The 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.UPDATE: OK, when in doubt, make a joke. Has Bristol ever been to Gloucester, Mass.? Because I'm thinking she'd fit right in. And as to facing "the responsibilities of adulthood," does she realize she's about this close to causing an Eagletonesque situation that might deliver the country to the tender mercies of Barack Obama?
Bristol Palin, one of Alaska Gov. Palin's five children with her husband, Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said.
"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us," the Palins' statement said.
"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support," the Palins said.
Look, I've got all the sympathy in the world for young lovers, but great googly-mooglies, Bristol! What were you thinking? I'm going to bet that the father is every bit of 18 years old, and horribly unprepared for his own responsibilities.
I've said for a long time that it's not teenage motherhood that's the problem, but teenage fatherhood. Of course, the best strategy is to keep your britches on and avoid this kind of problem, but if you young girls are going to get yourself knocked up, at least have the good sense to get knocked up by a guy who's old enough to have a decent job.
< / stern fatherly lecture >
UPDATE II: In terms of the "responsibilities of adulthood," I suggest at the AmSpecBlog, Bristol and her boyfriend (the mysterious Levi) need to face a press conference.
UPDATE III: OK, let me be clear that it is not teen motherhood, but unwed motherhood that is the embarrassment here. I have in the past written about my favorite famous teenage mothers (Loretta Lynn and Margaret Beaufort) and also said, "God bless Jamie Lynn Spears!"
Whatever embarrassment there might have been in a hastily-arranged private wedding for Bristol Palin and her boyfriend Levi two or three months ago, would it have been worse than what they're facing now?
Christians need to be concerned about the trend of discouraging marriage in these Romeo-and-Juliet situations. I would call to their attention I Timothy 4, which warns against the "doctrines of devils ... forbidding to marry." Despite worries about the ability of teenage couples to make their way in the world, poverty is not a sin; fornication is.
UPDATE IV: Michelle Malkin recalls Barack Obama's notorious "punished with a baby" remark, and says the media should leave Bristol Palin alone. And I'd agree with that, if Bristol's actions had not caused such woes for her mother, for the Republican Party, and for America.
No, I think Bristol (and her boyfriend) ought to be willing to confront the consequences of their actions. They both certainly knew Sarah Palin was governor of Alaska, and that their affair would be an embarrassment. To plead "privacy" in such a situation simply won't do.
Perhaps I'm so thick-skinned about this because I've got three teenagers (19-year-old daughter and twin 15-year-old boys) and know exactly what I'd expect of them in such a situation. It is not too much for parents to ask that their teenage kids keep their britches on, especially when one of the parents is a public official who might be ruined by such a scandal.
UPDATE V: Little Miss Attila refers to the press as "jackals" and "bottom-feeders." Hey, it's their job, OK? By this time tomorrow, you'll have Levi's full name and biography, you'll know how he met Bristol, etc., etc. You'll read it. You may feel guilty about reading it, but you'll read every word of it.
Will you be grateful to the reporters who dug up those facts? No. Some poor shmuck of a reporter is even now knocking on doors in Alaska, getting rude responses and threatening gestures, in order to satisfy your pathological curiosity, and you diss him as a "jackal." Fine. Don't read the story when Drudge puts a siren on it tomorrow.
But you will read it, won't you? So, who's really the bottom-feeding jackal here?