Sarah Palin, Her Daughter, and the Smear Machine

So, Bristol Palin, 17-year-old daughter of VP nominee Sarah Palin, is five months pregnant. While that closes one door -- the endless rumors of the teenager being pregnant with Trig four and a half months ago and her mother faking the pregnancy for her -- it opens another avenue for attacks on the newly named GOP VP pick.

Sarah and Todd Palin say their 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant. The couple said in a statement released by John McCain's presidential campaign that Bristol will keep her baby.

Sarah Palin is McCain's vice presidential running mate. The Alaska governor says Bristol intends to marry the father of her child. She and the campaign also are asking that the media respect the family's privacy

Privacy? Don't bet on it. This is a whole fresh pile of mud for the left to start slinging. They'll attack Palin's family values stance, talk about how Palin teaches abstinence, and start trotting out the hypocrisy meme. Except this is not Palin who is the unmarried, pregnant teen. It's her daughter. It's not particularly shocking when a teenager does something against the parents' teachings, is it? If we were to call out every parent who taught abstinence from sex, smoking, drugs, or drinking then had a kid indulge in any (or all) of those, we'd be here all day.

The fact is, the left is all about privacy in the matters of the womb. Were they to stay true to their colors, this mantra of theirs would seem to preclude them from judging Bristol's pregnancy and her choice to keep her child, right? It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The Kos kids and their blog followers have already made one attempt to ruin this girl's life. Now that they have a story with actual truth behind it, we'll have to sit back and see how far they run with a teenager's identity.

Let me make it clear: there are many things I don't like about Sarah Palin. We are ideologically opposed on numerous issues.  Her stance on creationism and her pro-life zealousness are just two examples.  Two big ones. There's the fact that McCain chose Palin for VP after meeting her only once; I'd like to think that more thought goes into the process than the need to find a conservative woman for your ticket.  I'm naive like that.    But the last two days of mudslinging against Palin have been so extreme, they have transformed her into an almost sympathetic figure in my eyes.  More important, the barbs thrown at her have made me look upon liberals with a level of contempt I have not felt since, well, 2004.

If I'm rushing to the defense of a woman whose core ideologies I oppose, then something pretty bad must be going on. And that something smells like a pungent mixture of hypocrisy and desperation.

Let's start with the first shots fired at Palin:  She's leaving her four-month-old Down syndrome son to participate in the campaign. As a result, she's been called a bad mother, irresponsible mother, and shame to her gender for doing so.  Yet you can bet if a Democrat woman did the same thing, she would be called a courageous woman who is giving up time with her infant because she is so dedicated to the future of her country.  A million "bravos!" would ensue.

Here's a woman who is in a position of power. She broke the glass ceiling. She holds a job previously only held by men. She is a strong leader, a good speaker, and a devoted wife and mother.  So naturally, they jump all over her.

Wait, what?  Aren't these the same things Hillary Clinton was lauded for?  It seems the left wants women to be in a position of power, as long as that woman has ideas that coincide with theirs.  Otherwise, you are made out to be anything but a hero (there are, gladly, exceptions to this kind of thinking).

The most vicious of the accusations flying at Palin have come from the brain trust known as Daily Kos: those that her fifth child, Trig, was not really hers, but Bristol's.  There were claims of "proof" including pictures of Palin looking decidedly unpregnant after announcing her pregnancy; one of those pictures was posted on Flickr, with the date stating the photo was taken in March 2005. Quick research shows that the camera used to take the photo did not even hit the market until fall of 2005. Nice try.  The rest of the proof is nothing more than speculation, circumstantial evidence, and wishful thinking.

It appears that some circles have been so desperate to destroy Palin that they are eager to drag her teenage daughter and her special needs son through the mud in order to get at her. Classy.

For every person who debunked the story, the Kos crowd came up with more and more unreal proof of their claim. Let's suppose for a minute that this turns out to be true;  couldn't that possibly be looked at as an honorable thing to do, to raise a handicapped baby as your own in order to save your daughter from a burden she is probably not yet ready to handle? Oh, I'm sure if this was a liberal woman, she'd be applauded for her valor.

What's really interesting here is the prying into Palin's personal womb space.  I thought that was off limits? Isn't that part and parcel of the whole lefty oath that "one should never invade  the sanctity of a woman's womb or what she does with it"? Now somehow it's okay to question one woman's uterine activity.   For those who don't believe this story, there's always the other stories rolling around the Internet:

-- Palin was a bad mother, an irresponsible and poor decision maker for flying home after her water broke, while she was in labor.  One would think a woman in her fifth pregnancy can make the proper decisions about her childbirth.

At that point, Palin was only having minor contractions and was not showing signs of active labor, Sharon Leighow, the governor's spokeswoman, said on Monday. After the baby was born, Palin told her staff members that her experiences from four previous pregnancies made her comfortable with the signs of active labor. She felt that neither she nor her baby was in any danger, and so she flew home as scheduled.

Again, the hypocrisy of the Palin vagina-gazing is almost absurd.

--  Palin wasn't married when she got pregnant with her first child.  Yea, and? She married the father, gave birth to the baby, and went on to have four more -- oops, three? -- with the same man. What a scandal.  Yes, I know Palin is a conservative who spouts family values.  This was 20-something years ago, if true.  Why in the world would it matter now?

--  Apparently Palin is a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, whose goal is to infiltrate the big parties in order to secede from the United States as a sovereign nation. Well, there you have it. She wants the job of VP just so she can be king of her own mountain some day!

--  Sarah Palin had the nerve to make a joke about her boobs in college.  Aren't you just recoiling in horror now? I mean, that certainly makes the woman unfit to be VP at the least. She should have her "I Am Woman" credentials taken from her as well.  And we could go on. Sarah Palin drinks the blood of endangered species. Sarah Palin single-handedly caused Hurricane Gustav. Sarah Palin is a robot. Sarah Palin uses her kids for target practice. Sarah Palin enjoys a moose milkshake every morning with her penguin eggs and bald eagle bacon.

There are enough legitimate issues for her opponents to attack her on (and as far as Troopergate goes, Wooten seems like a complete jackass, who threatened the life of his father-in-law). Why dig down into the dirt and come out looking like idiots searching for fool's gold?  For those who spent an awful lot of time being outraged at the "Obama is a Muslim" battle cry, this sure reeks of the same kind of desperate mudslinging.

Although Kos (finally) is putting an end to the pregnancy story, the fact remains that they threw this mud for 24 hours and threw it hard.  The mud may not have stuck, but there's doubt and mistrust in the air, and that's just as good this close to the election. Palin was attacked on all the points one could make about a woman, and that's what stinks most about this. The side of the political fence that is supposed to be so woman-friendly has gone out of its way to smear Palin based mostly on gender issues and motherhood and what the woman did or did not do with her womb. Hear them roar.