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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dispatch from the "Holy Shit!" file
Posted by Jill | 5:43 AM
Andrew Sullivan dares to open that door again:
If any of the three scenarios Jonathan has pointed out is true, then Sarah Palin has no business running for president and should never have been picked for vice-president. Why? Because if her giving birth to a Down Syndrome child is a complete hoax, then she's simply psychotic to double down on such a crazy invention, and we should try and avoid psychotics as political leaders (yes, it's hard given the normal inclinations of a political class, but we can try, no?). If the scenario is merely a function of deep irresponsibility, an unconscious desire to miscarry her child by extreme recklessness, then the same applies. After eight years of Bush, it seems that willful recklessness that places the vulnerable and powerless in great danger is not a good idea. The last is easily the least worrying - pure fabulism, exaggeration, and a completely random relationship to reality. Yes, we're all human. But again, sane people who tell fibs once dial them back subsequently - they don't repeat them, embellish them even more, and concoct - in Going Rogue - a simply baroque, incoherent and, yes, nutty version of a labor story that defies all we know about human biology, space and time.

But in many ways, my real frustration here is not with Palin, who has behaved in ways that are rational for a gambler of such proportions. My frustration is with the media who have never questioned, let alone seriously investigated, the story, and who have actually gone further and vouched for its truthfulness and accuracy without any independent confirmation. I know why. It was because they wanted, as the WaPo ombudsman put it, to avoid any further damage to the mainstream media

"among conservatives who believe it is not properly
attuned to their ideology or activities.”

That's why the Washington Post actually operated as an extension of the McCain campaign against the press in the last election, through the Republican sock-puppet, Howie Kurtz. So my issue here is of the same kind as my issue with how the MSM missed the Hastings scoop. They are simultaneously in bed with the powerful and afraid of the masses. So they end up in this ghastly middle.

What's their excuse for not investigating or even asking? Their first is Palin's alleged family privacy.

But there is no family privacy once you have deliberately forced an infant with special needs into the bewildering public space, held him up at a convention way past his bedtime, made campaign speeches featuring him, hauled him around night and day on a book tour, and used him as the central prop in the construction of a political identity. Trig matters because Palin has insisted that Trig matters. If she had had a child under odd circumstances and insisted that it was private and kept the child away from cameras and ensured that he had all the care and privacy that such a child obviously needs, no one, including me, would have inquired further. But when you advance a political campaign using a child, it is imperative that the media investigate and probe the story.


That Sullivan is "going there" is potentially quite huge. Many of us have long felt that Palin's Miracle Birth story had more holes in it than Albert Hall, but we were also regarded for a long time as loonies on a par with the birthers and the 9/11 Truthers. But if Palin is, as the mainstream media insists she is and seems bound and determined to make her, the next President of the United States, we DO need to know if she's just someone who embellished her tale of her son's birth for dramatic effect to prove a point, or if she's a) a hypocrite whose travel after her water broke was, as one blogger called it at the time, an attempted "fundamentalist abortion"; or b) a psychotic power-mad lunatic who isn't above somehow gaining possession of a Downs Syndrome baby to use as a political prop in much the same way as the Gregg Stillson character played by Martin Sheen in the movie adaptation of The Dead Zone does.

(Note to Palin acolytes: The link to the clip from the movie does not mean I advocate anyone taking a shot at anyone, least of all Sarah Palin. It is to illustrate a baby being used as a political prop in a movie. Good Lord, in addition to everything else, you think I want this nutball turned into a martyr? Yeesh.)

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Blogger Barry said...
Not that Sully ever *closed* the door on that issue. Indeed, his relentless obsession with Palin's uterus has continued more or less unabated since the '08 campaign.