Her Impenetrable Base

A reader writes:

I know you have aired the "so what" view in the past, but given your rehashing of the issue after returning from Bearville, I think it deserves another go.

So what if Trig is not Palin’s biological child? If you published conclusive proof tomorrow, Palin would just go on Oprah and confess. She would tell Oprah all about the big bad liberal media, and claim that her story was fabricated for the sake of the real mother and Trig. The audience claps at her bravery, her followers cry, and a few months later everything would return to normal. Her base would love her even more after the Oprah interview than they do now.

Palin’s family dysfunction endures her to her followers. It proves she’s "real" and not an "elitist." The rest of the world would see her confession as another sign of her dysfunctional family, but that’s how they see her now anyway, particularly after the whole Levi/Bristol debacle. One of my best friends was raised by his grandparents, under the guise that they were his biological parents. It’s more common than you think in certain areas of the country.

Yes, Palin brings Trig to campaign events and book signing. Yes, she uses Trig to prove she’s a "real person" and "conservative" and "pro-life." So what? Worst case scenario is that she voluntarily took it upon herself to adopt a child with down syndrome and raise Trig as her own, which supports the "real person" and "conservative" and "pro-life" message anyway.  The mainstream media would treat the issue as too sensitive to push during the debates, and the whole thing would go away.

If this is an odd lie, it’s not the same as proving a pro-life Christianist had an abortion, or a "family values conservative" had an affair.  It's not a moral failing like John Edwards, or even Bill Clinton. In the end, the American people can forgive a lie of this type because the truth is not immoral and not directly hypocritical.

I can see this, and am sure it might redound in her favor, which is why many liberals in the MSM are as adamant about not exploring this as the conservatives. My view is simply that a broad swathe of sane people will realize that someone who perpetrated such a fantastic hoax, if indeed she did, who stuffed pillows up her dress, who claimed the mantle of giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome while doing nothing of the sort, would destroy her as a candidate for president.

Her base would rally, but shrink. But my interest in this is simply to get the full evidence to resolve it - regardless of its unknowable consequences. I would very much like to be proven wrong in harboring any doubts about her story. In fact, I see no downside for her in disclosing what she has in her possession. If you wanted to shore up your base, why not pwn for good and all that demented blogger who hates America?

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

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