Republican Convention 2008

Palin Baby Mama Scuttlebutt

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In an unguarded moment last night, McCain Report blogger Michael Goldfarb replied to my question of whether there's any truth to the rumor that Sarah Palin's Down Syndrome child is actually her daughter's with the following less-than-confidence-inspiring comment: "Well, I don't…think so." He added that the whole thing, like Hurricane Gustav, will have played out, one way or another, within the next 24 hours.

That wasn't enough for the pretty pro-McCain crowd he was talking to, and when one interlocutor (not me) accused McCain of not having properly vetted his nominee, Goldfarb dropped the M bomb. "He's a maverick," he said. "That's the way mavericks do things!"

On this point I agree with him. Every family in America has something this fucked up or more in its past. In fact, I don't see why (other than the fact that Palin used the baby story as demonstration of her pro-life bona fides) the whole thing couldn't be spun as a touching story of a mother protecting her kid. Like the straight-talking maverick persona, this family weirdness (which I am not, repeat not claiming is true or even credible) is something most Americans could readily identify with.

In fact, the dumbest comment on this matter has come from About.com urban legends guy David Emery, who writes: "Can anyone point to a single example of such a thing ever happening before -- a mother pretending to be pregnant and faking a birth to 'cover for' or 'protect the reputation of' her pregnant teen daughter?"

Just sticking with famous people I can point to one: Hillary Clinton supporter Jack Nicholson, who was raised to believe his grandmother was his mother. Among the less famous: several people in my high school.

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  1. “Down’s Syndrome” is code for “human-alien hybrid”.

    What say the real reporters at the National Enquirer?

  2. Actually it was a major plot line in last season’s Desperate Housewives.

  3. You’re going to have to count me with Emery on this one. I don’t see how such a deception could even work…no one noticed that Palin was not pregnant or that her daughter was?

  4. I’ll wait for one of our resident lefties to come around and tell us how dedicated to reason and science and intellectual discussion lefties are…until there’s some BABY MAMA DRAMA!

  5. When this morphs into Chinatown somebody give me a call.

  6. You can see why the liberal blogosphere would be so concerned to uncover the truth here as quickly as possible, though. I mean, if the woman is willing to lie about whether the child is hers or her daughter’s, she might someday have to lie under oath about who the father is, too, and then the (Democrat controlled) House would feel forced to vote for impeachment charges on grounds of perjury and the Senate would be forced to hold a show-trial and the republic could probably never survive that sort of trauma.

  7. It looks like it’s over:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/30076181@N02/

    Andrew Sullivan, after stating that this was a legitimate political issue, says it was all Palin’s fault:

    “Here’s a photo that looks like it confirms Palin’s pregnancy, uploaded today, on what was the last day of the Alaska Legislature’s Session, on April 13, 2008, five days before Trig Palin was born. More here. This seems to put the kibbosh on this, although it would still be good to have official confirmation from the McCain campaign, which should be easy enough to do.”

    Err… Has Sullivan jumped the shark much?

    However:

    http://www.redstate.com/diaries/redhot/2008/aug/31/the-palin-scandal-is-even-worse-than-the-koss/

    So, it looks like the photo where Sarah Palin was not pregnant and her daughter was, is actually from… 2006. Hmmm…. where’s that baby?!?!

    Come on Andrew, make the though questions!!

  8. The underlying question is “whose baby is it”?

    Given the penchant these Western charismatic fundie types have for incest and the fact that her son is being shipped off to Iraq for the old Tillman treatment – I would have to say that a full family mitochondrial DNA family profile might be in order.

  9. Politically it would be ridiculous for any Democrat to even touch this. If a Democrat wanted to push this story, the best case scenario is that it blows up in their faces. You can see the press conference where she admits “the truth” and says that they did it to protect their daughter and their grandson. Very sympathetic.

    That’s not to say there aren’t a whole lot of questions surrounding this thing, which people with more experience around births can speak to, but as scandals go, it really seems like a personal issue. It doesn’t show ill deeds. It’s not about someone enriching themselves. It doesn’t show any hypocrisy. Sure, it would be a lie, but they convince people it was for all the right reasons. It’s not very scandalous.

