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« Stirfry

Republicans to America: Go forth and multiply

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published September 9, 2008

Is there any question that had the Democratic ticket trotted out a pregnant 17-year-old unmarried daughter of the vice presidential nominee, Republicans would have spent their entire convention berating those godless, liberal Democrats for not having family values? Is there any doubt that the GOP gathering would have made the "A" word the party's rallying cry? Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder, according to these moralists.

An exaggeration you say? Do a Google search of conservative talking head Bill O'Reilly's comments about the unmarried pregnant sister of pop star Britney Spears.

Or, review Republican President Bush's foreign aid policy that prohibited dollars being spent on birth control programs. It's all about abstinence — even in Third World countries in the grips of an AIDS epidemic.

But yet, when Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, revealed that her 17-year-old unmarried daugher was pregnant, party faithful at the convention in St. Paul, Minn., were quick to tell any reporter who would listen that such teenage sex before marriage epitomizes family values. After all, the girl did not have an abortion and the young man, who was brought to the convention from Alaska, intends to marry Palin's daughter.

And by the way, the family intends to absorb all the costs for this blessed event, the GOPers said, making the distinction between the daughter a hockey/soccer mom getting pregnant while in her teens, and a daughter of a welfare recipient living in poverty in the inner city.

Get the idea?



1ChuckS(2 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

I have been reading your column and continued to be amazed at your liberal perspective ( "perspective" your point of view). First abstinence is the ONLY form of birth control that works 100% of the time, neglecting, of course artificial insemination. In addition to avoiding pregnancy, I have yet to hear of anyone with sexual transmitted AIDs who acquired it from abstinence. I agree that abstinence is difficult, but it is not impossible. For a 100% insurance against unplanned or unwanted pregnancies is works, and those who do not practice it gets to pay the consequences of their actions. Including Sarah Palin's daughter. It's about being responsible for one's own actions.

I don't recollect Palin saying that her daughters unplanned pregnancy "epitomizes" anything. I do know that she expressed mixed emotions about her daughter learning to grow up faster than Sarah Palin had hoped and probably more than her daughter planned. It is entirely appropriate for palin's family to support her daughter, even if out of their own pocket. I't the adult thing to do, rather than having a "nanny government" rescue people from their own behavior. (I also think the same way about the massive government bailouts of the banks and mortgage industries. By the way, where and when did Palin make and explicit distinction between her daughter and the impoverished inner city teens, except in your own mind. I do agree however that the distinction is there, and I am glad that you pointed it out.

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2ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Way to go Bertram! Yet, I recall Jamie Lynn Spears being criticized by the right wing and she surely has the income to support her child and its future. I guess because they consider her "Hollywood" then its okay to criticize that teen and her family. I only hope that Sarah is actually available to Bristol for motherly support. Having one's first child is amazing yet terrifying at times. It sure would have been nice for Sarah to be around her daughter during the last trimester when things really start to change than on the campaign trail. I hope for her kids sake that she isn't dragging them around the country campaigning (especially an infant!). They need stability in their lives. And, I hope their father is actually home taking care of them for a change. Otherwise, what definition of family values are they using? And, since when do only Republicans have family values or are the only ones with true religious beliefs? Their narrow minds & attitudes are exactly what we don't need at this time in our country.

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3YummyMummy(1 comment)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

The silence from the usual posters is deafening. Way to go Bertram for pointing out the glaring truths. If that had been Sasha or Malia (Obama's daughters), then they would have been crowned the "new welfare queens" for 2008 and blamed for the demise of values in America.

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4Bull_Chip(170 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

“teenage sex before marriage epitomizes family values”

Sorry Bertram, that was not a home run, it was more of a foul ball. What does epitomize family values is the family taking responsibility in caring for the daughter and her child.

Since you are finding fault with public reaction to an out of wedlock birth by Republicans, what do you suggest? Condemn the mother? Would you suggest the same for the majority of children born in the city of Youngstown?

You do not find a way to attack the mother, so you attack her children? Or are you attacking conservative Christians for not lynching her?

