Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Palinpalooza

After everything that came out this weekend about a certain crazy-eyed, caribou-hunting vice presidential candidate, it would be really easy to ramble on for a few dozen paragraphs about this Sarah Palin character and the repulsive way she has thrown her teenage daughter under the bus in exchange for heightened fame. (Is she not, in a sense, the Michael Lohan of politics?)

In fact, there's so much to say about Sarah Palin -- the corruption scandal; the incalculable sexism of a campaign that thinks female voters who supported Hillary Rodham Clinton would consider voting for an anti-choice, anti-gay politician simply on the basis of her possessing both a uterus and sassy go-go boots; her bizarre decision to spend the critical hours leading up to her son Trig's birth performing more tasks and traveling more miles than your average Amazing Race contestant -- that I'm not sure Blogger has the bandwidth to contain all of it. I'm also not sure my sanity could survive such a task, as I'm a pretty impatient, all-around disagreeable sort to begin with, so I'll leave the heavy typing to Salon's Rebecca Traister, who covered all the bases quite nicely yesterday.

And while you're at Salon, why not stop to take in what Thomas Schaller had to say about Sarah Palin and John McCain's support of abstinence-only education programs. If you're too lazy to click, this it it:
What's galling is this: When the subject is a pregnancy to an unwed, minority teenage mother growing up in some (presumably Democratic) urban area, that pregnancy becomes fodder for lectures from conservatives about bad parenting, the perils of welfare spending and so on. But when the subject is a pregnancy to an unwed, white teenager from some small town in a Republican state, that pregnancy is...a celebration of the wonders of God's magnificence--and choosing life!
That is a bit curious, isn't it? I'm just hoping that CNN anchor Campbell Brown, fresh off her "live vivisection" (as Josh Marshall put it) of McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds on the issue of Palin's foreign policy experience, gets the chance to shock and awe another hapless McCain staffer with a few choice questions about reproductive rights, sex education (the kind that talks about common sense things like birth control instead of the Bible. If Bibles really kept people from having sex, don't you think hotels would've removed them from all of those bedside tables by now?) and how you can make a five-month old baby with Down syndrome a prop in a political campaign while simultaneously telling the media to back off the story of his 17-year-old sister.

To be clear, I agree with Barack Obama's statement that the children of political candidates should be off-limits. Sarah Palin's daughter, who didn't choose to become a public figure, doesn't need to be criticized by the world for having sex and getting pregnant. Her body is her business. But my body is also my business, which is something anti-choice politicians like John McCain and Sarah Palin don't seem to understand. That's what the media needs to be focusing on right now, not how many expletives Palin's future son-in-law uses on his MySpace page.

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