Sheesh! You take a couple of days off, and a lot of stuff happens. Let's get caught up.
Yes Gentle Readers, history was made with the second vice presidential woman candidate named Sarah Palin. It didn't take me long to get irritated with a lot of what they said in the media, not about Gov. Palin (that came later) but the response about her.
Governor Mike Huckabee said "Well, the Democrats wouldn't make room for a woman on their ticket, but we did." Um, Governor Huck? Don't talk, okay? I guess it was other people who treated Hillary Clinton like crap during the long primary season. I guess Ann Coulter, Laura Ingram, and Tucker Carlson didn't make fun of her because she's a woman. Nope! It was other people! Also don't make it that the Democrats are the He-Man Woman Hater party. We were the first ones to have a VP pick in Ms. Geraldine Ferraro. Our party elected the first two women from one state to the senate. Do you see our Madame Speaker? She's a woman. We rule, you drool pal.
Which brings another point home: Does McCain and the Republicans really think that because they bring a woman on the ticket, women are instantly going to say, "Oh! I'll vote for him because the Vice President has ovaries and breasts!" That we would be like the Muppet Animal who jumps up and down and yells, "Woman! Woman!" Let me tell you something about feminism. It's not that women are better than anyone, or that if a woman runs for office all women should vote for her as a solidarity sister type of thing. As Judy Blume said in her blog, to believe in feminism is to believe in your own choices. When I vote, I don't vote the way my parents vote, or my friends. I vote because I read up on the candidates, see if I agree with them, and vote that way. When my congressperson (who is a woman) voted for some things I disagreed with, I voted for the green party candidate when she ran again.
Then on Sunday, suddenly it became bizarre. Bizarre in the sense that you tried to carry it off as a novel, it might work. Not in real life.
Sarah Palin has five children, from ages to adult to five months old. I'm not naming names here-even though they are public figures, I agree with the newspaper motto when it comes to some things, it's better not to use names for kids when talking about certain matters. The five-month boy has Down's, and Governor Palin received much kudos for that from pro-lifers that Palin kept the baby. Honestly, no problem there from me, it was her choice.
Then a rumor started to float on Sunday: That Sarah Palin wasn't the mother of Baby Boy Palin, but his grandmother. Apparently, her sixteen-year-old daughter missed several months of school right before the little boy was born, supposedly of mono. More facts surfaced-Palin didn't say she was pregnant until her eighth month, that she was pretty thin for a pregnant woman, but the most damning evidence came in a family photo. The Palins are grinning large for the picture, and but you notice something about Daughter. She has a bit of a poochy tummy, a bump.
Now this can be explained by the fact it could be near her period. I always get a poochy stomach before mine. However, if Palin is like any other mom, why didn't she tell her daughter to wear something that doesn't show the poochy tummy? I think of my mother who says, "You've got poochy tummy going on. Better wear a girdle." I think of Gilmore Girls when young Lorelai, pregnant with Rory trying on her Debutante dress and she can't fit in it. "Go run around the block, Lorelai! You are going to fit in that dress!" Her mother yells at her. Now you might say that Palin is not that type of mom. However, why is it one of her other daughters is right in front of Palin, where her pregnant stomach would be? Is it the other daughter is hiding her mother's stomach, or lack of pregnant stomach?
Okay, I don't know. But there's a good chance that a storyline from Desperate Housewives found its way to the Palin household.
If it is true, oh boy. It's bad news all around. First off, why didn't Palin just tell the truth? Yep, my daughter had a baby. You might consider it a mistake, but we consider it a blessing. We love her; we'll make a good home for her and the baby. It doesn't mean the end of the world. Her defense could be we were trying to protect her. Let me tell you something: Secrets and lies don't protect people. It makes things worse.
For example, I'll use myself. No, I haven't had a baby. However, for years I wouldn't put down I had a learning disability on job applications. I was frightened I wouldn't be hired. This was emotionally exhausting for me, as if I had to hide who I really was. Five years ago, I realized that I could keep hiding or tell the truth. Once I started telling the truth, my life opened up. Of course, telling about a learning disability is no way close to having a baby at sixteen. However, a secret is a secret is a secret. Some secrets shouldn't be kept in the closet.
I also think of Jessica Barksdale's first book Her Daughter's Eyes. Young Kate finds out she's pregnant at sixteen. She has no one to turn to because her mother died two years before and her father is emotionally and physically unavailable. She keeps the pregnancy a secret, only letting her young sister Tyler know. However, the secret can't stay a secret a long, and when it comes out there is healing with everyone involved.
Then we get to why I'm not using Palin Daughter's name in this essay: Why expose a sixteen year old kid like this? Here is one of Gibbons' laws: Candidates' kids under twenty-one are off limits. I never liked it when the media made fun of Amy Carter or Chelsea Clinton. Nor was I thrilled when they made fun of Jenna Bush's drinking. God knows when I was in my teens I wouldn't want to be judged on some of the stuff I did (She's not wearing a bra! She flunked Biology! She used to sing at the top of her lungs Edie Brickell songs!) Patti Davis writing a novel that might be based on her parents? I believe that's okay to snark on, because Davis was a grown woman who could speak for herself. Snarking on candidate's kids, however? Not so much. Plus let's remember we are basing it on rumors. One of the first things I learned in Ms. Sarah Pollack's journalism one class is you don't base a story on rumors. You get your sources, you get facts. Yeah, I'm being a little hypocritical here, but I'm trying to figure it all out.
I mentioned my opinion on my facebook status, and writer Robert Rummel-Hudson made a good point: They brought this on themselves. True enough. However people's reactions to some blogs with them saying, "I hope this is true" or "Serves the bitch right" Okay, what about the Palin Daughter? She didn't bring this on herself. Especially if the story is not true. What are you all going to say then? Ooops! Sorry about that! Yeah your reputation is ruined but Little Girl, you have to understand, it's an election year!
What I know is this: There's no winners in this story, either way. If it's true then a family might be torn apart. If it's not true, a girl's reputation is screwed up and the Democrats look like complete asses using a sixteen year old to get elected.
I'm no fan of Governor Palin or her party, but no one deserves this. There's an old saying that when the elephants fight, the grass get trampled. Well elephants and donkeys might start fighting about who is Baby Palin's mother is, and it's Baby Palin and Daughter Palin who might get trampled. And no one is the winner here.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries