« Palin Derangement Syndrome Begins | Main | The Voice of "Moderation" Speaks »

September 02, 2008

Palin Offers Both Sides A Disturbing Look In Mirror

What do we believe in? Each of us - whether we are conservative, libertarian, or progressive - claims a set of values which animates and informs our lives:

... as Democrats and progressives, we don't pass judgment on children born out of wedlock, or their parents. Every child is a gift, and we don't believe it's the government's, or anyone else's, business what you do in your own bedroom.

Oh yes. There is what we know to be right. And then there is that which we excuse away, even though we know it to be wrong. The trick, apparently, is to claim that your opponents did it too:

As Joe notes in his post below, pregnancy and birth control - and overall sexual mores - are key issues for conservative voters, and for the Republican party leadership. It is therefore newsworthy, and a legitimate issue, while admittedly somewhat uncomfortable, to inquire as to the practice of those very same issues in Sarah Palin's own life.

Strictly speaking, most ethicists would argue that two wrongs can never make a right. Logic suggests that using an action your political opponent believes morally right as justification for an act you believe to be morally wrong can only be viewed as doubly wrong.

After all your opponent acted in accord with his moral beliefs. You, on the other hand, utterly betrayed your own.

The choice of Sarah Palin as the Republican Vice Presidential nominee has progressives acting like a gaggle of peeping Toms. Suddenly the party that is ostensibly about guilt free sex and women's liberation is maliciously peering through the bedroom window of a happily married couple hoping to find evidence of sin. Suddenly progressives are counting on their fingers in hopes of catching two high school sweethearts having the kind of joyful, normal, natural sex they claim is "nobody's business". Advocates of a woman's legal right to control her reproductive destiny are second-guessing the medical decisions of a grown woman, made with the advice of her attending physician. People who claim that even a late term "fetus" can never be more than just a lump of tissue with no rights accuse Governor Palin of being a bad mother who endangered her baby.

What baby? There would be no baby, had she not chosen to bear it. Whatever happened to the mother's unquestionable right to control her reproductive destiny? What about her right to privacy?

After this happened, Palin didn't head to a hospital or even leave the conference, even though the premature rupture of fetal membrances [Ed note: Huh???] is normally a cause for an immediate examination by an obstetrician, who will observe the fetus on a monitor to guard against infection and other life-threatening complications.

By what alchemy did a "fetus" magically become a baby whose life could be endangered? Was the beginning of human life the moment Ms. Palin's political opponents decided her private medical decisions provided a convenient avenue for partisan political attacks?

And whatever happened to the sacred right to privacy progressives fought so ardently to defend for women? Is this really a principle they wish to sacrifice at the altar of political expediency?

Then there's the issue of putting a candidate's children under the political proctoscope. Eugene Robinson neatly absolves himself of all responsibility for what he is about to do, all the while deploring the wrongness of it:

As I tried to make my way through St. Paul today – protesters managed to make driving, or even walking, anywhere pretty much impossible – people I ran into were asking one question: Is Sarah Palin doing what’s best for her daughter?

This isn’t a sexist question. It would also be asked of a male politician in her position. Is it fair for any parent to put his or her pregnant, unmarried, 17-year-old daughter through the klieg-light scrutiny of a presidential campaign? Actually, there’s a better way to put the question: Would you do that to your daughter?

There are lots of other issues involved with Bristol Palin’s pregnancy, chief among them her mother’s far-right views on sex education and abortion. But what’s truly awful is that the girl’s pregnancy would be reduced to “issues” at all.

Here we go again. "Woe is me! This is just awful, and really it's against everything I believe in, but I just can't help myself! After all, it's inevitable!" Except, it's not, is it? But Robinson - and progressives - are hardly alone in finding themselves in conflict with their professed values. Suddenly, everywhere I look I see conservatives who once stridently asserted a woman's traditional place at the center of home and family ardently defending Governor Palin's decidedly nontraditional lifestyle. Suddenly, progressives sound like parodies of arch-conservatives and conservatives sound like the feminists they have derided for years. What gives?

It's quite a compelling image: An accomplished -- even glamorous -- working mother, projecting to the world that she can and does have it all: five children, a successful career and a husband who doesn't mind being Mr. Mom. Oh, and she's going to be a grandmother, and her infant has special needs, and she's running for vice president.

The facts of life for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are fascinating and seem, frankly, exhausting. Her children range in age from 18 years to 4 months. Track, the oldest, recently enlisted in the Army and is headed for Iraq. Daughter Willow, 14, is in high school, and Piper is 7. The baby, Trig, was born in April with Down syndrome. Daughter Bristol, 17, is pregnant and is going to get married, her parents announced yesterday. That news added fuel to an already heated debate on blogs and in the street about the appropriate balance between child-rearing and working -- and whether Palin can balance the extraordinary demands of both without shortchanging either.

Within two hours of The Washington Post reporting news of the pregnancy on its Web site, more than 1,000 people had weighed in, arguing back and forth about whether Palin, 44, is placing her own political ambition above the needs of her family.

"She should not be held to a different standard than the Democratic nominee," said McCain senior adviser Steve Schmidt yesterday. "No male candidate would ever be asked that question. . . . I think women in America are likely to be angered by the double standards. This isn't the 1950s."

In Michigan yesterday, Sen. Barack Obama told reporters: "How a family deals with issues and teenage children, that shouldn't be the topic of our politics."

Palin has carefully portrayed herself throughout her career as someone committed to both family and profession -- and tough enough to handle both. She made a show of dismissing the chef at the governor's mansion saying she wanted to do her own cooking, and that the kids were old enough to make their own sandwiches. And no one can recall her ever having a full-time babysitter.

"You walk into her office and Piper is sitting there, the baby is in the crib -- that's just the way it is. This is how she lives her life. Someone who was in a meeting with her recently said she was discreetly nursing Trig," said Palin's biographer Kaylene Johnson.

From interviews with those closest to Palin emerges a description of a hectic lifestyle, but one in which the hominess and rural community of Alaska have enabled her to have her kids around her while she works and have offered a deep bench of family and friends for child-care support. She has shown up to meetings and news conferences carrying Trig in a baby pouch.

