Before Bristol Palin, Liberals Defended Kids' Privacy

How many remember the story of Graeme Frost — the 12-year old boy selected by Democrats last year to deliver a radio address on children’s health insurance? The Left went absolutely bonkers over the efforts of conservative bloggers to learn more about Frost and his family, to better determine whether Frost lacked health insurance because his family couldn’t afford it, or because they chose not to buy it. Some prominent liberals were pretty clear about the importance of shielding children from becoming political footballs:

Paul Krugman:

I don’t know about you, but I think American children who need medical care should get it, period. Even if you think adults have made bad choices — a baseless smear in the case of the Frosts, but put that on one side — only a truly vicious political movement would respond by punishing their injured children. Digby:

This is so loathesome [sic] I am literally sick to my stomach…

They went after Michael J. Fox. They went after a wounded Iraq war veteran. Now they are going after handicapped kids. There is obviously no limit to how low these people will go.

They’d better pray that they stay rich and healthy and live forever because if there is a hell these people are going to be on the express train to the 9th circle the minute they shuffle off their useless mortal coils.


Left in Lowell:

If you haven’t heard about the recent all-out right-wing Swiftboat-style smear against a twelve year old, then read up.

To me, it’s unbelievable how low the Republicans sink to defend their pretty indefensible voting patterns. Either they blame the immigrants, or they blame the victim, or my favorite – they pretend to be the victim. If my own party started attacking little kids personally like this, I would be livid and ready to smack them down. But, par for the course for the right wing.

John Aravosis:

Now they’re smearing a 12 year old boy who spoke out about how the SCHIP program helped him and his family. It’s one thing for the Republicans to play these cute smear games with John Kerry or MoveOn. Still despicable, but at least they’re adults. But going after 12 year old boys?

Keith Olbermann:

Olbermann invited the parents of Graeme Frost onto his show to make their case. In doing so, he complained that ‘the right has targeted Graeme and his family,’ and that ‘easily disproved lies… have been posted online anonymously about them.’


Here’s a truth…honestly. If the folks who run Powerline or Michelle Malkin or any of these other folks had a child in danger and contacted me to ask about what they should do to contact authorities or protect their child, I would help them in a heartbeat. Hell, I’d probably try to save the kid from a speeding bus if my auto-immune-achy limbs could move fast enough. Because that is what compassionate people who care about childrens’ well-being do.

Compassionate people don’t attack kids who desperately need help — they help them. It is human instinct at its basest level — ask any good parent (who isn’t involved in an abuse and neglect case, since I’ve seen far too many of those in my lifetime to know that some parents don’t have this trait) about the ache they feel when their child cries out in the night. Hell, ask any person with a heart if they wouldn’t do whatever it took to help a child in need, and see you don’t get “yes, what can I do to help?” as your answer…

Reading these passages, you would think there’d be a universal outcry on the Left to leave the Palins alone; to let the family process Bristol’s pregnancy outside the harsh media spotlight. After all, caring liberals are concerned first and foremost about the children, right? But apparently there’s a big difference between a 12-year old tragically injured in an accident and put forth as a partisan spokesperson, and a pregnant 17-year old who happens to be the daughter of a national candidate.

The irony is, these same liberals tell us that Bristol Palin is mature enough and in charge of her own body enough to decide to abort her child. But she’s young enough (as a liberal friend scolds me) that it’s her mother’s ‘responsibility’ if she becomes pregnant. There’s nothing a conservative can do to satisfy liberals in cases like this.

In the not-too-distant future, the child of some nationally-known Democrat will become pregnant, and liberals will flip flop again. They’ll complain that conservatives are using a child as a political football, and that the Palin case is different from the one at hand. The only thing left will be to find the excuse why.