Privacy And Palin

A reader writes:

The argument against any kind of reporting on candidates' personal lives has always been that private life should remain private. Why should I care if some guy has an affair, etc.

Here's why this isn't off-limits. The McCain campaign has made the existence of this child a central part of its PR rollout of Palin, in particular highlighting the fact that Palin chose not to abort the child even though she knew the baby had Down Syndrome.

The campaign has made the entire story of this pregnancy and birth a part of its narrative to portray Palin as a morally superior being who is therefore deserving of the second-highest office in the land. 

There is a serious possibility that this narrative is completely false, that, in fact, Palin's daughter became pregnant, and that she decided to take the following steps:  first, hide the pregnancy by withdrawing her daughter from school; and second, pretend that the child was hers, in the process lying to everyone around her, including the public and her staff.  If she did this, one must then ask, why? Certainly, it was preferable to an abortion.  But why couldn't she simply admit that her daughter got pregnant at sixteen?  Palin could have served as a wonderful role model of family support for a pregnant teen, and obviously she would have helped to raise the child.  Instead, Palin sent a message that her daughter was shameful, and that lying is better than the truth.

Even if one could excuse this behavior as a misguided effort to protect her family, what happened next is beyond the pale. Knowing full well the truth, Palin allowed the false version of this story to be used as part of a PR campaign to dupe voters into viewing her in a completely false light.

What this says about her is that she believes that when you get into a situation where there might be public embarrassment, the best thing to do is lie (apparently, the same thing she did with Troopergate). That, to me, seems relevant to voters making a decision in November. 

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Just In