As a middle of the road (read much despised and reviled RINO) conservative and a woman, I can't help wondering if the defenders of Governor Palin would be so forgiving if she were a Democrat? What would they say to the idea of babies in the Vice President's office, were she not of their own party? I have a feeling they would not be so supportive.

And likewise, I'm fairly certain progressives would be howling with outrage at the questioning of her sex life and reproductive choices, were there a (D) preceding her name. The truth is that both sides are acting strangely here.

A few months ago I noted that Senator Obama's candidacy offered America the chance to examine our views on the troubling subject of race relations:

As I've said before, though I don't think the answer to racism is more talk, the only way to get past our ridiculous squeamishness about certain aspects of both the race and religion debates may well be to just bring them out into the open. There is nothing wrong with asking a candidate for public office (especially one who has invited debate on a topic) polite questions; nor is there anything wrong with discussing current events.

Where I do draw the line is at name calling. I understand the impulse that makes people want to use the word 'nigger'. One seeks, by altering our instinctive associations with that word, to lessen the pain it invokes. That is why many blacks object when whites use the term, yet utter it themselves with careless abandon. But the bottom line is that whoever uses the word, it is still an ugly name.

One day, hopefully, that is all it will be: just one of many ugly slurs with no more power to offend or hurt than any other ugly name. But why go there? Is name calling ever really acceptable behavior? Why not just object to the behavior rather than condemning the person?

In the end, the right response to racism has to be to uphold a consistently applied standard of behavior that holds true regardless of skin color. Chris Rock had it right: we don't get to congratulate ourselves for doing the right thing, whether we are white, black, yellow or brown.

We are supposed to do the right thing, every day, regardless of our skin color.

Sarah Palin's nomination seems to have brought some compelling issues to the forefront of our national consciousness. These are deep questions; questions that transcend party lines. Once again, as with the candidacy of Senator Obama, I think that wherever we stand on the political spectrum, we are being offered a valuable opportunity to examine our beliefs without the distracting prism of party affiliation.

The fact that so many of us seem to be behaving in ways that belie our professed beliefs says something. What it says remains to be seen.

Perhaps it means that our professed values are not so concrete as we may have thought. Perhaps we excuse things in people we like and trust that we will not tolerate in those we view as strangers. Perhaps it simply means we maintain different standards for our friends and enemies; that the rules of "right" and "wrong" we claim to live by are far more fluid than we like to think they are. If this is the case, by what right do we judge others? If it turns out our only basis for condemning them is that they don't belong to our "tribe", if we have no objective standard of right and wrong to which we hold ourselves and the rest of the world, then we are not in fact a nation of just and impartial laws, but of fickle and arbitrary men.

And if that is that case, by what right - by what set of values - do progressives judge Sarah Palin? Will they

judge her by their own professed values?

It's easy, in the midst of a political campaign, to forget that the people involved are, after all, people. Some of them -- Sarah Palin, for instance -- place themselves under a media spotlight of their own free will. Others -- her daughter, for instance -- wind up there through no fault of their own. Imagine yourself in her position: there you are, seventeen years old, pregnant, unmarried. Maybe you understand what happened and why; and maybe your parents and friends do as well. But zillions of bloggers and reporters and pundits are about to make the most personal details of your life into a political issue, and they don't understand it at all. And yet, despite that, they are about to use you and your unborn child to score points on one another, without any regard whatsoever for you and your actual situation.

I want no part of this. None at all. To those of you who think otherwise: that's your right. But ask yourself how you felt when Republicans scored points using Chelsea Clinton, who didn't ask to be dragged into the spotlight either.

As far as I'm concerned, it's fair game to consider Sarah Palin's statements about her daughter's decision, and to compare them to her own views about abortion. That's a story about whether or not Sarah Palin sticks to her beliefs when they affect her own family, not about her daughter. But it is not fair game to use her daughter, or any of her kids, as pawns in a political argument.

Or will both sides in this political passion play claim that two wrongs, in fact, make a right? Is it partisan politics or morality that rules our actions at the end of the day? Our daughters are watching us, and they will learn from our behavior here. They will take their lesson not from what we say, but from what we do.

I, too, will be watching.

Posted by Cassandra at September 2, 2008 06:16 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.villainouscompany.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/2358

Comments

...I can't help wondering if the defenders of Governor Palin would be so forgiving if she were a Democrat?

The test for this is whether they ever defended Sen. Clinton -- a Democrat, and one strongly disliked by the Right -- on any of the outright sexist attacks made against her.

I think at least some conservative women did rise to that challenge, did they not? You did. There must have been others.

Your point is well taken, of course, but the reverse of this coin is also important. The people who did do what you did deserve to be praised for it, and someone should point out that it was the right way.

I understand why you didn't do that here, since it would be presumptuous to praise yourself in this context. So let me do it: good for you. :)

Posted by: Grim at September 2, 2008 11:06 AM

Here's what gets me. Any right-winger who WOULD be bothered by Gov. Palin's pregnant daughter probably wouldn't have voted for McCain anyway. So all this self-congratulatory howling by the left-wing about this is pretty much an echo chamber where they demonstrate their lack of tolerance. Not a lack of tolerance for women, or privacy... but their lack of tolerance for dissenting thought.

The thugs take pleasure out of other folks misfortunes simply because those others DARE to hold different political opinions. I also lump in there everyone who made fun of Sen. Kennedy's recent cancer scare. SURE, I understand not liking the man's politics. In fact, I find him to be downright despicable as a human being (nobody leaves someone to drown in their car for fear of their political career unless they're despicable. But that misses the point. He STILL is a human being. And he has family who love him who might not even share his political leanings. And that gloating would bring them pain just as surely (or perhaps even more) than him. So why do it? All it does is demonstrate your utter lack of class to do so.

Posted by: MikeD at September 2, 2008 11:09 AM

I remember when SNL made fun of 12- or 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton in a sketch. I think we can agree that Chelsea was not beauty pageant material, and the skit made use of that. The Clintons said that Chelsea was in an "awkward" stage and should be left alone. That is the last I remember seeing about Chelsea, except to have her identified in pictures when being used as a prop by her parents. I don't remember any right-wingers taking advantage of her, even though her parents used her as a human shield during the Lewinsky scandal.

And recall of late the absolute untouchableness of the John Edwards story - how unseemly it would be to pry into such personal things, even though the slimy ambulance chaser was hiding behind his wife's cancer to maintain this secrecy.

