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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bristol Palin's Pregnancy (The Post You've All Been Waiting For...)

That title is a joke, get it? Like, because I'm not exactly known as a pundit. In fact, I recently asked my sister what exactly a pundit was. I still don't really know, but whatever.

First of all, Bristol Palin's pregnancy has absolutely nil to do with my vote. Before I learned she was pregnant, I questioned Sarah Palin's judgment for accepting such a huge political role with children still at home, including a very young baby with special needs. Don't jump down my throat and call me sexist, either, because anyone who knows me will tell you I identify myself as a feminist, with no reservations. I would ask the same question about a man in her position. I believe that every parent is responsible for his or her children and there are times when we make sacrifices. If Governor Palin was a father of five, including a newborn son with Downs Syndrome, I would absolutely question his timing. In my mind, being a mother of five or a father of five carries the same obligation.

But, here's the thing. You don't get asked to be Vice President of the United States every day. I'm no insider, but I bet it usually just happens once. If a publisher called me and said,

"Hey, I read your blog. I work for BigHugePublishingCompanyYou'veHeardOf and we want to publish a collection of your work. Your writing is pretty rough and you'll have to put in a lot of time working with an editor. Interested?"

Hell, yes. Even if I was pregnant. With triplets*. And I would expect my husband to take the same kind of opportunity if it came his way, no matter what. And if I were seventeen and accidentally pregnant, I would want my mom to accept the hell out of that nomination. Even if I had been fighting with her since the moment she found out I was knocked up**, I would be so proud. I'd want her to accept, even though I knew it would mean some uncomfortable moments for me. And I think a seventeen year old is mature enough to understand and agree to that. And being a seventeen year old, unwed pregnant woman can't be a bundle of fun anyway. With your entire family in the public eye, at least you might get some nice maternity clothes out of the deal. Plus, no matter how mad your mom was in private, she'd have to act like she liked you.

Most sources say John McCain knew about the pregnancy before he announced his choice. This may never happen again, so hold on to your hats. I would have made the same choice as John McCain. Yup. If I thought she was qualified and would help my campaign, I'd pick her. Duh. I feel sure he knew about the pregnancy ahead of time, too. Only a complete moron (which I suspect Governor Palin is not) would think something like that could be overlooked. Who knows - maybe Bristol sprung it on them over the weekend. I doubt it, but seventeen year olds make odd choices. So do pregnant women.

As for Bristol's pregnancy - not that it's any of my business - I wish her luck. I wasn't seventeen, but our first was a surprise of epic proportions - and he's my favorite. Kidding! But he is a great kid (just like the other ones and I love them all exactly equally all the time) and, like magic, he turned me into a mother, which is the best thing that ever happened to me. Really, all the cliches are true.*Sniff* As a seasoned parent - though not nearly as seasoned as Sarah Palin - I know that the chances of each and every one of my children's lives going exactly as I would like are slim to none. And five children? That definitely increases the odds of one of them having a less than perfect life. No one can have five children, all with easy and effortless lives. And there's never a good time to run for Vice President of the United States. I can guarantee that at least one of your children will have an embarrassing moment during the campaign. I can't even make it through the grocery store without being embarrassed by the less than stellar behavior of at least one of my little darlings.

I agree with Senator Obama:

"Let me be as clear as possible: I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people's families are off limits and people's children are especially off limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Governor Palin's performance as governor, or her potential performance as a vice president.

"And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18, and how a family deals with issues and, you know, teenage children, that shouldn't be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that's off limits."

Except for the part about my mother having me at 18 - she was only 16. Kidding! She was 14. You know how we are down here.

Namasté, y'all!

* Which I most certainly am not. So if anyone wants to make a book of my stuff, I'm in. Not that anyone was offering, but I thought I should mention that. Just in case. And, um, if you want me to move out away from my family for a few weeks to work on it, that would be fine, too. Just sayin'.

** Public Service Announcement: That announcement never goes over well. Really.


just ask beth said...

Well said Annie!!! But really, I am sick of republican double standards!!

Lizzie said...

I am sick of all double standards. Except when they work in my favor!

Btw, please don't tell mom I'm not pregnant. Thanks, sis.

MT said...

Good post - yeah, timing never works out just right in real life, doesn't it? For any of the big stuff.

Smiles atcha!

Lizzie said...

And I really like double standards when it means I don't have to pay for dinner.

Duke Williams said...

I have been surprised by the reaction of many that Palin is not being a good Mother by not staying at home. My wife and I both have always worked. Our first child was born with many birth defects and has had around 20 operations as a result. We have dedicated an enormous amount of time to her and our other child while continuing to both work full time. She is now a senoir in college and on track to graduate. As much as I was surprised by this reaction, I was stunned by my wife's reaction. Very, very aggressively hostile to the folks that question Palin's mothering. She openly suggested that this type of stereotyping would be condemned by all but the most racist if applied to Obama.

BTW, we both hate all politicians and see them as the problem not the solution so please do not assume I have a party ax to grind here.

Why do you think this mothering issue creates such strong emotion from each point of view?