Political Animal


May 10, 2012 5:35 PM Palins Our Punishment Forever

By Ed Kilgore

There was good news and bad news for Sarah Palin in the self-consciously ridiculous Public Policy Polling survey of Iowans for their preferences in the 2016 presidential contest (I mean, Caucus campaigning starts pretty damn early, but not this early!). On the one hand, she has an impressive 70/17 favorable/unfavorable rating among Iowa Republicans. On the other hand, only 10% of them chose her as their 2016 presidential favorite, tied for fourth with Jeb Bush.

But there’s fresh evidence that Palin’s real motive in life, other than continuing to pose as the ultimate pain-free martyr, is to keep the family name in our faces for, well, as long as any of us live. And it’s on that depressing note that I observe in terror that Bristol Palin is back in the news as a political blogger.

Yes, on the day after the president’s announcement of support for same-sex marriage, Alaska’s best known sexual abstinence advocate/unwed mother is lighting up conservative browsers everywhere with an attack on Obama for paying attention to his daughters’ opinions.

If you have your blood pressure under control, you can read the whole mess, but her train of logic seems to be that everybody gets all alarmed by the possibility that Christian women might submit to their husbands if they run for public office, and here’s The One submitting to his daughters, and everybody thinks that’s just fine!

I got angry enough about Bristol’s planted axiom that only conservative Republican women like Michele Bachmann (and presumably Bristol’s own mother) are “Christians” that I barely made it to the second howler. Not that she is listening, but someone really ought to inform her that people wondered about Bachmann submitting to her husband because she was repeatedly on record saying that’s exactly what she did, as a matter of Divine Law. Lots of Dominionist-influenced Christian Nationalists say and think that, you betcha! The questions did not come out of the blue.

While they are at it, Ms. Palin’s interlocuters might want to explain to her that when discussing same-sex marriage as something of a generational issue, it was rather natural for Obama to mention the views of immediate family members from a younger generation! I mean, they are right there at the White House; he didn’t have to hire a pollster or anything!

To be clear, I am not mocking Bristol Palin when I offer these responses. She has the last laugh on me, and on all of us. Like her mother, she has a knack of luring people who know better into paying attention to her rants. In my defense, I’ll say that some of Sarah Palin’s most casual, fact-free rants have wound up in national GOP talking points, leading millions of anxious seniors to believe that the President of the United States wants to have them euthanized. It’s sometimes best to get a head start on Palin-generated nonsense, or in this case, on the next generation of Palins.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Eeyore on May 10, 2012 6:52 PM:

    Let me get this straight.... A former 16-year old high school girl gets pregnant, has a child out of wedlock, refuses to marry the father, kicks the father out of the child's life, and then criticizes the President of the United States for being a bad father by listening to his girls and accepting gay marriage????

    This causes my brain to leak out of my ear.

  • FreedomLover on May 10, 2012 6:54 PM:

    Ed, why respond to her at all? All you are doing is showing that Palin has hooked you into caring what she or her daughter might have to say. They are idiots, and the sooner they are ignored the better. By commenting on them you give them life.

    Ignore the trolls, damnit.

  • SBcardinal on May 10, 2012 7:11 PM:

    @FreedomLover, gotta respectfully disagree. The best way to deal with trolls is to mock the hell out of them. If Bristol Palin thinks she can lecture any of us about ANYTHING, she deserves all the derision we can heap.

  • Lev @ LibraryGrape.com on May 10, 2012 7:14 PM:

    What's more interesting to me is that Hillary's position for 2016 seems pretty impregnable--she didn't draw anywhere near those polling numbers in 2008, and there was always a pretty strong anti-Hillary faction back then that apparently doesn't exist anymore. I wonder if she goes for it...She still has a few key deficiencies, though she now actually does have some authentic managerial experience at a very high level now, which changes the equation a bit. And a lot of the people she had around her that worried me--Dick Holbrooke, Wes Clark, Mark Penn--aren't much in her orbit anymore. But it really looks like it would be a cakewalk for her at this point--her work at State seems to have really enhanced her image. (Mark Warner at 0% seems right to me, though...guy was supposed to be some sort of force in the Democratic Party, but he's turned out to be a less annoying Evan Bayh.)

