Bang Bang You're Wed

I had decided on Friday that I didn't need to write anything about Sarah Palin; not only did her biography speak for itself but better writers and more analytical thinkers than I am have done the job thoroughly.

But then the story continued. I thought long and hard. Any of us might find herself in the position of having a teen-aged child dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. That happens. I thought about the amount of compassion and support that such a situation would call for. I knew that if I were in that situation, I'd surely put my own ambitions on hold and decline a most tempting invitation to pursue a new job so that I, as a mother, could provide that compassion and support. I'd choose not to let the world -- literally, the world -- know of my daughter's or son's difficult situation.

I'd been concerned about Sarah Palin's views ever since the announcement of her candidacy on Friday. There were a lot of problems, each of which might warrant an individual blog post. I didn't take the bait. I'd leave that to the deeper thinkers and the better writers.

But then came this, direct from Ms. Palin herself:

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family," they added.

Sarah, listen to yourself. "The young man she will marry." She's seventeen years old, for crying out loud. Give her a break. Isn't it enough that you've made Bristol's situation a topic for the pundits to exploit? Do you have to compound it by hauling out the shotgun (no matter what your views on gun control might be)?

I'd pretty much restrained myself from writing the above. Again, others were handling it very well. And then I read the following excerpted from this morning's New York Daily News:

Bristol Palin's pregnancy was an open secret back home


Tuesday, September 2nd 2008, 7:34 AM

Levi Johnston.
Bristol Palin.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
He's a superhunky bad-boy ice hockey player from cold country; she's a chestnut-haired beauty and popular high school senior.

The all-American teen twosome will make GOP vice presidential pick and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a grandma at age 44 - just in time for Christmas.

Doe-eyed Bristol Palin, 17, and ruggedly handsome Levi Johnston, an 18-year-old self-described "f---in' redneck," have been dating a year, locals in Wasilla, Alaska told the Daily News.
. . . . . . . . . . . .

Besides his hard play on the ice, Levi Johnston was also a bit of a hell-raiser off it - another reason Bristol may have been smitten.

State troopers popped Johnston last year for snagging some king salmon out of season in Moose Lake, records from Alaska wildlife enforcement show. He had to pay $370 bail.

On his MySpace
page, Johnston proudly declares: "I'm a f---in' redneck."

"I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing," he says on the site.

He also warns that if anyone messes with him, "I'll kick ass."

The Web site, before it was removed, appeared not to have been accessed for a year.

On it, he admits to having a girlfriend.

On the part where it asks about children, he wrote, "I don't want kids."
. . . . . . . . . . . .

And I needed to write.

Do we really want someone who is advocating her 17-year-old pregnant daughter marry this man (who may well have very fine qualities that no one has yet discovered) in the position of potentially making irreversible decisions for us?

I don't.


Just makes you shake your head, doesn't it? Here in my neck of the woods, the big plus for Sarah is that she is a member of the NRA. If I survive this election, it will be only by the grace of God.
The Calico Cat said…
I've tried to avoid that whole subject because it looks like McSame was thinking, "A lot of people voted for Hillary - lets give them a woman."
A woman - not a qualified person or a person who can stand up to the scrutiny - individually or as a family - because that is what our politics have become - family vs family, not person vs person...
Chez said…
What interests me the most about this is that I've heard some say that it's speculative to make any kind of connection between the fact that Bristol Palin grew up in an ultra-religious, right-wing household and wound up being knocked up by a "bad boy."

Nonsense. I did time at a conservative Baptist junior high then went on to a Catholic high school (don't ask). The more pressure you apply to kids, the more enticing the opposite end of the spectrum is. Hence why Bristol is now carrying the child of an irresponsible self-proclaimed "f***in' redneck."
Ms. Jan said…
It boggles the brain, doesn't it? As if a teen pregnancy isn't stressful enough...marriage to someone who is clearly not ready or inclined for fatherhood. Sounds like a Child Protective Services case.
Ray said…
This whole thing makes me very sad. I think Sarah's current behavior toward her daughter speaks volumes about who she is (and isn't). I can only imagine what Bristol's emotional state must be at this time.
Nicole said…
First of all...."Bristol"? Give me a break. Honestly. And the comments of the young woman's soon to be husband? Ick. Go Obama.
LoieJ said…
Ditto to your sentiments. As a woman who believes that one has to give up some things to do right by the family (men and women both sacrifice for the family) I can't applaud her choice to run for Veep at THIS TIME. I'm saying this regardless of her views or character, which I probably don't mostly agree with anyway. Good for her that she is a tough cookie; she'll need that quality. And don't tell me that bringing her whole family to the announcement isn't "using them." So they shouldn't complain when the press looks at them. Ditto for Obama's family.
dot said…
Well Ladies, I have to tend to disagree. I certainly would not want anyone snooping into my background at that age. It is only by the grace of God my life is what it is today. We make different choices as a younster then we do as mature women. If you have raised children you know there comes a point in time when they are going to do what they are going to do. Isn't Bristol following in the footsteps of todays culture and preaching. You do what feels good and what makes you happy. Isn't this the mantra on women's libbers? How do we know it is a shoot gun wedding? Why are we discussing the choices of a teenaged daugther. I am not going to pass judgement on this matter. I would not want anyone going this deep into my background. Where is the smear about Bill Clinton and his antics, where is the tald about Edwards and his love child, where is the talk about Biden and his failed attempts at the Presidental run, his plagerism. Let's pick on these people and the politicans for THEIR short fallings and not the actions of their children. Let's get all the facts before we pull the trigger.
Dot, I must say that your comment baffles me. I went back and re-read my blog post and found it to be as I'd intended: A commentary on Sarah Palin's judgment, and certainly not a critique of her daughter's actions. In fact, I began by pointing out that any one of us could be the parent of a pregnant teenager.

