Double Standards, Abortion, & Palin's Speech

On Monday, the news broke that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. The story caused a intense debate about McCain’s judgment and the issue of teen pregnancy in the US. A prominent question has been whether it is even okay to talk about Palin’s daughter, since it is a private issue. Sure, it’s dicey, but isn’t it relevant considering Palin’s pro-life stance? On last nights episode of the Daily Show, Jon Stewart questioned former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich about the issue. With his question Stewart implied that it should be okay to make it an issue. Because otherwise the Republicans would contradict themselves. On the one hand, Republicans want the issue to be treated as a private matter, off-limits. But on the other hand, Sarah Palin herself wants to interfere in the life of every other American family by making abortions illegal.

But the debate about abortion is unlikely to lead anywhere. The country is split. And there were pro-life and pro-choice protesters at both conventions. The way that Obama addressed the issue of abortion at his acceptance speech was very humble and nonpartisan: “We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.” 

Last night Gov. Sarah Palin held her much anticipated speech accepting the nomination as the candidate for Vice President of the Republican party. Ever since McCain announced Palin as his running mate, the news media has focused most of its attention on the first term governor from Alaska.

A friend of mine, who covers the conventions for the Seattle Times and who has previously covered Congress, said that it is a typical McCain choice: surprising and out-of-the-box. Not even the delegates at the Republican National Convention knew much about her. But the media has put much emphasis on closing that “knowledge” gap. We now know her life story and it seems like we learn something new about her every couple of hours. And that is not necessarily good for the Republicans. A college of mine said that Palin is a risky choice and that her selection illustrates how desperate Republicans are this year.

Palin’s speech performance has been widely praised. The content, however, has been under investigation. Even an Alaska newspaper accused Palin of “stretching the truth.” Check this article for more details: AP: Attacks, Praise Stretch Truth At GOP Convention.