Human Rights

Sarah Palin's Outrageous Hypocrisy on Teen Sex

Palin knew her daughter was having sex in her own house. What does it take to get discredited as a right-wing "family values" merchant these days?

So step right up and buy your“I’m SEXY enough… to make you wait!” t-shirts, courtesy of the Candie’s Foundation — the pro-abstinence group whose ambassador is now America’s most famous “Oh, fuck it, it feels better without the rubber” Supermom, Bristol Palin!

So on a flight to London over the weekend I caught the Bristol Palin magazine cover and was blown away. What does it take to get discredited as a moralizing right-wing ”family values” merchant these days?

It was one thing when we found out that super-religious governor Palin was letting Bristol’s hunkface beef accessory Levi nail her daughter more or less regularly under the family roof. It was another when we found out that the governor’s sister-in-law got popped for a B&E while her little daughter was waiting outside in the car. And it was still another thing when we found out that Levi’s Mom was going to eat a bust for dealing Oxycontin (and there’s apparently a lot behind the governor’s interest in that story).

For the most part, none of this stuff is any of our business — we all have family members with issues, although mine tend to leave their kids at home when they go out to commit burglaries to support their drug habits.

But this abstinence thing with Bristol, to me, is just too much. This sort of thing always grosses me out: this country has way too many people who do stuff like this, dragging their helpless minor kids with them on national media tours or publishing lengthy parenting memoirs in which their unwitting babies play starring roles as props in Mom’s narcissistic fantasies.

But this goes even beyond that. This poor little kid is going to grow up someday and find out she’s been brand-marketed to the human species by Madison Avenue as The Great Mistake.

Bristol’s quote about how girls need to close their eyes and imagine spending the rest of their lives with a screaming baby before they have sex — her daughter is someday going to cough that line up, through sobs, in her fourth or fifth year of very expensive therapy. If this little kid isn’t hooked on black baggy clothes and cutting by age 11 I’ll be shocked.

But beyond that, Bristol’s casual statement about deciding not to get married after all, about how it would have been a disaster, I just don’t get how this works, politically. How can a Republican presidential candidate (and let’s not fool ourselves, Sarah Palin is already that) publicly endorse unwed teen mothering? Am I missing something?

Matt Taibbi is a writer for Rolling Stone.
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