Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bristol Palin - a mirror, not an issue 
Barack Obama's statement about Bristol Palin being off-limits was, mostly, right on. Even though her pregnancy was put into public play by her mother, the presumptive VP candidate, she's still a kid and her private life should be just that - private.

But one of the reasons I can't just let it go is that it is so reflective of larger themes being played out in this election cycle. What it's really about is neither Bristol Palin's poor choices (who, as a teenager, didn't make some really bonehead choices?) nor her mother's parenting style or abilities. It's about how Sarah Palin wants to force us all to follow rules that do not work even for her or her family.

It demonstrates yet again in small, as Iraq and Katrina demonstrated in large, that the doofuses currently in ascendance in the Republican Party operate with a world-view based in fantasy. In Republican-world, what one wishes for is actually what is true, simply because one has wished it (e.g. - Teens won't have sex if we just tell them not to and don't teach them anything about it; Iraqis will throw flowers at our troops and won't fight back after we invade their country; Cities won't flood if we stop spending money on flood control; Bridges won't collapse when we stop spending money on highway maintenance; etc. ad nauseum).

Not to say that I'm a huge fan of Kissinger-style realpolitik, but you can't deal with problems as they really exist if you pretend they're not really there, right in front of you. That's how our government has dealt with things for the last 7 years, and that's how Bush (the younger), Cheney, McCain, Palin, and their ideological peers operate. And we're long past able to afford it.

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