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Lessons Learned From The Left

Well, with the news that Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter is about five months pregnant, I have learned a great deal about the new rules for politics. And it has been a hell of an education.

Here are the new rules:

- Sarah Palin forfeited her minor daughter's right to privacy by choosing to run for vice president, so it's all right for people to use the daughter to attack the mother.

- Bristol Palin, a 17-year-old girl, should be held to the very same standard as John Edwards or Bill Clinton when it comes to public exposure of their failings.

- By choosing to declare candidates' families, especially minor children, off limits for political attacks, Barack Obama has proven himself hopelessly naive and out of touch and unworthy of the support of such fine, upstanding, moral, principled people who have been pushing this story.

- People who oppose abortion have no business even recognizing that the law currently says that it is legal, and should not make public statements that acknowledge that reality. Instead, they should talk and act as if it was illegal, as if their wishes had the force of law, because to recognize that the right to have an abortion is tantamount to recognizing that it is moral as well.

-- Only people who are absolutely, staunchly, unrestrictedly pro-choice are allowed to have any privacy whatsoever. Those who believe that the government has a place in certain matters that others deem "private" have no right to have any part of their lives kept to themselves.

Now that I know the new rules, I see that a whole host of things I had considered off limits are now, indeed, fair game, and the old "sauce for the goose" principle comes to mind.

So, what shall I do with this newfound freedom?

Not a goddamned thing.

I have long held that the children of politicians are off-limits when it comes to attacks on the parents, and it's one of the things that most infuriates me in politics. I like to think that I've been very consistent on that, whether it's Mary Cheney, the Bush twins, Chelsea Clinton, or anyone else.

I've made two exceptions -- first, when Chelsea Clinton started actively campaigning for her mother (including spamming me), and earlier, when Al Gore III was busted for drugs, speeding, and drunk driving -- he could easily have killed someone.

I am thoroughly disgusted with the people who have been reveling in the exposure of the sordid, intimate details of the Palin family's lives -- but I am not so angered that I will sink to their level.

They've made their own fetid cesspool. Let them wallow in it. I feel no particular compunction to dive in.

And nor should anyone else.


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Comments (35)

This is a good example of O... (Below threshold)
epador:

This is a good example of Obama Machine in action, denials and all. Don't you think this might be a good time to take down Kos for its role in this melodrama?

Who is "the left"?... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Who is "the left"?

Kind of like the Bush machi... (Below threshold)
PeachPit:

Kind of like the Bush machine against McCain in 2000 huh? Kind of gross isn't it?

Palin's future son in law:

"But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some s- - - and just f - - -in' chillin' I guess."

"Ya f - - - with me I'll kick [your] ass," he added.

He also claims to be "in a relationship," but states, "I don't want kids."

That is from his myspace page....this keeps getting better.

Hyperbolist, you can start ... (Below threshold)

Hyperbolist, you can start with the Daily Kos folks, who pushed -- and pushed hard -- on going after Bristol Palin.

Kos, after all, is VERY mainstream left -- just look below.

Alan Colmes also thought it prudent to dive in to Sarah Palin's handling of her last pregnancy.

Oliver Willis of Media Matters has had his share of fun, too.

And on the fringe (although the mainstream is moving closer to them), Democratic Underground also had several field days with the whole mess.

J.

There's another couple of r... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

There's another couple of rules:

It's OK to leak your campaign's opposition research to sympathetic journalists and then stand back and deplore the intrusive stories. The news media is encouraged to hawk the story as their finest investigative journalism. If you don't think this is where the bulk of political campaign scoop journalism comes from, you're probably being naive.

It's OK to leak your campaign's opposition research to the sleaziest of the breathless British tabloid press. A story is considered newsworthy if it will induce a single drunk anywhere in the world to pick up a newspaper off a rack at a newsstand. Blood and entrails are desirable, but not required.

There are no stories or insinuations about Republican candidates that are off-limits. None whatsoever.

- Bristol Palin, a 17-ye... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

- Bristol Palin, a 17-year-old girl, should be held to the very same standard as John Edwards or Bill Clinton when it comes to public exposure of their failings.

I'm sure we all remember the frank and honest discussion of John Edwards' absence from the DNC on all the major networks last week. And besides, with the first evening of the convention cancelled what else could CNN, MSNBC, etc. have possibly had to discuss last night?

Jay: you (as well as all of... (Below threshold)

Jay: you (as well as all of us) have a choice: do whatever is necessary to win or go down to defeat, consoling ourselves that we didn't 'sink to their level'. Sure, it would be nice to win using tactics one's mother would be happy hearing of, but whether in politics or a real war, being the only one playing fair makes it a whole lot harder to win, if not impossible.

Question: are the consequences of not winning bad enough that you'll take a deep breath and do what needs to be done to win (whether torturing terrorists to gain information or trashing the family of one's political opponent) or can you live with the consequences of having the 'enemy' win (such as being more at risk of a terrorist attack, higher taxes, amnesty for illegals, etc.)?

