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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Palin to Teen Moms: Drop Dead

posted by on September 2 at 16:51 PM

It just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.

Wow. WOW. I wonder how many pregnant teenagers in Alaska decided to go ahead and abort because they were homeless and broke and without the same resources and support that Bristol Palin enjoys.


One thing about the choice to have an abortion—one unfortunate thing—is that far too many young women make the choice to have an abortion under duress. Young women who choose abortion because they can’t see how they could care for the baby themselves are, sadly and maddeningly enough, likely to view themselves not as victims of conservatives who enact policies that are hostile to the poor, but as victims of legal and safe abortions.

Back to the story…

According to Passage House’s web site, its purpose is to provide “young mothers a place to live with their babies for up to eighteen months while they gain the necessary skills and resources to change their lives” and help teen moms “become productive, successful, independent adults who create and provide a stable environment for themselves and their families.”

Palin’s own daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant.

You know, I don’t see how you can count yourself as pro-life if you enact policies that coerce other peoples’ children into having abortions.

RSS icon Comments


Well you see, the $27 billion in earmark money was already spoken for.

Posted by monkey | September 2, 2008 4:54 PM

And the drumbeat for Palin withdrawing as VP gets louder and louder.

Posted by Travis | September 2, 2008 4:55 PM

Wow. wow wow wow.

Posted by Non | September 2, 2008 4:56 PM

I think the operative word here is "OTHER" people's children. She is a Republican after all. They don't think of OTHER people's children.

Posted by yucca flower | September 2, 2008 5:16 PM

Now this is something Obama should make a really, really big deal out of. Will he?

Posted by LDP in Cincinnati | September 2, 2008 5:21 PM

@5 At this point I wouldn't bet on it, since he has so far refused to touch the whole Bristol pregnancy. However, I think this is would be a great subject to attack Sarah Palin on. Regardless of her daughter's pregnancy, this sort of thing is clearly a blight on a politician who is ostensibly pro-children.

Posted by Hernandez | September 2, 2008 5:26 PM

Is it really all that hard to not get pregnant in the first place?

Posted by wondering | September 2, 2008 5:28 PM

Dan: Dan, you're "coercing" me into living in a smaller house by not paying my mortgage every month! Help, help, I'm being repressed!

Posted by David Wright | September 2, 2008 5:29 PM

I know it's been said before, but it needs to be said again. This "wow thing", stop it, just stop. Please. Stop.

I can understand that maybe you're a bit miffed, or surprised or perhaps even a bit offended by the out-and-out audacity and cavalier attitude of these reprehensible hypocritical liars we've been suffering under for the past seven years. But wow tells me nothing. Are you mad? Amazed? Aghast? Excited? Disgusted? Surely you can find it in you to tap into your vast writer/journalist vocabulary and maybe come up with a slightly less dramatic yet perhaps more succinct way to explain your feelings in a way that idiots like me can understand.

Please Dan, Pretty Please?

Posted by Super Jesse | September 2, 2008 5:31 PM

Wow wow wow. Someone who actually gets paid to do this fails to look into whether other things could be involved. See my name's link if you trust what Dan Savage tells you.

Posted by Is Dan Savage trustworthy? Find out. | September 2, 2008 5:34 PM

The social conservatives adore her and will find a way to ignore this.

They may argue that to provide such a shelter for teen moms would encourage teens to run away instead of turning to their families for help. (opening the door for examples of teens being kicked out of the home?)

Or, perhaps, that knowing they have a place to go if pregnancy happens means teens are more likely to engage in straight, penetrative sex?

huh, Can anyone think of a better excuse for her actions? I suck at this.

Posted by Michelle | September 2, 2008 5:37 PM

@7 - No it's not, unless you're 17 and your mom doesn't believe in sex ed or birth control and you live in podunk town Alaska where everybody probably knows you and your mom.

Posted by angela | September 2, 2008 5:46 PM

Palin had a baby. Her daughter is going to...I'm beginning to wonder if her baby has a baby on board too.

