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September 01, 2008

Comments

Sarah Palin and her church and her pastor have made themselves abundantly clear on issues of reproductive privacy -- there won't be any.

Look, it's perfectly easy to discuss matters of reproductive privacy without bringing Palin's kid into it. In fact, you will make a stronger point about reproductive privacy if you leave her the hell out of it.

The whole discussion obviously has its own momentum at this point. Pandora's box is open.

But it is, simply, slimy to use Palin's kid as an object lesson. She's not running for anything, and her pregnancy neither justifies nor undermines her mother's political views. She's just a pregnant kid.

Thanks -

This is a wonderful post, Hilzoy. You have (at least partially) restored my faith in people after a very discouraging weekend.

I don't care what anyone says, thank you for doing the decent thing. There are far too few people who have the grace to remember that whatever our political differences, we are all only human - and fallible.

For this, you have this conservative woman's gratitude.

lj: I'm really not sure what point is served by publishing comments from the guy's MySpace page. That's some deep investigative journalism there.

Jes, I can't find your original comment in the heap of comments. But AFAICR you said that she was in labour. What I read is that she trickled amniotic fluid, had a few contractions but they settled to 1 or 2 an hour. She also was in touch with her doctor along the way.

"I am not a glutton for pain and punishment. I would have never wanted to travel had I been fully engaged in labor," Palin said. After four kids, the governor said, she knew what labor felt like, and she wasn't in labor.

Had I been a few hours travel from home when the first signs of labour had shown themselves I would have wanted to travel home too. Giving birth in the environment you want can be very important for pregnant women. If it can't be, it can't be - but I'd sure give it a try if the riscs were acceptable. I don't know what I would have done in her place, I have no idea how her other child deliveries went. But I am rather suprised that you, the person who normally is quite adament about women making their own decisions especially where pregnancy and babies are concerned, aren't confident that Sarah Palin can make an informed decision.

If an ultrasound hasn't detected big deformations there is not additional risc for DS children around birth. The things they are vulnerable for are diagnosed later, are tested or scanned for later, not right after birth.

lJ: Biden didn't mention it, but both Barack and Beau did. Since I feel uncomfortable even discussing this much I don't really want to have a discussion about what he did. I think he did a good thing, I just wanted to point out the difference in approach (Sarah Palin isn't single, she has a husband - yet no one would 'urge her' publically to 'serve').

And puhlease.... are we now judging a candidate by the fact that her daughter dates a 17 yo jock who fishes out of season and didn't want kids? Is Jerry Springer more respresentative of the US than I'd hoped and assumed?

Ara and DM, apologies for the link, I just thought it interesting that it was the Telegraph that put it out and I thought it underlined Jes' point that it is not liberal blogs driving the coverage.

And dutch, we all now know about Biden's first marriage, but one of my points was that it seemed remarkably long in surfacing. The second point was that the whole set of circumstances (after the election but before taking office, a widower who was only 4 years out of law school) makes your comparison a little less apt, though I don't disagree with your fundamental point.

Marbel: Jes, I can't find your original comment in the heap of comments. But AFAICR you said that she was in labour.

Yes, according to my ordinary understanding of "in labour" - her waters had broken. On an NHS health advice site, the advisor confirms your definition of labour - strong contractions - but also notes a number of situations in which an expectant mother shouldn't wait to contact the maternity ward: number one is "If she suspects her waters (the amniotic fluid) have broken." At that point, I believe, standard advice is to call your doctor/the midwife and ask "whether you should come in at once, wait a while, or call for an ambulance".

There are multiple obvious reasons why airlines don't like to transport passengers who are about to give birth. Sarah Palin obviously didn't give a damn about any of that, and - that part is honestly admitted - did not inform Alaska Airlines that her waters had broken but she was sure it would be a day before she would deliver.

As I said: this medical decision was hers to make, in consultation - this late in pregnancy - with her doctor/midwife. And as her midwife could have been an Alaska Airlines flight attendant, if there was no one else on board who could help, it would have been fair, surely, to consult Alaska Airlines before proposing to travel 8 hours on their plane and potentially make use of their staff for duties they didn't ordinarily sign up for.

Yes, I think that Sarah Palin ought to have been in control of all medical decisions made about her pregnancy/childbirth. I'm at a loss, though, as to what would have prevented that from happening if she'd checked into a hospital in Texas as soon as her speech was over.

Is Jerry Springer more respresentative of the US than I'd hoped and assumed?

Yes, I'm afraid so.

The term is Down Sybdrome, not Down's.

Down's syndrome is the British spelling.

Okay, I'm not the only one with this point of view about what we could ask of Palin.

McCain and Palin Recklessness All Around

Palin becoming pregnant at 44 was reckless.

Her chances of having a healthy child are very diminished at that age.

Then flaunting a Down Syndrome child as a badge of solidarity with the religious right is a new low in politics.

Now we are treated to the reality of what happens when dogma trumps biological facts.

A choice for the daughter?? In your dreams !!!

Her fate not her choice was dictated to her by her family.

Her choice went like this---You tart, you will marry that rotter, you will not bring a bastard into this family. --

God works in mysterious ways, for your penance, you will now be the main caretaker for your Down Syndrome brother while your mother is busy governing the little people.

I agree, using a 17yo to gain points is for trash media. Good post!

Down's syndrome is the British spelling.

Down's sybdrome is the cold spelling.

OCSteve: No way to know for sure whether this is good or bad for Obama, I guess. But in hours of news coverage over the weekend the only bad thing I saw about Palin was babygate stuff, and she's plummeting in the polls. Something's dragging her down, and I don't see anything else that could be doing it. And in general personal smears have benefitted the other side. Can you mention some examples where the blowback clearly damaged the smearer? I can't. Never mind the current situation, where the personal attacks are *not* coming from the Obama camp. Do you think McCain got blowback from Edwards getting chased and exposed? I don't.

dutchmabel: Is Jerry Springer more respresentative of the US than I'd hoped and assumed?

Yes. Very much so. Remember why Anna Nicole Smith got so much coverage? Because stuff on her got killer ratings. There's a very large segment of the population that has no interest whatsoever in abuse of power, political knowledge, or competent vetting. You can talk Troopergate and presidential qualifications all day and they'll just change the channel. But if some unwed teenage relative has (or even better, *might* have had) a pregnancy, they are INTERESTED. And they may even pay attention to Troopergate while they're following the family melodrama. These people do vote, although I'm sure at lower rates than political wonks, and in a closely divided country it's very difficult to win an election if you cede them to the other side.

Just wondering how anyone posting here knows what was said to the daughter about her choices, marriage, contraception, or abortion? What conversations were held in this family about these topics? Clearly some people here have a thorough knowledge of this, or at least they're pretending to.

Actually, I don't expect an honest answer from people who just make this stuff up the way the want it to be without the need for any actual knowledge that that's the way it is.

It's amazing that these kinds of hateful spasms come from the side of the aisle that contains all the intelligence, wisdom, nuanced and deep thinkers, ethics, and sensitivities to teenage girls in difficult situations. Oh - they're clairvoyant, too.

tamdar: Just wondering how anyone posting here knows what was said to the daughter about her choices, marriage, contraception, or abortion?

