MENA: Is Bristol Palin's pregnancy really an issue?

Each presidential race has its controversies. While the past two were marred by questions of voting accessibility and vote counting, however, this race is plagued with gossip about everything from Democratic nominee Barack Obama's religion to John McCain's alleged marital infidelities. In a presidential race, hardly anything is sacred.

Since John McCain announced Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate last week, the gossip mill has been focused on Palin, rather, it has focused on Palin's daughter Bristol, 17, who is five months pregnant.

Following that announcement, everyone from Lindsay Lohan to former teenage mothers have weighed in on the issue of whether or not Bristol Palin's pregnancy should be made a campaign issue. The Middle East and North African blogospheres are no exception.

Moroccan author and blogger Laila Lalami calls the situation a “train wreck,” urging us to question Sarah Palin's foreign policies rather than focus on her family:

…It’s obvious she’s been selected more for her life story than for her meager domestic credentials. For God’s sake, her state has fewer people than Brooklyn. As for her foreign policy knowledge, I’d like to see someone ask her about the nuclear non-proliferation treaties or the difference between a Sunni and a Shia or where the Green Line falls or how she plans to handle relations with Pakistan. But I won’t bet on it. I suspect we’ll keep hearing about the pregnant girl and the hockey player boyfriend instead.

KABOBfest‘s Will feels that Bristol Palin's pregnancy should be off the political table, but still ponders its impact on McCain/Palin's campaign:

I'm just speculating about what the reaction would be if it was Obama who had a 17 year old who was impregnated out of wedlock. I think the controversy would be much different. For one thing, Republican spin would be 180 degrees different. (Obama would be saying the same thing: it should not be considered. What the Democrats’ spin team is doing, I am not sure about.)

I would rather not speculate. The Republican record towards unwed, teenage Moms stands on its own.

Still, even a little speculation strikes some as too much. In the blog's comment section, Kalash responds:

This is very sad. Seriously, this girl needs to be left alone… but alas her mother ensured the current spotlight on Bristol by accepting the nomination under the circumstances. She knew that this would be in the media (and I'm convinced she knew it would work to her advantage). So while Sarah Palin may indeed be a reprehensible person for using her family to advance her political career, the spotlight should be on her and not her daughter.

Enough with the pictures and all that other shit… why feed into the frenzy? Everytime I see a picture of this girl I cringe. I agree that this it's worth discussing in context of Republicans’ stated values and the facts of life, I also agree that it's a good opportunity to examine Sarah Palin a little more closely… but all of that can be done without focusing on the girl.

I don't believe the Republicans want to keep this out of the public eye. Surely they knew it would work to their advantage one way or another. Don't sleep! Despite the hypocrisy and the smell of BS, the ‘average American’ label suits Palin more than it does Biden, McCain, or Obama.

Yet one must only take a cursory glance at the blog of Moroccan Lady Zee, who posted a photo of John McCain greeting Bristol Palin's soon-to-be-husband under the category “humour,” to know that this is a subject that isn't going to die out anytime soon.

1 comment

  • Hypocrit Hater

    No matter what the GOP says, Liberals aren’t scandalized–they are angered by your blatant hypocrisy–how many of you would take off into the streets citing a dip in American Moral Decency of Palin was a Democrat?????

    Where are you FAMILY VALUES picket signs and marches now????????

    How many of you trashed Britney Spears sister Jaime for being pregnant at sixteen “What kind of mother would let this happen?” You cried into available microphones, blogs and boards–and when someone tried to point out that mistakes in life happens with even good parents, you shouted them down calling them immoral and haters of American values!

    And how about Lakeisha of the ghetto who found solace in sex because of how deplorable her life in poverty is—I grew up there so I know what is like and what the despair is like. I am now successful, but I haven’t forgotten what it was like to be there, unlike you guys who talk about how easy it is to rise from the ashes when many of you went to school on daddy’s dime and don’t know anything about what it means to come from nothing.

    I made it yes, but many others were trying just as hard and didn’t!

    No, Lakeisha gets labeled and called names and isn’t viewed as a girl who made the choice to have her baby despite being poor.

    Think about it! How many times have you pushed FAMILY VALUE mantras down peoples throats–called Mothers shameless and worthless if they had to work even if that same mother made the choice to have her child as opposed to abort despite being poor. No, instead of lifting her up because you were pro-life, you would trash and vilify her.

    You guys talked about bringing the stigma back to teen pregnancy, now, all of damned sudden “its life?”

    I have been saying that for years and you people acted like I was advocating teen pregnancy. I wasn’t! I was saying it was “life”…

    I mean–ever day the Dr Laura Schlessinger ‘s, people that you support, tear women like Palin and her daughter anew one when they call her stupid, man hating show, but now, all of sudden, you understand how MISTAKES HAPPEN???

    All I know is the next time I get flack from one of you conservatives for protecting the virtue and reputation of a poor black or poor white working mother who got pregnant young (as I did in the past to your scathing rebukes) and I get your family values, hate filled rhetoric I am going to scream foul so loud the angels in heaven will hear it!

    I at least respect conservatives, small group that they are, who have said they don’t like Palin for the fact that she wasn’t there for her daughter due to “work” and must not have been around to see what she was getting into– I don’t agree with them because I think in today’s economy it behooves both parents to work, but at least they have the courage to stick behind the stuff you guys have been spouting and amen-ing for years.

    Liberal bias???!!! How about a big convenient 360.

    I mean the only thing you know how to do is trash talk when someone make a valid counterpoint — so I await the vilification, but the reaction will be because you have spent years saying the very opposite of what you are saying now, and now that the spotlight is on your own human fragility (and you now know you can’t act self righteous and holier than thou because anyone, no matter how good a parent they are, can make mistakes) now you have been caught with your pants down and shown for the two faced liars you are!

    You stand for nothing and your VALUES can be sold to the highest bidder!

    And no, I am less than perfect myself, but I was thirty-five and married before I had a child even though I am a low life Liberal.

    Also, I acknowledged I am not perfect and pone to mistakes whereas you stone throwers were always able to walk on water —

    Didn’t realize you lived in a glass house eh?

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