September
1st 2008
A real pregnancy, and a boneheaded Biden remark. Surprised?

Posted under: American history, Gender, the body, women's history

Well, kids:  you gotta hand it to John McCain.  He’s made Democrats go totally crayzee with his choice of VP!

First of all, via Shakesville, the Palin family has announced that their eldest daughter Bristol is currently five months pregnant, which pretty much scotches the tacky rumormongering that Sarah Palin’s youngest son Trig is her grandson, and not her son.  The young lady and her baby’s father plan to marry and raise their child together.  Seems to me like there are a lot of families in this situation today–Dems will push unsourced rumors and nasty comments about other people’s sex lives at their peril.  (Hey–aren’t we also the party that stays out of people’s bedrooms?  Like we’re also the party of feminist values, I guess.)  D’ya still want to go after her for going after her wife-beating, stepson-tasing ex-brother in law?  Does anyone have some dirt on the kid who’s off to Iraq this fall?  Well, do ya, punks?

And secondly, also via Shakesville, Joe Biden steps in it this morning, at a rally in Historiann’s hometown, no less:

“There’s a gigantic difference between John McCain and Barack Obama and between me and I suspect my vice presidential opponent,” Biden said at an outdoor rally Sunday, getting ready to hit the GOP ticket for their economic policies.

“She’s good-looking,” he quipped.

Heh heh heh.  What’s the matter, honey?  Can’t you take a joke?  You should smile more, with such a pretty face.  And Gloria Steinem was just a slut from East Toledo!  Heh heh heh.

Keep it up, Dems!  Remember:  the people don’t think you’re laughing at Palin.  They think you’re laughing at them.

16 Comments »

16 Responses to “A real pregnancy, and a boneheaded Biden remark. Surprised?”

  1. Indyanna on 01 Sep 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    Hmmm. The plot’s starting to seem like something from _Lost_. (Not that I watch _Lost_). Maybe I should say like a “Firesign Theatre” sketch? But it was Reagan, remember, who made a divorced president seem acceptable, sort of like Nixon going to China.

    The _Times_ reported yesterday that they’re bringing back a revamped version of “90210.” The Widow Spelling just downsized from a $56 million house in LA to a $14 million condo there, so I guess they need to reboot the brand. Today comes an interesting story about how Palin’s Wikipedia entry was juiced up overnight right before the big surprise by somebody signing as “(Something)Trig.” Then it got reedited by somebody else. I guess it’s going to be a long 2.13 months.

  2. Historiann on 01 Sep 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    I give up, Indyanna. The Democratic Party is apparently just determined to fling itself off the cliff this year (of all years!) I think I’m going to start blogging more about borderlands history and Esther Wheelwright. I have low expectations of the eighteenth century, and am darned tired of being disappointed by the twenty-first century.

  3. ortho stice on 01 Sep 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    I’m proud to be the first commenter at historiann.com to extend my heart-felt congratulations and well-wishes to Bristol. She has made a tough, but good choice that will change her and her future husband’s lives forever. She is a role model for young women throughout the nation.

    Historiann, Senator Biden’s remarks are yet again, another blatant example of so-called “acceptable” sexism. I’m willing to wager all of my salary that many white men laughed along with the gray-headed Biden.

    Lastly, as a Christian, I fail to see the humor in your painting of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. I know it’s a joke, but I ain’t laughing. Jesus would not think Senator Biden was a “dumbass.” Instead, Jesus might use Senator Biden’s remarks to teach us how to identify and fight one of the oppressive power systems that structure U.S. society.

  4. Historiann on 01 Sep 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    He probably would–and I meant no disrespect to Him. In posting that picture, I was making fun of the people who are being so self-righteous in their attempts to smear Palin and her children, which I think is just sick as well as bad strategy. As He once said: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    I realize schadenfreude isn’t a very Christian emotion, but it’s dee-lish! (And, I’m really *trying* not to be self-righteous about how I saw this all coming on Friday and Saturday, and how I tried to warn people…)

  5. Just SEXISM « mirabile dictu on 01 Sep 2008 at 2:28 pm #

    [...] the posts, and comments, at Shakesville, and Historiann for a better [...]