Would you have been happier if both mother and daughter had abortions? Then Mrs. Palin would not have been received well by the Republican base.

Or is it that you are just jealous that your saint Obama is so weak in experience that he could not have even imagined having someone with less than 40 years in government as a running mate and therefore could not even vet Hillary?

No, personal attacks on unrelated issues epitomizes the liberal mode of argument. Misdirection, obfuscation and disingenuous arguments are the norm. Urban legends, emotions and myths are given more credence than solid facts.

When Mr. Obama is shown to have attended the black liberation theology church with its obvious racial views for 20 years, that was said to be an unfair personal attack. But what it really did was show the true character and beliefs of the man. Using Mr. Obama’s middle name is said to be an unfair personal attack. I beg your pardon?

But it is perfectly permissible for MR. Obama to say that ‘if you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig’ when referring to the Republican ticket after Mrs. Palin’s lipstick comment and then deny there was any relation to Mrs. Palin. It is perfectly permissible to attack Mrs. Palin for allowing a Downs Syndrome child to be born or to have a pregnant daughter who will be allowed to have her child and paid and cared for by the family or for being a working mother.

Bertram, Youngstown is the epitome of liberal Democrat values. As a conservative Republican Christian, I continue to support charities that provide services to the needy in Youngstown and continue to volunteer my time in working with underprivileged and handicapped children. Due to liberal Democrat values and polices, those donations and support are still needed and will be for the foreseeable future.

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5ChuckS(2 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago



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6ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

BTW Bertram, why is this called "Stirfry Blog"? Just curious.

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7HonorTruth(4 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, Bull_Chip but when the Family Values crowd-who is more than happy how to tell my family how to behave-fails their own family, I get to tell the Family Values crowd to pay attention to their own family first.

Sadly, many families don't support their unwed daughter's like the Palin's are. Those girls are forced out onto the street, and need a place to live and get pre-natal care. But in Palin's Alaska, she cut the funding for that kind of place, the Convenant House by 20%.

I don't see anyone criticizing Bristol, I see people questioning the parenting skills. Can someone tell me how it's in an unborn special needs baby's interest, when the mother's water breaks and she chooses to give a speech, to then take an 8 hour fight to Alaska, and then to drive past two hospitals, and finally go to the third to give birth?

Let's talk about Palin's experience and background. Are we allowed? I understand from the McCain campaign we have to show proper respect and reverance. Is she running for vice president or queen, by the way?

What we know is true is that Mayor Palin decided to build a hockey rink in town on land the town didn't own. No one bothered to check. She left the town with a pending lawsuit and a $20 million dollar budget deficit. She went from a balanced budget, and left with a huge deficit. Now that's Washington experience!

What we know is true is that she is under investigation for using her influence to have the supervisor of the state troopers fired, for not firing someone associated with a bad divorce in her family. (a bipartisan investigation which began before her VP nod) So she tried to misuse her position of authority to have a government employee fired. Now that's Washington experience!

Meanwhile, while Obama was in the US Senate, he authored 152 bills, and cosponsored another 427. Including the Coburn-Obama Govt Transparency Act, and the Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Conventional Weaposn Threat Reduction Act. Both of which became law.

And thanks for the mention of the latest fake issue created the the McCane folks--"lipstick on a pig". I sure you were equally outraged when McSame made the same comment about Hillary's heath care plan, or was it about Hillary? Or was this another attempt not to talk about the economic disaster that is the Bush/McCain policies in a "misdirection, obfuscation and disingenuous arguments" kind of way? Oh, that's what liberals do. oops.

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8ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Yay HonorTruth! Great post and well written. Oh yeah, speaking proper English and knowing the grammatical structure of the English language is now known as "elitist" thanks to Republican campaign spin. I guess I should feel bad about using a student loan for a summer study abroud program in France, too. I'm sure Republicans will find a way to make a college education "elitist" if and when it suits them like they've now made teen pregnancy a good thing to happen in one's life. ;)

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9th(61 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

for ytownoptimist:


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10ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago


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11JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Very good column.