We don't. We just know what Governor Palin says she thinks people ought to say to their daughters about marriage, contraception, and abortion - but you're right: we have no idea if the Palin parents told their own children what they say other people should tell theirs.

Clearly some people here have a thorough knowledge of this, or at least they're pretending to.

What Governor Palin says she believes is: teenagers shouldn't be taught how to use contraception: girls shouldn't be allowed to have abortions even if they've been raped: and no sex until marriage. Do you, then, think we should assume she's speaking only for and to other people's families, and not for her own?

(FWIW: tamdar, I do believe that we ought to assume that Palin is merely a pro-life politician who says what she needs to to get elected, with indifference to the suffering this will cause other peopl - not an inhuman monster who would force her "principles" on her own children regardless of the suffering this would cause them. I think that like most pro-life parents, she'd make exceptions for her own children, just like (like most pro-life women) she'd make exceptions for herself. I think better of her as a parent than her political speeches would make her, in other words.

I'll be curious if someone can dig up any support for the statement that Sarah Palin believes kids shouldn't be taught how to use contraception. That sounds hyoperbolic to me (and we all know that couldn't possibly happen!). I think she's more of the position that teaching young people aspects of sexuality is something to be approached by parents, not school systems.

While I disagree with her stance on abortion, she and her family have adhered to that position. You, nor any of the people here claiming to know, do not know or have any evidence that the decision was not the daughter's. And while it is inconsistent to respect a choice when the preference is that there be no choice, this family has acted in accordance with its stated beliefs.

Hmm ... no sex until marriage. What a horrible thing to encourage young people to consider! Clearly Sarah Palin has emotionally brutalized her daughter to even suggest such a thing!!

Sarah Palin is a joke! McCain lost this election the moment he nominated her!

oh, truth, how right you are. how foolish we were to sit around wasting our time with discussions of ethics, political impact, etc. we should've just decided what we wanted to happen! and then post it! with exclamation points! you are teh winnar!

I'll be curious if someone can dig up any support for the statement that Sarah Palin believes kids shouldn't be taught how to use contraception.

Sure. Here: Eagle Forum Alaska 2006 - a questionnaire sent to all the gubernational candidates, including Sarah Palin. Sent to, mind - so these aren't spur-of-the-moment responses, but as considered and thoughtful as Sarah Palin gets.

"3. Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?"
Sarah Palin: "Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support."

I think she's more of the position that teaching young people aspects of sexuality is something to be approached by parents, not school systems.

You feel, then, that although Sarah Palin says she believes in abstinence, she did in fact teach her children how to have sex safely when they chose to do so?

While I disagree with her stance on abortion, she and her family have adhered to that position.

No, she hasn't. Sarah Palin's stance on abortion is that women shouldn't have the right to choose abortion. (See the Eagle Forum questionnaire, above.)

However, according to what she herself said yesterday, she and her family have not adhered to that position: she said her daughter chose to have the baby, so in fact, her daughter was allowed to make the decision for herself to have the baby or to have an abortion. Which is the right thing to do. To adhere to that position faced with her own child, would be inhuman.

Hmm ... no sex until marriage. What a horrible thing to encourage young people to consider!

Certainly better than encouraging young people to think they have to get married to the first person they have sex with. Marriage is a legal committment that is intended to last a lifetime, after all. Or do you regard marriage as something that people ought to dash into on the spur of the moment, without serious consideration whether they've really met the right person to live with, love, and support for the rest of their lives?

I think she's more of the position that teaching young people aspects of sexuality is something to be approached by parents, not school systems.

That is defensable, but rather beside the point. In fact, the whole idea here is precisely that most people don't want the government making personal decisions for them. I'd say there is a huge difference between the supposed harm done by teaching sexuality from a biological POV in a school, vs outlawing all abortion. They just aren't in the same category, but because they are both the product of inflexible religious tenents, they are equally important in the minds of some.

Running a diverse, modern State via a religious book is a world-historical failure several dozen times over. It doesn't work, has never worked well, and causes more suffering and problems than it aleviates. Some smart people in the 18th century founded a country partially on that insight, a country which did pretty well until the last several years....

Honestly, this is going to sound quite hypacritical and or contradictory but her goes. I believe her private life including her children should be private. On the contrary, to me this folds into my decision making. Her is a woman with five children, one of whom is now expecting. It seems as though her role of becoming Govenor at a time when she should have been at home with her teenage daughter teaching abstinence it has interferred with her ability to parent efficiently. So what is too become of her other children in the next few months as she travels around campaigning. Then what is to become of them if she does make the presidency. Over the past 8 years we have all seen much more Dick than of the Bush. Then if something were to happen to Mr. 72 year old she is suppose to run our country when it's obvious she isn't making the best decisions as a parent. Why was the child holding her baby. As a parent, it seems at 4 months old you would be the one holding your new child and bonding with it and not on the road campaigning. Or could it be that it is either her grandchild or maybe now she resents the selfish choice of keeping this child.

Over the past 8 years we have all seen much more Dick than of the Bush.

Paging Mr. Thullen. Mr. John Thullen, please pick up the white courtesy phone…

Do I really care that Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter is pregnant? Of course not. Do I care that the Palin's brought a down syndrome baby into the world? No. But they made the choice to do so. Why can't women make the choice not to bring a sick child into the world if they choose not to? How many marriages break up because of it? Many. Why does the far right think that there way is the right way and no one else's matter? Still working on that one.

I agree with the sentiment that the daughter herself is off limits.

I disagree to my core that every aspect of the candidate(s) judgment is off limits.

I'm a 56 year old woman that lived through the real bra burning rebellion to the real good old boys network. We were not even considered for traditionally male jobs.

To suggest that the candidate and her judgment is off limits is to insinuate women are still in some sort of softer class that must be treated differently than men.

To suggest that any male candidate (think Rick Santurum) who advertises himself as radically pro life, pro abstinence only sex education, that trots his family out as a main selling point would not get the same scrutiny is completely naive and a serious form of reverse sexism.

This woman chose to put herself in the national spotlight. By trotting out her family as a prop, she chose to put them under national scrutiny. The former was fine and wholly applaudable. The latter was the poorest judgment imaginable if she had any consideration for her daughter's privacy at all.

If Palin knew the daughter was pregnant and she wanted to dive onto the national stage the simple solution would have been to enter the national stage ALONE or maybe just she and her husband. She still could have used the idea that she chose life for her last child, her daughter's choice life for her illegitimate child as strong pro life family value walking of the talk. It would have completely cemented the hard right behind her and probably won some of the more conservative independents.

As it is, she and McCain chose to make a spectacle of her family opening the door to the vicious national media. That reflects the poorest judgment possible, both politically and morally.

I still think the way to approach all of this is via McCain and his kneejerk reactionary instincts. His initial poor judgment in picking this problem laden woman is the real issue and shouldn't get lost in all the hoopla.

But please, as a woman who lived through those horrid times for women of early womens lib, do not use sexism as an excuse for not publically vetting this woman.

Support her efforts to gain a job in a traditionally male arena, but do not insist on favoritism or you defeat the very thing women have fought so long and hard for...equity...the good AND the bad of it.

