Thursday, September 4, 2008

Raising the Discourse

Does anyone else on the left not care about Sarah Palin's daughter's pregnancy?

My hunch is that more than a few of us tend to agree with Historiann's sentiment that although we fundamentally disagree with most of Sarah Palin's policy positions:

"...speculation about and scrutiny of her body, pregnancy, and sex life, or her daughter’s body, pregnancy, and sex life, and all discussions of leaking amniotic fluid, lactation practices, medical records, or anything at all relating to the sexuality and reproductive history of anyone in the Palin family are disgusting, beside the point, and moreover, a really dumb path for so-called 'liberals' and 'progressives' to go down."

Seriously. Haven't we been saying all along that we want "change" in 2008. We don't want politics as usual. We want politicians who are different and who will rise above the same aggressive rhetoric. Yet article after article and blogger after blogger continues playing politics as usual by digressing into these completely off-topic articles and speculations about Palin's babydaddygate- speculations that, by the way, conservative bloggers and journalists then point to as evidence that The Left Hates Families and Babies!

A lot of the "liberal" reaction, I think, is knee-jerk. Oooh, oooh, something "bad" about this Republican. Better write about it. But what, exactly does it prove about Sarah Palin's competence that her teenage daughter is pregnant? Yeah, it sucks that Palin takes an abstinence-only position regarding sex ed, but is her daughter prego because she doesn't know how condoms work? Who knows. Who cares. And most importantly, don't we as a nation have bigger things to worry about than Palin's personal soap opera.

Now, I fully realize that conservatives and Republicans are quite capable of making irrelevant and distracting personal jabs of their own. But, just because some pigs like to roll around in mud, it doesn't mean we all should. Or something. Besides, when it comes to critiquing the Republican party, I think there are much bigger issues to talk about than a teenager's pregnancy. As Bill Clinton, who had quite a few of his own personal, distracting, and utterly irrelevant-to-his-job soap operas, said at the Democratic National Convention,

"Our nation is in trouble on two fronts. The American dream is under siege at home, and America’s leadership in the world has been weakened. Middle-class and low-income Americans are hurting — with incomes declining; job losses, poverty and inequality rising; mortgage foreclosures and credit card debt increasing; health care coverage disappearing; and a very big spike in the cost of food, utilities and gasoline.

And our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation, by a perilous dependence on imported oil, by a refusal to lead on global warming, by a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders, by a severely burdened military, by a backsliding on global nonproliferation and arms control agreements, and by a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe."

Indeed. Democrats, liberal media, bloggers- listen. Don't fuck this up by irrelevantly attacking a woman that many women and families will come to feel sympathy for. The sooner we all realize that there is enough to criticize when it comes to how the Republicans have handled things for the past 8 years, the better off we will all be.

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