  10. This is about the intelligence level of the Obama birth certificate “controversy”. I’m sure joe and the other members of the liberal wing of H&R will now be forced to acknowledge that both sides of the spectrum have their nutjobs.

  11. If shrike’s sickening post above is any indication, my surety was misplaced.

  12. The underlying question is “whose baby is it”?

    Karl Rove’s
    Metaphorically speaking.
    This smacks as a typically Rovian tactic of deeply planting a rumor in Alaska so when the Obamasphere investigates it makes us look like insensitive fools. Rove should be ashamed of himself for embarrassing the hypocritical little fundie godbot tramp
    just to score a few “class” points on the left.

  13. When Vladimir Putin bursts into flames while reviewing the troops on May Day, you’ll be glad President Palin’s young son is on our side.

  14. It is my understanding that Downs syndrome is vanishingly unlikely in a teen -pregnancy, while much more likely in the pregnancy of a 40-year-old woman. Given that, and that there seems to be little or no actual evidence to support the “scandal”, I think this rumor is a symptom of the desperation of the Political Left any time it looks like the Political Right might score some points.

    This didn’t used to be the case, and it is a development that troubles me. There was a time when the Left expected to lose a few in the process of winning the whole thing. I’m not sure when the change took place, but the Left now seems to live constantly on the verge of hysteria.

    I wish I understood it.

  15. Rove should be ashamed of himself for embarrassing the hypocritical little fundie godbot tramp
    just to score a few “class” points on the left.

    ZOMG! Can I reproduce this for one of my classes? This is a well-put, perfectly preserved, mint condition Bullshit Strawman Argument!. Do you know how hard these are to find?

    Given the penchant these Western charismatic fundie types have for incest and the fact that her son is being shipped off to Iraq for the old Tillman treatment – I would have to say that a full family mitochondrial DNA family profile might be in order.

    Wow, shrike, if you haven’t been told to fuck off today, allow me to be the first.

    “Fuck off, shrike”.

  16. Occam…

    To be fair, I think joe has admitted many times that there are nutjobs on the left as well as the right. Now we just have to get him to admit that he’s one of ’em.

    (just kidding, joe 🙂 )

  17. First lady Laura Bush said today that sexism aimed at Sarah Palin was a very real prospect and suggested Democrats watch what they say about the Alaska governor and John McCain’s ticketmate.

    Laura Bush takes the lead in stifling dissent.
    Expect the whole parade of Rethuglican Stepford wives to follow in her wake.
    Palin’s lack of academic credentials and any National political experience reveal her to be totally unqualified and I for one, will not be silenced.

  18. I for one, will not be silenced.

    You hero! Should we erect your statue in the town square or in front of the courthouse?

    Another question: do you look in the mirror and laugh every morning at how seriously unserious you are?

  19. Look, McCain wanted Joe L. but was muscled out of this decision by his party handlers – who knew that the Aryan Nation/fundie/American revisionist/Handmaid/anti-contraception/nutcase right wingers needed to be ignited in order for him to have a chance in this election.

    And you know what? Rove is correct. This nets McCain close to 2 million new votes (for him).

    Now, the question is, instead of governing the country appropriately, attention will be put on these fringe issues once AGAIN.

  20. C. S. P. Schofield @ 11:29am said what I opened the post to say.

    Also, Ace introduced me to the story, and damn near live-blogged the blooming of deranged minds. If this is the best they can come up with…

  21. Her daughter sure does look preggers on one of those photos, but Palin does in the others.

    Either way, I don’t give a shit and I’m putting it on the same level of Birth Certificategate and Madrassahgate.

    Dumbest. Election. Ever.

  22. Maybe her daughter was just really fat.

    I’ve looked pregnant at times in my life (not now), and I’m a man.

  23. that the Aryan Nation/fundie/American revisionist/Handmaid/anti-contraception/nutcase right wingers

    I love the smell of bigotry in the morning.

