Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Real Hypocrisy

I think people are missing the point on the real right-wing hypocrisy surrounding the Bristol Palin saga.

It's not that Bristol Palin made a mistake and wound up preggers. If kids were rational, forward-looking beings we wouldn't call them kids... we'd refer to them as adults. I know for a fact that I'll be holding my breath for at least 10 more years, until such time as all three of my kids have made it safely out of the teenage danger zone.

And it's not that I think the Palin parents are at fault. As a parent of two teenage girls, I feel a sort of parental bond with Sarah and Todd Palin in that, no matter how good of a parent you are, you cannot monitor your active teens 24x7.

No, the hypocrisy that has so enraged me is what I've been hearing from the righties. First of all, how is it that the social conservatives have suddenly turned an out-of-wedlock pregnancy into some kind of political virtue? If Bristol were not a white girl from a Republican, evangelical family, these same people would be excoriating her for her irresponsible behavior. There would be long syndicated column monologues on the failure of her parents and the cost burden to society. There would be O'Reilly memos about welfare queens and baby daddies and "look what happens without the moral influence of religion?" Let's be very honest here: these same people who are now lavishing praise on Bristol's decision to have her baby and keep it would be shaking their heads in utter disgust if she were anyone other than Bristol Palin.

These pro-lifers are the same crowd who scoff at anything but 'abstinence only' education for teens. They are fetus lovers who show very little interest in lending a helping hand to the actual born. Regarding ideology, the lack of conviction-follow-through in this crowd is mind blowingly beneath contempt. But hey, whatever... I'm sure the self-righteous rush they feel by insisting on the sacredness of unwanted embryos is much more satisfying than worrying about the unwanted children they become.

And that -- that -- is where people like Sarah Palin piss me off. Because as usual, it's not a problem until it's a problem for them:

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.

After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation -- "SP" -- Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.

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."

This is the real hypocrisy. This is where my anger comes from.

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