Ironic that the moonbat-nut... (Below threshold)
EvilUnclkeOlaf:

Ironic that the moonbat-nutroots are going apesh*t over a 17 y/o being pregnant mainly because of who her mother is, yet the very same left had no problem slapping a picture of Britney Spears' M U C H younger sister on the cover or People magazine (or one of it's check-out isle rag equivalents) fawning over how WONDERFUL it is she's having a kid as a kid and completely ignoring the fact that she was involved into tantamount statutory rape to get pregnant.

The Left's double standards are showing again.

It only took to comment 3 t... (Below threshold)
epador:

It only took to comment 3 to prove your point, JT. Bravo.

I am never surprised at how... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I am never surprised at how vile the mainstream democratic party is. Note I said the mainstream. The fringe on the left is now in charge so the application of the word vile fits to the whole party.

I am sure Obama and/or his people were vetted with this information from KOS by Kos and he did not tell them not to go with it. He is complicit. ww

Both vice-presidential cand... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Both vice-presidential candidates have sons who are deploying to the war zone.

We know this because the campaigns have told us so, that is, the candidates have put them in the spotlight as examples of the patriotism of their respective parties.

So are they both in-play, or out of play?

Obama says Palin's kids are... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Obama says Palin's kids are off limits, but he didn't invoke the magic spell needed to call of his familiars. Kind of like when Yasser Arafat would call off Palistinian terrorests in english. It didn't count unless he said it in arabic.

So are they both i... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
So are they both in-play, or out of play?

The difference is that they are 18 or older. They are adults.

Ummm, well, pointing... (Below threshold)
Larry:


Ummm, well, pointing that a 17 year old HS boy is, uh, acting and talking like a 17 year old HS boy, then comparing that boy to a 2000 campaign, is, well, uh, ahem, reaching? This just keeps getting better and better and better as the obamanuts go even more out of their minds with the smears. I guess the idea is to throw as much garbage against the wall as you can to see if anything (oh please, anything, I'm begging) will stick.

Obamanuts, lemme give you a piece of advice; don't fall in love with a politician (and Obama IS one), they will break your heart and your wallet. AFter all, political deceit is NOT an oxymoron.

I already can see the backl... (Below threshold)
mvargus:

I already can see the backlash building on this one. Independents aren't going to be happy to see this level of gutter politics, especially against someone who is not eighteen. McCain/Palin shouldn't get to vigorous in the defense. Their best move is to point out that it is gutter politics, and that Bristol is 17 and then to work to campaign on real issues, if someone tries to push this subject. In the end the attacker will always look bad.

JT:I was disappointe... (Below threshold)
Burt:

JT:
I was disappointed in your decision to disallow comments on your "bump" post yesterday. Yes, I would have been infuriated by the comments from your 'usual suspects'. But, I feel those folks need a forum to display to the world what monsters they truly are. I say: Bring it on Lefty! prove to me that you are ugly clear to your core!

Burt, they had plenty of ot... (Below threshold)

Burt, they had plenty of other fora for their bile. I wasn't about to give them yet one more.

J.

Last night on cable news so... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Last night on cable news some leftwing pundits who were passing themselves off as journalists are making the claim that Obama has been vetted by the American people. I don't think that claim can stand scrutiny and it would be good to pull that rug out from under Obama's feet. What's wrong with that claim is that few people participate in primaries and far less attend caucuses. Of the 37 primaries in 2008, Clinton won 21 to Obama's 16. In one-person one-vote contests the American people rejected Obama.

Palin? Good luck with that... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Palin? Good luck with that mess.

See you in November!

I'm a little confused (keep... (Below threshold)

I'm a little confused (keeping this focused on mom, not daughter) - how can this be spun to attack Palin's abstinence-education in school stance? I have to think that the kids are currently getting 'comprehensive sex-ed', and apparently kids are getting pregnant. Wouldn't this bolster her position?

Oh, right, up is down and black is white (damn, now I'm a racist...)

JayGood piece. Ove... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Jay

Good piece. Over the last 8 years the amount of filth and slime thrown by the left has grown exponentially. Reading about the "peaceful" protests in St Paul yesterday prompted me to ask what's it gonna be like when McCain wins?

8. Posted by EvilUnclkeOlaf... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

8. Posted by EvilUnclkeOlaf

People Magazine is "the left"? You're a retard.

Falze, there isn't a single study demonstrating the anti-sex crowd's desired effects of abstinence-only education. In fact, studies show that it has the same effect as no sexual education. Kids have sex, which is not a problem provided they're above the age of consent. What is a problem is people underhandedly inserting their beliefs grounded in superstition into a serious and important conversation on how to limit the number of children who are having babies (and, the ugly corollary of pregnancy, abortions).

Compare teen pregnancy rates in sex-happy Sweden and the Netherlands to teen pregnancy rates in America. QED.

