Monday, September 1, 2008

Bristol Palin pregnant, mom says

Holy crap (or, as Allah says, "Oy"):
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.
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.
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?

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?


  1. Dude. This is Alaska. A frontier. A religious area. Rural. Girls get married at 18 all the time.

    They're getting married. Apparently Mom and Dad did the marriage thing in unconventional order too.

    Take a couple deep breaths and re-read Romeo and Juliet.

  2. The Beast agrees with Seneca - she's 17 not 12. Dragging children into this campaign is not a winning strategy for the Dems. The fact they are trying is a sign of how dangerous they believe the Palin pick is for them. Let them continue to beat up on a middle aged woman and her teen daughter and see how that plays with the chicks.

  3. To the Dems credit, they are not promoting this story, they aren't even touching it. Officially. What bloggers say on their own is their own business, right? Freedom of speech and all of that?

    On the other hand, I agree. Why the heck didn't they get married already?

  4. I'm going with Seneca and with the Hairy Beast.

    A wedding two months ago wouldn't have changed the story a bit: people can do arithmetic.

    I'm sorry, Stacy--but if "fornicating" is a sin, how exactly did you acquire a family?

    The Palins have the right to every expectation of privacy. And there's a reporter from Time up there now, getting local color. The denizens told him about the pregnancy, but also conveyed that he ought not exploit a young woman's mistake.

    And he didn't; he stayed quiet about this matter until the info had been released publicly.

    Now let's butt out of this. There are ACTUAL ISSUES at stake in this campaign that have nothing to do with the order in which pregnancy & marriage occur.

  5. "Perhaps I'm so thick-skinned"

    Quite the contrary, you seem very thin-skinned, annoyed to the point of condemning any family that does not live in accordance with your particular world view.

    "I think Bristol (and her boyfriend) ought to be willing to confront the consequences of their actions."

    And that is what carrying a baby to term and getting married is all about, right? A press conference, as you call for, is not a standard part of delivering a baby, nor should it be for this teen.

    Funny how bible readers never seem to find the sections on judging others, condemnation, pity and mercy, and all that jazz.

  6. A Time magazine reporter has already filed a story from Wasila. The folks there apparently greeted him graciously and with a healthy and positive attitude. Find the story and read it. These are people who take things in stride. Like the man said, "life happens."

    Whatever Levi has to face in the future, he's already had to face Todd Palin (a prospect that would frighten even me) and apparently is welcome to the family.

    These kids will be fine and so will we all. So would your kids be if they screwed up. In fact, I've got an idea you'd handle this better than you think.

    There will be more coming from the DU / DKos / moveon morons and it will be even uglier than the previous smears or even the reality. This blog has been notable for its common sense and perspective. Let's please keep that.

  7. Here's the sin: keeping the baby when you haven't completed your education and have limited resources to provide for the child. There are more than two choices here. The responsible thing is to consider placing the child for adoption. What baby wants teens (especially teens in our society today who are much "younger" than those 50 years ago) for parents?

  8. Yeah, I'd just like to make two quick points:

    1. When I was a young fellow (Cue nostalgia music) and went out looking to do a bit of shagging I don't recall asking any of the girls that I met if they were on the pill. We just assumed 30-40 years ago that they all were, and we were right. So why is the USA, and Britain come to that, not on the ball with sex education lessons? Lesson One: blokes will tell you anything to get you on your back - best take the pill.

    2. Fantasising about abstinence is like dreaming about temperance, a fairly useless activity. About one third of the girls in your country get knocked up before they are 20. Britain is not much different, so both of us have a vested interest in clear sex education lessons to try and stop this happening.