

    She certainly wasn't married when she got diddled. Hmm, who are those people so opposed to society condoning extramarital sex and the death of outrage and shame? Liberals? LOL John!

  • ||

    Linkee still no workee, trombone boy.

  • Rustee Trombone||

    Linkee still no workee

    Fuckee.

    linkee one-ee

    linkee twoee

  • Marshall||

    Lots of comments already, but I'm surprised I didn't see this in the comments I read. (I'm sure it's there somewhere, so I apologize for repeating whoever else said it first.)

    I live 40 minutes from Focus on the Family. I have spent my life (I'm 18, roughly Bristol Palin's age) living in very religious communities, like Colorado Springs and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Is it remotely possible that the religious right is cutting her slack because she's the daughter of a social conservative? Having lived with these people my entire life, I know how completely disingenuous they can be. I don't mean to slur them all, but had this been some random kid, they'd be gossiping about her, calling her a slut, basically everything some in the liberal community are doing now. The lesson here, I think, is that if you're the Republican vice presidential nominee's daughter and the fucking goes wrong, you can get away with it a lot better than you can if you're unaffiliated or liberal. I've dealt with all sorts of harassment from the religious crew due to my perfectly non-intrusive beliefs because, honestly, so many of them are fascists and want to convert you and pry into your private life (Same goes for extreme atheists, Muslims, whatever -- people just take it too seriously sometimes.)

    What I can't imagine is how it must feel to be this Bristol chick. How can Sarah Palin be for family values when you willingly accept the nomination for vice president when you know your daughter's personal life is going to become such a destructive issue in the campaign? As a teenager, that's what makes other teens kill themselves. It's a horrible position for Ms. Palin to be in and my heart honestly, truly goes out to her. This has nothing to do with politics or gender; I'd feel the exact same if it was a male Democrat's daughter (or a... libertarian something or other?). It just feels very wrong and very unfair to her daughter. But that's just me. And I really don't think it matters if her daughter said she was okay with it. I don't know anyone who wouldn't be psychologically damaged by all the things being said about her right now if they were being said about them. Meh. I don't know, it just really saddens me.

    And I honestly think that when your mom is not willing to teach sex ed in classrooms, there's going to be some bleed over into your personal life one way or another, no matter if her mom taught her about sex ed herself (er...). There's just going to be that vibe there somehow, no matter what. When you just don't want sex ed taught in public schools, you're like literally fucking things up for a lot of kids. And I have to believe that the desire to teach abstinence over sex ed in public schools has to have some at least subconscious bleed over into how Sarah Palin raised her daughters and sons and taught them about safe sexual practices.

  • ||

    Are you people kidding me? This is the blog that consistently says regardless of parent's wishes the drinking age, the age of consent, and all kinds of other "underage" laws should be changed.

    Now, when one parent with 5 children has one that has succumbed to that normal of urges at her age, you blame the parents???

    I thought the kid at this age, according to the local wisdom here, was to do what she wished.

    Is this the definition of irony?

  • Jesse Walker||

    Your outrage is about as appropriate as the outrage one might feel over Reason, because Lonewacko posts about IllegalImmigration, or shecky posts about the amusement to be had over Palin's family.

    Shecky (and Joe, and Matt, anyone else who made more or less this point): I yield to no one in my contempt for drawing the wrong sort of conclusions from blog comments. I have mocked other writers in print for drawing the wrong sort of conclusions from blog comments. As an editor, I have instructed contributors to rewrite passages that relied on blog comment threads. I know where you're coming from.

    But those quotes aren't there to represent what pundits or politicians are saying. They're there to represent how one particular argument -- that Palin shouldn't be VP because she can't "control" her kids -- keeps popping up in places where people who aren't professional pundits or pols gather to talk about this issue. It isn't any particular semi-anonymous commenter who's important; it's the number of semi-anonymous commenters who are saying the same thing. (And if you Goggle the appropriate phrases, or hang out in the appropriate meatspace places, you'll find that I didn't exactly exhaust the list of people who have been saying it.) That in itself is newsworthy, whether or not it's "equivalent" to the words emanating from Dobson et al. I'm not making a partisan point here (as many of you know, I'm rooting for Obama, though if I vote it'll be for Barr). I'm making a sociological one.

