The Palins' Privacy

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Here's a post that reads like it was from a few years ago, but was actually posted last Saturday. It's Tyler Cowen:

There is one biographical fact about Palin's life that the critics (Drum, DeLong, Yglesias, Klein, Sullivan and Kleiman are among the ones I read) are hardly touching upon.  I mean her decision to have a Downs child instead of an abortion.  This is the fact about her life and it will be viewed as such from now through November and perhaps beyond.

Yes, I deemed it irrelevant to start with, if a wonderful and beautiful aspect of her life. I should say again that her decision to bring up Trig makes me think very highly of her, to respect her adherence to principle and to love and to motherhood. I can't think of many things more admirable than loving and rearing a Downs Syndrome child. I just didn't think that's a reason or a qualification to be vice-president in wartime.

The problem is: the McCain campaign made the baby a critical and central part of their political message about Palin for the base.

From the very start of this process, Sarah Palin's motherhood and her children, especially the most recent baby in the Palin family, Trig, were put out there by the McCain campaign as reasons to vote for her. Her pro-life record, which centers as it must on her admirable decision to bring up a disabled child, was made the focus of the campaign - not by the press but by the McCain peeps. They put a baby out there, making Palin's private life a subject bound to be covered by the media. Did they know what they were doing?

The human costs of all this must be pinned to the people responsible. Not the press, who are just doing their job. But the McCain campaign whose cynical attempt to appeal both to women and the pro-life world led them to pick and present Palin in this private context. Of course, it now seems obvious that the McCain campaign were doing all of this with no idea of what was about to hit them.

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