Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Palin not on board Straight Talk Express

I really wanted to blog about this but I could not say this better than one of my favorite writers Mary Mitchell.

Mary Mitchell :: printer friendly »

MARY MITCHELL marym@suntimes.com
ST. PAUL -- Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant.
Those are the last words a 44-year-old woman with an infant wants to hear from a teenage daughter.
Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell
Not many of us can truly say we want to become a granny before we qualify for our AARP discount membership card.
But Palin, John McCain's surprise pick for VP, is a real trouper.
"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news, that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents," Sarah and Todd Palin said in a statement released Monday.
When an unmarried 17-year-old girl comes up pregnant on the South Side of Chicago, Republicans don't make it sound like a beautiful thing.
They call it tragic and a moral failure, and they often blame the teen's parents.
There's no way to put a positive spin on a teen in this kind of trouble.
Indeed, teenage pregnancies rose by 3 percent between 2005 and 2006, the first increase since 1991, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Unfortunately, leaders like Palin are part of the problem.
When she was running for governor in 2006, Palin said she would fund abstinence-only programs and that "explicit sex-ed programs" would not get her support.
But studies have proven that abstinence-only programs alone don't work.
Given her daughter's predicament, Palin might want to rethink her position.
Although it sounds nice that Bristol will be marrying the "young man" who fathered her child, the fact of the matter is marriage is hard work for adults, let alone a teenager.
And when 17-year-old girls decide to throw caution to the wind and risk their sexual health by having unprotected sex, then they haven't been paying attention to the messages adults have been sending.
But Palin, who is being touted as the down-to-earth candidate who can appeal to the working class, sounded like any other politician when she talked about her daughter's "news."
"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family," Palin said.
More malarkey.
This is not good news, nor is it something the average woman wants to deal with, especially in the public arena.
Palin should have acknowledged the disappointment and pain any mother feels when she learns her teenage daughter has stumbled onto this tough road.
But Palin hid behind scripted words and blew the chance to have an honest dialogue about a problem that affects Republicans and Democrats alike.
Still, some good can come from all of this after all.
Conservatives like Palin have been hard on young, unwed, pregnant women in urban areas.
Maybe now that she is in the same boat, they'll show a little

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