Mere hours after McCain/Palin was demanding that everybody stop asking so many questions about the background of his hastily-chosen running mate, Sarah Palin, and that everyone regard the Palin children (including pregnant teenage daughter Bristol) as being off-limits, there was Sarah Palin using her family - plus one - to score political points with the GOP true believers.
This is not how you keep your family out of the
political spotlight and let the world know
your children are off-limits.
Sarah Palin and her family officially accept the
Vice-Presidential spot at the Republican National Convention,
Wednesday, August 3 2008.
Image stolen from the New York Times, because for some reason I couldn't find any pictures of the Palin family onstage at the RNC last night at the official GOP website.
It's not like Palin hadn't already put her family into play. A major selling point for her political bio is the fact that she is a mother to five, including a special-needs child born with Down's Syndrome.* She stresses over and over again that she is a Hockey Mom. Hockey Mom! Hockey Mom!!! Ain't Hockey Moms great? Ain't Hockey Moms tough?
Hon, maybe if you had spent less time being a Hockey Mom and more time being a MOM Mom, you could have instilled in your daughter Bristol the responsibility and self-respect and ability to make good decisions and moral values and critical thinking skills and understanding that actions have consequences - you know, all the standard parental stuff - that would have kept her from becoming an Accidental Underage Mom, a.k.a. Just Another Teen Pregnancy.
You might notice that in that picture there are actually six children. The third one from the
(Actually, having Johnston onstage in front of a national audience was a pretty shrewd move on Sarah Palin's part. It will make it much harder for him to run and hide as Bristol's due date and/or the date of his impending shotgun marriage approaches. )
So now McCain/Palin has painted itself as the hypocritical bunch that it is, demanding privacy for Palin's family one moment, and the next launching into a long-planned exploitation of her family for some short-term political gain. Was it worth it?
This campaign isn't going to be nice. It isn't going to be pretty. The Democrats played nice and played fair in 2000 and 2004, even in the face of scurrilous attacks by and on behalf of the man who was clearly the most incompetent, unqualified candidate ever fronted by the Grand Old Party, the Republicans. And they lost. They lost in 2000, hard on the heels of eight years of peace and prosperity courtesy of the Clinton Administration. They lost in 2004 to the man who had presided over the greatest failures of national defense and national intelligence in U.S. history, in a campaign where a Vietnam Veteran and man of honor and principle was painted as a villain and coward and traitor while a chickenshit draft-dodger was presented as a gen-u-ine war hero.
The Democrats played nice, and played fair, and lost. Twice. In a row. To our nation's everlasting regret. They will not make the same mistake a third time. It's too important. Eight years of Republican idiocy in the Executive Branch is enough. And there are more than enough young, healthy Right-Wing Activist Ideologue judges on the Supreme Court. We don't need any more getting packed in there.
So. Note to Governor Palin: It's on.
I'm just sorry you've dragged your family into this.
*...who was conceived while Palin was of an age where the likelihood of any mother giving birth to a child with Down's Syndrome increases dramatically. Was this a planned pregnancy, an intentional conception of a fifth child despite the obvious and well-established risks? Or was this, as I have read, an "accidental" pregnancy?