I am so totally obsessed with the Sarah Palin controversies. And it isn’t just that I don’t like her policies, I have become obsessed with the vagaries of her personal life. And, Obama is right, they have very little to do with what kind of a veep or president she will be. But, I am obsessed anyway.
The problem the Republicans have is that questions about her family and whether she is lying aren’t going to go away. They are too juicy and her responses too problematic for us as a people to move on. When every answer someone gives you leads to more questions, and these questions have to do with underage sex and cover ups, well, how can we not want to know more.
I asked my husband if my fascination was perhaps just a woman thing. This is after all about pregnancy. He said no, he was really curious to know the truth as well. This is basically the major topic of conversation in our household now, which says a lot because we are currently potty training our 3 year old.
As for Gov. Palin’s insistence that we give her family privacy, well, that ain’t gonna happen. Here’s why. When asked to prove she is the biological mother of Trig (the 4 month old with down’s syndrome and a super cute baby by the way), instead of trotting out her doctor to verify her maternity and delivery, she instead tells us it couldn’t be her daughter Bristol because Bristol is pregnant and became pregnant in the weeks (not months) subsequent to Trig’s birth. This, of course, doesn’t prove anything and thrusts Bristol straight into the spotlight.
Now, I don’t really care if Bristol is pregnant or not and I don’t care if Sarah is the real mother of Trig or not (ok, yes I do). But from a political standpoint, what I do care about is whether or not Sarah is lying. She obviously is capable of lying given the falsehood in her introduction speech. The questions about Trig and Bristol are legitimate political fodder in that we do need to know if she is a pathological liar before we decide to elect her and these are things we should be able to actually verify – which is important to do before you start labeling someone a pathological liar.
Pathological liars lie about everything. Not just about issues they think can get them ahead. Everything. I worked with someone like this last year and it was horrible. The explanations Sarah has provided to the few questions asked of her remind me of the person I used to work with. Details so fabulous, family crisis ongoing and so horrible they require hospitalization are a routine fixture of the stuff that came out of my co-workers mouth. The question with Sarah though, is how much, if anything of what she is telling us is a lie. It could be everything. There could be nuggets of truth in her stories, or everything could be true. If everything is true though, she is a super major control freak. Seriously.
Ok – so to elucidate my supposition that she is lying about her family’s issues, and to help you understand the really fantastic bits about this story that have me so intrigued, I am going to pretend I am having a one on one conversation with her. That way you can judge for yourself whether you think her statements are truth or fiction. I will not be quoting her directly, but I will be providing you the basic facts she has provided to the public.
Me (Q): Wow – you just had a baby 4 months ago and you look fabulous.
Sarah (S): Thank you.
Q: Just wondering though, you didn’t look pregnant at all at 7 months along, that is pretty amazing.
S: I hid it well with baggy clothes.
Q: Well, you did a great job. It is weird though that you have taken down pictures from the Governor’s website showing you late in the pregnancy wearing skintight clothes without a hint of being pregnant. I heard you went into labor while in Texas.
S: Yes, I was at a Governor’s meeting and my water broke and I was having contractions, so I got on a plane and went home to have the baby.
Q: You got on a plane after your water broke? Isn’t that dangerous? Shouldn’t you have gone to a local hospital?
S: Well, yeah, but I called my doctor and she said I should come home.
Q: But it was an 8-hour flight and you are 44 and this is your 5th baby. Even if your water hadn’t broken you were already in labor as you say. You could have had the baby on the plane.
S: My doctor said it would be ok.
Q: Can we talk to your doctor to verify all this?
S: No, her information is no longer on the hospital website, you will have a really hard time tracking her down.
Q: Oh. Ok…. Well, according to pretty much every ob-gyn in America, your baby is very lucky to be alive.
S: Yes, we are so very pleased.
Q: Another question. Why when you landed after this 8-hour flight, having had your water break back in Texas, did you then drive over 2 hours to go to your local hospital for the delivery when there were 2 really good hospitals with neonatal units available on the way?
S: I really wanted to use my local doctor.
Q: Oh, ok. Well, is it true, you went back to work 3 days after delivery and chaired an all day meeting?
S: Yes, I had a lot of work to do and when I had Piper 8 years ago, I did the same thing.
S: I just like to work hard.
Q: Interesting, photos of you a couple of weeks after Trig was born, and you don’t look like you are 2 weeks postpartum at all! I took the liberty of downloading these pictures of Trig’s baby shower off the internet. Didn’t want them to mysteriously disappear like all the other photos. You got your figure back immediately! Pretty amazing for a woman your age.
S: Well, I didn’t gain much weight during the pregnancy.
Q: Again – just amazing. You know there are rumors out there that Bristol is the actual mother of Trig.
S: She couldn’t be, she is currently pregnant herself. 5 months along to be exact, so she couldn’t be Trig’s mom. I am.
Q: Ok…. That just means she became pregnant right around the time Trig was born. Why did you pull Bristol from school for the 5 months preceding the birth of Trig?
S: Bristol had a really bad case of mono.