Treat me just like you'd treat anyone else and let me be chosen for my own merits.

Paging Mr. Thullen.

No kidding. Moose burgers, Miss Congeniality, and a teen-age wedding.

Who else could make sense of this craziness?

John, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Thanks -

Jes: leaking amniotic fluid can happen when there is a little leak high up. It can go on for weeks even, but than you have to monitor carefully for infection. If there is more fluid loss, or if the pregnancy is close to term, they will usually induce labour after 24 hours if nature hasn't started it yet. In the Netherlands of course, since that is the only system I am familiar with.
Also, in the last stage of pregnancy, you often have 'false labour'. In Dutch we call them 'practise contractions'.

That is why I state that we cannot judge her decision without knowing a lot more details about her previous birth experiences, the amount of amniotic fluid, how her contractions felt, etc.

Question: I have seen all candidates with their family/kids on stage when they spoke to the audience. Why is Sarah Palin doing that different? Do I miss something that might be obvious to you all and that looks like much of a muchness to me?

Looks like this thread is going to break the alltime record for length on this blog (spammed threads maybe excluded)

That is why I state that we cannot judge her decision without knowing a lot more details about her previous birth experiences, the amount of amniotic fluid, how her contractions felt, etc.

Actually, you know, I think we can. Because her decision was that she was going to fly from Texas to Anchorage. Eight hours in the plane, assuming no delays en route, leaking amniotic fluid... with absolutely no certainty that she would not give birth before she could get to a hospital.

You'd think she was in a foreign country and wanted to make sure her baby would be a natural-born citizen, in the common American misunderstanding of how citizenship may be transmitted.

Barack Obama is very smart in taking the high road and telling his supporters to lay off children of politicians. All of those republican supporters who harp on every microscopic flaw found on any democratic candidate should take note, but they don't. They whine and pontificate and bluster their outrage without stop. To turn around and defend Sarah Palin and her questionable mothering talents and accuse Dems of attacking her poor helpless daughter is hypocrisy that is so mind-blowing, I can barely focus. The fact is, in most of the commentary I've seen today on the internet, even in the most liberal blog sites, very few are nasty towards the daughter. Liberals do not attack people for being human (although conservatives up until now, love to pin on the scarlet letter for every sin.) Valid criticism of Sarah Palin is this: How can you decide to accept a VP nomination when you have both a newborn Downs Syndrome child and you have vulnerable teenager about to give birth? Where would you find the time to be a VP in the next couple of years? Are you going to just hand your children over to a nanny, given the significant challanges your particular family has? Even if she was the father instead of the mother, should any person with those types of problems accept a VP of the US job? Should Edwards have run for Prez when his wife found out she had terminal cancer? I didn't think so then, and when he was discovered to be having an affair, I saw what an idiot he was. What if he had won the nomination and the affair came out and destroyed Democratic chances? He was a sleazeball because he lacked values in failing to protect his wife's health and putting her through a stressful camapign (and had a babe on the side, further hurting her profoundly). And Sarah Palin is a sleazeball because she knows what her daughter will go through with media scrutiny. And she knows her infant son will not get the type of intensive parenting he will need to achieve higher functioning. And for political reasons, to not miss out on giving a speech, she took the chance and gave "dry birth" many hours after her water broke. Dry birth is very dangerous and Down's Syndrome children already have a higher stillbirth rate. Way to go in preserving your fetus. The woman is a questionable mother, although her shining mother image seemed to be her main attribute when she was presented onstage as the VP choice. She has little experience and qualifications beyond that now- tarnished image. Obama can take the high road with no problems because the Republicans have hung themselves.

apparently I have stumbled upon a democrat site rather than a discussion site. Being neither republican nor democrat I take offense at the "blame game" that I read here. Neither party is above using what ever "dirt" it thinks it may have to strike political points. However, the democratic candidate has repeatedly stated that his family is off limits and has now stated that all candidate's families and especially children are off limits. So get a life, all of you, and look at what is really important to this contest. The future of your children is at stake. I pray that each of you will seek wise council as you prepare to cast your vote for the next president of these United States and that God's hand will be upon the election process and results. God Bless America.

ladydoll: The future of your children is at stake.

Childfree, two cats, not American. OTOH, I just got a text from my just-16-years-old nephew thanking me for letting him know he is now old enough to have a moped. Damn, I was hoping he'd want to fly a hang-glider.

Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

In 45 years on the planet, I've never read how "leaking amniotic fluid can happen when there is a little leak high up" -- and I never thought I'd read it on ObWi first.

Mr. Thullen . . .

I have seen all candidates with their family/kids on stage when they spoke to the audience.

BTW, anyone else see the People Magazine photo of the McCain and Palin families? Notice anyone missing? Hint: she doesn't quite look like all the other pale-skinned folk... I'm sure she's enjoying being locked away in a "private school".

Actually, you know, I think we can. Because her decision was that she was going to fly from Texas to Anchorage. Eight hours in the plane, assuming no delays en route, leaking amniotic fluid... with absolutely no certainty that she would not give birth before she could get to a hospital.

Jes, you have never given birth. Your understanding of 'in labour' was wrong (though breaking water often coincides with strong contractions). You have no idea what actual state she was in. You have no idea how her other childbirths went. She actually had to be induced to give birth the next day. She seems to have known her body and pregnancy symptoms better than you do.

With all the new commenters I have no idea who actually *is* a democratic supporter and who isn't. But judging by the few whose leaning I know it seems that there is a hugh part of the democratic base who feel that women with children should not pursuit a demanding career. That might curb the enthousiam of mothers with ambitions to support the democratic party. Heck, I am a SAHM and I feel offended.

I don't feel the need to attack Sarah palin via her children or via her 'mothering skills'. I like the fact that Sarah Palin is a working mother and that she strives to make it easier to combine children with paid work or study. I admire that she fought against corruption in her own party at reasonable political riscs. And I like the fact that she played basketball ;)

On almost every other issue I care about she is abysmall. Healthcare, environment, abortion, sex-ed, gay rights, capital punishment, stem cell research, gun control, social security... So much to choose from - so why attack her in a way that is damaging for working women in the USA?

While I believe its’ Sarah Palins choice to run for VP, it is regretful that she has chosen to run for VP now. It seems obvious to me that if you have 5 children, one of which is a brand new baby with DS, one that is 17, pregnant and obviously going through her own trauma, and one that is an elementary school child, why would anyone in their right mind think that running for VP at this time is a wise decision? Where are her priorities? This person is a politician for god sake and I am sure she is familiar with the exposure politicians suffer being in a high political position. And yet she has the gall to ask people to respect her daughter’s privacy, after she chose to expose her 17 year old daughter’s private decisions? Why would she not wait until her life was in better order? One thing for sure……she has no common sense! I bet she has a Masters degree!

That's all true, Marbel. And yet, every health advice page I can find does not say "Get on a plane and fly for 8 hours": neither does this match up with what other women who (like you, unlike me) have experienced labour, say about her decision to risk giving birth on an Alaska Airlines flight.

so why attack her in a way that is damaging for working women in the USA?

