More on Sarah Palin

Hmmm. I've been doing some more research into Sarah Palin, John McCain's surprise pick as Vice President.

Of huge interest is the fact that she has revealed that her teenage daughter is pregnant. Apparently this information was released as a way of countering all that news on the internet about her recent birth of Trig, who has Down's syndrome, actually being a cover-up of Trig actually being her daughter's baby.

As a result, I have spent a bit of time "muck-raking". I've been searching the internet like a sewer rat trying to find evidence of any cover-up. While some may say that this is nothing but a way to smear her, my response is simply that I will try to present facts and then see where they go. My aim is always to be objective, of course. I have no personal beef against Palin.

If it is true that Sarah Palin was not actually pregnant and that it was actually her daughter Bristol who gave birth, then these points are interesting:
  • Such a cover up would have been difficult to keep quiet. The entire Palin family would have to have agreed not to let anyone know that Bristol was pregnant. Not only that, but her personal staff and extended family would have some idea of what is going on.
  • Sarah Palin's motive in covering up her daughter's pregnancy is important here. This motive would be so important to her that she created an elaborate scam and made people believe that she was pregnant. This would be a very politically risky action, since any political fallout resulting from her daughter's pregnancy would be nothing compared to any political fallout resulting from her scam being exposed.
  • Having said that, there is some concern about her actions immediately preceding Trig's birth. She began "leaking" prior to making a speech in Texas, yet managed to make the speech, jump on a flight to Seattle, wait around for a connecting flight to Anchorage, fly to Anchorage, then, ignoring the Anchorage hospitals, drive 42 miles to a hospital in Palmer. There she is induced and gives birth some eight hours later, with her family doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, present at the birth. This sequence of events did not pass unnoticed by the press at the time, but the questions asked were not about whether she was "faking it", but whether they were wise, considering her health.
  • Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, the Palin family doctor, has commented publicy about the being present at the birth. If a cover-up has occurred, then Baldwin-Johnson was part of it. Baldwin-Johnson, from everything I have read so far on the internet, is a highly skilled and respected physician and is considered one of Alaska's top doctors. Moreover, she was "named the 2002 Family Physician of the Year by the American Academy of Family Physicians". Examples of her competence and skill can be found here, and here (with photo). Of course it is possible for such a respected figure to involve herself in such an elaborate cover-up, but the risks in doing so would be huge.
  • There are no photos I have seen yet which show Palin in an advanced state of pregnancy prior to the birth of Trig. Then again, Alaska is a small state and its media would hardly have the same sort of image resources that bigger states would have. By way of contrast, the Hunter Valley, where I live, has about 90% the population of Alaska and I can't even remember who our mayor is, let alone find large amounts of images of him/her.
  • Interestingly, there is no online record of Trig's birth at the hospital. Trig was born on April 22, but the hospital's online records do not show this. Of course, there may be all sorts of reasons for this, not least the decision to keep such an event private. The fact that the hospital doesn't have an online record of the birth does not mean that the hospital didn't record it. Moreover, if you look at the actual pages, there are pictures of happy families and babies all over the place. I can imagine that the governor of the state requested that no photos be taken of Trig. I can also imagine other "regular" parents doing the same thing.
  • Moreover, if Trig was not Sarah's child but Bristol's, what would be the point of dragging the poor kid a few hundred miles north, past the Arctic Circle, to be present at some whaling festival? Politicans will always drag their family along with them for photo shoots, but I think that dragging along your grandson and passing it off as your own in front of a bunch of voters would be too much. It's possible, but very, very cynical.
  • In short, it is much easier to believe that Trig is Sarah Palin's fifth child than it is to believe that it is Bristol's. Providing photos of the birth and Trig's birth certificate may be able to quell some of the speculation, but, as it stands, the idea that Trig is Bristol's son is something that just doesn't work out. Why the elaborate cover-up? Why involve one of Alaska's most prominent physicians in the cover-up? It just doesn't add up.
  • Hanlon's Razor is important here: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Having said all those things, however, I would like to point out one more thing that conservative "family-values" voters should take into consideration - is Sarah Palin being a responsible mother? She has a infant son with a serious disability that will need more and more looking after as he gets older. More than that, she now has a pregnant teenage daughter who is going to marry her boyfriend. Her daughter will need her help and support. Regardless of her political pedigree, is it really wise for her to embark upon a Vice-Presidential campaign? Is it really wise for her to have these family stresses while working as America's second most powerful person? Would her commitment to her son and daughter be compromised by her role as Vice President or even President?

One thing is for sure - there are plenty of people out there who are qualified to be Vice President. But is there anyone else out there better qualified to be Bristol and Trig's mom?

Update 08:00GMT

Finally saw a picture of Palin pregnant. You can see it here. It's a link to a Right wing site but there's no reason to think the photo was doctored in any way.

Unfortunately for Palin, it seems that the Myspace sites of Bristol and her friends were not taken down fast enough. One lot of photos is here and while it shows some nice family shots of a newborn Trig it also shows quite a lot of underage drinking and partying down. I can't be certain but some of the shots I think involve Bristol. Another set of photos is here. The New York Daily News also has some shots of Bristol's boyfriend Levi.