If the Palin situation had happened to a Democrat, the public speculation would not have been permitted. Look what it took to bring light to John Edwards' (and Elizabeth Edwards') deeds. He had to be caught in a bathroom hiding like a rat before the MSM would even look in that direction. And even now, inspecting what Elizabeth Edwards knew about her husband's infidelity, but hid from us, is only barely hinted at. But the big guns are after Bristol Palin, and they won't stop now. Alaskans may wish they had not joined the union before this is all over.

As to whether the right wing would have fun with it, not any right-wingers that I hang with. We all know that if you mock someone's situation, you're likely to have to deal with worse, so you'd better be happy to leave well enough alone. This viewpoint extends to the children, but should not be expected to extend to adults who are misleading the public, such as the Clintons when they were in office. They are fair game, and should be flushed out into the open, and dealt with in an open way. Of course, when we do bring it into the open, we are derided by the left as being obsessed with sex, but that is just noise to keep the issue from being understood for what it is.

I worry about what will happen to Palin's family, but she has chosen this path and seems to prosper in it, and has the support of her husband and extended family. I am most likely not governor material, but if I had not had children who knows what I might have accomplished in the outside world? I stopped producing software and when I started producing warmware, and do not regret the choice. However, I am glad that a sparkling, competent, conservative woman such as Palin has reached this level in American life, because until now most of the women who accomplish such things are left-wing feminists in the style of Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, and Nancy Pelosi. They profess to speak for all women, but thank you very much, they do not speak for me. If I need a spokesman, I will take Sarah Palin.

Posted by: MathMom at September 2, 2008 11:40 AM

They were right that it was proper to be respectful of Chelsea, who has grown into a lovely young woman. Someday we'll be fending her off for President, and people can take a fair shot at her then. :)

Posted by: Grim at September 2, 2008 12:10 PM

"However, I am glad that a sparkling, competent, conservative woman such as Palin has reached this level in American life, because until now most of the women who accomplish such things are left-wing feminists in the style of Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, and Nancy Pelosi. They profess to speak for all women, but thank you very much, they do not speak for me. If I need a spokesman, I will take Sarah Palin."

Here, here, MathMom. I couldn't have said it better.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at September 2, 2008 12:16 PM

Margaret Chase Smith. (R- Maine)

You can look it up. She was nominated at the convention for President way back when (1964) as a gesture of respect.

Men, women, you can shake it out anyway you want to. Dianne Feinstein is pretty intelligent and capable, though I disagree with her politics. Barbara Boxer is an ideological demogogue.

Hillary Clinton got the latent hate from the Progressive wing of the Democrat party because she wasn't
1) Progressive enough
2) Bill didn't deliver on all that he promised to them
3) she voted for the AUMF in Iraq

The Progressives are full of hate for anyone that disagrees with them and will use their faux-intellectual arguments to mask their revulsion. This is common in Europe (especially among the French) in using clever rationalizations to mask deep animosity, hatred and the baser human emotions.
I have been impressed with Obama's relative willingness to be dignified in many of his criticisms, and denouncing the nutroots and their vulgarity. Who knows what he really thinks? Look for clever rationalizations of his positions.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at September 2, 2008 01:04 PM

Alaskans may wish they had not joined the union before this is all over.

Nah. Alaskans make more money selling oil to us Lower Forty-Eighters than us Lower Forty-Eighters make selling almost *anything* to Alaskans...

Posted by: BillT at September 2, 2008 01:06 PM

Actually, I like the idea of babies in the White House. While I do not support Barack Obama, the fact that he has children is a bit reassuring to me; that he is a parent too.

I know, totally idiotic, but I sorta liked that about the Clintons and the Gores.

Posted by: Cricket at September 2, 2008 01:23 PM

I do not mind babies in the White House.

But I am of the same mind as my husband on the idea of 'bring your kids to work', and that is that when you are at work, you should be working. I know that I can't fully concentrate on work when my attention is divided and you can't pay attention to your job when your children are in the room. You just can't.

Sorry, but there it is. I've had co-workers bring their kids to work, and it disrupts everything. Sure, it's fun. But no one gets any work done. And this is from someone who loves children, Cricket.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 2, 2008 01:26 PM

I'm one of those people who, when other people bring their kids to work, will play with them. I like kids.

That's why I think there is a time for playing and a time for working, and they ought to be separate.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 2, 2008 01:27 PM

The double standard certainly seems to be in full play now, especially with the screams of outrage coming from the Socialists against Gov. Palin.

I am staunchly against Sen. Clinton because of her ideals and stated policies. But then she did make the first large scale run for the presidency as a woman and for that alone deserves our respect. But, never any respect IMHO for her Socialist policies.

My bet is that the outrage expressed against gov. Palin will backfire against the Socialists.

Posted by: Doug W at September 2, 2008 04:05 PM

I sorta liked that about the Clintons and the Gores.

Well, what about the Nixons? Huh? Huh?

Okay, well, the cocker spaniel *was* a bit over-the-top...

Posted by: BillT at September 2, 2008 05:02 PM

Doug:

I agree with you on Senator Clinton. I had so many conflicting feelings about her. She really did embody many things I admire, but I abhor many things she stands for politically.

I think that many political figures (like Sen. McCain) aren't ideologically "pure". That's OK. Bush isn't a "pure" conservative either. But I thank God he was here when this country needed him. He had the strength to stand firm. I'm not sure another man would have.

Posted by: Cass at September 2, 2008 07:46 PM

"But I thank God he was here when this country needed him. He had the strength to stand firm."

And for this he has been and, for many years to come, will continue to be reviled. I truly feel for the man. He, and his family, will never again feel *safe* abroad or within their own country. Sad, really.

Posted by: DL Sly at September 2, 2008 08:12 PM

Oh, I agree about that too. I am just saying that for some kind of connection to us middle-aged babyboomers who still have children, I am glad that she has a baby. What about the story that she was nursing him *discreetly?*

Can't do that during Cabinet meetings.

Posted by: Cricket at September 2, 2008 10:04 PM

What baby? There would be no baby, had she not chosen to bear it. Whatever happened to the mother's unquestionable right to control her reproductive destiny? What about her right to privacy?

What, you thought they were telling the truth with those claims? Come on.