    Palin's star just continues to drop. She's exciting as a (putative) politician but utterly dull as a person, and nobody watches her crappy reality shows because of that. Conservatives like the idea of her hunting a moose, they don't want to actually see that because it's mundane. I doubt either Santorum or Huckabee really has a chance in 2016...they've made plenty of money but they sure aren't super-rich, monetarily or culturally. I don't even think Christie will win another term as governor, he'll go nuclear on Cory Booker at a debate or something and lose. (Or maybe won't run again?) Jeb will consider running and then pass. Other than that, who the heck knows? One election at a time.

  • bdop4 on May 10, 2012 7:17 PM:

    The Palin family is a grifting mill whose sole concern is to milk the public for every dime they have for as long as possible. If they werent' "celebrities," theyd'e be putting stings on elderly people.

    The more you talk about them, the longer they have to peddle their wares.

  • hells littlest angel on May 10, 2012 7:22 PM:

    That poll asked Iowa teabaggers their views for 2016 on the same crop of shit-heads that ran for President in 2012. Fantastic. I can't think of anything that would be better for this country than to give that string of turds another look-see in 2016 -- I think the Republican party is dead, but some more nails in the coffin couldn't hurt.

  • DGH on May 10, 2012 7:34 PM:

    With apologies to Mitt Romney, I'll bet you $10K that she's got a ghostwriter. Like mother, like daughter. Especially when it comes to Sarah & Bristol, the Meanest Girls of the GOP!

  • karen on May 10, 2012 7:36 PM:

    It would, of course, be absurd to expect any self-awareness from this child, but it's pretty obvious whose mother never listened to her daughter.

  • Col Bat Guano on May 10, 2012 7:54 PM:

    Why can't we mock Bristol Palin now? She appears to be an adult who is offering her political opinions to the world. The fact that she appears to be a stupid as her mother should be pointed out.

  • Bonnie on May 10, 2012 8:33 PM:

    One of my pet peeves is so-called "Christians" sitting in judgment of other so-called "Christians."

  • IDTT on May 10, 2012 8:50 PM:

    Didn't Sarah Palin say she consulted her family prior to accepting Sen McCain's VP offer?

  • IDTT on May 10, 2012 8:51 PM:

    Didn't Sarah Palin say she consulted her family prior to accepting Sen McCain's VP offer?

  • Mark on May 10, 2012 9:14 PM:

    Of course she has a ghostwriter! Very sad comentary that news outlets actually continue to pay attention to this family

  • rrk1 on May 10, 2012 9:21 PM:

    Who gives a damn what any member of that demented clan says on any subject. To dignify anything they say by even acknowledging they said it is already a violation of good taste and good sense.

  • MaryRC on May 11, 2012 2:16 AM:

    This is why I wish the President wouldn't bring his daughters into the public conversation at all. It just makes them targets for these knuckledraggers.

  • c u n d gulag on May 11, 2012 6:46 AM:

    Ah, Bristol and the Palin Clan!

    Stains on the body politic, and STD lesions (Stupid’s Transmitting Discontent) whose marks will forever disfigure this country.

    And you have to ask yourself, who’s stupider - members of the Palin Clan, or the feckin’ people who solicit their opinions?

  • CJWhite on May 11, 2012 9:29 AM:

    According to Immoral Minority her ghostwriter is Nancy French. The poor thing really is too stupid to write much more than lame tweets with 140 spelling errors.

  • g on May 11, 2012 11:13 AM:

    Didn't Sarah Palin say she consulted her family prior to accepting Sen McCain's VP offer?

    Ah, yes, thanks for the reminder. That was one of her stories, anyway. It was early in the campaign and she was burnishing her mythology. It was contradicted by other stories that she and Todd lied to the kids that they were going to a family reunion in Dayton, and didn't tell them she was running until they were already there.

    I remember that "family-voted" story mainly because of the odd, disconnected way Palin spoke about her oldest son, Track, whom she didn't consult because he had just been deployed in the army. She said something like "didn't ask Track for his vote 'cause he was off doin' his thing" - an odd way for a mom to talk about her child who's just going off into a combat zone.

  • smartalek on May 11, 2012 2:21 PM:

    g, above, has both a better memory than mine, and a more complete and accurate take on winger "thinking."
    I was going to point out that, for a Publican woman, "consulting with family" means securing permission from husband.
    But of course, g's closer to the core reality of wingnuts:
    everything they say is a lie.