Q: How bad is bad? Bad cases of mono usually last about 7 – 10 days. You can feel wiped out for the next month or so, but you aren’t contagious. So, wouldn’t that be like, 2 months tops? She was out for 5 months total and only resurfaced after Trig was born. Photos taken of her during this time, which I can’t show you because they have all been removed from the variety of websites that had them, all showed her looking a bit pregnant.
S: Well she wasn’t, and her case of mono was incredibly bad – worst anyone in the US has ever seen. It was simply a coincidence that she got better right after Trig was born and we pulled those photos out of concern for her privacy.
Q: Ok. So, let me get this straight. She wasn’t pregnant before, but is now, and she got pregnant when she was out with a bad case of mono. Is her boyfriend ok? Did he come down with mono too?
S: No comment and please stop prying into our families affairs.
Q: Well, why when asked if you were really Trig’s mother did you not just ask your doctor to verify this simple fact. Why did you instead trot out your daughter’s current pregnancy as unconvincing proof that she isn’t Trig’s mother?
S: Look, this is a very trying time and I don’t want you prying into our private affairs.
Q: Ok, don’t get so testy. But it is a little weird that you said she is going to marry the father, and he doesn’t seem to want to. Lets talk about some of your political scandals instead. Regarding Troopergate, did you fire the state’s police commissioner because he refused to fire your brother in law, who is involved in a bitter custody dispute with your sister?
S: No I didn’t, but if I did, it was warranted. He had threatened my sister and was holding his gun during an argument with her, was threatening to kill her and my father. I saw the whole thing through the window, so did my son. That man should not be wearing a uniform.
Q: You witnessed your brother in law threatening your sister with a gun and you just stood outside while this happened and didn’t intervene? Shouldn’t you have called the police, filed a police report and asked to have him arrested immediately? At the minimum, a restraining order might have been a good idea.
S: No comment.
My thoughts on this whole affair
Ok – as I said, it is entirely possible she is telling the truth. If she is, she is a control freak that doesn’t use very good judgment and probably isn’t’ that well educated. Any woman knows you shouldn’t be flying after your water has broken and while she could have remained svelt during her 5th pregnancy, it would have taken a real resolve that is scary in its intensity.
If she is lying about something, it would be interesting to know which details are true and which aren’t? If she is Trig’s biological mother, she probably hadn’t gone into labor in Texas. If she had, she probably never called her doctor, and if she had, her doctor probably never told her to get on an 8-hour flight to come home to a rural hospital. Is Bristol really pregnant now, or is that just a postpartum body we are looking at. Are we going to be told about a stillbirth later that we are not allowed to talk to doctors and get independent verification on like we haven’t been able to do with Trig’s birth? All interesting questions both from the scandalous viewpoint, but also as a question of just what is this woman willing to lie about if she were to become president. Regardless, this level of lying is absolutely pathological. I would not trust her to be president, though I do really want to know what the real truth is, even if it does mean prying into her private life.
Oh, and be aware, when pathological liars are caught lying, it is normal for them to tell you not to talk to anyone else or get independent verification or to stop prying, because obviously, lies can only survive if no one challenges them or tries to find out the truth.
What about McCain?
Obviously, they didn’t vet her very well. Even if we believe them that she told them about Bristol’s pregnancy, they still didn’t vet her well. Obama’s guy in charge of researching her said he was the first person to ask for records from her local paper. The McCain team didn’t do that. According to staff at McCain’s campaign, they vetted her using Google and clipping services. They also talked to her. What they didn’t do is find out whether what she told them is even true. And, that is what is going to bite them in the bottom. It won’t take long for reporters to get to the truth of the matter. Apparently, Bristol’s pregnancy was an open secret, despite Sarah’s ruse that she is the mom. That is what you would expect in a small town. People aren’t stupid but they also don’t want to pry. After all, the little boy needs a loving family and however he gets that, he gets that. If they want to pretend Sarah is the mother, let them, it does no harm to no one and they are right. The problem is, she wants to be president and has been caught lying about things that don’t need to be lied about in this day and age. Again, a sign that Sarah is a control freak.
McCain showed bad judgment not just in picking her, but in picking her without doing the research he should have done to know what he was signing up for.
Ok – the only bit about this story that is annoying me is that pro-lifer’s are grasping this story about how wonderful it is that she doesn’t just say she is pro-life, she chooses to live that commitment by having a baby with downs syndrome. And how wonderful it is that her daughter, despite being a teenager has also chosen to keep her baby and get married.Oh, and how progressive she is that despite her religious views, she is acting like a modern mother, something the rest of us have been doing for decades now.
All well and good, and I am pleased with their choices. What I am annoyed with is the idea that people who are pro-choice would have chosen differently. People, regardless of position on choice, have made the exact same choices as the Palin family has. After all, people choose to have children all the time.
What the religious right is missing is that they are praising the family’s choice! That’s right. It was the mother’s choice. Not the state’s choice. And that is all that we who are pro-choice are advocating. Stop pretending that we who advocate choice want people to choose death. We do not. We are always thrilled when people choose life. We just think that the only person who can make that choice is the mother herself. Not the state.
Apparently, the Palin family agrees, but only if it is their family. Other people’s family planning choices should be chosen by the state, because everyone else can’t be trusted.