That never was the case.

And whatever happened to the sacred right to privacy progressives fought so ardently to defend for women? Is this really a principle they wish to sacrifice at the altar of political expediency?

Their goal is power. Anything that gets them that, is justified.

Suddenly, progressives sound like parodies of arch-conservatives and conservatives sound like the feminists they have derided for years. What gives?

maybe cause arch-conservatives didn't like progressives precisely because they were fakes?

As a middle of the road (read much despised and reviled RINO) conservative and a woman, I can't help wondering if the defenders of Governor Palin would be so forgiving if she were a Democrat?

Like Lieberman?

I have a feeling they would not be so supportive.

But we're not dealing with feelings. We're dealing with people's actions now.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 2, 2008 10:37 PM

Usual disclaimer; not American nor residing in America, blah blah blah...

Personally speaking, I couldn't give two tosses if President Palin decided to drop a kid during her State of the Union address.

Even if she represented the Alaskan Independent Party (or whatever the secessionist movement is called, I misremember).

I guess it's this - I can't imagine a person holding the values Sarah Palin does, and doing the things she's been doing, and still represent the Democratic Party. Hence, your question, rhetorical though it may be, makes absolutely no sense to me.

Hang on, there's more - the woman's place is at home? But even pioneer women hunted for food and blew people away if necessary - in defense of their home. And it's not necessarily a 'house', either - can you imagine anything more domestic than a person maintaining her home and keeping her family together when her home is the United States of America and its values and her family are the people of that great nation?

Plus, she cooks. And cleans (at least, I imagine she cleans and dresses her own kills). And judging from her 5 children, is no slouch in bed, either. What else can any conservative man ask from his wife? Oh, yes, a pretty hefty paycheck. Yup, check that box too.

Posted by: Gregory at September 3, 2008 12:10 AM

And judging from her 5 children, is no slouch in bed, either.

Jacksonian tradition and allusion.

Sarah Palin truly is the Jacksonian candidate.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 3, 2008 12:14 AM

Gregory,
I'm not going to requote the line, because Ymar has already given it more bandwidth than it deserves. All I can say is wow, just wow. How a person f*cks is an indicator as to how well they would govern?!? That was completely irrelevant and totally uncalled for.
And, btw, Gov. Palin is running for Vice President. Just a small detail, but even Code Pink and the Kos Kids understand the difference.

Posted by: DL Sly at September 3, 2008 12:46 AM

Yes, I understand she's running for Veep. And like I said, I won't care if she decided to drop a kid, while serving as POTUS (which is not too farfetched, maybe 4 years from now perhaps?), delivering the State of the Union address.

I do not understand why you're aiming your sights at me, anyway. I happen to think Sarah Palin is a great choice for McCain to have made. I'm over the moon about it, having heard of her from Beldar and other blogs months and months ago. Not that I can show my enthusiasm in any tangible form, certainly not by voting.

I was responding to Cassandra...

Suddenly, everywhere I look I see conservatives who once stridently asserted a woman's traditional place at the center of home and family ardently defending Governor Palin's decidedly nontraditional lifestyle. Suddenly, progressives sound like parodies of arch-conservatives and conservatives sound like the feminists they have derided for years. What gives?

And for this conservative, at least, I don't see the problem. I never had any issues with women working when and where they want to, no problems with equal pay for equal work, all the equal access and equal opportunity anybody wants, only depending on job-specific qualifications. I would just want my wife to do the traditional wifely things as well. Bearing my children, cooking, we can both do house chores no problem.

And the stereotypical backwards male wants his woman barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, right? Well, she's been pregnant (5 times no less), and she cooks, and she cleans too. Plus, I'll bet her bare feet are as pretty as the rest of her - so what if Mr Todd Palin is the only one who gets to see them. So, what's so non-traditional about that? Sounds like the kinda all-American, apple-pie mom anybody'd love to have, no?

Besides, read my concluding paragraph again. What does it say immediately after "... no slouch in bed, either."? Well, it says,

What else can any conservative man ask from his wife?
I dunno about you, but I would say that
How a person f*cks is an indicator as to how well...
... a wife she'd make, along with all the other qualifications I listed.

Wherein do you get me asking how well she'd govern with that list? I will defend her lifestyle, because it seems Governor Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) is indeed carrying out all of the above. Which makes her as traditional as my mom, who cooks, cleans, bore my dad 3 children, worked in the police dept before retiring, and oh, is the treasurer of a local church fellowship.

So, I ask again, what's your beef?

Posted by: Gregory at September 3, 2008 04:29 AM

Gregory,
I told you what my *beef* was. However, if you need clarification, let me reiterate with emphasis:
Your comment was completely irrelevant and uncalled for.

Do you (or anyone) consider the sexual prowess of a man an important factor in who you vote for? Do you even consider asking? Does it even enter the conversation when discussing the merits of which candidate is more qualified?

I thought not.

This post is about the upcoming election -- an election that is to decide who will govern our country for the next four years -- and the political hypocracy we see played out in the media and on the internet.

Fwiw, I really had no problem with the rest of your comment and, on a few points, was even in agreement with you. However, that comment, IMO, has no place within the context of political discourse. It was crude and disrespectful.

Posted by: DL Sly at September 3, 2008 11:24 AM

DL, do you remember the 90's?

I remember Clinton's sexual prowess being discussed openly, with both admiration and derision throughout his career as prez. Heck, we're still talking about new rumors.

As much as those that hated him despised his behavior, I recall many women (even ironically, purported feminists) rhapsodizing (even in graphic detail) on how sexy Bill was.

So, you really should be used to it. Brace yourself for more such graphic fantasizing and scurrilousness. Sarah is going to spark a lot more of it.

Posted by: Charles at September 3, 2008 05:05 PM

Hey Sly, people might have wondered why I always say certain things about Leftists, fake liberals, and Democrats.

You think they are still wondering? Probably. But some might have gotten an insight into why I have said the things I have in the last 5 years on the net.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 3, 2008 05:17 PM

I remember Clinton's sexual prowess being discussed openly, with both admiration and derision throughout his career as prez.

That was before he got elected President or was that concerning Clinton's criminal charges in trial before becoming President?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 3, 2008 05:19 PM

Gregory reminds me of Skippy over at CDR Salamander's blog.