  24. Well like I said Occam I really don’t care. She is a lightweight and gives me the creeps (in a very similar manner that John Edwards gave me the creeps FWIW), but I’m not buying the conspiracy theory.

  25. I think excessive Palin discussions are going to backfire on the Democrats, though.

    The Lefty Talking Heads are already going apeshit about…wait for it…her lack of experience.

    I think they want to lose.

  26. TAO-

    She still gives me the creeps. Like John Edwards and Bill Clinton did. If my sixth sense is right once again, there is something there.

  27. BDB – ehh…I’m not getting that vibe. The one I get it from is Biden because of how excessively clean he is.

    I’m one of those people who need to have my car doors make a reassuring *thunk* and my politicians to have just a little dirt on them.

    For that fact, both of the D candidates are off-putting in their cleanliness.

  28. For that fact, both of the D candidates are off-putting in their cleanliness.

    …and their articulateness?

  29. This “conspiracy theory” is another bullshit whispering campaign designed to feed the pirhannas.

    Like Fox News has perfected – you know “Did an 8-yr old Obama help Bill Ayers make bombs to launch into the Pentagon?”

    or

    “Is Obama a secret Muslim?”

    Its shit for the Hannitys and its shit for the Daily Kos folks – but look at the difference in audience – plus, the latter does not claim to be “fair and balanced”.

  30. New news! Palin’s daughter is pregnant.

  31. I want to see shriek’s one-man show off-Broadway. It must be incredible.

  32. BDB: Explain why she gives you the creeps. This is an honest question.

  33. Now it has come out that Palin’s daughter is pregnant out of wedlock, for real, and will marry the father.

  34. Anonymous-

    I don’t know, she just does. Sorry, I can’t explain it. I got the same vibe from Edwards and Bill Clinton. Just a sixth sense kinda thing.

  35. Maybe you’re intimidated by the librarian look.

  36. I used to think it was the creepy slezey southern Democrat look. But Palin gives me the same vibe. *shrugs*

  37. look at the difference in audience – plus, the latter does not claim to be “fair and balanced”.

    What a kick…it’s OK for lefties to act like trashy housewives with a fetish for gossip ’cause they don’t claim NOT to like it.

    What’s it like on your planet, shrike? Are there two suns?

  38. TAO,

    It might be better to let shrike have enough rope to hang himself at this point.

  39. Now it has come out that Palin’s daughter is pregnant out of wedlock, for real, and will marry the father.

    I’m sure the fundie Palin taught her daughter “abstinence” – aka, more hollow tripe from the fundie set.

  40. I’ll second Occam’s position.

    I still think Palin is finished, though, after this pregnancy story has been confirmed, especially if the preggers pics were not of recent vintage.

  41. shrike,

    You sound like a flaming Lefty, in more ways than one. You should be happy their children are learning your ilk’s hedonist ways. Why are you still puking from the keyboard?

    Sincerely,
    Anonymous

  42. The Right will question your patriotism and the Left will question your compassion. Neither will answer your question with a great deal of substance.

  43. Obama is a communist. He will not be able to impose it under our system, but he is what he is. I hate Mccain, but have no choice this time.

  44. Lee Cruz, that’s painting with a little too broad of a brush, but it’s sadly true in general. Of course we’d have to add that a lot of people on the Top (ie, libertarians) question your purity without addressing your question.

  45. My analysis of the daughter-not-Palin thing? This supposedly happened while she was sticking it to the Alaskan Republican good-ol-boy network. If they didn’t bring it up, it isn’t true.

    I’m not sure when the change took place, but the Left now seems to live constantly on the verge of hysteria.

    Losing both houses of Congress and the presidency over what was supposed to be a slam-dunk core Democratic issue (gun control: “assault rifle” ban) then losing the presidency because of hanging chads could make anyone a tad paranoid.

    Palin’s lack of academic credentials and any National political experience reveal her to be totally unqualified

    Personally, I think not being a lawyer or part of the inside-the-beltway crowd is a feature, not a bug.

  46. Anon-

    I am a secular humanist, ACLU and science loving capitalist — we USED to make up the bulk of the Libertarian Party.