  • ||

    ^ Marshall -

    One could use your agrument against any candidate with children. Chelsa was looked at, Bush's daughters were drinking underage, etc, etc, etc.

    When the women you work close to have a minor with a pregnancy do they go home and stop working?

    FWIW though - I do feel sorry for the daughter. She might have been slightly talked about in school, but I don't think in her wildess inclinations she would've considered being called a slut in the national media.

  • ||

    I agree with stubby's rant so much I am going to post it again, enjoy!

    Y'know, I've been a registered Independent for a while. Voted for Slick Willie twice, and still don't regret it. Voted for W twice only because the Democratic party managed to nominate not one, but two men who make me throw up a little in my mouth every time I see them. Would willingly and thoughtfully have considered voting for Hillary, especially if the Republicans had nominated Mitt.

    I'm pro-choice, pro-gun, pro-gay, pro-legal drugs - I'm no social conservative, ok?

    But I have to say - I've never been so disgusted with the media as I am right now, and I have never been so convinced that a large majority - a very large majority - of the left side of the blogosphere lives in a sewer.

    A media that has shed all pretense of neutrality and is actively manipulating, distorting and altering the news in order to swing the election to one candidate - that's fucking dangerous. It's not the politicians and blog denizens piling on Palin that disturb me nearly so much as the so called "respectable" media. Glenn Reynolds is right - if the McCain camp had just said that John Edwards is Bristol Palin's baby daddy, we wouldn't have heard another goddamned word about it.

    The major networks and newspapers have reprinted every vile piece of shit rumor or masterbatory fantasy coughed up by the cesspool blogs. Even Andrew Sullivan - whom I don't consider a journalist but whom I also did not, until recently, consider completely fucking insane - is saying that it's "not unreasonable" for Sarah Palin to provide prove that she is her own baby's mother. WTF???

    You've got the Neanderthals at DU saying that destroying one teenage girl's life is worth it if it gets Obama elected. You've got that crazed bitch in Philadelphia flatly stating that if Obama loses we will have a full out race war.


    Fuck all of them. I completely disagree with all of Palin's social views. I'm a RINO, for God's sake. It's gonna be a really, really, really long goddamned time before I vote for a Democrat again. I want McCain to win because there is a miniscule, but nonetheless real, chance that if he does the Democratic party might be retaken by adults who flush the crazies back down the toilet that coughed them up.

    And yes, I know Republicans play dirty too. But not that dirty. And if Sarah Palin were a man, I wouldn't be so fucking pissed off. But if Sarah Palin were a man, the media wouldn't be doing this to her. So fuck them.

  • ||

    Jesse -

    I agree with you - if this is a talking point among multiple blog posters, then I see reporting on it as the same as going to the RNC and asking random people outside their thoughts and then reporting on the synposis of those thoughts.

    I still think their arguement is irony by definition, but I agree with you that the debate seems to be prevelant among a certain percentage of the population.

    Though I speculate these are younger voters without children who likley won't vote in the numbers they post, but that's complete speculation for which I have no facts.

  • ||

    The interesting thing is that if the media had been half way fair and balanced mccain (and obama for that matter) probably would not have been the nominee.

    The media is whining about his job vetting palin while being utterly oblivious to the fact that they completely bricked their job of getting information out there so the public could properly vet the presidential candidates during the primaries.

    The entrenched ignorance and political hackery of the media is a threat to the nation.

  • Marshall||

    I get that, but Chelsea and the Bush twins, etc weren't pregnant, unwed, still in high school, and planning to marry their high school boyfriend. I mean, this is like Britney Spears sort of behavior and we've all seen how the media treats that sort of thing. I'm just saying this from the perspective of a teenager. If I was 20 years older I might, and probably would, have a different opinion. But she's just been beat up so much already in the first couple days of her mom becoming the vice presidential pick. (And it's going to go on for the rest of the election and then for at least 4 years if a miracle occurs and McCain wins, so the girl is not going to get any rest for the weary.) The McCain campaign even warned Sarah Palin that her daughter would become a target, really. I just couldn't personally imagine doing that to a kid if I was her father. I dunno. That's just my personal opinion on the subject and I see where you're coming from here, but it just seems contradictory to "family values," you know? And can you imagine what people would say if Michelle Obama was running for president and Bristol Palin was her daughter? The situation would be completely reversed and Michelle's daughter would be the one called a slut by conservatives and defended by liberals. This is a political issue on both sides, not one that shows liberals are meaner about out of wedlock sex, because conservatives would be doing the same thing to the pregnant teen if the situation was reserved.