I'm sorry, I don't understand. How is it damaging to working women in the US to point out that if you know you are about to give birth, it's really not a good idea to board a plane and fly for 8 hours/4000 miles?

Looks like this thread is going to break the alltime record for length on this blog

That would be Andy's memorial thread.

This doesn't really run a close second (thankfully), but it is damned long.

Thanks -

I think that politics should not focus on Bristols pregnancy. It's bad enough that all this negative attention is focused on the poor girl. The choices a child makes cannot directly reflect on a parent. There are many childreen raised in very structured, loving, Christian homes that turn out to be felons. I'm sure Palin did the best she knew how with her daughter. Now this girl needs to be loved, supported and encouraged to be the best mother she can be.

But judging by the few whose leaning I know it seems that there is a hugh part of the democratic base who feel that women with children should not pursuit a demanding career.

I admit, I'm overwhelmed by the thread and trying to keep track of people who I read here and respect and newbies who are drop-ins is really hard, but I don't think that is the case. It is the conflict with McCain (and the media) telling us how important the VP job is, and now refusing to acknowledge that someone like Palin is woefully underqualified. Sure, things get out of hand, but, as I mentioned to Redstocking Grandma, a lot of this is really primal rage steam getting blown off. The regulars here take the election in particular and politics in general pretty seriously, and the choice of Palin is like someone being invited to a wedding, and showing up in shorts and flip flops with no excuse. And when one complains, getting told 'what's the matter, have you got something against shorts and flip flops?" And being at its heart, a response from anger, meeting it with anger or moral superiority doesn't really advance things very far.

Classy. Very classy. You're an inspiration for conservative bloggers to respond in kind. Thank you for giving us a reason not to dehumanize the all on the left, and for liberals not to dehumanize all on the right. We're all human beings, and we all get furious when our opponents dehumanize us. Bless you.

Anybody watch the premier of 90210? ;-)

Hillary Clinton said that it takes a village to raise a child. I'm waiting for her to voice strong support for Governor Palin's daughter, and encourage America to give this young girl a helpful and friendly atmosphere to raise her baby to be strong, healthy, and successful, instead of villifying her mother in the press because she didn't force her daughter to abort her baby, or kick her out of the house.

Guest: instead of villifying her mother in the press because she didn't force her daughter to abort her baby, or kick her out of the house.

Where has this happened? McCain's campaign cancels an appearence on Larry King, the easiest gig around, when an anchor questions their talking points. What makes you think that they wouldn't love to pounce on the media over something like you refer to? As bad as they can be sometimes, the media isn't stupid that dumb.

Thank you. You have shown real class.

I agree that her daughter should be off limits, but then Palin should not be speaking of her son that is going to Iraq just to gain talking points. She can't have it both ways.

How does Sarah Palin's daughter being pregnant hinder her ability to become VP? You people are all petty if you ask me. Obama has done nothing for IL the entire time he has been in office...do we really want this man to become president??

Chelsea Clinton was an honor roll student who was hounded for her LOOKS, not her behavior. There is absolutely no comparison between her situation and Bristol's.

I find it appalling that the public no longer holds parents responsible for their children or their children's behavior. I am the parent of two children, the same age as Sarah's Bristol and Willow, and there is no doubt in my mind that I am responsible for them and their behavior as long as they are minors. I wouldn't let myself off that hook; why should I let someone who thinks she is fit to be my vice president off the hook?

Sarah Palin has a history of poor judgment. She was pregnant with her first son when she got married. She took outrageous health risks with a baby she knew had Down's Syndrome. She became pregnant while she was governor, a high intensity job that does not leave room for the demands of a healthy newborn, let alone one with special needs. There is no indication she ever parents the baby, and I read an interview where she bragged that her 7 yo does most of it. Children with Downs need intensive occupational therapy, most of which is best done by their mothers. They need this in the first few years of life, and it can not be delayed. She has no time to meet his essential needs, and now she is trying for another, more important, job?

The fact that she allowed her daughter to date a boy who is the epitome of oil field trash, (have you seen his MYSpace page?) and thinks it is a good idea for Bristol to now marry the creep, is reason enough to believe she is incapable of making a sound decision. If she can't look out for her own children, what she going to do to us?

The argument has been made that if she ware a man none of this would be at issue, Not true. I can name a number of elections where men came under harsh scrutiny because they had a wife or child who was ill. There is a new double standard where Sarah Palin is escaping the same sort of scrutiny because she is a woman - and she represents the family values preachers. Well, I am a life long atheist and I have more family values than her entire bible thumping family of hypocrites will ever have. She and everyone who defends her make me want to puke.

I'd sooner vote for Britney Spears' mother, and that is no joke.

As a FORMER McCain supporter/contributor, I draw your attention to a post earlier, as I think it's a brilliant assessment of the situation, i.e.,

"Respectfully I think most of you are missing the larger point in all these family matters. McCain and his judgment and his campaign tactics is the main point.

McCain either did not vet this woman and acted completely recklessly in his first big executive decision OR McCain knew about all this and didn't care about the kid being thrown to the media wolves at all.

Neither of those leads us to believe he should be leader of the free world.

McCain and his campaign chose to trot this family out as a paradigm of family values, chose to draw Palin as a virtue of reform when it turns out not so much, chose to use this family to energize his followers because he couldn't.

If McCain had chosen to simply introduce Palin as a young, learning, very promising young new face for the party as he would like to see it grow, none of this would have been an issue. If he had introduced her as having a daughter in a tight position but supported by her family none of this would have been an issue. If he had introduced her honestly as having come from small town (Alaska is a small town in it's entirety) politics and all the foibles that go with that, none of this would have been an issue.

Instead McCain tries to schmooze her through as a virtuous gun toting Christian ethicist.

