John McCain should never be president.
Let's get that out of the way.
Forget about his abrupt dumping of his wife and kids for Cindy Hensley, the heir of the Budweiser fortune. That was an asshole move, but it was years ago, even if it did thoroughly piss off the man he's trying to channel in his bid for the presidency, Ronald Reagan.
Forget too about his friendship with the inveterate scumbag Charles Keating and McCain's rather revolting membership in the Keating Five. Again, it was years ago and he managed to slime his way out of it with minimal damage done.
Forget his (literal) embrace of George W. Bush after Bushie's campaign spread vicious rumors (illegitimate black babies, anyone?) about him during the 2000 election. That was just a pragmatic move by a politician who decided to lay down his spine for his ambition.
And even forget about his undying support for the war in Iraq and his vague promise of more war to come. That's a fair election issue (wrong as it may be) and one that should probably percolate through the electorate.
But this Sarah Palin thing, well, dammit, now he's disqualified.
This bird he chose as his running mate has way too much family drama in her life to qualify her to run the local PTA, let alone the free world. She has a tiny baby with Down's Syndrome and now we learn that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant with a baby of her own, which she's keeping. (You don't think that family has had long and hard thoughts about the right to choose lately do you?).
Look, this shouldn't be a moral thing (though the Religious Right would have a field day if it were a Democrat in the same situation). It might be a good argument against abstinence training, though. And it certainly sets a lousy example. But it really boils down to a 17-year-old making a huge mistake. Bristol Palin had the world in her hands and now, as her parents have conceded, she's going to have to grow up way too fast.
But the point is that we shouldn't even know about Bristol Palin. It's not fair to her and it's not fair to us. This should be a drama for the Palin family, or at best, the state of Alaska. Absurdly, thanks to McCain, now it's America's concern.
McCain et al spilled the beans about Bristol because rumors were circulating on the Internet that Sarah Palin's new baby is actually Bristol's too. So when was the McCain camp planning on spilling the secret? After the election? Unforgivable.
Don't tell me this is a private matter. It's not, even though Republican die-hards are going to say that opinions like mine are offensive and sexist (yes, you're going to start hearing Republicans sounding like Gloria Steinem; every criticism of Palin is going to be "demeaning to women"). Think about it. If McCain wins this thing, the only thing separating Palin from the presidency will be a 72-year-old man with a history of cancer. She will be your president. Sorry, but that puts everything on the table, most certainly the fact that her minor daughter is having a baby. Again, how can a woman with two new babies under her care -- and a troubled teenaged daughter that obviously needs a lot of help to build her future -- possibly have time to run the country? Her hands are full. Both of them.
In ten years, she might be ready. But the dough is still in the oven (in more ways than one).
Even if Palin did have the time, even if she was a modern Superwoman as they say (though such phenomena don't exist), she's not qualified for the job and McCain should know it. Let's see, she was Miss Wasilla, mayor of a backwoods town, and a sports reporter? Hey, she did get to be governor of faraway Alaska, but she's had the job for only 20 months, hardly enough time to prove herself.
And now we have all this drama over babies' mamas. It's a ridiculous diversion from real issues -- and I wonder if McCain and his people didn't welcome it, considering what their party has done to the country.
The whole thing is an insult, no matter how you look at it. When I told my 13-year-old son about it, he was incredulous. I asked him what he thought of it. "That's messed up," is all he said.
I can hear people across the country saying the same thing. That's the first response, no matter how much spin a bunch of soulless politicos try to put on it.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Palin should step down and McCain should find another pick.
Lastly, this isn't about Sarah Palin, either. It's all about John McCain. And he's proving to be one very bad joke.
-- Okay, one last thing: This does not quite kill the rumors about the other baby, Trig, being Bristol's as well. Just by way of information check out this video from a slightly creepy guy who lays out the case.