  • ||

    Marshall -

    I don't disagree with the argument that says both sides would use this incident to any advantage they think they could get.

    & to be honest, I don't think families are necessarily off limits. Hell, if VP Candidate so-and-so had three kids all in jail, that's obviously worthwhile.

    But the idea that just because I believe in X and teach my kids X, mean they follow it without question is demeaning.

    And as I read this blog alot, but post only occassionaly, I don't know you that well. But the prolific around here all want more rights for children.

    To say on any other day this child should be able to do as she pleases, but then argue it's all the parents faults is the definition of congitive dissonance.

    I might have just thought you like them, and am happy if I'm incorrect. As, like you, I don't know that I'd ever want my family to go through this process. Even in my case, when my skeletons are much larger than those of my family.

  • Marshall||

    Well, I'm not really into 17 year olds getting pregnant. It's hard to stop and I'm seeing the really bad side of it now with my girlfriend's best friend pretty much having her life ruined and thrown away because she's pregnant, 18, unemployed, no insurance, not gonna go to college. I realize she's an "adult" and allowed to make those choices legally, but it's still very sad. I'm not pushing for the rights of children to own AKs or have 12 year olds drinking boxed wine and Natty Ice. I think that, because part of making good choices (or making choices at all, even bad), is some mental coherency and full mental development, which doesn't occur until around 19-20 years old, it's unfair to expect children to operate on the same level as adults. It's obviously why a kid who is 16 is just thinking on a purely different level than a 25 year old. And we can argue about the mentally ill or whatever here, but as a whole, I think people aren't mature enough to make decisions until they're at least mentally mature (which doesn't necessarily equate to emotional or psychological maturity, I just mean their brains, scientifically, are more or less all there), which doesn't occur until one's late teens. So I am not pushing for children to have all sorts of responsibilities and the capability to make choices that they are not mentally equipped to make, I guess.

    But at the same time, I realize that a lot of people of past generations had kids at 17, 18, 19 years old and it was commonplace and not frowned upon. On my dad's side of the family, you were a spinster if you weren't married and knocked up by the time you were 14. But it just goes to show that those kids aren't mentally mature enough to be allowed to make those choices for themselves.

    At 17, it's a little more ambiguous as to the level of mental maturity and whether or not she is equipped to fully understand the repercussions of her choices until after the fact, but she made them and has to live with them. And I think at 17, it can be argued she is responsible and capable of being held so for the choices she's made about sex. Then again, she is still living with her parents as far as I know and, once again, I am suspicious of a family with that sort of political ideology really teaching comprehensive sex ed. So I don't know, haha.

  • ||

    Marshall -

    No agruments here; I got married (thought w/o a pregnant g/f) at (today) a very young age. I'm 35, got married at 19, wife 18.

    I don't know that she has the will nor the maturity for the task. I would assume, like me even without children, she doesn't. But somehow I grew into it. Hopefully her and her b/f, soon to be husband, will be able to do so as well.

    My only issue is that neither full sex ed or AO sex ed is proven. They both seem to have the same basic rate or pregnancies and STDs (from what I've read).

    So from what I know, neither the "always use a condom" crowd or the "AO" crowd can do much. Kids in the end will make their decisions lead them.

    As a personal experience, I'm a bit of a prick (who could've guessed, huh?). My daughter is almost too caring to the point of concern that sometimes her thoughts should be more important than others.

    My point? She's only 11 and has a bigger heart than I or my wife could've possibly given her. I try my best to teach her to think for herself (as well as others, but not to her detrimnt), but like us all, some of her decisions will be wrong and she will pay.

    That's life experience. & no matter how much us parents want to say, "Trust me, you don't want this" - they all want to find out for themselves.

    This isn't because I haven't tried, or refused to discuss sex, or drugs, or whatevere, it's simply that she is her own pereson.