His comment, as a 40+ something guy living in the Japan area, in response to Salamander's rejoicing over Palin was "I'd do her". Except, he didn't defend her qualifications, so to speak.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 3, 2008 05:22 PM

Meaning, Sly, some people place a prime importance on sex. And I dare say, Gregory would hold the same standards for a man. He just might not have mentioned it.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 3, 2008 05:23 PM

Is it only because of my age and being a Southern boy that leads me to understand why Sly is taking issue with the sexual abilities equated to number of children comment?

I was raised to know that gentlemen do not kiss and tell, name names, nor speak of such things when they concern real persons.

There is a time and place appropriate to randy outbursts amongst friends. But in my opinion, Governor Palin has suffered enough abuse, accusation, innuendo, lies and slander in the past few days to render her and her family off limits from such conversation or further speculation.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm a little disgusted with the abused heaped upon her and I may be a bit sensitive to irrelevant, off-color comments about her and her family. I doubt that I am alone.

P.S. Slick Williams behavior, attitude and public bearing brought on the chatter about his conduct. Not so in the case of Governor Palin.

Just sayin' my 2 cents worth.

Posted by: bt_bitter&clingy_hun at September 3, 2008 05:40 PM

DL,

Gregorg and afe are not alone. I stopped counting how many comments (on right wing blogs) started out with " I think she's a great pick" and ended with a comment like "doesn't hurt that she's HOT" or "easy on the eyes" or "she's a MILF!"

Yet another reason that if a woman is pretty she damn well better be smart.

Does anyone else find it peculiar that the Palin family would choose to fly the 18 year old father of the baby to St, Paul to attend the conference tonight? Doens't strike me as a promising way to keep the teenager lovers out of the national spotlight.

Posted by: Alex at September 3, 2008 06:01 PM

I'll throw in with Bthun here.

It's no shame to confess you're not an American, since we are born where we are, grow up where we do, and many's the nation with a proud history besides our own.

It's another thing to confess you're no gentleman. And to prove it, in case anyone doubted.

Posted by: Grim at September 3, 2008 06:06 PM

I understand the puzzlement.

But you can't keep them out of the spotlight. As soon as she accepted that nomination, they were in for the duration. I think it is probably astute of her to take the bull by the horns and say (in effect) "I'm not ashamed of my daughter, and if you morons think that you can damage me through my daughter, think again because not only am I not embarrassed by her, I'm *proud* of her!"

I have been threatened several times myself since I started blogging and that is the only response that makes sense. If someone holds something over your head, you have to show them the threat is not an effective weapon. And the truth is, unless you are willing to live under the threat of blackmail, you can't give in to that nonsense or you're letting other people control you.

Don't talk about it. Don't whine about it. Just take the weapon out of their hands and move on. I think that is what she did by having her children at the convention - she taught them to hold their heads high in the face of ugly threats and intimidation. It's the right response.

As to the VPILF nonsense, yes, I was offended by it too. I think Mitt Romney is extremely attractive, but you've never seen me going on and on about how I'd like to catch him alone and cause him to make a joyful noise unto Yahweh.

I don't take it personally, but sometimes it depresses me. There are days when I don't think men will ever see past the exterior to what we have to offer as people. To me, that is just a line I would never cross with a man, but men don't think twice about crossing it with a woman because somehow we are not in the same category.

I don't understand it, but I think it has something to do with biology. I let it go - I'm not going to change the world anytime soon, nor anyone else's mind.

Posted by: Cass at September 3, 2008 06:12 PM

"Does anyone else find it peculiar that the Palin family would choose to fly the 18 year old father of the baby to St, Paul to attend the conference tonight?"
Nope. For the reasons Cass mentioned but also because I would dare anyone to denigrate my daughter or the father of my grandchild in my presence...

But that's just me and it may be why no one in their right mind would ever expect me to run for public anything.

Posted by: bt_bitter&clingy_hun at September 3, 2008 06:23 PM


Is it only because of my age and being a Southern boy that leads me to understand why Sly is taking issue with the sexual abilities equated to number of children comment?

Not particularly. I got the same reaction, except I have a history of not allowing emotions to determine what my value judgments or arguments are.

So long as he kept it positive of Palin, I had no need to defend her. It does perpetuate the Leftist sexist creed, yes, but that's a different subject.

"I'm not ashamed of my daughter, and if you morons think that you can damage me through my daughter, think again because not only am I not embarrassed by her, I'm *proud* of her!"

The best defense is a great offense. That is what Republicans should start learning when they try to defend Bristol's "behavior". Stop assuming the Left is correct, stop making excuses and justifications for "bad" behavior. Just say that it is good and something the Left should emulate, if they want their brownie points with God.

If someone holds something over your head, you have to show them the threat is not an effective weapon.

If someone uses a gun to try to intimidate you, show them that you don't need a gun to kill and maim.

- she taught them to hold their heads high in the face of ugly threats and intimidation. It's the right response.

And it is the response I wish more conservatives, classical liberals, and Republicans understood and adopted.

I think Mitt Romney is extremely attractive, but you've never seen me going on and on about how I'd like to catch him alone and cause him to make a joyful noise unto Yahweh.

Don't even start that here ; )

There are days when I don't think men will ever see past the exterior to what we have to offer as people.

The human species is not yet totally free, as you well know. Many things restrict our free will. Idiocy, instinct, self-preservation, retardedness, insanity, and so forth.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 3, 2008 06:51 PM

Charles,
I do remember the 90's. I also remember that Bill Clinton brought about the vast majority of the sexual innuendo directed his way with his Oval Office affairs.
However, those came after he assumed office, and, IRRC, whether or not he was good in bed wasn't a factor in whether or not someone was going to vote for him. At least, not based on those people that I knew and talk to. Your mileage may vary.
Gov. Palin has done nothing to warrant such blatantly crude remarks save having the great (mis?)fortune of being born beautiful.

Posted by: DL Sly at September 3, 2008 07:14 PM

When you are born an enemy of the Leftist ideology for a better world, Sly, it does not matter whether you were born beautiful or ugly. You shall be destroyed to pave the way for a better world.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 3, 2008 07:31 PM

Okay, not to defend myself, because I do not think I need to, but!

