September 4, 2008, - 5:28 am

With Nomination of Mr. Mom as Second Lady, GOP Throws Traditional Family, Values, Masculinity Out the Window

By Debbie Schlussel
Last night, John McCain’s VP choice Sarah Palin hit it out of the ballpark with her speech at the Republican National Convention. She was tough, charming, and effective. It was a great speech.
But that’s not the point.
When Palin was initially announced, last Friday, as the McCain choice, I cheered her on. What I didn’t realize is that she had five kids, some of them very young. What I also didn’t realize was that, for all the talk by the GOP about this “hockey mom,” the real hockey mom in this picture–for the last two years, at least–has been Mr. Mom, Todd Palin.


Todd Palin: The Real Hockey Mom in This Story

And for the last several days, my jaw dropped to note the partisan pandering on both sides of the aisle, first as prominent liberal feminist women suddenly discover that a woman actually should stay home and raise a family, but second–and far more disappointing to me–as conservatives and Republicans suddenly endorse the fictional notions that 1) a woman can do it all and working women are good at raising a family–nix on both; and 2) it’s not a problem that a man quit his job and subvert his life to raise the family in submission to the ambitions of his wife.
It’s odd–and, frankly, jarring–to hear formerly traditional family values conservatives throw it all former principle out the window to adopt the lingua franca of what was once the exclusive domain of the Gloria Steinems and Betty Friedans of the world, to call “sexist,” those who raise the issue of Sarah Palin’s ability to mother her family and be a full-time working woman at the same time.
What is, since Friday, now “sexist” to these many conservatives-cum-lemmings, was yesterday “traditional family values.”
Ditto for the issue of unwed teen mothers. While many conservatives cheer on and have adopted serial-adulterer and sexual-harasser Bill Cosby as their voice to the Black community to denounce “kids having kids”, a future Vice Presidential kid having a kid is no longer objectionable to them.
I’m pro-life and glad this kid isn’t having an abortion, but come on. You can’t spend decades–as many conservatives, including myself, have–denouncing the ever younger age at which kids are having sex and babies, and then sweep it under the rug on a Vice Presidential nomination dime. Period. There wasn’t a single word to the girls of the country–who are looking at Bristol Palin–that maybe they should wait to have sex, that maybe they’re too young to conceive babies. Why not?
I criticized Nickelodeon for cheering on Jamie Lynn Spears’ unwed teen pregnancy and had similar comments for another undue darling of conservatives and lefties, the movie “Juno“. And the GOP and conservative movement deserve the same jeers for cheering on Bristol Palin. Cheer on the decision not to have an abortion–that’s great. But remain silent on her trashy, irresponsible behavior–hell no.
If Bristol Palin had a full-time mother at home, would she be in this situation now? We’ll never know.
Back to Todd Palin. The man has youthful, sexy, masculine looks, engages in masculine sports, and had physical, masculine, working-class jobs, until he gave them up to become Mr. Mom.
After the Palin pick was announced on Friday, I’d planned to compare his masculinity and manliness as Alaska’s “First Dude” to the femininity of Michigan First Lady Daniel Granholm Mulhern, the girly husband of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, who has an effeminate voice, adopted her surname, was planning to join the priesthood, and was an AIDS fundraiser.
When Granholm was first elected, I used to mock her husband, er . . . male wife on my Detroit-based radio show. Most hilarious was a much publicized Inauguration weekend ceremony Mr. Granholm Mulhern hosted, featuring ten other men who were proud to stay home and play mommy, while their wives had careers. One man bragged how proud he was to change diapers and see the kids off to school–while his wife worked in politics (they’re now divorced). Mr. Granholm also proudly attended a tea for gubernatorial first ladies, where he and the chicks were given a seminar in picking out new china, linens, and curtains for their husbands’ gubernatorial mansions.
Like I said, I planned to contrast the real-man quality of Todd Palin to this woman in a man’s body, who–we don’t know for sure–shares the Michigan Governor’s bed and the wife role in the marriage.
But that was before I learned that Todd Palin, too, assumed the position–the wife and mother role that social conservatives have long decried as an unnatural subversion and denial of the male hunter-gatherer wiring and a disastrous, feminist-imposed blurring of gender roles, which they’ve adopted in all the most socialist European countries with horrible results and the further degradation of the family unit.
All reports say that Todd Palin took many months leave from his job to cook, change diapers, and ferry the kids around.