In short, the "next big thing" in the news is going to be Palin's moral conservative political stance being contrasted with the underage drinking and premarital sex going on in her family. Again, let me state that I am not absolutely certain that any of the photos show Bristol since I (and many others) cannot identify these people accurately. It doesn't look good, though.



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BLBeamer said...

Well Neil, you have hit a new low. Maybe you need to spend more time reading your bible and less time reading your left-wing hate sites. I would expect better from you as a Christian.

BLBeamer said...

* The last comment was from Mrs. Beamer using Mr. Beamer's account.

One Salient Oversight said...

Mrs B,

Methinks you didn't read much of my article. Suffice to say that I end up pretty much saying that there is no real basis to the rumours.

Which, by the way, was the response of virtually all major left wing blog sites to the story.

I would, however, like your opinion on whether a mother should be running for office while looking after a seriously disabled infant and a pregnant teenage daughter.

BLBeamer said...

This is Mr. Beamer writing for himself.

I'd be careful here, Neil. I followed the links and none of the photos of underage drinking that I saw showed Mom and Dad anywhere. Your kids aren't old enough, but you will find that kids - despite their upbringing - quite often do what they want, not what you would like them to do. Throw peer pressure into the mix and it can be surprising the choices otherwise responsible kids make.

My own adolescence is a case in point. I did things my parents never knew about and would have been appalled to discover. I'm sure had they found out, they would have considered themselves failures as parents.

As far as your question regarding the appropriateness of Sarah Palin running for VP with a handicapped child and a pregnant daughter, only the Palins can answer that question given their situation and resources. Surely, you don't presume to tell them how they ought to live their lives? That's usually the job of James Dobson.

This could be an opportunity for you to actually display some Christian charity to those with whom you disagree politically.

I haven't taken the time to find out the specifics of Sarah Palin's political views, but as a parent she has my fullest sympathy.

theprotagonist said...

Nicely put together. Im still not convinced that Sarah Palin is the babies mother yet though. Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. Agreed. But another saying is, where there is smoke, there is fire, and the way Gov. Palin supposedly gave birth to this child is downright bizarre. Either she is lieing about the baby, or she is lieing about when her water broke. Give a speech and then travel around for over half a day? really?

I think its perfectly fair to examine people like Gov. Palin when they do things like these. She is an elected official and public figure. People make mistakes yes, but if she purports to live her life to a different christian social standard, and actively campaigns and criticizes others to do the same, then examination of her and her judgment when she doesn't is not out of bounds.

Btw, the doctor is supposedly a very close family friend. I just dont think this is the end of the story. We will see eventually.

BLBeamer said...

theprotagonist - I think a reasonable person can safely assume that Gov. Palin is the baby's mother.

When you say it is "perfectly fair to examine Gov. Palin when she does things like these" [sic], what are the "these" you wish to have examined? It's not clear from your comments.

Do you have reliable information that indicates Sarah Palin "actively campaigns and criticizes others to do the same"?

I would like to see it if you do. I know little about her and I would like to know.

I know that John Edwards actively campaigned and criticized others regarding wealth and also actively campaigned as the loyal, faithful, dutiful husband. I had a strong suspicion he was a hypocrite and now it is clear he was one - and worse.

In the interest of expunging hypocrisy from the political process, please show us what info you have on Sarah Palin.

One Salient Oversight said...

Beamer, I actually agree with you. I suppose I'm just "being a pundit" and seeing how that may affect other people's view of her.

I personally believe that is her own decision too. The problem arises when a Dobsonesque political stance is preached but not practised. Why would socially conservative voters wish to vote for a person who is not "focusing on her family"?

And as for the pictures of kids drinking... any pics like that here in Australia, Japan or most other places in the Western world would be uncontroversial because the drinking age is 18 or even lower. All it does is highlight the ridiculousness of US drinking laws. Moreover, social conservatives with an evangelical flavour here in Australia at least are not anti-alcohol.

BLBeamer said...

Hands across the ocean, Neil. We do have many ridiculous drinking (and smoking) laws, although they are certainly not completely the fault of evangelicals. There's plenty of blame to spread around there.

I think I can answer your question "Why would socially conservative voters wish to vote for a person who is not "focusing on her family"?

The simple answer is because half a loaf is better than no loaf. Usually the choice is not between Dobson and Dobson-light. It's more commonly between anti-Dobson and kinda-close-in-some-ways-Dobson.

That's my short answer. My long answer (which I won't go into) involves an error in viewing socially conservative voters as a monolithic voting bloc.

But that does bring up another question. You and theprotagonist both have pretty clearly indicated that you believe Sarah Palin is a preachy "do as I say not as I do" person. Why do you say that?

One Salient Oversight said...

My long answer (which I won't go into) involves an error in viewing socially conservative voters as a monolithic voting bloc.

That's a fair enough criticism.