  • ||

    Marshall -

    Secondary thought - I appreciate you not knee-jerking to my comments or pinpointing me to one candidate or the other, but instead you've dealt with my specific comments.

    I only mention this because it happens less and less on blogs.

  • Neu Mejican||

    My only issue is that neither full sex ed or AO sex ed is proven. They both seem to have the same basic rate or pregnancies and STDs (from what I've read).

    I haven't looked at the latest studies, but that certainly didn't seem to be the case when I was following the studies more closely (I used to have to teach sex ed annually to 5th graders). The AO programs have higher STD rates, and more risky behavior associated with them. The main factor in preventing unwanted pregnancy/std's is contraception...kids should get that information.

    http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/97/1/150

    A recent look...

  • Neu Mejican||

    Making the case based on the idea of rights and liberty rather than results.

    http://baywood.metapress.com/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,7,11;journal,6,151;linkingpublicationresults,1:300313,1

  • ||

    Neu Mejican -

    I think the quote is, "lies, damned lies, and statistics."

    From my understanding the actual pregnancy rate of teenage mothers is extremely low - I would find it, but too tired. This means if full sex ed is 1 out of 1000 prenancy (making up numbers). a 38% increase is basicalaly .3 childern for every 1000. While it appears statisitically significant, it's cettainly not quantivtatively significant.

  • ||

    I'm meant .003 increase. Obvsiously in cetain demographics and regions this doesn't hold true, but someone looking for the truth should ask, 38% of what?

    38% of 1 or 38% of 10,000 makes a difference.

  • ||

    i don't see where all this 'abstinence only sex education is causing teens to get pregnant cause they don't know about sex' business is coming from. maybe things have changed in the past seven years since i was in 10th grade, or maybe my school district was unique, but we did have a pretty comprehensive sex ed class called 'health' that covered stds, contraceptives, condoms and all that business. and while the main point the teachers tried to make was to wait until we were adults before having sex, they still covered everything mentioned above pretty thoroughly. the fact is the majority of kids entering high school know very well that if they don't want to get pregnant or an std, use condoms.

    as for those commenting about palin not being able to 'control' her almost adult daughter, i think these people should look at their own children, if they have them. if they think their kids aren't having sex or doing things of a sexual nature because they say not to, they are extremely naive. beyond locking them in a room until they are 18, you can't control that aspect of a teens life. you can tell them no, no, no, wait, wait, wait until you are blue in the face but in the end they are going to do what they want to, regardless.

  • ConTextant||

    A 17 year old gets knocked up? Wow, that's never happened before.

    This doesn't add or take anything from the campaign - it's a non-issue.

  • Abdul||

    Stubby had the most profound comments on this issue, but only if you exclude URKOBOLD.

    I never thought it possible, but URKOBOLD's comments about cleavage actually raised the tone of the debate.

  • ||

    did an overweght old titty dancer just give a 17 year old life advice? really?

  • Alice Bowie||

    A 17 year old gets knocked up? Wow, that's never happened before.

    This doesn't add or take anything from the campaign - it's a non-issue.


    Exactly, it shouldn't be an issue. It's the religious psychos and conservatives that wanna make laws making it an issue.

    A woman should have a right to choose PRIVATELY. No one wants John Aschroft investigating women to see if the Abortion happened in 3 months instead of 2.

    This just shows how hypocritical the Conservatives are about this so-called private matter.

    They say that they believe in SMALL GOVERNMENT or NO GOVERNMENT intervention...Yet, they wanna OUTLAW everything and have PARA-MILITARY raids for marijuana AND prefer the coat hanger for the poor than a regular abortion.

  • Jay S.||

    I pretty much throw out the opinions of anyone who says "Do you want [candidate] running the country?" unless the candidate is an obvious statist. The president should only run the government - a small one if we were lucky - and not every little thing in the country.

  • Neu Mejican||

    G4m3Th30ry | September 4, 2008, 12:52am | #
    Neu Mejican -

    I think the quote is, "lies, damned lies, and statistics."