    Do I mind you fundie ankle-biters? You really do humor me.

    Rand, Warren Buffett, Soros, T. Jefferson, the Google guys (I’m sure you would not know their names) are all heroes of mine to some extent. But all people HATED by the right wing nuts.

    This argument is now a microcosm of the big political one – drawn along social conservative battle lines for political expediency.

  47. shrike, oh did the CPUSA already hand out this year’s telepathy caps? Is that how you know what I think?

    I’ll let you consult your little red book for a suitable reply. Please try to be prompt, won’t you?

  48. I am a secular humanist, ACLU and science loving capitalist

    Who conveniently excuses Democrats when they act like white trash soap opera watchers!

    You’re such a secular, rational libertarian that you think it’s ok for the KosKids to act like gossipy teens.

  49. I don’t care who mothered the baby, I’m just glad she didn’t abort him.

  50. I guess I should have inserted Fox News and Daily Kos as a stipulation. Re-reading it I see I pulled the whole, “To generalize is to be an idiot” William Blake Thing. Ya the purity thing is off putting too.

  51. err last post TO occam’s toothbrush

  52. That’s not me.

  53. I know it’s okay for the Daily Kos to act like gossipy teens. Just like it’s okay for you to act like you’re on your period with every post.

  54. shrike,

    I don’t doubt you’re a libertarian, but I’ve seen a lot of libertarians who become so riled up by the unlibertarian positions of the social Right that they knee-jerk defend anything that opposes the Right, even if it’s totally contradictory to libertarianism. e.g., libertarians intensely supporting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

  55. Just like it’s okay for you to act like you’re on your period with every post.

    little dollop of sexism always adds some punch to the afternoon.

    special bonus points: I’m a guy.

  56. I would doubt anyone suggesting such a thing to not be libertarian. Does that make me a “wing nut”? VIVE LE MONARCHY!

  57. shrike,

    I don’t doubt you’re a libertarian, but I’ve seen a lot of libertarians who become so riled up by the unlibertarian positions of the social Right that they knee-jerk defend anything that opposes the Right, even if it’s totally contradictory to libertarianism. e.g., libertarians intensely supporting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

    Very astute observation there.

    I have to admit – I lived in California when Arnold initiated his $3 billion state SCR program and favored it. Biotech will be larger than energy someday – as an industry and I have some history with the NIH – a federal success case that NO pharma company wants to see cut back.

    Good criticism – I must admit.

  58. What not many folks seem to be pointing out in all this mess is that Ms. Palin was touted by the rightwingers as this perfect mom. Hmmm… the actions of her and her kids don’t seem to reflect that at all.

    In fact, I consider her more of a monster where parenting is concerned. If the rumor that Trig is not her baby is true, then she accepted the VP offer knowing that it could be found out and damage the GOP’s campaign. If she is actually Trig’s mom and knew her under-age daughter is pregnant, she accepted the VP offer knowing her daughter would be scrutinized, perhaps even reviled, and took the offer anyway to slake her own political ambitious thirst. Looks like by her actions she’s not only a lousy mother but also doesn’t really care about her political party. A scandal is a scandal. This party always touts itself as the Family Values party and yet the scandals just keep coming.

    I really feel bad for Bristol for being put in this horrible position. You can’t blame the people who want answers about this. You can blame McCain for not vetting her and Palin for throwing her family under the bus for political gain.

  59. this is a common story. teenage pregnacy and parents try to protect their kid. it’s happened to thousands of families BUT NOT ONE OF THOSE FAMILIES HAD THEIR MOTHER JUST NOMINATED TO BE THE GOP VP NOMINEE. there is a difference. it goes to judgment for McCain.

    this is what happens when VP nominees are not properly vetted. Palin was a knee-jerk selection at the 11th hour. They say that McCain knew about the pregnancy. i find that hard to believe; it simply doesn’t pass the eyeball test. if McCain and his handlers knew about this and they were ok with it — they would of orchestrated leaking the news and spinning it to their advantage, if at all possible — it’s called preemptive damage control. Political Spin Doctoring 101 teaches you that you MUST control the news and NOT BECOME the news.