McCain insulted our intelligence and by lying and misrepresenting this woman and her family to us, he threw them under the bus long before any resultant gossip about them will."
~~~~~
From my own perspective, I lost all respect for John McCain when I learned that he knew that Bristol Palin was pregnant. So he, Cindy McCain, and the Palins were responsible for Bristol being forced to hug the baby and a blanket so that the public might not recognize she was pregnant and ruin the big campaign day. Over the weekend it got worse as Bristol was left in the bus with the baby while everyone else got to go to the rally. I know this because C-SPAN televised the rally and Sarah's introduction of her family, which explained Bristol's absence.

Folks, this is like the wicked step-sisters in Cinderella with Bristol as Cinderella and John, Sarah, Cindy, and Todd the wicked step-sisters.

This has been done in the name of John McCain's blind ambition. For a man who writes so much about honor, this shows that he has none. And this should make every adult in America sick.

I, for one, will no do everything in my power to make certain that John McCain suffers the biggest loss in presidential election history.


In short, don't run away from the story, just reframe it.

and the choice of Palin is like someone being invited to a wedding, and showing up in shorts and flip flops with no excuse. >

More like showing up on a wedding and getting judged for leaving her kids with her husband. After all, who could expect him to do a good job? I'm waiting till the democrats start trashing her for having tried marihuana...

It's been only a few years since Dutch members of the house were allowed to find replacement during maternity leave. We had to change the constitution to make that possible, but it was deemed important in making it more accessible for younger woman and we wanted them to be politically involved. In our 150 member parlement we now have 60 women and our current government has 16 men and 11 women in it. Those things matter to me ;). Though we are not as far as Spain it is not unthinkable anymore. The Netherlands used to be horrible in womens lib, these days we are decent and these rolemodels are important. That is why I hate it when female politicians are attacked on their femininity instead of on the issues - that is bad for all women.

Early in the morning, I should have previewed. I hope the italics are gone now.

I don't want to hear another word about Sarah Palin's daughter. It's her pastor that's important:-)

-- TP

Marbel: I still don't agree with you over the thing about the birth flight.

But you have presented the most cogent, clearly argued, realistic case that I have yet read why everything in Sarah Palin's account could be true and it still wasn't a ridiculously reckless thing to do.

Want to gather up what you wrote here, scattered across several comments, post it as a single comment here, and I'll link to it as an update? You have presented a good case - a much better one than the other people commenting positively at my blog - and I feel it would be fair to present it as an alternate POV. Thanks.

Dutch,
You misunderstand my point. I said

and the choice of Palin is like someone being invited to a wedding, and showing up in shorts and flip flops with no excuse.

Choosing a person with as little experience as Palin is the insult. To try another analogy, it's as if you sat down to play a game of chess with someone, and the person, rather than actually playing, just randomly moved the pieces. Or playing a game of darts and you are trying to play your best, and the other side randomly throws the three darts anywhere and then, when you complain that you are being serious about the game, tries to argue that the random throwing of three darts is an actual strategy. The problems with these analogies is that chess and darts are games with rules, and if someone chooses to make a mockery of the rules in such a way, they would lose. But the Republicans are trying to redefine the game as it is being played.

I see phrases concerning the argumentation like 'they can't be serious' and 'is this an actual argument?' Foreign policy experience based on the border with Russia? A woman who did not have a passport until 2007 and claims to have been to Ireland when the plane just stopped to refuel there? Visits the troops in Kuwait and Landstuhl and calls that foreign policy experience? The same things occur with executive experience, with claims to be a reformer, spouse in the AIP, and on and on. As McCain's advisor just said to the WaPo, 'this campaign is not about the issues'. It is this bait and switch has created a huge amount of anger and you meeting that anger with anger about sexism is missing the point.

It is like the story of the dripping faucet. Imagine this faucet that is going drip drip drip in the background and it really gets on the nerves, but it can't be fixed, but it keeps dripping. When the person explodes because they can't take the faucet anymore, they are not going to start screaming at the faucet, they are going to scream at the spouse, the kids, the dog, something else is going to bear the brunt. Because you can't yell at the dripping faucet. We can't yell at McCain, or the Republican party, or Palin (though if she gets in front of the press, it is going to make every press conference seem like a love fest, I predict), so things bubble over. While ObWi threads tend to drift, the convolutions in these Palin threads seems just like when someone gets so angry that instead of articulating the reasons, they end up blowing up.

I'm going to try and write something at TiO about how to address the anger that people feel inside, the anger that you are trying to address with your own anger, but for this comment I am suggesting that it would be a lot better overall for you to simply note the problem, rather than trying to stretch it into a larger comment on the misogyny in American society in general or this commentariat in particular. Especially when you have eschewed identifying particular comments, and simply made claims about the majority for the comments of a few. Most of the names popping up here are unfamiliar to me, and tarring me and the other regulars because of the actions of people following a link and blowing off steam is a mistake. And some of the denunciations are so OTT that I think of a number of them as trolling. Or certainly of being so unfamiliar to me that I am not going to spend my time engaging with them until they prove that they are participating in good faith. Is it all that difficult for you to do the same?

Sorry that should be

Palin (though if she gets in front of the press, it is going to make every [other hostile] press conference seem like a love fest, I predict)

MeDrewNotYou - Aw, thanks!

Guest: ". I'm waiting for her to . . . encourage America to give this young girl a helpful and friendly atmosphere to raise her baby to be strong, healthy, and successful,"

Of course, what you want to look at here is liberal/progressive policy and efforts, since we're often the people who push for things like the FMLA and all sorts of policies aimed at supporting parents and children. (with a respectful nod to all other conservatives, etc. who do walk the walk).

"instead of villifying her mother in the press because she didn't force her daughter to abort her baby, or kick her out of the house."

Who do you think has been doing this, Guest? What we're mostly complaining about - those of us who are, as opposed to asking for deeply principled respect for the family's privacy - is that Sarah Palin wants to take away from other people's daughters the very choice her daughter presumably got. We respect her daughter's choice, and wish Bristol and her family all the best in this matter; we just want her mother to do the same for everyone else's family.

Jes: I'll try. But I in that case I might have to add something about how essential leukemia testing right after birth is for a DS child...

LJ: This post is about Palin and her children, not about Palin and her experience. If it was the latter I'd stay away from the discussion, since I thought experience (both general and in foreign politics/cultures) was/is one of Obama's weak points and I don't feel like adressing the whole pilo-on that statement would cause. Suffice to say that I think Obama/Biden is better than McCain/Palin imho and if I was an American voter in a swing state I would definately vote for Obama. If I didn't live in a swing state I would vote Green, since I am definately not enthousiastic about Obama and I'd definately like the Democratic Party to stop wooing the Consevatives and ignoring the women.

Especially when you have eschewed identifying particular comments, and simply made claims about the majority for the comments of a few.

In an earlier thread I commented upon the sexism and someone (KCinDC??) asked me for cites. So I tried to collect them, but even if I leave out the names it's still too long a list to post as a comment. And due to being in a different time-zone (and rather busy, the new schoolyear has started and we are stacked with new things to do or be informed about) it is hard to respond to everybody, even if I'd want to try that.

I also don't know many of the newer 'regulars' because I've been less involved lately. So I tend to look for the names I've seen regularly in the past and get a feel for what they comment.