Hyper, stop the nonsense. I... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hyper, stop the nonsense. Isn't there a Canadian blog you can bother? ww

Hyper, stop the no... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
Hyper, stop the nonsense. Isn't there a Canadian blog you can bother? ww

Amen to that.

hyperbolist - "8. Poste... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyperbolist - "8. Posted by EvilUnclkeOlaf, People Magazine is "the left"? You're a retard."

Childish invective was warranted?

Can you quote from the comment you referred to anything that warranted your response?

Indeed WildWillie, he/she needs to stop the nonsense. (unless of course they enjoy proving the assertions made by some about the Left)

But fear not hyper, I'm not here just to be critical, I'm here to help considering you completely misconstrued what was written, i.e. People mag was NOT called a part of the Left, the people that read it, the LEFT portion never uttered peep #1 in response to the mags covers.

And BTW, here's more help as promised.

Nitwit....opps, sorry!

actually, there are a numbe... (Below threshold)

actually, there are a number of studies showing improvements using abstinence-only education. lie away, though.

Who is "the left"?... (Below threshold)
Who is "the left"?

You, for one.

marc, your poor grammar cau... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

marc, your poor grammar caused you to misinterpret what Olaf wrote. Read literally (as in, read as though you're a fluent English speaker), he said the left "slapped" a photo of Spears' younger sister on People Magazine. They didn't do that, of course. For him to have said what you think (wish?) he said, there would need to be a few more words in that sentence.

Falze, show me data that support the conclusion proponents of abstinence-only education need to make (lower pregnancy/STD/abortion rates) in order to have a relevant voice in the debate on sexual education.

Actually, show these people that data.

You could take a look at these figures, all carefully cited.

Or you could continue to propagate a dangerously unhealthy and uneducated view of teen sexuality that is the cause of embarrassingly high rates of STD infection and teen pregnancy in your country. Whatever, they're your children. Personally, though, I'd be concerned about the ridiculously high chance of them contracting gonorrhea, HIV, or chlamydia. I might be looking into the cost of boarding schools in Rotterdam or Nagano.

OregonMuse, I asked him that because he's using an awfully broad brush to categorize those a-holes who are dragging Palin's kid through the mud. I haven't done that. I find it inappropriate and appalling. I do not, however, find it surprising that a bunch of Obama supporters feel it's acceptable. Politics is an arena where ugly people do ugly things. Call them out on it, shame them in the public square, but make sure you're talking about the right people. "The left" is better defined as roughly half the people in your country (the people who would vote for Obama), and most of them surely don't feel good about people using children to smear their parents.

Hyper, if you find the com... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hyper, if you find the comments about Palin's family inappropriate and appalling, why not post your comments on those sites where it would do some good? ww

hyper - "marc, your poo... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyper - "marc, your poor grammar caused you to misinterpret what Olaf wrote. Read literally (as in, read as though you're a fluent English speaker), he said the left "slapped" a photo of Spears' younger sister on People Magazine."

Yep, just as I figured ahead of time, but honestly waited for a response.

Where's your quote that warranted your 5th grade-like attack hyper? Couldn't find it?

Wasn't there and had to resort to a diversion to commenting on someone's alleged lack of English skills?

I don't read left-activist ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I don't read left-activist blogs, Willie, because they suck. It's like talk radio--where facts go to die. I read Eschaton, TalkingPointsMemo, and Sadly,No!, but don't comment as I don't see the point in a circle-jerk of opinions (though they're fun to read). It's more fun to argue with people than to slap each other on the back and talk about how awesome your shared ideas are. I'm not aware of any of the blogs I like having smeared the Palin family, but if they have, then that's bullshit and I don't support it. I will continue not to read anything on the DailyKos website.

marc, that idiot assumed th... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

marc, that idiot assumed that "the left" reads People Magazine, when I think it's likely a political cross-section of morons who read tripe like that. That's why I took umbrage. I'd rather be called a communist than be accused of reading that poison.

And it's not "alleged". You're not illiterate, I know that, but you did fail to see that that putz actually did state in plain English that "the left" "slapped" that photo on the cover of People. Untrue. If it were true, I would have done that, as I consider myself to be part of this amorphous blob of leftness which so many people seem either unwilling or unable to define in more specific terms.

hyper.... invective, name c... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyper.... invective, name calling... scurrilous over reaching assumptions.

Well, at least you're consistent.

Jay Tea:I don't pa... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea:

I don't particularly care for the various attacks related to Bristol Palin, but I do think that your blanket statement about candidates' families being off-limits is off-base.

In particular, it seems to me that media coverage and oppo research should definitely extend to the business and political dealings of a candidate's immediate family. If, for example, a company owned by the adult child of an incumbent governor receives a no-bid contract to provide services to the state, then shouldn't that definitely be part of the news?


marc, you want to talk abou... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

marc, you want to talk about "scurrilous overreaching assumptions"? How about People magazine being a mouthpiece for "the left"? This is a stupid conversation hinging only on the stupidity of Olaf's comment way back when, and you (I hope) and I have better things to do than criticize or defend somebody who elects to put the English language through a wood chipper.




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