But that does bring up another question. You and theprotagonist both have pretty clearly indicated that you believe Sarah Palin is a preachy "do as I say not as I do" person. Why do you say that?

I suppose it is because her policies are so "boilerplate". Her political position is far right, which automatically makes her "preachy". Her political success depends upon being a pro-family social conservative, which means that she has to get up and say things similar to "teenage pregnancy is a big problem in our society but abstinence only education is as far as we'll go to prevent it".

BLBeamer said...

Her political success depends upon being a pro-family social conservative, which means that she has to get up and say things similar to "teenage pregnancy is a big problem in our society but abstinence only education is as far as we'll go to prevent it".

Blech! Neil, as a rational guy, you should be able to see through this. You have admitted in the past that you have been influenced by the leftist echo chamber. I'm afraid it has happened again, my friend.

You don't really know what her views are, do you? I spent 10 minutes and found this article in the Anchorage Daily News. It was published during the Alaska gubernatorial campaign in 2006. Palin's opinions are hardly "boilerplate" - all four candidates in the election were NRA members. She clearly states she is pro contraception and belongs to a feminist group Feminists for Life. I am familiar with this group - they are not predominately conservative.

Mrs. Beamer said...

Neil, you are incorrect in thinking I didn't read all of your article. It is one of the recent things that you have posted that I did find interesting.

I am glad that you say that there is no real basis to the rumors. As practicing Christians, should we engage ourselves in malicious gossip and/or persecution of another person (especially a fellow Christian)? I would hope you do not believe this.
Yet, many of the sources , such as the Daily Kos, that you regularly cite in your articles, are filled with political smut that regularly engage in unsubstantiated gossip, lies, and character assassination, etc. After the former Bush White House press secretary, Tony Snow, died of colon cancer the Daily Kos was filled with glee and comments that hoped Snow had died a hard, painful, tortuous death. Now, the same types are dancing with glee that a family that they oppose politically is in pain of a different sort. It all seems very sick to me that you even read this site, let alone quote it.

I have two Christian friends each of whom had 18 year old daughters get pregnant out of wedlock. I vividly remember the fear, the tears, the shame and emotional devastation in their mother’s voices. I remember the stories of the impact on not only their daughters’ lives, but of what the pregnancy and births did to their family's lives as a whole. It is not a proud event in a family and is not something that others outside of the family have any business analyzing, discussing or offering opinions on. My friends kept on working throughout their daughter's pregnancies and in both their cases, provided a place to live and bring up their babies while the daughters tried to straighten out their lives and become independent. With Sarah Palin's daughter, it sounds like she will get married and try to make a go of it with her husband. I find it interesting and so hypocritical that the left so boisterously defended Bill Clinton when a proven affair happened during his presidency. The left-wing said it was a private matter between him and his wife, even though he was using government property and “on the clock" to do the deed with Monica. We now hear that same group ranting and speculating about an unplanned pregnancy of a candidate's child. The left can't have it both ways, Neil!

Feminists have been fighting for years for women to have the right to avoid having to choose between their families and their careers. Now, when someone comes along who has done that, suddenly the left has “found religion” and decided that Sarah’s place is in the home after all.

I have a mentally disabled niece. My brother was in a job that required frequent travel and numerous relocations. He always tried to get relocated to cities that had good facilities where he could get help for his daughter. Sarah Palin’s son could actually benefit from his mother becoming VP since there are more and better medical and therapy facilities in Washington, DC than there are in Juneau.

Lastly, my heart goes out to this poor girl Bristol. Can you imagine what she is experiencing as these slime balls on the left attack her mom through her? Can you imagine the guilt this girl would have to live with if her mother’s campaign for VP was destroyed because of her poor choices? She would carry that burden with her the rest of her life. Why would you or anyone – particularly a Christian – want to be associated with such inhumane, partisan viciousness?

So to (finally) answer your question, I heard today an unconfirmed report that Sarah Palin’s husband will be taking leave and staying home with the kids for the time being. In that case, I do think it is appropriate for a mother in Sarah’s circumstances to run for office.

One Salient Oversight said...

Mrs B,

I am a member of Daily Kos. I have posted there and it is linked to my site. As a community site with thousands of members people are free to write whatever they like.

Only a few articles end up making the front pages of DK, mainly due to the editorial efforts of the people who run the site. Markos, the guy who runs DK, did not silence anyone who ranted about the pregnancy rumours, but refused to put them on the front page because he was careful enough to realise that the story was "dodgy". Americablog, Think Progress and all the other major left wing blogs had the same sort of attitude - they let commentators make their comments but made it explicitly clear that they didn't believe them. I know this because I read it at those sites.

As for the gleeful attitude of some towards the death of Tony Snow, remember that we who think the Iraq War was wrong saw Snow as being a propaganda mouthpiece for an administration whose actions have caused the death of over one million Iraqis. Personally I want George Bush to be tried and jailed for his actions.

It is very difficult to keep emotions in control when we start talking about human life. Everything I have read from left wing writers in the last couple of days has expressed nothing but support and sympathy for Bristol. And that includes me.