1. No. Sexual relations, or the lack of it, does not necessarily play any part in determining how well anybody can govern a nation. Let me make my position entirely clear RIGHT NOW!!! Caveat: except insofar as it may offer insight into the overall character of a person.

2. Gov Palin hunts, eats her kills (presumably, but it kinda stands to reason shw does), does all the wifely stuff, is in favour of the 2nd Amendment, supports right-to-life, AND manages holds down an executive position in one of the larger states of the USA by geography, not to mention being one of those 'rugged individualist' types Americans should admire, like Davy Crockett. All to the good, and in her time in Alaska she's done some major spring cleaning of the Repubs. Can we say, Porkbuster? These indicate she's FAR more than qualified to become POTUS, much less Veep, than any of the other candidates.

3. Please allow me to reiterate what my statement was all about. Non sequitor as it sounds to you, DL Sly, and seemingly uncalled for and irrelevant as you may call it, I was responding (responding! not instigating!) to Cassandra's question as I understood it;

As a middle of the road (read much despised and reviled RINO) conservative and a woman, I can't help wondering if the defenders of Governor Palin would be so forgiving if she were a Democrat? What would they say to the idea of babies in the Vice President's office, were she not of their own party? I have a feeling they would not be so supportive.

IOW, are we being a bunch of hypocrites when it comes to defending our principles? Is it only when it's an 'enemy' that we *have* principles, or do we apply them fairly across the board?

Well, I chimed in. Silly old me, who actually thought this was a serious question, and not entirely rhetorical - or need not be entirely so. And what did I say? I said,

1. I cannot see 'liberals'/progressives/Democrats talking the walk *and* walking the talk that Republicans (in this specific instance, Gov Palin) do, hence the question does not quite make sense. But if they did, I'd be a happy camper, I would.

2. Anyways, I myself don't have a problem with having a POTUS, much less a Veep, who's got young kids. (to expand, Tom Clancy wrote a novel about Jack Ryan in the White House, whose wife also had a baby on the way, iirc.) Hence, I would say, go for it. I don't care one way or the other, no matter what political party you're in.

3. Besides, what's the standard caricature of a conservative viewpoint on the place of a woman? Kinder, kirche, kuche, isn't it? Or in English terms, barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. Gov Palin fits that profile to a T, doesn't she? So what if she's shown her capabilities BEYOND that caricature? Conservatives don't have a problem if you do MORE than you 'should' be doing, do we? This conservative doesn't at any rate. She keeps her husband and her family happy, intact, well-off, Supermom in fact. More power to her!

Do you understand now? Is the clearer to you? I thought Cassandra was asking whether we could (or whether we *were*) judging Gov Palin fairly, the same way we judge anybody else, even Democrats (or someone from the CPUSA, sounds like)?

My post was a 3-part answer to that, and the 'no slouch in bed' was only applicable to the THIRD part of it.

I ask you, does it still sound so uncalled for and irrelevant? I'm saying that according to MY principles, Governor Sarah Palin is fulfilling her duties as wife and mother and woman. The fact that she's capable of so much more than that - as demonstrated - is icing on the cake and she should go for whatever she can reach for.

i.e. I think I would NOT be a hypocrite. And I think I speak for many other right-wing-type guys, who upon meeting someone as capable as Gov Palin on the DEMOCRATIC ticket, would shudder in fear and wonder why isn't she working for us and what's such a woman doing running as a Dem. BUT, I don't think we'd be acting the way the lefties are acting now, and trying to besmirch her and stomp on her family life and frighten her off the ticket and generally doing all the vile and despicable stuff that they're doing right now.

Okay, now, if I misread what Cassandra was asking, and if this truly was just a straight political discussion about the objective leadership merits of Sarah Palin as a VP candidate, then yes, I agree with you, DL Sly. My remarks about her domestic side are indeed irrelevant, and unbecoming of a Christian man, and I willingly - no, cheerfully retract, withdraw and apologise for these remarks, as they are uncalled for, as you say.

Speaking for myself, I don't think it hurts the ticket that Gov Palin looks good and appears to be Everyman's Mom, to boot.

PS Ymarskar, what do you mean by Jacksonian candidate? As in, a candidate that would have been pushed forward as part of the Democratic Republican Party that went defunct more than a century ago?

Posted by: Gregory at September 3, 2008 09:39 PM

Um. Clear as a bell, Greg. Thanks.

Posted by: spd rdr at September 3, 2008 09:50 PM

Gregory:

You didn't misunderstand my question, and I don't want you to feel like you can't answer it without getting stomped :p

I do understand where Sly is coming from b/c some of those same types of remarks have bugged me a lot. I can't speak for her. I just know a lot of women are annoyed right now with the general atmosphere, both on the left and right. It isn't just the left that is acting this way. There have been a lot of guys on the right who haven't been much better, at least IMO.

I don't say anything about it b/c I'd spend all day batting that nonsense down and it wouldn't change anything.

I think it's an interesting question b/c that *is* one of the criticisms that is being hurled at her (interestingly enough, mainly by the Left): i.e., that she can't be a good mother and a good VP.

Personally, whether she is a good mother or not is not my lookout. That is her business and her husband has taken a leave of absence to take care of the kids. So it's a moot point.

I have a few issues with the idea that has been floated in a few articles of having kids in the office during working hours. To me, that is not professional. I am old fashioned that way - sorry, but there it is. Others may differ.

I don't see how a person can do two things at the same time. Either you are at work, or you are doing home stuff. I work at home, but I never do anything home-related during work hours. I can't - it just doesn't work out. I can't pick up a vacuum in the middle of the day because the rug looks dirty - if you allow your attention to be divided, you don't do either job well.

So one or the other suffers, but you have to choose. I assume she will make arrangements and how she does that is her business. As has been noted, the question would not even be asked of a man, would it?

Posted by: Cass at September 3, 2008 09:59 PM

You know, I actually got paternity leave when my son was born? I had a real gov't job at that time, not a contractor position like usual. Two weeks off, to do anything I wanted to help my wife and new son settle in.

After that, it was my problem -- and I don't remember anyone asking me if I could really field my responsibilities with all the new work.

Posted by: Grim at September 3, 2008 11:15 PM

PS Ymarskar, what do you mean by Jacksonian candidate? As in, a candidate that would have been pushed forward as part of the Democratic Republican Party that went defunct more than a century ago?

