Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Mom Partisan Post

When I first acquainted myself with John McCain's choice for a running mate, I was genuinely intrigued by this mother of five who also ran marathons and a state. She impressed me as smart, together, and a woman who somehow managed a big family that included a special needs child.

And then the news broke about her pregnant 17 year old daughter's unplanned pregnancy and it seems the media could talk of little else. My first reaction was to defend the privacy of this family, to applaud this woman for supporting her child in crisis, and to proclaim my disgust of a media that seemed to dance with the news of salacious scandal.

But here's the thing....

You have a 5 month old with special needs and a teenager who is probably as terrified as she'll ever be, do you really think now is the best time to accept the nomination for the second most important job in the country?

Yes, she can. And yes, her husband certainly could step in. But "can" and "could" are a lot different than "should".

And here's the thing that I just can't get past: Your vulnerable, terrified, young daughter can barely face the humiliation of a pregnancy in high school...why in the world would you accept a position that will knowlingly thrust that child in the public spotlight for everyone to judge, defame, and use for public consumption?

Your daughter is in dire straits and you accept a position that will make it a national hot topic?

Not me.

I know people have opinions about this feel free to comment. I guess I should close by saying that the only thing that bothers me more about her decision, is the opposing party's apparent joy in their hardship.

Disappointment all around.


Samantha said...

Though we tend to sit on opposite sides of the political fence, I totally agree with you on this one. In my opinion, this is only one of many reasons why Palin is a poor choice for a vice-presidential pick, but as a mother, I think it is perhaps the most significant. Though I certainly feel that women should be able to "have it all," in this case, I think there will be a heavy price to pay on every side. Moved though I was by photos of Palin at her desk in the Governor's office in Alaska with her youngest daughter standing by while she conducted official business, jar of baby food sitting nearby, and stories of her nursing during business meetings, the reality is that is not how it works in Washington. I can't imagine how she expects to be able to meet all of her obligations if John McCain is elected; putting her naked ambition ahead of her family, particularly given the extraordinary circumstances her family finds itself in, is a bit shocking to me.

And regarding your last paragraph, it is significant to note that Barack Obama's campaign has had strong words regarding bringing Sarah Palin's daughter into the discussion of her qualifications, and has said outright that he will fire any member of his staff who does so. That being said, let's remember that this is the same political party that was up in arms and created a national controversy years back of a single Murphy Brown choosing to have a child on television. Now they are embracing the choice of this pregnant teenager? Please. Don't think for one second that if the tables were turned, the Republican establishment wouldn't be doing the exact same thing to a Democratic candidate.

Samantha said...

In related Sarah Palin/hypocritical Republican news, I read in this morning's Washington Post that though shocked and outraged by the "sexist liberal attacks" against Palin, McCain officials nevertheless began selling "Hottest VP from the Coolest State" buttons as official GOP souvenirs at the republican convention last night. Classy. I think John McCain must really think the women of this country are stupid.

One Maid A' Milking said...

I am posting the following comment on behalf of Beth the Lawyer:

"I don't think anyone can judge Palin for her decision to continue running in the midst of such harships being encountered by her family. It is possible that her decision to continue running is based upon her desire to set a strong example for her daughter that even in the midst of adversity, women can continue to be strong and overcome hardships. Maybe if she chose not to run, the example she would be setting for her daughter would be to quit when the proverbial "going gets tough." Her daughter is going to need to be strong now more than ever for herself and her baby. Palin may just be showing her daughter that yes, things are tough, but you can overcome, hoping that her daughter will also rise to the occassion and continue on bettering her life. Also, as I believe Kate Chopin put it best in The Awakening, "I would give my life for my children. But, I will not give myself." Maybe Palin needs to do this for herself. After giving birth and raising 5 children (I realize there is much raising left for her to do), this is one decision she made for herself.

Although many of us may have made a different decision that better suited our needs and beliefs, we all have to make decisions that we can live with."