Posted by josh | September 2, 2008 5:46 PM

@12 - Good point, I'll bet the people at the drug store wouldn't sell her condoms for fear her mom would try to get them fired. Which is apparently something she's prone to doing.

Posted by Super Jesse | September 2, 2008 5:52 PM
And the drumbeat for Palin withdrawing as VP gets louder and louder.

Nope! That's the best part - there's no way they're gonna let that happen, because the only thing more embarrassing for McCain than keeping her on would be admitting he showed shitty judgment and dumping her.

This pick was a gift, my friends. A gift!

Posted by tsm | September 2, 2008 6:00 PM

@10: I went to that 'de-bunking' link you included and it doesn't include a single fact. It doesn't de-bunk anything. It's just a sarcastic paragraph written by a right-wing blogger. Did I miss something? Are there facts hidden on the page? Perhaps a hidden counter-argument, concealed in the javascript? Or do you actually think finding a contrary opinion on the internet qualifies as de-bunking an argument?


Posted by flamingbanjo | September 2, 2008 6:14 PM

Remember, Bush nominated Harriet Meiers long after he stopped giving a shit what anybody thought about him. And he didn't have to care how he looked when he withdrew her name. McCain doesn't have that luxury.

Posted by elenchos | September 2, 2008 6:26 PM

@16: Perhaps I'm just an enormous geek, but that JavaScript comment is the funniest thing I've read all day.

Posted by Zelbinian | September 2, 2008 6:54 PM

Yes - please more of this. It isn't going after Bristol (though Republicans sure will whine and complain it is) to point out as you have Dan the complete hypocricy and disregard for the struggles of other people from Sarah Palin and her fellow social conservative gang. "Family values" my ass.

God I hope Obama does make a big deal out of this. Democrats have for too long avoided confronting social conservative religious right Republicans on their shit. He wouldn't be taking the low road by talking about this. PLEASE Obama, make a big deal about it!!

Posted by Jennifer | September 2, 2008 7:30 PM

flamingbanjo/#16: I can lead an Obamamaniac to the truth, but I can't make it think. However, let me try and help. The point was that a real reporter would have put this into context. That part was a criticism of the WaPo reporter's skills and ethics.

The update to the post shows that the money the group got was apparently a sharp increase from the money they got last year.

Posted by Is Dan Savage trustworthy? | September 2, 2008 7:43 PM

That horse full of soldiers was a gift too.

i'm getting nervous... the GOP is reprehensible, not stupid.

Posted by W.T. Foxtrot | September 2, 2008 7:44 PM

So, if I understand Sarah Palin's position on birth control correctly (that all birth control is abortion in some form or another) ...does that mean that she herself does not use birth control, and puts herself in the position to be impregnated once more every time her husband wants to have sex? And if this is so, does that mean she could have up to 4 more children during her 1st term as VP if elected? Assuming they have time for nookie at least four times over those 4 years.

Posted by Jonah Von Spreecken | September 2, 2008 7:48 PM


You know, that line item veto leaves an execustive open to all kinds of criticism, almost as much as the voting record of a legislator.

Every time you slash funding somewhere, you're making a statement about what you care about. People will look at what you did and see meaning there. If Sarah Palin was anything like a serious politician, she would put a lot of thought into the consequences of those decisions down the road. Being the incompetent that she is, she has no message prepared to justify what she has done. She knew she had a pregnant daughter at the time. Maybe she was angry at all pregnant girls for what her own girl was doing to her.

Anyway, the real context of that funding cut was how much need teen moms in Alaska had. A majority in the legislature thought they need $5 million. Sarah thought $3.9 million was plenty. This is a good time to ask why.

And Dan Savage is not a reporter, or a journalist at all. So you're wasting your time indicting his journalistic bona fides.

Posted by elenchos | September 2, 2008 8:23 PM

C'mon, you guys should know that pro-life republicans don't give a shit about babies, they only care about fetuses. They do everything they can to make sure the kid is born, then let 'em fend for themselves after that.

Posted by GS | September 2, 2008 8:37 PM

What are the chances that a homeless, pregnant teen froze to death somewhere in Alaska after that funding was cut.

