Monday, September 01, 2008

Who's the hypocrite?

I've been hesitant to weigh in on the bottom-feeding that's taken place about Sarah Palin and her pregnancy... or Bristol's... or - wait! Both of them! Better writers than myself have already said more than I ever can.

But there's one aspect of it all that burns my butt with the fire of a thousand habanero chalupas: Where on earth do the lefty losers at places like Daily Kos get the assumption that Sarah Palin would automatically be ashamed of Bristol's condition? It's a logic I can't follow: "Those Republicans don't believe in killing children, so they must not love them as much as we do." (The Uterofascists are being even viler. And even American Spectator had something fatheaded to say.) Obama had enough class to ask his followers to back off Bristol, but somehow I doubt it'll work.

There's a delicious irony, though, in the way it points up the contrast between Gov. Palin and Sen. Obama.

Palin: Stands behind her daughter and welcomes the grandchild.
Obama: Would hate for his daughters to be punished with a baby.

Palin: Gave birth to a Down Syndrome boy, and is raising him happily in a loving family.
Obama: Fought for Down Syndrome babies to be left on a shelf to die alone.

Palin: Human beings are good things, worthy of love for their own sake.
Obama: Human beings are disposable, inconvenient and a punishment.

But us conservatives... we're the haters. Right?

Yeah, yeah. I know. Put my money where my mouth is, right? Fine.
This is my oldest daughter, hereinafter referred to by her childhood nickname, Wharf Rat, to preserve some hint of privacy. She is twenty years old, beautiful (as you can see), smart, and charming. She is also eight months-plus pregnant, literally ready to give birth any day. She is not married. Rather, she lives with a boyfriend who I think is basically all right, despite the shiny things stuck through his nose and a few other superficialities. They have expressed vague plans to get married, though I'm not holding my breath.

By Kossack logic I should be mortally ashamed and keep this hidden as best I can. Wharf Rat has sinned, and conservatives cannot abide sin. I should pretend I don't know her, spit when she walks past, and burn any residual photos of her in my house. Just like Dick Cheney was expected to do about his gay daughter, I should do about my knocked-up one.

If I fail to behave this way, it only proves that I'm a hypocrite. Being conservative, I naturally despise anyone who falls short of my pharisaical moral code. I'm willing to make an exception for my own. But other people's get no mercy.

So why am I owning up to WF? Because I'm not the least bit ashamed of her. See, I had her out of wedlock, and married her mother two months later. From the time she was four until ten years later, I raised her mostly alone. We had some rough times in her teen years, but I never, never was anything but proud of her. I still am. I'm worried for her, because she's got a tough road ahead of her. Sin? Yes. I did a long time ago, and she has since. That's what a confessional is for. But to think a child whose birth results from my sin or hers is somehow less wonderful requires a Calvinistic puritanism only someone who doesn't believe in sin could express with a straight face.

Far from wanting to keep the impending grandson hidden, I'm eager to make his acquaintance. If he turns out to have a disability or something, so it goes. Because he's a human being, and human beings are basically a good thing. His mother certainly is.

That's Sarah Palin's attitude, too. It's one Barack Obama cannot conceive of, apparently. I know which attitude I'm happier to have.

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