  6. ana on 01 Sep 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    Perhaps it is important to keep in mind that “Democrats” is a Really broad term. I don’t think that loud voices expressing these sorts of opinions and commentaries are representative of “Democrats”. It is one of the downsides, perhaps, of the current state of communications and news technology that a few can propel their message so far and wide as to make it seem more representative than it really is. For the most part, it seems to me, the Obama campaign is steering clear of the muck (Biden’s comment an exception) and there are plenty of news/commentary sources that are keeping their eyes and mouths on the real issues. This is not to say that those few loud voices aren’t giving ‘the rest of us’ a bad name nor to ignore the danger that said voices pose to the campaign. I only say this because keeping it in mind has given me some comfort and kept me from absolutely exploding in the face of the stupidity.

  7. Historiann on 01 Sep 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    Ana, good points. Obama has called off the dogs, and is reminding them that his own mother gave birth to him at age 18.

    I guess what many of us in the blogosphere find so disappointing is that blogs we formerly read and enjoyed, like DailyKos, Americablog, and Talking Points Memo, were mobbed by Hillary Clinton haters, who seem to have morphed into Sarah Palin haters. (See this roundup at Tennessee Guerrilla Woman.) Furthermore, these voices are dominant over those of us who are committed to women’s rights and keeping the discussion on the issues. It’s not just the misogyny–although that would be bad enough–it’s the fact that I think this poison is just crappy politics!

    But, thanks for stopping by to comment. Please don’t explode in the face of the stupidity! We need you.

  8. RadReadr on 01 Sep 2008 at 3:48 pm #

    Historiann- it sounds like you are defending an car-carrying NRA member who opposes choice and wants to drill more than what has already been allotted to the disaster capitalism crowd. Is focusing on Biden’s comments sticking to the issues? And I disagree with Ortho that the stupid comments people make “teach us how to identity and fight oppressive systems.” That type of thinking leads us to the failure of identity politics, which brought us first Clarence Thomas and now Palin, who is the ultimate insult to Hillary.

    It’s time to let it go and get focused again!!!

  9. Historiann on 01 Sep 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    Rad–I don’t like Palin’s policies any more than you do, but I wish Dems would 1) treat her like the serious candidate she is, and 2) stop the panty-sniffing and slut-shaming! She’s done more good for McCain in three days than McCain did all summer–and having to come out and announce her eldest daughter’s pregnancy? Well, who do you think will win the sympathy of the American people–a 17-year old girl, or a bunch of creepy Dem bully-bloggers who couldn’t contain themselves in their fantasies about her sex life and her mother’s sex life?

    I have been counseling Dems since my first post to stick to the issues–and Palin gives us plenty of those.

  10. Rad readr on 01 Sep 2008 at 4:39 pm #

    I don’t think you can blame the Dems for all of the “panty-sniffing.” The web is packed with that stuff, not to mention that the National Enquirer now actually leads some of the mainstream media on coverage of certain issues. Troopergate was a story before she was named VP candidate.

    She’s not a serious candidate because she hasn’t been vetted to deal with the pressures of the blogosphere and other spheres. The other contenders were more serious because of experince and prominence in national politics. Even Dan Quayle had a run in the Senate. In terms of issues, yes, she wants to teach creationism (good for debate in English class), and she doesn’t believe in global warming. Finally, in terms of issues of concern to certain religious voters, don’t they oppose premarital sex? Won’t it affect Palin’s ethos in defending abstinence only if she can’t even get her daughter to listen.

  11. Susan on 01 Sep 2008 at 6:26 pm #

    Historiann,
    I’m a cynical historian, and I don’t believe anyone. So I’m not completely convinced that the story about Trig isn’t true — there are enough weird bits (Palin’s waters broke & she got on a plane for 8 hours? She was carrying a 6 lb baby and was barely showing?). I suppose we’ll see when Bristol has the baby, right? Now, if the scuzzy rumors are true, what disturbs me is NOT that Bristol is pregnant etc., but the attempt to hide it. The whole sex/shame thing is part of what we still struggle with.