The point I was making, which you seem to have missed, is that I disagree with Sarah's decision to (1) Tell the nation and the world that her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant, (2) In the face of that situation, decide to run for national office rather than being there to support her daughter, and (3) Advocate that the daughter at 17 marry this young man who obviously lacks the maturity to make the deep commitment marriage and childraising entail. And I haven't even touched on the fact that Sarah's apparently decided to spend the next two months on the campaign trail away from her infant son . . . .

If you'll reread the post, you'll see it doesn't really support your comment. But thanks for visiting!
Tanya said…
Hmmm. I guess I'd be interested to know what the daughter thinks of all this publicity. Yes, with young adults in the family (and no longer under my direct supervision) I can't say what this family should or should not do. Aside from politics and family values maybe they should all be applauded for not going the abortion route which so many young adults do (and might be easily hushed up.)
Unknown said…
It's fascinating to watch all this from afar - even though the results of this election will, as always, have far reaching ripples on this side of the pond and even farther afield. I'm always very uncomfortable with the wider family inclusion issue in politics in any land. However I do feel less than comfortable about one of the prospective VP's putting political ambition before her young family. I shall continue to watch the whole circus with fascination from afar
*karendianne. said…
I'm the daughter of 17 year-old catholic parents that married and divorced after 10 years. They had a lot of support and I was raised by a huge family. I was loved. It all turned out okay.

But you know what? My parents, they lost so much. I'm thankful my Dad drilled into my head about "not getting pregnant" even if he did freak me out because I wasn't even thinking about that (too early!). He was. Drilling it in, drill here, drill now. Karen's head. That's the spot. Don't get pregnant.

I think we'll have a better sense about SP after she speaks tonight but I feel like I know all I need to know. I will keep in mind she was chosen for the purposes of MARKETING and not because she was the most qualified.

And shucks, the "right" sold us on a War so maybe they'll be effective in selling this latest product.

Politically Depressed Love, *karendianne./ Living Life at LeeHaven
LoieJ said…
Today the commentators, especially female commentators, are saying, "Would we ask the same questions about a male candidate?" The same questions refer to issues of parenting and being there for the children, etc. Well, no we wouldn't. But the candidates have dragged their children out onto the stage so they've put them into the target. You can't have them both ways.

For the daughter's sake, I hope that this isn't a forced marriage. I did wonder if they were going to marry, why didn't they marry already?

Quite frankly, I'd probably be a hard nosed mother in this situation: you've decided to be an adult, so act like one and get an apartment, get the baby things together, etc. because you need some practice before that baby arrives.
Well said. That's all I have to say.
SallyB said…
A marriage at 17, forced on a young gal by an unexpected pregnancy, isn't going to last, period. (And while she's at it, she ought to be tested for STD's since she's engaging in unprotected sex.) These days, you just can't take chances. You grow up so much in your 20's and 30's that I can guarantee that this young couple will separate before long and leave poor Bristol a single mom to manage on her own, doubtless without a college degree and no real chances at a decent job. The best thing that she could do for herself is to give up the child for adoption (there are tons of parents waiting for a child to adopt, after all) and go on with her life as it should be, a college education, a decent career and then marriage and a family when she is old enough and mature enough to handle the demands of being a wife and mother. Now is not the time to ruin this poor gal's life by making her marry a f****** redneck who doubtless can't do right by her anyway. It also doesn't do her any favors to put the public spotlight on her plight. I can just see the tabloids salivating at the chance to do a number on her and the "redneck" boyfriend. Poor gal, her life will never be the same after this. Were I in Sarah Palin's shoes, I would have tried my level best to protect my daughter from the glare of the spotlight on her personal problems, but sadly, it looks like she's choosing to use her daughter to illustrate her being just another parent of a pregnant teen and how their family is choosing to deal with it. Sad, all around.
Sheila said…
Nancy, first of all let me congratulate you on the post title. That is classic. Great picture too.

I wish I had a blog. If I may comment to a couple of commenters:

re: the boyfriend being "clearly not ready or inclined for fatherhood" and "poor Bristol"
There is absolutely nothing to indicate that Brisol Palin is either mature, ready, or inclined for motherhood. Nor will birthing a child make her so. If the Republicans don't win, I put my money on Sarah & Todd adopting the wee one.

re: "snooping" into one's background"
I would not want that for myself either. I choose not to run for public office and thereby don't forfeit my wishes on that subject.

re: "not going the abortion route"
More than enough evidence that Sarah Palin is using her pregnant daughter in the spotlight. If McCain/Palin take office, our country will head in a backward direction such that women in some states have NO choice.

It's all about choices, and what little (truly) we do know about the choices Ms. Palin has made is disturbing.