    From my understanding the actual pregnancy rate of teenage mothers is extremely low - I would find it, but too tired. This means if full sex ed is 1 out of 1000 prenancy (making up numbers). a 38% increase is basicalaly .3 childern for every 1000. While it appears statisitically significant, it's cettainly not quantivtatively significant.

    G4m3Th30ry | September 4, 2008, 12:55am | #
    I'm meant .003 increase. Obvsiously in cetain demographics and regions this doesn't hold true, but someone looking for the truth should ask, 38% of what?

    38% of 1 or 38% of 10,000 makes a difference.


    Sure, effect sizes are what matter.

    So on your made up numbers...the real numbers are closer to 90 per 1000, iirc.

    The effect of abstinence and contraceptive use are about equal in reducing teen pregnancy meaning that if you successfully implement only one of these strategies in your sex ed, you cut your effectiveness by 50%.

  • ||

    Throwing the Puritan meanness of Puritans back in their face is like, fun.

    IIRC, Edmund Morgan's essay on "The Puritans and Sex" showed that, back in 17th century Massachusetts (you know, the real Puritans, the ones who got that name because they wanted to purify the Church of England of papist trappings), about one out of every three brides was pregnant when she got married. I think Puritans (and puritans) are pretty aware that, while this sort of thing isn't the ideal, it happens.

  • ||

    Abdul: actually, I want to join the URKOBOLD. It will not have me. I am sad.

  • ||

    "A person who might make a great mother at 27 won't necessarily make one at 17."

    And a person who would be a crappy mother at 17 won't necessarily make a great one at 27.

    Lighten up everyone. I doubt she'll drop out of school, but even if she does, she can always go back.

    Anecdote: One of my friends who was the oldest girl in a family of 13 left home and school at the age of 11 to go to work as a maid in San Juan. She had four kids every year, starting at age 20. She spoke only Spanish when I first met her.

    She now has a college degree and teaching certificate.

  • Abdul||

    Stubby,

    I'm sure URKOBOLD would join you a couple of times if your knockers were bigger. Talk to a plastic surgeon.

  • ||

    Anecdote: One of my friends who was the oldest girl in a family of 13 left home and school at the age of 11 to go to work as a maid in San Juan. She had four kids every year, starting at age 20. She spoke only Spanish when I first met her.


    How does one have 4 kids every year? I guess twins, all the time?

  • ||

    Abdul: Ah. That's the problem, then. I used to have large knockers. I went to the plastic surgeon for a reverse enhancement.

  • atrevete||

    Midget, I should be more precise, or learn to use commas or something. One child every year for four years for a total of four.

  • Not Bobby Collins||

    Al Gore, before he went batshit insane over global warming, was not a bad guy or politician. He was never a crazy when he was VP. I don't know what the hell happened to him after 2000. He went out there and he just didn't come back.

    He went out of bounds.

  • ||

    So you really hit the gamut of liberal opinion there by reading a sex advice columnist and nutpicking anonymous comments. What an incredibly poorly argued article.

  • some girl||

    Liberals are jealous of Sarah Palin, because she's pretty, she's also loving enough to accept a different kind of person she'll have to work extra hard for into her life and she has a husband who is willing too. I admire her, probably not enough to vote McCain/Palin because of the war issues and a resistance to US military expansion. But she's a fascinating person, and I naturally admire her motherhood spirit.

    I too am disturbed by Obama's lack of discernment between abortions in the first trimester (like killing a fish) and not giving a baby that survived abortion a chance to live (killing a baby). This is NOT a cut and dry issue at all, and Palin's popularity is connected to a real need to examine sex, motherhood, fatherhood, the state's role in protecting people whose families can't or won't...there is a lot to weigh.

  • ||

    I'm sorry but the christian's bible is unequivocal about what their god demands a believer must do to the deflowered and unmarried teenage daughter of Sarah Palin.

    Deuteronomy 22 21 (King James Version)

    "Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you."

    That's pretty heinous but this isn't a minor sin like plowing a field using an ox and a horse at the same time or wearing mixed fabrics. This young girl is a harlot and this is a capital crime. of course, these holier than-thou types won't do what's required by their religion. They're such major hypocrites.

    For example, they enact all these "orifice laws" to regulate what they don't want people to put in our bodies, like drugs. So now the US has have more people in jail than any other county in the world.

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