A listener wrote me the other day to give me a swift kick in the a** over what he regarded as “going soft” on Palin. Reason? On the show this week, Bruno and I discussed how we agree with the general consensus that, while Palin’s legislative record is certainly fair game for criticism, her family and lifestyle choices are not. Among other things, Bruno and I realized that for such inarticulate butchers of the English language as ourselves, it’ll be very difficult to criticize the Soccer (ahem, “hockey”) Mom-in-Chief and not sound like a patronizing sexist.
But I’ve been convinced otherwise.
Reason? Palin’s values — notably her adamant anti-choice stance and her firm opposition to sex education in schools — are very much central to her candidacy. Thus, as our listener noted, the fact that Palin’s own personal life (in particular the pregnancy of her teenage daughter) is Exhibit A in the case against those values makes her personal life fair game for criticism.
So, accept Palin’s stance against sex education as a personal decision if you want to. But then you also have to accept that teenage pregnancy is a well-known consequence of a failure to educate. Do you really want someone who hews so closely to discredited ideas (ideas that are discredited by HER OWN LIFE EXPERIENCE!) to be your Vice President?
I don’t think so. But if Palin wins, get ready for four more years of Bush-style “so what if I’m wrong” governance.