Matters are quite simple:
- The fact that Sarah Palin’s daughter is pregnant and will carry the baby to term while marrying the soon-to-be father is the business of no one but the Palin family.
- The bottom-feeding that is going on in various portions of the Blogosphere concerning this story is nothing short of appalling–which thankfully, some people are beginning to recognize:
Some conservative bloggers were dismissive of the way the rumors spread. On Townhall.com, Amanda Carpenter wrote that the Daily Kos contributor was “disgustingly inspecting Bristol’s midriff with all the fervor of L.A. paparazzi examining J-Lo’s or Jennifer Aniston’s washboard stomachs for evidence of a ‘bump.’ “
Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor who writes the conservative blog Instapundit, refused to link to the Kos posting. “I certainly wouldn’t have gone with this,” Reynolds says. “It just seemed so ridiculous. I don’t see how this story adds up to a vindication of the Kos diarist.”
But blogger Andrew Sullivan, a right-leaning former New Republic editor who supports Barack Obama, pushed the story about the baby, who was born with Down syndrome. Citing unresolved questions and the campaign’s refusal to release the medical records involved, he writes: “The circumstantial evidence for weirdness around this pregnancy is so great that legitimate questions arise — questions anyone with common sense would ask. . . . After all, this baby was a centerpiece of the public case for Palin made by the Republicans.”
Karl Rove, the former Bush White House adviser, says the McCain camp had planned to publicize Bristol Palin’s pregnancy all along. “They have to. . . . By election day she’ll be seven months pregnant,” Rove says. With Hurricane Gustav dominating the news, he adds, Monday “was a reasonably good day to do it.”
The controversy erupted as a debate was taking shape over whether some media criticism of Palin’s limited government experience has been sexist. Liberal radio host Ed Schultz was telling listeners Monday that Palin was an “empty pantsuit” who had set off a “bimbo alert.” Shortly afterward, the pregnancy statement was released and, without missing a beat, Schultz said her daughter’s situation was relevant because the governor is a champion of moral values.
But a liberal reader posting on Salon under the name Redstocking Grandma denounced the pregnancy allegations: “This is just creepy; it feels stalkerish.” What some Democratic supporters were doing, she said, is “revolting.”
Particularly disappointing is Sullivan’s performance. A blogger who once had bravely and eloquently written about some of the most important and pressing issues in our national and international political life, he is now reduced to incessant speculation about whether little Trig Palin really is Sarah Palin’s baby, or whether Governor Palin faked the pregnancy to cover up for the pregnancy of one of her daughters.
I know that passions get excited during the course of a Presidential campaign. But this is as absurd as it is disgusting. There is no reason and no evidence to doubt the identity of Trig Palin’s mother and yet, people like Sullivan are attracted to the story like flies are attracted to . . . well, you know. By all rights, people like Sullivan should have no credibility left after this sordid business. Whatever doubts one might have about Sarah Palin’s candidacy, it hardly justifies or excuses this kind of behavior.