Friedersdorf wants the issue left alone:
I assume Trig Palin is Sarah Palin’s son, and that I don’t think we should go down the road of demanding hard evidence on these sorts of questions (even if it meant never finding out the truth in an individual case) it sets a precedent that would mire future elections in ever more absurd accusations and counter-accusations, all of them focusing attention on the personal history of candidates rather than their professional qualifications and policy positions, a road we’ve gone too far down already, and that benefits the least qualified seekers of office (and that is unnecessary in the case of a candidate like Sarah Palin, who wouldn’t even make it past summary judgment in a trial to gauge her qualifications for the presidency).
I think this assumes that this is indeed a case of legitimate privacy; whereas I regard it as something much more sinister. His response to my call for pushback:
One explanation for the disparity in evidence: the persistence of questions about Trig helps Sarah Palin.
All along, she has savvily used the notion that the media is treating her unfairly to enhance her popularity. An amoral political strategist would advise her to keep hard evidence of Trig’s maternity hidden at all costs in the hope that critics would continue questioning it if Professor Bernstein and I, both of us huge Sarah Palin critics, doubt the merits of this line of inquiry, imagine how the average American reacts to it, and how the Sarah Palin base reacts. For better or worse, we live in a country where the politics of umbrage are very effective, and Ms. Palin is expert at them. Indeed I fear that speculation about Trig’s maternity increases the chance that she’ll win the 2012 GOP nomination. If a savvy political analyst can be found who disagrees with that assessment, I’d be surprised.
Later in his post, Andrew writes, “if Palin has lied about this, it’s the most staggering, appalling deception in the history of American politics.” I think that on reflection he’d reconsider. How staggering a lie is must relate to consequences. Consider Dick Cheney and the Iraq War, or the treatment of detainees at black sites around the world, just to name two political lies that resulted in loss of life and incalculable damage to our country. Compared to these issues, which The Daily Dish has covered so well, the saga of Sarah Palin and her son are of little consequence. I appreciate wariness about Sarah Palin as 2012 approaches, and since he conducts even inquiries to which I object with a commitment to regularly airing dissent, I can respect Andrew even when his obsessions and mine part the Dish is a success in large part due to his obsessions and passions, and as his many longtime readers know, no one agrees with him on everything. As the Obama Administration continues to ignore Bush-era lawbreaking, assemble an assassinations list, and normalize other excesses of the War on Terrorism, however, I’d love to convince Andrew that whatever energy he spends on the Trig story is more profitably invested elsewhere.
Well, I certainly hope I won't abandon vigilance on other issues for this farce. But two responses: first, it is not my concern whether this helps or hinders Palin. I want to know what's true, that's all. And while I'm perfectly aware of the rope-a-dope potential, and have been from the beginning, everything I know about Palin suggests that this is a secondary strategy. And when someone with that much power brazenly dares the media, the media needs to dare back. Otherwise, they win. And they have won, hence all the copy-cats.
Secondly, this lie, while certainly not as offensive or grave as "we do not torture", could amount to a woman stuffing her dress to fake pregnancy. There's a clarity about that kind of lie that strikes me as truly gob-smacking. Before I knew much about Palin, it struck me as extremely unlikely. But would you put anything past her, now you've watched her for a couple of years?
By the way, the only reputation I care about is between me and my conscience and my readers. Apart from that, I couldn't give a toss what others say. But if they have an argument or some evidence, I'd love to clear this up and move on.