I suppose I should provide a link to that, after all.

Den Beste's archives strike once more

My remarks about her domestic side are indeed irrelevant, and unbecoming of a Christian man

There is a conflict here and you can only plead ignorance of it, if you wish to have your own comments taken on their own merits in a vacuum. But there is no vacuum, there is only context. And the context is that people are exploiting the fact that Palin is a woman and you are highlighting those aspects at the same time.

Unless you are pleading ignorance, which I assume you are not, you are quite aware, very well aware, of what the Left has been doing and what they could do with sentiments like yours.

It is only irrelevant if you wish to help Palin. Anywhere else, and it is a relevant attack or exploitation.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 3, 2008 11:58 PM

Dear Cassandra;

/takes deep breath

Thank you. I spent about half an hour typing my response above out when I should have been working. Got somewhat irked by what seemingly was blue-on-blue, at least from my perspective.

I understand what DL Sly's saying also; but from my perspective she took my comments (as part of Gov Palin's performance of traditionally wifely duties) and applied them entirely out of context. Which bewilders me, because it's like, "isn't this something lefties would do?"

Totally OT, but I think a major problem we have is the fact that we separate or compartmentalise our lives too much. It's like, this is our personal life, this is our work life, this is our home life, this is our family life, this is our church life etc etc etc. Some compartments overlap a great deal, others don't, but they're all logically separate to us.

That should not be. I agree that there are priorities in one's life, and they can change, but to compartmentalise them like that is perhaps erroneous. I mean, look at old-school farmers, or craftsmen. A master carpenter apprentices his son, like Joseph and Yehoshuah bar-Miriam. Both at work, and yet don't tell me there's no family life there. Same with farmers - the whole family is involved in running the farm and yet it is family time. And home time. I think we've lost something precious when we separated the various aspects of our lives out the way we have. Not that I'm any less guilty.

But I do take your point. The Presidency (or VP post, I guess), is the ultimate stay-at-home job AND the ultimate travel-everywhere job all in one, isn't it? :) It won't be easy but I'm sure all parties somehow work things out.

Dear Ymarsakar:

Thank you for your explanation. Sounds good to me. She probably is a Jacksonian candidate, at that.

My point is, the context I had for them is no different from that of AoSHQ and his vast army of moronbloggers. Or, for that matter, that of Beldar and other lawbloggers. Or, if you read her, Little Miss Attila afaict. i.e. She's a hottie, she's doing just fine as a wife and mother, oh, btw did we mention she's smokin' as Governor of Alaska? With an ~80% popularity rating in a place that hates pollies?

I am not pleading ignorance. But I confess I do not see the problem. The right-wing will rally to her defense (as if she needed it, she's doin' fine as it is, but no doubt it's appreciated), the left-wing will lie and spit in her face, and the swinging voters will most likely overwhelmingly vote McCain/Palin. Business as usual.

Now, I may be missing some subtext or something subtle, or even not-so-subtle. I will admit that I am the last to notice something unless it was written is large, blinking neon-bright letters on a billboard - and maybe even then.

I cannot see it. Yes, Gov Sarah Palin is a woman. Blindingly obvious. She's been pregnant and got 5 kids! Her husband is a man! Okay, right, and the Left hates her because she's everything they say a woman should be - confident, successful, made her own choices, Superwoman and Supermom - and yet Republican and pretty much bedrock conservative.

What does what I said play into their hands? I cannot see it. I cannot see it. What I can see is DL Sly taking something I used to answer Cassandra's question and telling me I said something I did not say!

How a person f*cks is an indicator as to how well they would govern?!?

Where did I say that? Where did I say that! Nowhere!!! I give up. I throw my hands in the air and confess I will never understand Americans, no matter how much I want to be one.

However, I am willing to be enlightened as to where I went wrong. Happens to me all the time, and I'm not so stubborn as to deny facts. Not yet, so I hope. But as it is, I remain confused. And irked.

Posted by: Gregory at September 4, 2008 12:23 AM

But then again, holy crap, the Left is going loonier and loonier by the minute. Sarahcudda is driving them to near-homicidal psychopathy.

Nevermind me, scrap my posts quick! I'm not giving those seriously deranged people *any* kind of ammo, no matter how remote the possibility or how much they'll have to stretch it.

Seriously, that speech of hers has absolutely devastated any semblance of sanity left (hah!). If you don't mind, Cassandra, go ahead and redact out anything (ANYTHING!) you think is no good in my posts on Gov Palin.

Absolute meltdown. I cannot believe it.

Posted by: Gregory at September 4, 2008 03:33 AM

Gregory,
"...but from my perspective she took my comments (as part of Gov Palin's performance of traditionally wifely duties) and applied them entirely out of context."

Exactly what part of "And judging from her 5 children, is no slouch in bed, either." did I take out of context? Am I to understand that you weren't speaking to her sexual prowess? If you were referencing her sexual prowess, explain to me, please, just exactly what that has to do with a post about the hypocracy of those who attack, under the thinly-veiled guise of *concern* regarding their ability to govern, that which they see as weaknesses in their opponents -- in this case, Gov. Palin.

As I said earlier, I read and, for the most part, was in general agreement with your comments. So tell me why you felt the need to, IMO, crap on your own comment by including a locker room comment like that?

One final point:
Am I free to infer from your first comment, then, that you frequently discuss with your father the fact that your mother is obviously "no slouch in bed"? I mean, she did bear him three children.
Or, is that none of your and my business?

Posted by: DL Sly at September 4, 2008 03:38 AM

Dear DL Sly:

If you were referencing her sexual prowess, explain to me, please, just exactly what that has to do with a post about the hypocracy of those who attack, under the thinly-veiled guise of *concern* regarding their ability to govern, that which they see as weaknesses in their opponents -- in this case, Gov. Palin.

What??? Which angle of attack are you on now? The one where I supposedly speak about this qualifying her to govern, or the one you're talking about above?

Actually, I was referencing her fertility and willingness to submit to her husband, *which is what the lefties think we require from our womenfolk*. Speaking as a man, I agree that childbearing is part of a wife's duties, as 'bringing home the bacon' is part of a husband's.

