As hurricane Gustav blew into the Gulf Coast on the tail end of the Labor Day weekend, the Republican party is laboring to gain control of the bombshell revelation that 17-year old Bristol Palin (pictured left) the daughter of the newly-selected GOP vice-presidential pick Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is five months pregnant.
The mainstream media was quick to jump on the story during a lull created by the GOP's postponement of many of the headline speakers at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. It's a top item on each of the national network news broadcasts as well as the BBC television news this evening.
The reaction from the public is mixed. There was a sarcastic tone to many of the blogged responses on the New York Times Website who view the GOP's continual moralizing as wearisome hypocracy given the slew of GOP US Representatives and Senators nabbed for everything from bribery to child molestation in the past 8 years.
Many Republicans and Democrats alike (including Barack Obama) were quick to point out that Sarah Palin's daughter being pregnant is a personal family matter that should not become part of the national political debate.
But it is and will be. Particularly given that the Bush administration has packed the Supreme Court with judges determined to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that recognizes a woman's right to have an abortion and also actively campaigned to end federal funding for stem cell research.
If the Republican candidates hadn't waved the "Family Values" flag over the heads of Democrats and painted their party as morally superior, it might not be as big a story.
But Palin actively supports an abstinence-only policy towards teen sex. She also home-schooled the unwed teen mother who's decision to keep her baby and marry her boyfriend Levi is now at the center of the presidential race. What does that say about Governor Palin?
Interestingly it was the blogosphere, not the mainstream media, that thrust this story into the global spotlight; for weeks Websites like Dailykos.com have been rife with rumors that Trig, the young baby with Downs Syndrome who is the youngest of Sarah Palin's 5 kids is actually her daughter Bristol's child.
I'm a skeptic in this matter.
As one blogger observed on the NYT Website, a pregnant teen who isn't married leaves a"trailer trash" impression in the media. It completely negates the wholesome flawless Alaskan family image the GOP was spinning for Palin, who is already being investigated for her role in the 527 group that supported Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens - who allegedly tried to conceal monetary gifts from oil company executives.
McCain must be kicking himself for not choosing Mitt Romeny, who's picture-perfect family and squeaky clean Mormon family life must now seem a God-send that is tantalizingly out of reach.
But McCain caved into, and decided to score points with, the right-wing Christian coalition members who look upon the Mormon religion with scorn and even consider parts of the Book of Mormon to be blasphemy against Jesus Christ.
While it is politically messy, the repercussions of Bristol Palin's sex life is not really high on my list of concerns for the nation. I think it pales in comparison with what's going on in Iraq (where Governor Palin's son is scheduled to be deployed this fall), a new form of Russian expansionism and the situation on the ground in Darfur.
Gas prices, skyrocketing prices for consumer goods and lack of health care for millions of Americans are more important than a 17 year-old's decision to have sex and get pregnant; I mean, come on, how many times a day does THAT happen in this nation?
What John McCain's VP choice is showing America is that Republicans have NO business lecturing people about family values, unwed teen mothers or abortion.
If she hadn't been home-schooled and had access to sex education, maybe she wouldn't be in this situation in the first place. Check out this guy from Youtube sharing some very interesting allegations of that Governor Palin covered up her daughter Bristol's pregnancy - he's got photos that he says show Governor Palin (photographed at the time prior to Trig's birth) standing next to her daughter that show Bristol with a bump, NOT the Governor! YOU decide!