This reader email makes a point I have made before but makes it in such a compelling way that it really does bring me up short. I stand by my insistence that politicians should provide any data that supports a campaign narrative, especially when the narrative is truly strange. But increasingly, I suspect that this is what actually went on, and that in many ways, it is more damning of Palin as a political leader and as a responsible parent than any outright deception:

I think you have to make a distinction between the birth story being medically implausible and the story being implausible under the assumption that the protagonist is a reasonable person. I find the story of having a leak, having slightly stronger contractions but not active labor, then being induced 16-18hrs later very plausible. What I find unbelievable is the decision making that was involved.

But this is a person who accepted the VP nomination without knowing the first thing about current affairs; a person who quit her position as a governor so she could "stand and effect change" -- her relationship with reality is tenuous at best. Her cognitive processes, the way she makes decisions and the "data" on which those decisions are based, are not those of a rational person.

This is how I imagine a conversation with Palin goes:

Palin: It's a perfect day for a picnic. Let's go!

Palin-child: Mom, it's raining.

Palin: God is wondrous. Rain will make the grass grow!

P-child: Right but...

Palin: Is there anything better than a picnic on soft soft grass, also? Get the picnic basket!

P-child: I'll grab some umbrellas too...

So with her Dr, it probably went like this:

Palin: Hey doc, I think my water broke.

Dr: Are you sure it is not pee? Has the leaking stopped? Have your contractions changed in nature?

Palin: Yes, yes, and yes.

Dr.: Ok, I have a colleague who works in a wonderful hospital down there; I'll call my colleague to get everything set up.

Palin: Oh no, I'm not due for 5 weeks. Plus I have to give a speech now, and also.

Dr: Well, we can't plan these things, you can find yourself in active labor at any moment and traveling is an unnecessary risk.

Palin: I completely agree. God in his wisdom has seen it to put me in a plane that is not fully booked. Gotta go give my speech now!

Dr: But...

Given what we know, highly plausible. Now imagine such a person with a finger near the nuclear button.

I remain committed to getting as much information as we can. But I remain committed to having an open mind as well, including the bathetic likelihood that Trig is Sarah's biological child and she's both nuts, delusional and irresponsible.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.