    And yes, Biden’s attempt at humor was lame. Like you, I wish people would deal with the issues — that Palin is uninterested in issues like health care, thinks oil drilling=energy policy, etc.

  12. Historiann on 01 Sep 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    Palin is a serious candidate because SHE IS THE REPUBLICAN VP NOMINEE. You may not like her or her policies, but mocking her is not appropriate. You will never convince me that this derision and skepticism about her would be expressed about a man with exactly her experience. She may flame out, she may crash and burn–but going after bogus rumors is not helpful.

    I am surprised that so many of you seem to care more about her sex life and her daughter’s sex life! Just please consider: what would you say about Republicans and right-wing websites ginning up this kind of rumor mill for a liberal democrat? I don’t think you’d be so happy to hop on the bandwagon.

  13. Beth on 02 Sep 2008 at 8:29 am #

    While I agree whole-heartedly that sex and reproductive lives of candidates and their families should be totally off-limits, it does seem (to echo a point made over at Feministing) that one thing can be said in relation to Bristol Palin’s pregnancy. In her initial statement, Sarah Palin described Bristol’s “choice” to take the pregnancy to term. Given Palin’s pro-life stance, this a “choice” that she believes her daughter should not legally be allowed should to make. That kind of hypocrisy–getting mileage by framing the decision as a choice while believing the choice should be illegal–seems like something we can talk about.

    But not for very long. Because once that’s been said, there’s not a whole lot else to talk about it in regards to this issue. Time to move on to health care, global warming, torture, income inequality, the mortgage crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and warrantless wiretapping–all issues me and my lady-brain care a whole lot more about….

  14. Historiann on 02 Sep 2008 at 8:35 am #

    Did Palin describe her daughter’s “choice” as one to take her pregnancy to term, or her choice to marry the father and raise the child? (Link, please!) Adoption is another choice in the mix, and that may be the choice that Palin alluded to.

    I disagree with you that there’s any “hypocrisy” here, even if her use of “choice” alluded to the now-legal choice between abortion and continuing the pregnancy. That seems to be splitting a pretty fine hair. Hypocrisy would be hustling her down to Seattle for an abortion because a teenage pregnancy would be bad politically for Sarah Palin. But–that’s not what’s happening!

    Ask yourself: what if Palin were a liberal democrat? What if Bristol were your daughter? What makes this OK because Palin is a right-wing Republican?

  15. Beth on 02 Sep 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/09/02/palins_daughter_17_is_pregnant/?p1=Well_MostPop_Emailed5

    In the announcement, Palin said, “We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby.” Which could mean either a choice between abortion and carrying the fetus to term, or between raising it herself and putting it up for adoption. Though it sounds more like the former to me. This is the Feministing post I referenced, which pretty much captures my feelings: http://www.feministing.com/archives/010762.html

    And, eh. I think my response to this would be about the same if Palin were a liberal democrat–two parts “it’s none of my business” and one part “huh. i wonder what this tells me about the VP candidate’s beliefs about abortion, privacy, and the autonomy of female bodies?” I’m not interested in slut-shaming–just in what Sarah Palin’s public statements tell me about her views on abortion. Also, if Palin were a liberal democrat, the conflict I pointed to probably wouldn’t exist–a pro-choice Democrat could honestly support her daughter’s “choice.”

    And if it were my own daughter–I would support her in her choice, but it would probably also make me confront in a more personal, immediate way my own beliefs about abortion, privacy and the autonomy of female bodies.

  16. Historiann on 02 Sep 2008 at 9:17 pm #

    Thanks for the links, Beth. I see what you’re saying. And, I think it’s totally fair game to go after her (anti) abortion politics–and I hope that Democrats will–but without any reference to Bristol! It doesn’t really matter what’s going on in the Palin family–what matters is how her policy positions, if implemented, would hurt your family and mine.

    Remember how well it played in 2004 when John Kerry pointed out that Dick Cheney has a gay daughter? It was true, and it was true that the Bush administration’s policies harmed gay families, but it didn’t win Kerry any points, and in fact he was effectively spun as the bully.