As McCain's advisor just said to the WaPo, 'this campaign is not about the issues'. It is this bait and switch has created a huge amount of anger and you meeting that anger with anger about sexism is missing the point.

I (and many women) actually still carry a lot of anger about the sexism and mysogeny of our so-called allies. But that is another discussion.

Sexism is always wrong. I don't expect much better from the redneck rightwing, but the lefties and progressives are supposed to agree with that. Or rather that is what I assumed till the beginning of this year. But even now I still think that progressives (Democrats) ought to strive for economic independence of women, equal treatment, creating an environment where women and men can have a family and have a career. Trashing that to make a cheap politial point is bad behaviour - trashing that when there are many more honorable options to make that political point is both bad and stupid.

"I also don't know many of the newer 'regulars' because I've been less involved lately"

Most of the people on this thread aren't "regulars" of any sort, but are drive-bys from various linkings, mostly from right-wing sites who liked the notion of the post, including by Instapundit; this thread long ago became a toxic waste dump of incoherency and trolls, which is why I quit posting to it some time ago. Just saying I wouldn't waste your time; not many regulars are reading it, either.

Marbel: But I in that case I might have to add something about how essential leukemia testing right after birth is for a DS child...

I'm fine with that, too, you know.

You people are all petty if you ask me

nobody asked.

Jeff: Hint: she doesn't quite look like all the other pale-skinned folk... I'm sure she's enjoying being locked away in a "private school".

She was front and center at the convention last night. In fact, they were highlighting her just about the time you hit post…


Gary: Just saying I wouldn't waste your time; not many regulars are reading it, either.

Well, there is a certain entertainment value to be had…

Gary: yeah, but I'm used to not being read much. Many obwi threads have my name under the last comment of the thread :)

LJ: I thought I might have to expand a bit on why I think it is stupid.
Democrats usually profit from high voter turnout. If you want Obama to win (or want McCain to loose) you want as many people as you can reach out to vote for the democratic party. Especially women, since the majority of Democratic voters is female. You may assume that women will on the whole vote for Obama because the alternative is worse (OMG Roe, Scotus!). But it would be much better and reliable if they were actually enthousiastic and wanted to vote *for* the Democratic ticket.

Both Obama and Biden are not great in feminist issues. The Obama supporters have been worse the past months. Voting in the US allready is harder than in a lot of democratic countries. Do you really want to help the right-wing discourage as many women as you can to vote?

This post is about Palin and her children, not about Palin and her experience.

So it is the post you are upset about and not those who are commenting? Because here is what you wrote

But judging by the few whose leaning I know...

And then in your last comment, you say

So I tried to collect them, but even if I leave out the names it's still too long a list to post as a comment.

few, too long a list, the post, the comments, it all seems very contradictory.

I think identifying the sexism in comments that are made without thinking is important. But there is, as Gary notes, a lack of regulars here, and when I try to tell you that they aren't regulars, as I have several times, you say, well, I haven't been around, so they must have been newer regulars.

It really sounds to me that you don't really really want to toss out the data that supports your argument, even if we tell you that they aren't regulars. That tells me that your anger at the content of the comments is overriding your ability to judge whether the data reflects what you think it does.

You would have us not point out any of the problematic points of Palin because we know so little about her, and if we don't give her every benefit of the doubt, we are succumbing to sexism. So, Palin may conceivably have enough executive experience, but McCain didn't know that, so that's where the problem is. Or Palin may be able to learn conversation Russian in the 2 months before she takes office and gaze into Putin's soul, but McCain doesn't know that, so that's where the problem is. However, we can see von, in other comments, is suggesting that McCain did do due diligence in the vetting, even though it may have only taken 24 hours. So, by adopting a do not analyze anything about Palin standard in order to prevent sexism, we then focus on the process of vetting and, since McCain says he vetted her, everything is fine. I'm sorry, but I can't imagine that sort of self handicapping to be worthwhile at all. You are the squad leader advising your entire squad to only shoot if they are going to hit the target and then roundly criticizing the entire squad if any one of them misses the target. Or if any of the other members of other squads who happen to end up in your area happen to miss, even though the other side doesn't follow those rules.

The reason I point this out is that you are a regular and I have this sinking feeling that you are going to carry this forward into other discussions (and we will have them, especially if Palin doesn't get dropped from the ticket) and you are going to leave being convinced of the utter misogyny of those who comment here. And you are going to be completely wrong.

Sorry, that was in response to the previous comment, not your last one. I'd be happy to continue this discussion, but I think it needs to be conducted in a different place with a clean slate, so people can take responsibility for what is said rather than having drop in comments poison the atmosphere. The comments may be trolling, they may be people who actually are not thinking about how their responses are sexist. But either way, whether they be trolls or true expressions, holding the regulars responsible for the content of those comments or being upset that the regulars are not addressing these points makes no sense whatsoever.

Some of these comments really amaze me. McCain vetted her just fine. He didnt decieve us by not telling us about Sarah Palin's daughters pregnancy. BECAUSE its none of our business. Duhhhhhhh

I think identifying the sexism in comments that are made without thinking is important. But there is, as Gary notes, a lack of regulars here, and when I try to tell you that they aren't regulars, as I have several times, you say, well, I haven't been around, so they must have been newer regulars.

No, I just say I don't address them, I don't reply to them, I don't count them. I only take account of the comments from people whose name I recognize. But I've you are really interested in my attempts to make a list of sexist statements from the palin introduction threads:

Comments from the two threads I read, about Palin but pre-Bristol:

oh, BTW, VPILF.com
---
but how about the Downs kid? I couldn't bring a kid with Downs into this world,
---
As far as the Down Syndrome child, I believe I have read that -- even more than ordinarily -- the bonding between mother and child in the first six months is particularly important. But, instead of understanding the importance of this, she will be campaigning throughout the country. This (and I would argue only this) is what is an issue here.
---
On the morning of 9-11, the stress on the president must have been so great I can't imagine dealing with that AND a 5-month-old baby.
If that's sexist, so be it.

---
You have to admit that Sarah Palin is pretty hot (remember she was in the Ms. Alaska Pageant) and MUCH BETTER on the eyes than Joe Biden
---
Maybe McCain can offer Palin up to compete with Cindy in the Miss Buffalo Chip 'pageant' in NV. It's what the country needs! MORE PANTOMIMED SEX ROLES! Boys should have names like 'Trick' and 'Trig'! Masculine names! And more pickles! Say no more, say no more, wink wink.
---
But who knows, maybe she charms America and changes the conversation.
---
Womanhood? Check -- just look at her 5 kids! Potential problem: do contemporary American women really identify with a mother of five?
---
Why is a mother of five, with her youngest both disabled and still an infant, abandoning her family? What kind of traditional family values does that demonstrate?
---
A scene from The Princess Vice President

[Palin kisses the senile McCain]

McCain: What was that for?

Palin: Because you have always been so kind to me, and I won't be seeing you again since I'm killing myself once we reach the honeymoon suite.

McCain: Won't that be nice. She kissed me, she's the vice president!
---
As long as I'm wallowing in immaturity: It speaks well of the blogosphere that I have not as yet heard any jokes about Palin and drilling. (It speaks far less well of me that I thought of this.) But is it possible that Rovians are trying some subliminable ploy, hoping that the sight of a former beauty contest winner and the repeated uttering of the word "drilling" will hypnotically win votes from the Penthouse Letters crowd?
---
Not on the blogosphere but on, either the Daily Show or the Colbert Report I think, last night when mentioning the rumors about her. They mentioned something about her, drilling, then comedic pause and ironic look. So it shouldn't take long to hit the blogosphere.