    Anyway you spin this, just reinforces the reckless nature of John McCain, version 2008 … the not-so-Straight Talking Express is unsafe at any speed.

    so much for championing family values … does this mean that GOP values now include teenage sex and single parenthood? if so, welcome red staters to Cultural America 2008 !!!!

  60. The difference is that the Obama campaign produced BHO’s birth certificate.

    Trig Palin still isn’t on the hospital’s online nursery registry:
    http://www.matsuregional.com/nursery/show_day.php?month=04&year=2008&day=18

    No sign of him for the entire week or month either. Of course, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t born there (maybe listing your kid online is optional?). But hey: just give us a birth certificate and end the chatter…unless you think the chatter will end up hurting the democrats.

  61. The McCain camp likes to paint Obama as a Celebrity. Well the McCain campaign now has it’s own true celebrity in the Brittany Spears mold. Didn’t Brittany’s less famous sister have a teen pregnancy episode when she was 16 or so. I guess we can now retire the Celebrity label from the Obama caricature, along with all the other misguided, false labels like –Elitist, Secret Muslim, non-flag pin wearer, bad bowler of a 38, not Patriotic enough American, flip-flop, inexperience, too-good-looking-too-skinny-too-smart-and-just-plain-too-everything. All the falsehoods that the John McCain of 2000 would have disapproved of vehemently.

  62. Ted Bundy was raised to believe his grandmother was his mother and his mother was his sister. He found out as a teenager. The effects on his personality were…unpleasant.

  63. Let’s see: McCain has a one in five chance of developing Alzheimer’s and Palin would be President? Enough said.

  64. Looks like by her actions she’s not only a lousy mother but also doesn’t really care about her political party.

    Yes, because bad things *never* happen to good people.

    I’m sorry, did the Left suddenly convert to 12th-century Catholicism when i wasn’t looking?

  65. If the rumor that Trig is not her baby is true,

    Have you been reading Kos or Colmes? Doesn’t the Downes (3% over age 40) indicate something to you? How about the pictures of her pregnant?

    Oh! FAT SUIT!! Of course!

  66. “Have you been reading Kos or Colmes? Doesn’t the Downes (3% over age 40) indicate something to you?”

    That’s a bit of a misuse of statistics. 80% of Downs kids are born to women under 40 because most children are born to women under 40. I’ve seen references to the idea that there is a small incidence spike among teen pregnancies, but haven’t seen any backing statistics.

    (And what are the odds against a baby being born to a woman soon to be appointed candidate for Vice President? Astronomical!)

    If it was Bristol’s child, the age factor would certainly help maintain the fiction. See a 43 year old woman with a Downs baby and you’re going to assume it’s hers, and not exactly be inclined to press on the matter.

    Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bristol’s current pregnancy either “lasts 12 months”, or else is reported in late November as having ended in a miscarriage. (If Palin is still getting national news coverage at that point.)

  67. Adding, the most telling parts of the story to me are Bristol’s extended absence from school for ‘mono’ that overlapped the later part of her mother’s pregnancy, and Palin’s rather risky handling of labor after her water kinda broke in Texas. Even though she was a 43 year old woman carrying her 5th, a Downs baby, in a very high-risk pregnancy, she took her own sweet time and flew all the way back to Alaska to have the kid rather than going straight to a Dallas hospital with facilities for handling such births.

    Why, the story almost sounds more like Palin got a call that her daughter’s water broke, and then went back to the Wassilia hospital where her daughter was being cared for, without any particular urgency.

  68. What are the maternal age risks for Down syndrome?

    Maternal Age | Risk at birth
    25 to 29 years | 1 out of 1250
    35 years | 1 out of 378
    40 years | 1 out of 100
    45 (and older) | 1 out of 30

  69. I can’t tell you how great it is to be in a room full of experts.

    Anyone who puts one ounce of thought towards believing this stupid rumor deserves a swirly in the mens room at a Flying J.

    When do the grownups get to talk policy?

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