How can you be both pro-life and pro-kicking-homeless-pregnant-teens-to-the-curb-in-minus-40-with-a-wind-chill?

Posted by Michael J Swassing | September 2, 2008 8:38 PM

She knows there aren't that many places to turn - from NARAL:

"There are currently only seven abortion providers in Alaska, fewer than there were in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, recognizing a woman's Constitutional right to choose."

Planned Parenthood has four clinics in AK, but only two of them provide abortion services. Someone should donate a bunch of money to them in Sarah or Bristol's name. Maybe the Sarah Palin Foundation for Alaskan's Reproductive Rights could be established by some wealthy Hollywood liberal?

Posted by asteria | September 2, 2008 9:22 PM

23: Last comment on this, since the form they filed with the IRS shows they got almost four times as much from Palin as they did from all gov't sources combined in 2006.

As for deciding who gets what, I guess that's what an executive does. I read a comment saying that the same budget included $2 million to a similar group; verifying that is left as an exercise.

Also left as an exercise: should we always give worthy causes everything they ask for? Can we? What would happen if we did?

Posted by Is Dan Savage trustworthy? | September 2, 2008 9:49 PM


From Palin? No, actually from the taxpayer. Which is who Palin ought to be answering to for these decisions. The budget wasn't written by the teen mothers program. It was written by the legislature. So whatever you are saying about giving them what they asked for is nonsense. You do know a Governor is not a kind of monarch, right? With Republicans sometimes you have to make sure.

The question remains whether or not Palin left enough money to meet the need, or whether she's leaving teen mothers out in the cold. Seems like she's not exactly going to bat for them, not like the legislature did.

Posted by elenchos | September 2, 2008 11:25 PM

The money saved must have been rolled into the tax rebate that was made possible by the tax increase on oil companies - the kind that Obama supports and McCain opposes* - enacted by Palin and the legislature. At her coming out party on Friday, she misrepresented it, saying that the rebate was funded solely by an increase in revenue due to increasing gas and oil prices, i.e., only half of the tax rate * income = revenues equation. That's the standard, ridiculous conservative line - you increase revenues by lowering taxes! - and clearly Palin's decision does not support it. But to twist the truth - to lie - and make it part of your stump speech? The press should call her out for it and should question her about how it relates to McCain's and Obama's stands on the same issue.

In the same speech, she lied about the Bridge to Nowhere, saying, "I told Congress, thanks but no thanks on that Bridge to Nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, I said, we'd build it ourselves." Really, because the earmark for the Bridge to Nowhere was removed by Congress TWO YEARS BEFORE YOU BECAME GOVERNOR. Her statement is an outright lie.


I think Bristol Palin's pregnancy will have little impact on the campaign. If anything, I expect a backlash against the Democrats as the media - encouraged by conservative strategists, commentators, and bloggers - seek a new spin on the story, as they already have.

Just as Obama doesn't want the campaign to be about race (you won't hear him saying America's history of racism would be healed or cemented by his election or defeat; just liberal pundits), he doesn't want it to be about comprehensive sex education or even reproductive rights. These are not "winning" issues in the general election, with the general public. If they were, they'd already be discussing them.

To win the election - and by so doing to preserve reproductive rights for the next 20-30 years - we would be better served by focusing on the fundamental problems of character and policy that both McCain and Palin have (and that McCain has had for his entire career, despite being a darling of the so called liberal media). For the record, Bristol Palin getting pregnant may be an ironic example of the failure of abstinence only education, but it does not make Sarah Palin a hypocrite.

* Not that anyone cares, but I oppose that kind of targeted tax.

Posted by Rob Campbell | September 3, 2008 4:41 AM

So I guess life begins at conception and ceases to be important the minute it leaves the Uterus.

Posted by sasha | September 3, 2008 5:15 AM

Oh, it's simple. They don't actually give half a shit about how that Baby comes out.

They just want to punish people for having sex.

Posted by Ross | September 3, 2008 8:51 AM

The Republican party only cares about embryos...not babies or their mothers

Posted by georgia | September 3, 2008 1:25 PM

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Posted by ztsouv amxckyros | September 5, 2008 1:58 AM

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