Again, Cassandra was asking if conservatives *and* liberals were both a bunch of hypocrites. And I responded; no, hypocrisy is pretty much owned by liberals if at all, because (a) I personally do not have a problem with *people* having young children in the White House, (b) I would be very happy if there was a DEMOCRATIC (or even COMMUNIST, in an expansion) Sarah Palin who said and did what Sarah Palin said and did and (c) anyways, she's doing what the lefties think conservative womenfolk are supposed to be doing.

Fine, you don't like the way I said it. Let's say I was unrefined. Boorish, even. It's probably even true - a result of reading the Moronosphere and my own predilection with all matters sexual. But may I remind you that I was not the one who dragged the F-word into the conversation. Nor have I used it yet, no matter how veiled, in this conversation.

Insofar as a woman's proven fertility is related to her sexual prowess (I won't know, being a virgin, but I suspect there is a fairly significant correlation), then yes, I suppose I was referring to her sexual prowess. But again, the context was in *my answer to Cassandra's question which she posed to both 'conservatives' and 'liberals'*

Quite frankly, I got irked because you took what I said *in relation to her qualifications in domesticity as a wife and mother* and then twisted *my words* to make it seem as if I was speaking about her ability to govern. Which I wasn't at the time.

Now, if you had stuck to telling me it was crude, and rude, and didn't need to be said, or perhaps you chewed me out for using unrefined paraphrases, or a thousand other things you could have said about my choice of words and phrases, maybe I'd just say 'Ooh, my bad' and ask for forgiveness. In a nicer way, of course.

As it is, you lied. That's how I feel about it, anyway. It feels like you lied, and right now it feels like you're lying again because you don't want to admit you were wrong, and that I never said her prowess in bed qualifies her to lead a nation.

All I can say is wow, just wow. How a person f*cks is an indicator as to how well they would govern?!? That was completely irrelevant and totally uncalled for.

And you don't have a problem with me saying that she cooks. Or that she cleans. Or that she brings home some paycheck. But 'no slouch in bed'? Oh, no, now them's fighting words! Why? Does her cooking qualify her for the Veep post? Does her cleaning (or field-dressing a moose, as former Sen Thompson puts it) qualify her for the Veep post? Does even bringing some money back home qualify her for the Veep post? But the only thing you can cherry-pick is my saying she's fertile and a 'hot mama'? Would it be better if I mentioned that her husband's probably no slouch in bed either, if he can sire 5 kids? But *that* would be uncalled for, because her husband doesn't qualify her for high office either! Moreover, his sexual prowess speaks nothing to her wifely qualifications!

All I want is for you to admit that I never said nor implied what you wrote above. That the paragraph you quoted on was speaking solely on her wifely achievements, as I thought was so bloody obvious but apparently not. And then you can chew me out in however many ways you want about me being the typical Neanderthal ape-man-thing who can't think of anything else but sex, and I will be very quiet and hang my head in shame and say, 'Indeed, such is true, woe is me'. :D

But until then, please don't expect me to listen to anything else you have to say on the subject, because right now, I cannot see you as anything other than a liar who's trying to compound lie after lie after lie in order to maintain her negative viewpoint of a person she's hardly ever going to meet, much less punch up.

Do you want or need more explanation? Let me try.

1. Lefties think that conservative womenfolk ought to be;
- barefoot
- pregnant
- in the kitchen

2. Sarah Palin has proven that;
- she cooks just fine in the kitchen
- she's got no problems in the 'getting pregnant' department, as recently as a year ago, even
- the bare feet can be reserved for her husband; I'm not gonna demand we look at 'em.

2a. So even if we accept the Left's definition of womenfolk, Sarah Palin is a paragon of womanly virtues. No problems on our end, no siree.

3. On top of allathis, she makes a mean governor of Alaska too. Porkbuster.

=> Go get 'em, Sarahcudda!
---

*That's* what my post had to do with hypocrisy. Namely, THERE'S NONE INVOLVED. Because of the 3 reasons I iterate and reiterate.

Oh, and as for my parents and I, well, hard to say, really. We don't beat around the bush in terms of sexual issues. My mother told me upfront that she conceived me while she was taking the Pill. So I'm an accident. Fancy that.

Yes, I suspect that if someone was telling me that my mother couldn't do what she wanted because she'd be neglecting her duties as wife and mother, I would bristle up and tell him/her off, and mention that mom cooks, cleans, bore children (but alas, menopause kinda stops that, ya know?), and given that my brother came along 11 months after marriage, didn't take her too long either, you get my point? on top of which worked with the police dept in the Special Branch (sorta CIA/FBI mix for you Americans) and yes, I have had discussions with my father. Embarassing, maybe. But frequent? It's not as if my father accuses my mother of potentially neglecting her wifely duties, after all. So it won't really come up, you know?

That's it from me. I've imposed myself on Cassandra's blog post enough for 10 commenters. And I'm getting even more heated up, and over what? Blue-on-blue, like I said. And I'm fairly certain a fair number of people are sick and tired of me blabbering on now.

Posted by: Gregory at September 4, 2008 06:37 AM

Geez, get a room, you two...

Posted by: BillT at September 4, 2008 08:34 AM

Sly's not blue. She's golden.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 4, 2008 10:35 AM

Whatever, Gregory.

Posted by: DL Sly at September 4, 2008 10:55 AM

They have a room. You are in it.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 4, 2008 04:15 PM

"They have a room. You are in it."
Shhhhh [whispers] Hold it down will ya. We're private-eying here.

Posted by: Sam Spade at September 4, 2008 04:28 PM

Why? The diode minicam's functioning perfectly and the laser's returning the speech vibrations off the windowpanes to the MMS on the Black Loach in treetop defilade 500 meters south...

Posted by: BillT at September 4, 2008 05:27 PM

Glad I'm being such a source of amusement to at least some of you.

So tell me, was I so wrong in what I've said so far?

Posted by: Gregory at September 4, 2008 09:07 PM

..."the Black Loach"...
So you got the black bird! The one that little Cairo guy's going on about. Guess I'm going to have to left Gutman know before DL_Sly spills any more blood.

Posted by: Sam Spade at September 4, 2008 09:40 PM

Post a comment

To reduce comment spam, comments on older posts are put into moderation 5 days after the last activity. Comments with more than one link also go into moderation. If you don't see your comment after posting it, try refreshing the screen. If you still don't see it, your comment is probably in the moderation queue.




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)