Wherein I employ the tortured logic of the left…
Like a gaggle of nattering stada babas, Andrew Sullivan , Gawker.com , Bill Maher , Wonkette , and others have begun counting months on fingers regarding reports of a baby on the way for newlyweds Track and Britta Palin. As with previous Palin pregnancies, the usual suspects have swung into armchair gynecologist mode, using Facebook photos of Mrs. Palin’s baby shower to estimate her delivery date. Having arrived at the consensus that Britta is about six months pregnant, they have pronounced the May 2011 union a “shotgun marriage.”
Employing Saul Alinsky’s Rule #4 for radicals, “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules,” the liberals were quick to issue self-righteous tut-tuts over the perceived failure of abstinence promotion for teens, a Palin family pet cause. For example, Gawker admonished the former Republican Vice Presidential nominee “to shut up the next time she champions abstinence only education.” A Yahoo! News commentary headline proclaimed, “Sarah Palin’s Views on Abstinence Lead to Second Grandchild.”
The apparent argument is that Sarah Palin is a proponent of abstinence-based education, and Sarah Palin’s son did not practice abstinence before his marriage; therefore, Sarah Palin must either concede that she is wrong about abstinence-based education or submit to the hypocrite label. The flimsy assumption undergirding this illogic is that 22 year-old Track Palin’s sexual practices are the product of abstinence-only education, a preposterous claim given his military record. By attacking Sarah Palin before checking the pertinent facts, abstinence opponents have disproved their own position.
Track Palin enlisted in the US Army in September 2007, leaving behind his nulliparous* high school sweetheart Britta. He served as an infantryman, completed a tour of duty in Iraq, and was discharged sometime in 2010 (based on a presumed three-year enlistment). Whatever Track learned from his parents was superseded by the indoctrination he underwent in the military.
So what did the Army teach Track about the birds and the bees?
Because unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections erode mission readiness, the US Department of Defense has a decided interest in educating its personnel on how to avoid both. Army Regulation 600-63, the Army Health Promotion Manual , sets forth doctrine regarding sex education for soldiers. Like so many sex ed programs favored by the left, the regulation provides lip service to “abstinence, when appropriate,” yet aims to “[p]romote and maintain a culture in which responsible sexual behavior is encouraged, supported, and expected.” Indeed, absolute abstinence is not even mentioned as a form of birth control on Army Medicine’s official “Contraceptive Methods Compared” health tips sheet . Given that at least 46 percent of the population from which the military draws its recruits is sexually active, it is not surprising that abstinence education is afforded a low priority.
Typically, military members are required to receive service-sanctioned sexual health education during basic training, before deployments, and otherwise annually. Military health briefings are nearly always presented by medical corps personnel, so junior soldiers are likely to place a high level of trust in the presenter based on both rank and professional expertise. A representative Army health briefing can be found at this link . Slides 10 and 11 refer to birth control supplies and pills, respectively, and slide 48 recommends that sexually active individuals use condoms. For three years in the Army, Track Palin’s views on acceptable sexual conduct were influenced by this risk management, vice risk avoidance, training strategy.
Following the reasoning of the liberal pundits, we can conclude that abstinence-based education worked well for Track and Britta up to his enlistment, and that the gospel of the latex sheath subsequently failed. Ironically, thanks to a condom-and-pill type of program preferred by those who despise Sarah Palin, That Woman’s DNA has been imparted to yet another lucky child.
*If you are waiting for creepy Palin conspiracy theorists to weigh in, Britta has already been added to the Trig’s mother candidate list .