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September 7, 2008

Kids Are Off Limits: Political Hypocrisy?

The kids are "off limits". That's what we've been told when it comes to the election, but I don't agree. I think that the kids should be off limits, but they most certainly are not. I agree that the media should mind their own business when it comes to the candidate's children or other private family matters, but it is unfair for the candidates to say that their kids are off limits, while simultaneously exploiting them.

If the media is not allowed to criticize Sarah Palin because her 17 year old daughter Bristol got pregnant, then Palin (and the rest of her party) should not be allowed to parade her around praising her decision to choose life. I don't care if Bristol is pregnant. It will not influence my vote whatsoever in either direction. I do not think that Bristol's pregnancy makes Sarah Palin a bad mother or bad candidate. Although I do think it's interesting, considering Palin's stance on abstinence only sex education. I also do not think that the fact that Bristol chose life (or, you know, her mother chose for her) makes her a good role model or her mother a good mother or good candidate. I do question parents who would let their teenage child get married so young, pregnant or otherwise (although it's not exactly clear when Bristol and her baby daddy Levi Johnston will tie the knot so that point may not be valid).

If the media is not allowed to publicly scrutinize candidates' children, then the candidates should not be allowed to parade them around as photo opportunities and little campaign props. I cringe every time I see the Palin family pass that poor baby around like they're playing hot potato. He's four months old... he should be home asleep with one of their nannies, not at the Republican National Convention. If Palin is allowed to brag about her son Track's military enlistment, why can't the media talk about his arrest for vandalism? (Or the suggestion that he only enlisted as an alternative to jail time. I'm dying to find proof on this one, so if any of our readers have it, please let us know!) And while we're on the subject, I think the fact that he enlisted on September 11 is just completely ridiculous and offensive on so many Giuliani levels.

Now the mistakes of a candidate's children do not necessarily mean he or she isn't a good parent and it has almost nothing to do with his or her qualification to hold public office. However, the same is true of their accomplishments. If Sarah Palin wants to take credit for Bristol "choosing life", then she has to take credit for Bristol getting knocked up in the first place. If Bristol's out-of-wedlock pregnancy is not our business, then she and her boyfriend should not be having photo ops with John McCain.

You could almost make the argument that Sarah Palin is being selfish and being a bad parent merely for running for Vice President. I am not one of those people who thinks that a woman shouldn't have a career just because she has kids. Although the vice presidency is a little more than just a "career" and I do worry about any parent handling that workload with an infant, let alone a special needs infant, regardless of whether that parent is male or female. I think it's perfectly fine if Sarah Palin's husband, Todd, decides to become a stay-at-home-dad or if the Palins hire a ton of nannies. But one does have to question what kind of parent can thrust their children into the limelight while they're dealing with the stress of being a pregnant teen. You'd think that a decent parent would want to spare their children the stress and invasion that comes with being the children of a presidential/vice presidential candidate. Not to say that candidates shouldn't have kids, but Bristol is in a totally different situation than past political kids have been in. I do think that by parading Bristol and Levi around, instead of actually giving them the privacy everyone says they deserve, Palin is putting her political career before her daughter's well-being.

I was watching Bill Maher's show recently and he brought up something to ponder... What if it was Barack Obama who was parading around his unmarried, pregnant teenage daughter and her boyfriend? How hard-core would the Republicans bash him for that? They might criticize him for glamorizing teen pregnancy. There'd definitely be talk about his stance on sex education. They would likely be making claims about his inability to control his children, let alone the country (not unlike how it was suggested that Hillary Clinton couldn't run the country if she couldn't even control her husband). Any conservative who claims none of that would happen (at least somewhat) is a damn liar. I will go on record as saying that.

Sean Hannity recently made the claim that there is a "general rule that children of candidates ought to be left alone" and said "I don't remember Chelsea Clinton being attacked". Um, what? You don't remember that? I sure do. I remember John McCain making a crude joke about why a teenaged Chelsea Clinton was "so ugly". Chelsea was also called a "dog" at age 13 by Rush Limbaugh and more recently MSNBC correspondent David Shuster suggested she was being "pimped out". (Basically Chelsea wasn't off-limits during her father's presidency and she wasn't off-limits during her mother's campaign either, so um, Sean Hannity, fuck you).

So I say to the candidates, yes, your kids should be off-limits... but if you yourself are going to bring them into the spotlight and exploit them for your own benefits, then all bets are off and we can say whatever the hell we want about them. I still don't think we should just be blatantly cruel (you know, like John McCain was to Chelsea) but we should be allowed to refute the squeaky-clean "super family" facade that the candidates put forth to strengthen their public image, if they aren't actually 100% true.

I think there's been too much hypocrisy in this campaign already.


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1 comment:

One Lesbo said...

Geez - funny, sexy, a little naughty . . . what do you girls look like?

Fantastic blog.

Come over and watch 2 Lesbos Goin At It anytime.

You know, if Katy Perry can kiss a girl,lord only knows what women like you could do to one.

(Gives good head . . . that really makes me chuckle.)

Kisses,

One Lesbo