And with any luck, a final one. Some readers asked me to comment on Patrick's post last week. I don't have much to add except that I totally respect and understand his view and always have. Neither Patrick nor I have baldly asserted something we cannot know for sure: that Trig Palin is Sarah Palin's biological son. Our difference has merely been that he assumes that the Alaska governor is telling the truth and sees all the circumstantial evidence as very compelling backing for her maternity (as has almost everyone else in the MSM). For my part, I have always clearly conceded that that is perfectly possible, but that the bizarre chronology and facts in the public record raise enough questions that a simple piece of easily produced evidence should have been produced to end the issue at once. The facts of the case and the refusal to defuse it was enough to prevent me from assuming that she was the mother. I know that made and makes me look like a total douche in some people's eyes, but I figure that journalists who are afraid of looking like douches for doing their job should pick another line of work.

That agnostic but skeptical stance was my position last August and it's my position now. I have to say that Palin's inability to tell the truth about much and her bizarre behavior during the campaign did not instill more confidence in me. And I remain puzzled as to why a medical record putting the whole thing to rest could not have been produced months ago. But now the threat of her running our lives has receded for a while, I feel much less need to find out things that are usually best left to the private realm. If she hadn't been brought out of nowhere to become a potential president, I wouldn't have given a fig.

And this is an opinionated blog, not a newspaper. I am not here to report facts; I'm here to engage in a discussion of them. I've aired every single opinion on the subject, including dissent from my one and only colleague, and aired every bit of evidence I could find on both sides. And I do not apologize for asking rude and persistent questions of a public official and for debating the factual basis for a political platform for someone aspiring to be the vice-president of the US. That's my job. If I didn't do it honestly, you would rightly lose your faith in me as a blogger commiited to non-bullshit on a daily basis. I wrestled with this so openly precisely because I wanted to retain honesty and integrity. I couldn't blog as if I believed something I didn't. At least not without breaking what I regard as my compact with you.

As I said months ago, Trig is a human being as precious as any other. That he was not aborted is a noble, moral, beautiful act. Who his biological mother is, at this point, is much less important than that he has a loving and caring home, and it seems as if he has. What remains important in the larger scheme of things - and why I continued to ask pesky, awkard questions - is a press that is not afraid and not deferent to elected officials and not more worried about its own reputation than about flushing out the truth. I failed to do that beyond a shadow of a doubt. But I tried. And if the truth does definitively emerge, I will maintain my commitment to bring it to you.

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