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!
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.
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