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12NoBS(2757 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

HonorTruth asks the following about Sarah Palin:
"Is she running for vice president or queen, by the way?"

Ah, that's the heart of the issue. The Dems can't stand it that she's stolen a lot of their thunder. Saint Obama is no longer the main focus of everyone, and especially every media source, in the country. You people have no problem putting Obama up on that pedestal, lapping up his "rock star" performances. Now the other side has a young, vibrant go-getter, who actually has credentials (tell me again what executive office leadership skills Barry has? Tell me about the adversity he's had to overcome?) and she's stealing Obama's spotlight.

Too bad, so sad. Bitter much?

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13JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago


Check the polls that came out today if you are going to assert any stealing of thunder; it was all good before she actually had to start interacting (i.e. talking in a non-convention environment) with the electorate, now the true colors shine through.

Also growing up without a father is a pretty adverse situation and one that many people don't handle as well as Obama seems to have...in spite of that fact he was getting into big time colleges while Princess was having shotgun weddings and losing beauty contests.

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14cambridge(4052 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Time for another reality check on the governor of the great stat of Alaska.

Population of Columbus, Ohio = 747,755
Population of Alaska, USA = 670,053

Population of Wasilla, Alaska = 7000 + or -
Seating capacity of the Chevy Centre = 5,700

The distance from her home where she governed from to Juneau, Alaska were she was supposed to be = 600 + miles.
The distance from Y-town to Boston, Mass. = 601 miles.

Legislators in Juneau the capital ware yellow buttons that say "Where's Sara".

Also it's kind of ironic that she cut funding in Alaska for special needs children by 62%. Maybe her last child is a "task from God".

When you consider all the lies and corruption she has been called on and continues to look right into the camera and tell the same lies, she has lost all credibility.

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15ambidex(2 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

After decades spent with teens in public, private and parochial schools and a family of my own, I see the problem of unintended teen pregnancy differently. It seems that most, if not all loving responsible parents try hard to protect their own pregnant children from ridicule and provide the mother and the baby with proper medical care during and after pregnancy.

The task may not be more enjoyable but is much easier for families with adequate financial resources: wealthier parents can avoid family embarrassment and "hide" the pregnancies/babies; keep the teen out of school, transfer her or have her tutored at home; place the babies for adoption or abort them; sequester the teens in some other part of the country or with relatives.

In families without financial resources, the options are fewer and more painful: pregnant teens continue to go to school, go to work, see a doctor if/when there is time/money/transportation to do so; endure all kinds of hardships; have the baby; fall behind in school/drop out of school; get fired; find a relative to care for the baby...

The difference isn't so much about family values; it is more about the financial worth of the family. Many outstanding prominent families have had children stray from guidance of the parents. [Palin: case in point]

Recall the story of King David; great parents, a wealthy guy, a king. He committed adultery and then covered his crimes of rape, adultery and murder by sending the woman's husband into battle to be killed.

Centuries later in another story, there was the woman caught in the act of adultery [no indication in the story that she was either married or wealthy]--the good right wing conservative God-fearing righteous people wanted to stone her and almost succeeded in doing so.

We know David's conduct was inexcusable; but how do we know the woman in the later story was even consenting to the sexual act that made her an adultress?

Nevertheless, David is remembered as an ancestor of the Messiah, and the woman...just another woman who committed adultery. Remember, it takes two to tango! What ever happened to her partner?

Now I guess the questions is, Why would a mother with one infant of her own with Down Syndrome and another teen unwed pregnant daughter put them both on a stage before thousands of people and millions of viewers at a political convention, except for [you can finish this one]?

Surely, Sarah's salary as governor should be ample to allow her to insulate her children. On the one hand, she personally doesn't have to hide her children or even be embarrassed by their conduct; on the other hand, her option to put them in front of TV cameras in no way ensures privacy and protects them from public comment.

for ChuckS: Your's is a narrow view of conception: lots of women who practice abstinence conceive--usually because of some guy who doesn't practice abstinence or respect for women or both.

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