---
Bill Maher was on fire last night during the fall debut of his HBO show.

On McCain-Palin: That's not a presidential ticket. That's a sitcom -- "Maverick and the MILF."
---
If you think of it as a marketing strategy, she's actually a pretty clever one.

There are, today, millions of Americans who are saying to themselves, "I'm not sure I like McCain, but that Palin is one spunky little filly!". Or, something to that effect.


I'll take this up at TiO.

http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/2008/09/midway-for-obama.html

Midway For Obama.

For those of you who say people don't know what arrangements the Palins have made for child care -- that is exactly the issue. If they decided to have five children and one is only 4 months old, should Sarah take care of her own children. Why did she have kids. It is one thing to have a day job and come home at night, but to run for V.P. of the United States which involves traveling and long hours, wouldn't it be better for her to be their for her children, maybe then they won't be having sex at such a young age.

All that typing and nothing about any issue that affects our country. I bet you peek in your neighbors windows and believe its your right to know whats going on in there.

Do you really want to help the right-wing discourage as many women as you can to vote?

Well yeah. Except for the PUMAS.

I bet you peek in your neighbors windows and believe its your right to know whats going on in there.

waitwaitwait... you're a Republican, and you just said this ?

BTW the Dems are known abusers of women. So please ladies keep saying to yourselves: "but they really love me".

OKYDOAK.

Nothing like a good bamboozling to make you feel good in the morning.

Did I mention I'm a pro choice Republican?

For those of you who say people don't know what arrangements the Palins have made for child care -- that is exactly the issue. If they decided to have five children and one is only 4 months old, should Sarah take care of her own children. Why did she have kids. It is one thing to have a day job and come home at night, but to run for V.P. of the United States which involves traveling and long hours, wouldn't it be better for her to be their for her children, maybe then they won't be having sex at such a young age.

Yep. Those mean Republicans will never let her take her infant with her. They are so EVIL.

Well I'm tired of the fever swamps. Ta Ta.

BTW the Dems are known abusers of women.

What The Fuhk ?

dutchmarbel,

I looked up the comments you listed. I don't think most of them are sexist at all. In many of these cases, I think you failed to pick up on sarcasm that is pretty obvious to native speakers. For example, when The Original Francis wrote "Why is a mother of five, with her youngest both disabled and still an infant, abandoning her family? What kind of traditional family values does that demonstrate?", you neglected to mention that this bit was preceded by the statement that Palin is ripe for ratfscking, which suggests that the parts you did quote were meant to be taken as a commentary on how Republicans would treat Palin if she was a Democrat VP nominee. That probably only makes sense if you know what ratfscking means and have studied US history in enough detail to understand it.

Alternatively, consider jonnybutter's comment that said "Maybe McCain can offer Palin up to compete with Cindy in the Miss Buffalo Chip 'pageant' in NV. It's what the country needs! MORE PANTOMIMED SEX ROLES! Boys should have names like 'Trick' and 'Trig'! Masculine names! And more pickles! Say no more, say no more, wink wink." Where is the sexism here? He's using sarcasm pretty heavily to critique the fact that McCain, a man who believes in traditional gender roles, might not be fully committed to women's rights, especially given the traditionalist nature of Palin's views. Do you disagree with that? And Ugh's comment about the Princess Bride is a joke about McCain.

I can't see any sexism at all in some of the comments you cited. For example, when russell wrote "If you think of it as a marketing strategy, she's actually a pretty clever one. There are, today, millions of Americans who are saying to themselves, "I'm not sure I like McCain, but that Palin is one spunky little filly!". Or, something to that effect.", he was talking about how some voters would perceive her. I think his assessment is correct; certainly, the McCain campaign's efforts to promote her push these aspects of her identity heavily. So how is it sexist to comment on the ways in which Palin is presenting herself to voters?

Alternatively, consider Carleton Wu's comment "But who knows, maybe she charms America and changes the conversation"...where is the sexism here? Do you understand that in American the word charm does not have strictly female connotations, especially in a political context? Another example would be Tony P writing that "Womanhood? Check -- just look at her 5 kids! Potential problem: do contemporary American women really identify with a mother of five?"...is it now sexist to note that most women in American have far fewer than 5 children and might have difficulty empathizing with someone who did have five children? If so, why?

I do agree that some of the comments you cited are clearly sexist; the bit about caring for a child on 9/11 for example. But many are not. If you are misreading so many comments, then I can see why you might think everyone here is a sexist. But, um, a little humility might be helpful.

Tio thread here

"Both Obama and Biden are not great in feminist issues. "

Um, what are you talking about? I have a long post on Obama on that score I've been meaning to do, and obviously.

"The Obama supporters have been worse the past months."

Wait, wtf?

All of the hype about Sarah Palin's family tells me how desperate the Democratic party is. She is a breath of fresh air, and I would bet that not many of the people who are slandering her, have perfect children or lives. The more I hear, the more I support her. This is going to backfire on the people who are doing unethical things. I have recruited several of my Democratic fiends and family to John McCain's side in the last few days. I will be snding a campaign contribution to him today.

"But I've you are really interested in my attempts to make a list of sexist statements from the palin introduction threads"

Yeah, there are a ton of rightwing trolls out there. This isn't news.

NOW, the National Organization for Women will be calling for a National Boycott of US Magazine. Their continued sexist comments towards Sarah Palin is absolutely disgraceful! I have cancelled my subscription and have urged my corporate headquarters marketing department to cancel our advertising indefinitely in US Magazine and urge other clients to do the same.

I am a life-long democratic woman who supported Hillary Clinton along with 18 million others. I keep hearing Democratic strategists declaring that we "disgruntled Hillary supporters" will not vote for McCain simply because he chose a woman to be his VP. But this is NOT TRUE!

I along with thousands of other Hillary supporters WILL be voting for McCain and Sarah Palin because we WANT to see a woman as VP and voters like myself see it as a brilliant move by McCain to reach out to us women voters.

The TVangelists threaten us of Roe V Wade being overturn but fail to mention that both Bush administrations were Pro-Life and women still have the right to chose.

When Colorado Democratic Party leader Billy Compton intimidated Sacha Millstone asking her to resign as a Delegate because she had second thoughts on Obama was outrageous! When the sexist/racist Emil Jones called Delmarie Cobb who supported Hillary an "Uncle Tom" infuriates us women!

I am asking other Democratic women to join us in sending a message to our Democratic Party Leadership that THEY do not chose our Nominee by intimidating elected Delegates into voting for THEIR choice.

To smhbd:

I agree with all my heart. BTW I am also a Pro Choice Republican. I am not that worried about this issue. I dont think they can overturn Roe v. Wade. I am pro life and pro choice. I believe it is a womans right to choose.

I am much more worried about the economy and the place out country fits in the world. I want someone with McCains character running our country. And having a Maverick like Palin at his side is such a bonus.

I think this is the smartest thing John McCain has done. He will now get my vote. This woman and her family are what we the voters have been trying for 40 years to get into office. Some one with some drive and guts who is not a wealthy Washington insider. With this move I say there is much more than meets the eye in McCain he will be no Bush (Thank God) and he might just be man enough to clean up Bush's mess!
It kills me the press is making such a big deal about her 17 year old daughter being knocked up or about her husbands 20 year old DUI. At least he never killed any one like a certain Mass. senator who was never charged.
people need to look into the lives of the press and see what is there or the lives of other political people such as Obahma's wives papers that are being hidden by a certain collage. Why are they not made public so everyone can see the true person sitting closest to the man running for president. THINK! THINK! THINK!

By the way, in case anyone had any doubts about "Julie", the comment dated September 03, 2008 at 11:14 AM is boilerplate, available in identical form at multiple other blogs. I just confirmed by googling. Presumably one of McCain's "PUMAs".

