Republicans Want It Both Ways With Sarah Palin

For Republicans, it is fine to use Palin’s kids for partisan advantage. But the moment one of the kids is not a partisan advantage, they want to declare all her kids off-limits for public discussion.

On Friday, Republicans fell all over themselves saying how Sarah Palin being a mother of five kids helped make her a wonderful candidate (examples here, here, here,).

There were numerous mentions of her motherhood on National Review’s blog The Corner.

On Friday, Aug. 29, Mark R. Levin wrote: "She is a mother of five in what appears to be a loving and functioning family."

Mona Charen wrote Aug. 29:

Not that this qualifies her (or disqualifies her) to be commander in chief but it is so wonderful. From my rabbi, Shmuel Herzfeld: 

 From Wikipedia:

On September 11, 2007, the Palins’ son Track joined the Army. Eighteen years old at the time, he is the eldest of Palin’s five children.[10] Track now serves in an infantry brigade and will be deployed to Iraq in September. She also has three daughters: Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, and Piper, 7.[11] On April 18, 2008, Palin gave birth to her second son, Trig Paxson Van Palin, who has Down syndrome.[12] She returned to the office three days after giving birth.[13] Palin refused to let the results of prenatal genetic testing change her decision to have the baby. "I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection," Palin said. "Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"[13]

Now the Republicans are all aghast as Palin’s mothering draws journalistic scrutiny.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say Sarah Palin is a wonderful candidate in part because she’s a wonderful mother and then try to say her mothering is off-limits.

Sarah Palin chose to have her kids with her when she was brought on stage and announced as the Republican vice-president.

Republicans say how wonderful it is that Palin chose not to abort her child with down syndrome (such syndromes are much more common among the children of women who are relatively old when they give birth). It is wonderful. But you can’t publicly talk up a private choice and say how wonderful it is and then expect that choice to be free of scrutiny.

Sarah Palin’s camp wants to say that her 17-year old unwed daughter’s pregnancy should be a private matter.

That would be an easier claim to make if Sarah Palin hadn’t done a bunch of campaign promotion and pictures with her kids.

Sarah Palin brought her kids along every step of the way in her climb to the top and now she’s getting legitimate scrutiny for her mothering skills.

I don’t think anyone is not going to vote Republican in November because Sarah’s 17yo daughter got preggers outside of marriage.

On Friday, Hugh Hewitt wrote in his column for Townhall:

… the story of her family is certain to resonate with those values voters who prize faith and family as the center of life.

…Sixth and finally, she is young enough to be a bridge to the next generation, and with five kids, she has been living in the world of young moms and technology-dependent teens. This advantage will be hard to quantify, but when she is out on the trail talking about her kids and her family’s path, it will be a huge counterpoint to the Obama’s narrative, one that underscores that millions of American families are conservative, traditional, proud of their country and full of optimism about the future if the government’s burdens do not grow to large and the country’s enemies are kept in retreat.

After publishing many times (examples here, here, here,) on his blog that part of the reason that Sarah Palin is such a wonderful candidate is that she has five kids, Hugh Hewitt writes Monday:

This Reuters story caps off 72 hours of shame for the leftosphere and their pals in the MSM who trafficked in wretched rumor about Sarah Palin and her family.  This led to the breach in the family’s private life, and to an extent that should appal everyone.  The children of candidates and officials should be off limits, even if the nutters declare they are not.  I even understood the MSM’s reluctance to pursue the Edwards story because of the impact on Edwards’ family.

I applaud the Palin for their candor and their decision to be compleletly transparent with the public, and expect the vast majority of decent Americans of all political stripes will respect their wish to keep the young couple out of the news.

Amanda Carpenter at the right-wing writes:

Members of the lefty blogosphere haven’t stopped perpetuating the rumor Sarah Palin "faked" her last pregnancy and are now humiliating her daughter Bristol on the blatantly incorrect suspicion she is the real mother of baby Trig.

"Sarah Palin is NOT the Mother"
is the title of this DailyKos blog that accuses Bristol, a completely fit-looking adolescent teen, of having a "baby bump" in a photo they allege was taken March 9th of this year.

"Sarah, I’m calling you a liar" wrote blogger ArcXIX. "And not even a good one. Trig Paxson Van Palin is not your son. He is your grandson. The sooner you come forward with this revelation to the public, the better. " Photos of Bristol with detailed commentary about her abdomen are contained in the post.

Not only is the DailyKos disgustingly inspecting Bristol’s midriff with all the fervor of LA paparazzi examining J-Lo’s or Jennifer Aniston’s washboard stomachs for evidence of a "bump," the DailyKos is wrong on when the photo was taken. It was taken, and published, by the Anchorage Daily News in 2006. Baby Trig, a child with Down’s Syndrome, was born on April 18, 2008. That’s a long time for a teen girl to be carrying a "bump" which looks nothing more than the curve of a tight sweater.

Shortly after Palin was announced as McCain’s VP, bloggers at the Kos started ginning up the rumor Palin faked her pregnancy, allegedly to cover for an illegitimate grandchild, because she looked so fit and trim in photos taken a few months before giving birth.

This is only the latest in outrageous attacks against Palin as a mother.  Fox News anchor Alan Colmes, of Hannity & Colmes, titled a recent post on his blog Liberaland "Did Palin Take Proper PreNatal Care?" In it, he wondered if she somehow was at fault for having a disabled child. Colmes took down the post after being attacked by the blog Wizbang and later reposted a screenshot of the blog to prove he "wasn’t running away from what I posted."

Update: I originally mentioned this Kos rumor in a blog postabout CNN’s John Roberts’s insinuation Palin would not give adequate care and attention to Trig if she became VP.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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