I canít help feeling sorry for Bristol Palin. I doubt that she planned to be married and a mother at 17, and I doubt that she ever wrote in her dream book that she wanted to be the most famous teenage mother-slash-bride in America. It might not have happened (doubtful, but possible) if she didnít live in a state where the governor opposed sex education (except, of course, for abstinence-based sex ed, which is dubious in the best circumstances and achingly ironic in this case).
Letís say youíre a mother and someone offers you a job that would cause your pregnant teenagerís name and image to be plastered across every newspaper and web site in the country. Iím not judging, just asking: Do you accept that job?
Or letís say youíre the person offering that mother the job in question, and your people have thoroughly vetted her and know all about the daughterís pregnancy. Are you happy and proud to be able to take advantage of the situation and get everyone lined up behind the idea that anyone who does judge this family (which of course Iím not) is taking cynical political advantage of a private matter?
Is that the plan all along: to make this private family matter a talking point? Itís sort of a trap for the opposing side, isnít it? Because thereís no right thing that they can say about it (or at least nothing they can say that you canít twist into the wrong thing). And even if they say nothing, you can rally around her as if she were being attacked.