In response to dutchmarbel's list of sexist comments from regulars, Gary you write, "Yeah, there are a ton of rightwing trolls out there. This isn't news."

The point she was making was that these weren't from recently arrived right-wing trolls. She specifically mentioned that.

Further examples:

Tony P is a right wing troll? I always kind of pictured him as left-wing. link

When Jesurgislac thought that quote was from ME she thought it sounded pretty sexist.

There is the weird focus on how a woman with a DS kid could possibly have a job as VP which comes up again and again and again.

Turbulence seems to initially flirt with sexism here with an implicit assumption that caregiving questions are very important for a female/mother political candidate, though after much browbeating by Jesurgislac he suggests that he would have the same concerns for a man running for office.

And then the ones that dutchmarbel quotes, at least half of them from people we see around here pretty regularly.

And that is HERE. In sorta-not-fly-off-the-handleville

dm,
Alternatively, consider Carleton Wu's comment "But who knows, maybe she charms America and changes the conversation"...where is the sexism here? Do you understand that in American the word charm does not have strictly female connotations, especially in a political context?

I will vouch for me on this. :) Remember, Im also the guy who was saying that criticism of Palin as a parent for her daughter's pregnancy smacked of sexist bc I doubted a male candidate would be judged so personally responsible for a child's behavior. If you were reviewing those threads you must've come across that as well, and decided that I didn't deserve any benefit of the doubt regardless.
Furthermore, taking language that would be unremarkable if referring to a male and claiming that it's sexist when used on a female is sexist. It demands a lower bar for female candidates, or puts matters discussing them on different footing. Googling "Obama charm" gives me about 2.3M hits btw...

people need to look into the lives of the press and see what is there or the lives of other political people such as Obahma's wives papers that are being hidden by a certain collage

They covered her papers up with other papers in an artistic manner?

Seriously, if this isn't another "whitey" rumor, you could make explain wtf you're talking about. If you feel like it. Just think of all the McCain points you could be earning!

people need to look into the lives of the press and see what is there or the lives of other political people such as Obahma's wives papers that are being hidden by a certain collage

They covered her papers up with other papers in an artistic manner?

Seriously, if this isn't another "whitey" rumor, you could make explain wtf you're talking about. If you feel like it. Just think of all the McCain points you could be earning!

There is the weird focus on how a woman with a DS kid could possibly have a job as VP which comes up again and again and again.

Seb, why weird? I think that anyone who is a parent wonders, even if they have perfectly healthy kids, what they would do if it weren't the case. When my daughter was hospitalized with an unknown disease that seemed to not go away and would have really affected the quality of her life, I spent a lot of time thinking what would my wife and I would do. I'm trying hard not to judge Palin on this, but it is very hard for me to understand what the thought process is to accept the nomination.

I also have the impression that it is more the drop in commentators that have initiated the DS discussions, and regulars have entered in response, but that is just my impression.

Also, when I first looked at the thread, your comment stopped at "Turb flirted with sexism", but on preview, there is another paragraph. No problem, but just wondering if this is a software fluke, or if you went back and added the link to make it clear. Turb made it clear that he has first hand experience dealing with someone with DS, so, just like OCSteve's comments, that should be taken into account. If the focus is on the person with DS, it seems logical to assume that Turb would take the same attitude towards a cavalier father.

At any rate, the fact that it is only half the cited comments that were from regulars (with many of the comments by the regulars were explained by Turb) seems to undercut Dutch's point. I'd also point out that while some might be defined as regulars, some of them commented once or twice a month, and then BOOM multiple comments in single threads in August, which corresponds to the two conventions. Comments made in an atmosphere of increased passion shouldn't be taken as perfect mirrors of the underlying thought processes of the commenters, I believe.

"whitey" huh? I wonder -- ooo you a racist?

"At any rate, the fact that it is only half the cited comments that were from regulars (with many of the comments by the regulars were explained by Turb) seems to undercut Dutch's point."

I can't give you that one. The fact that half of the cited comments do seem to be from regulars seems to make Dutch's point. I don't expect sexist comments from pretty much any of the regulars.

"Comments made in an atmosphere of increased passion shouldn't be taken as perfect mirrors of the underlying thought processes of the commenters, I believe."

That however I'll give you. But the flip side of that is that increased passion can often be like drinking--revealing because it removes the inhibitions.

"Also, when I first looked at the thread, your comment stopped at "Turb flirted with sexism", but on preview, there is another paragraph. No problem, but just wondering if this is a software fluke, or if you went back and added the link to make it clear."

When I posted it initially I left one of the quotation marks out of the html tag which cut everything out after the initial tag error. I added the quotation mark symbol in the html and the rest of the comment reappeared.

Thanks for the explanation, I thought there was something wrong with my set...

Stop by TiO for more discussion if you want, (as well as inviting any regulars to explain their thoughts, one has already dropped by, collect the full set!) as we still seem to have people trying to get their McCain decoder rings...

"Stop by TiO for more discussion if you want"

My password stopped working and I haven't had time to figure out why. I'm going on vacation for a week in about 12 hours. :)

My gosh. OK I just have to comment on the family issue. I have been trying to avoid it because it shouldnt be an issue but it seems to be. I am sure Palin has a large support group. Her husband obviously is very capable of taking care of the family. Possibly you men didnt do your share in raising the kids or dont do your share in raising the kids but it seems they have managed to do it all.

I know I know......at this point you would bring up the daughters pregnancy. Well, other than locking teenages in a closet until they are 25 these things happen sometimes. And I really doubt that Mom and Dad were there when it happened.

What is it to anyone other than their immediate family, friends, extended family. Do you think it should be your boss's business How you are able to handle work and family? No of course not. I even think it might be discrimination. Oh, and against the labor laws to even ask how many children you have when applying for a job. Or gee, even asking how old you are.

Yikes!! And McCain has 7 kids....... Ya know. Maybe having a large family actually should be considered as having experience handling the children of Congress.

The fact that half of the cited comments do seem to be from regulars seems to make Dutch's point

Except that most of the comments turn out to either not be sexist at all or attempts at sarcasm, humor, reports of sexism by others, attempts to show how the GOP would portray Palin if the tables were turned, etc. A few were directly sexist in an unacceptable way (and Id be surprised if those were by regulars, but since there's no names or links I can't tell). The rest seem like an attempt to pad out the list and justify her (IMO baseless) feeling that Democrats and Obama have been anti-woman.

OK, Sebastian, let me know when you get back if you need help

Congratulations Republicans, this shows how clueless you really are.

You bring forward a candidate who diverts attention away from ISSUES because her 17 year old daughter is knocked up. Evangelicals are hypocrits if they vote for her. She raised a daughter who had sex outside of marriage - last time I checked that is a huge NO-NO for evangelical christians. So why are you so excited about her?

Is Rush on pills again? Oh wait - he is a Christian so he is forgiven for being a two-faced idiot.

I have one kid - not 5. No way in hell I could juggle kids and the vice presidency of the United States, and any woman who votes for her because of her gender is a idiot.

So let's focus on the issues and not her daughter's pregnancy. She is governer of a state funded by oil, she doesn't have to worry about keeping her economy going. If she wants a new highway built - one wave of a magic oil wand and it happens.

I fail to see what she has done or will do to earn my respect as a v.p. I could care less that she is a woman - I am not comfortable with her being that close to running the free world. Sorry.

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