Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

There are many, many, many reasons to be concerned about Sarah Palin’s fitness for vice president. A scurrilous and unfounded rumor about her family is absolutely not one of them. Same goes for her appearance. As progressives, we have an absolute obligation to defend Palin when it comes to the same kind of private crap that the right put on Clinton or on John Edwards or any number of others. Some flimsy discussion about "hypocrisy" is a fig leaf for exploitative opportunism. Far better than I can say it, here’s Megan Carpentier’s excellent post:

And when liberals and progressives pounce on rumors like this one about Trig’s "true" parentage — whether or not it is true, which I’m pretty sure it’s not — or rumors about Republican politicians’ sexuality (in the absence of crimes committed) we are conceding that conservatives are right, and personal choices do qualify or disqualify one for certain aspects of participation in public life and this democracy. We are accepting their terms, their definitions of appropriate private behavior, and attempting to use those definitions to defeat their candidates. And once we do that, even if we do "take down" Sarah Palin or whatever Republican candidate in order to protect gay rights or reproductive rights or educational rights, then we’ve lost on those issues anyway because we’ve conceded that the underpinnings to the Republican positions on those issues is valid.

So, please, stop.

Indeed. (But not heh-indeed!)

Update: Yeah yeah so Bristol Palin is pregnant, so what. Megan continues to outdo herself:

I can only imagine the courage it took for Bristol to go to her parents, pregnant at 17, and lay out one of the most personal aspects of human life — her sexual activities — and the consequences of those activities and that she was choosing to keep the child despite the high probability of political embarrassment that would be laid at her mother’s doorstep. And all of that was before her mother was about to be made VP. She didn’t by any means choose the easy path here, and everyone probably fully expected that this big reveal would happen at some point rather soon. That it has doesn’t make my bile rise any less with every post I read about how, ha-ha, look what happens when you promote abstinence. Once again, even for this great lover of Schandenfreude, my lips are curling in a little disgust with the glee shown by some of my political compatriots at this news.

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman