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I had finally done it. I had purged my memory of the name, Sarah Palin.
The not-ready-for-prime-time governor of Alaska – chosen to be last year’s GOP vice-presidential nominee by John McCain after he couldn’t get his first choice, the quasi-Democrat Joe Lieberman – was sent back to obscurity in Juneau to deal with all sorts of political and personal problems. She had her 15 1/2 minutes of fame, but – mercy – at last, she was gone.
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Then, suddenly, there was Bristol Palin on national TV. You remember Bristol, the poster child of teenage pregnancy. The daughter of Sarah-the-Christian-moralist, Bristol (17 and unmarried), had gotten the Big Belly thanks to a sexual escapade with Levi Johnston. Remember him? He was the impregnating teenage boyfriend who was lovingly pictured at the GOP convention holding hands with Bristol as her parents beamed at them. All involved promised that a proper wedding would come soon – before the baby, at least.
But, gosh, once the political spotlight dimmed, so did the marriage promise. Instead of going smoochie-smooch, the Palins and Johnstons are now sniping at each other like the Hatfields and McCoys.
This would be just another sad, country-western song – except that the whole Palin clan has thrust themselves back into the national spotlight as sexual moralists! Backed by her parents (and perhaps pushed by them), Bristol has signed on as a spokesperson for a company promoting – believe it or not – sexual abstinence for teenagers! “I just want to go out there and promote abstinence,” says Bristol, who obviously did not deprive herself of the opposite of abstinence.
Can these people even spell “hypocrisy,” much less comprehend the concept? Okay, Bristol is young, but what does it say about her parents that they would throw her into this media circus?
“Bristol Palin’s New Gig,” www.nytimes.com, May 7, 2009.