An oil-field production operator on Alaska’s North Slope, Mr. Palin has taken months off work to help manage a household of five children. . . .
When a Wall Street Journal reporter spent two days following Gov. Palin in June, Mr. Palin kept a low profile, mostly tending to his youngest son, Trig, as the governor attended events in the Anchorage area. Often, female bystanders asked him to pose for photos.

Is that really the new GOP archetype for a man–loyal wife, mom, and supermodel? Last night, Rudy Giuliani–never a social conservative–asked why they never ask if a man will have enough time to raise his family and be Vice President.
Well, we never asked that before in the GOP because many of us are conservatives who believe (at least, pre-Palin) that it’s a mom’s job–the wife’s job–to do that. We didn’t buy into the Michael Keaton-Teri Garr comedy template.
It’s funny to hear airheaded pseudo-conservative peroxide-heads, like “The View” moron Elisabeth Hasselbeck and FOX News’ Megyn Kelly attack as “sexist” anyone who challenges the idea that Sarah Palin can’t raise her kids and be VP at the same time. She can’t. Period.
Hasselbeck cites her job on the vapid anti-male yenta-fest as a hint that you can do it all. Sorry, but she’s an airhead who spends an hour in make-up and wardrobe and another hour making a fool of herself on national TV pretending to be a conservative and exuding idiocy, and maybe another hour at the gym. Three hours of easy work a monkey could do. That’s not being VP or even any sort of real career woman, which is far more demanding. Like I said, these blonde airheads are channeling the ghost of Friedan and the soon-to-be-ghost of Steinem, not conservatism.
When Dan Quayle–speaking for most social conservatives–dissed TV’s “Murphy Brown” for having a kid as a single mom and raising it without a dad, that wasn’t the only issue. The issue was also that she was a full-time TV reporter and anchor on the show, and the kid was going to be raised by a nanny. A kid needs not just a father in its life, but a mother. And they need a father who wears the pants and mother who figuratively wears the skirt.
That’s what traditional conservatives believed . . . until Friday. It’s what the left and the feminists did not . . . until Friday.
While I’m glad that the Sally Quinns and Joy Behars and Baba Wawas of the world are suddenly on our side, when did we decide we needed to start scoring in their endzone, once they start to conveniently come around to our position in this one instance?
And I ask you, do you think that even Mr. Giuliani–one of the more liberal Republicans (a man whose counterterror positions earned my support in the GOP primaries)–would give up his career to stay home and raise kids, while wife Judy Nathan earned and brought home the bacon? Not a chance. So his comments last night, eschewing those who criticize that unconventional lifestyle, are bunk. Phony.
When Dan Granholm Mulhern became Michigan’s First Lady, I asked my mostly-male radio listeners if they’d give it all up to stay home and have their wife provide for the family. A few jokers called in and said they’d love to be kept men. But people who are kept don’t change diapers or drive carpool. The vast majority of my listeners wouldn’t hear of it. It’s not natural. It’s for wimps and men who, at their peril, ignore their natural instinct to be men, which in their DNA means to be the breadwinner.
At that time, in early 2003, Newsweek ran a story about men who stayed home while their wives worked. It wasn’t a choice–many were laid off. Most found it degrading. And moreover, they knew they didn’t have control. Their wives had suddenly become the men in their households.
And pretty soon, that reverse in gender roles may be in the Vice Presidential mansion.
Social conservatives (until Friday) lamented working women who have latchkey kids home alone, warehouse their kids in daycare, or assign motherly duties to a nanny. What exactly do they think will happen in the Palin family if she becomes Vice President and he becomes Second Lady?
I like Sarah Palin, and I will be voting for her, more than John McCain.
But is her Mr. Mom marital employment and child-rearing dynamic a good example for the boys of America? Is it a good example for the girls of America?
Only if you want your men–no matter how studly and masculine–to be women, and your women–no matter how good-looking and feminine, as Mrs. Palin is–to be men.
For conservatives to sweep these issues under the rug now that “one of ours” is doing it, is to say that for all these years, our movement was a fraud.
**** UPDATE: Reader Barbara shares my perspective on this and the whole McCain “package”:

Just finished reading your article about Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol and her husband Todd and honestly, Debbie, this is why I read your column on a regular basis.
You are one of the greatest conservative voices in this country (right up there with Rush in my opinion). I too have a hard time accepting that all of a sudden being a Mr. Mom is o.k. and having children out of wedlock and at 17 is o.k.
I am having a hard time looking the other way, but I’m having an even harder time listening to hypocrite Republicans who now believe it’s o.k. to accept this when we have the possibility of getting votes because of it. I intend to vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin because I don’t want an “Obamanation” among other reasons, however, one of the main reasons I stopped donating as frequently to the RNC was because I believed they were too busy trying to coddle to the Democrats. They believed that would help and all it got us was, among other things, a bloated farm bill, an expensive and useless education bill (coordinated with Ted Kennedy of all people), no resolution to illegal immigration , no oil drilling in the US, etc.
Keep up the great work, Debbie, you are truly a voice in the wilderness for us.
P.S. Driving home the other night during the Democrat Convention I was waiting for the traffic report on the radio station that carries Sean Hannity and that was when I found out that Elizabeth Hasselbeck (?!) was reporting for Fox from the convention??? That vapid airhead??? What the hell does she know about politics or about anything for that matter-what an insult! Now she’s at the Republican convention reporting? Just FYI, she doesn’t come close to representing me or any of my Republican friends/family.

Well, she knows about eating enough bugs to come in fourth on a bad “reality” show. That’s about it.
*** Reader, er, “ex-reader” Bruce is so upset by this column, he claims he won’t read me anymore:

You recent comments regarding Todd Palin are why I won’t read or pay attention to your opinions anymore. You are obviously a very smart, intelligent woman, but it’s obvious you are not married and certainly do not have kids. As one who does, and owns a business with my wife, and raised a few kids, your comments are way over the top. I’ll bet I am not the only one who will “take a pass” on your blog from now on.

Actually, my readership is growing every day (except in the Mr. Mom demo), but it looks like I hit a raw nerve with Bruce, from whom I’ve never heard before (so I can’t tell if he’s actually a reader or a seminar e-mailer). He sounds very defensive, and I think we know why. I also think we know who wears the pants in his family. I doubt he’s a conservative.
Hmmm . . . this classy “reader” Bruce just e-mailed again:

Tell me when you have your sex change.

**** Reader Scott, who makes clear that he is not loyal to either major political party and has not yet made his decision:

Just read your most recent column ‘With Nomination of Mr. Mom as Second Lady….’ and I commend you for staying true to your conservative beliefs while the majority of Republicans at this time are suckling at the teat of Sarah. I read your opinions because I find it necessary to hear what people are saying, not Republicans, or Democrats, but people with regard to the state of our world.

41 Responses

I agree about Sarah Palin’s daughter, and was struck by the silence of almost all ‘conservatives’ about the fact that something is wrong with an unmarried 17-year-old not only being pregnant, but having sex in the first place. Obviously these ‘conservatives’ are being self-serving. I’m also uneasy about the one-dimensional politics of many of the social conservatives; the fact that a woman has lived her life in a pro-life manner does not, in and of itself, make her fit to be president. There are a few other issues out there.
As far as her husband, I’m not sure he had a choice. Her rise was meteoric during the last few years, and this may have been the est alternative for them. I would be surprised if the Republicans actually wind up endorsing, on a long-term basis, the idea of women simultaneously working and having a family. I think the recent comments are defensive, and were made primarily as a reaction to the vicious attacks by the elitists.
That being said, I agree that Palin is not the ideal candidate. However, look at what else the Republicans have to offer. None of the presidential contenders (or Gingrich) was anything to write home about. The party is so wasted — e.g. most Republican senators are pro-amnesty, support appeasement in foreign policy, opportunistic, etc., that there isn’t much to choose from, except a few obscure reps in the House. Same thing for VP. A few governors, most of whom were hacks, they might have figured she was the best of a bad lot, and taken her along with her drawbacks, and are now opportunistically trying to make the most of it.
BTW, I was dismayed by the adoring post on another blog praising her parents for having some bumper sticker on their car ridiculing vegetarians. The comments in response were even worse. Vegetarians are not necessarily PETA-crazies, and the suspension of critical judgement whether on her daughter’s pregnancy or on related issues always bothers me. It is kind of manic.

c f on September 4, 2008 at 6:31 am

With few exceptions, almost ALL of the GOP are bitchboys!

EminemsRevenge on September 4, 2008 at 7:20 am

Debbie, I still love you but I completely disagree on this one and THAT is a rarity.
I have no problem with men taking on the roll of house husbands so that talented women (like Debbie Schlussel and Sarah Palin) can pursue the most productive course for the family. There’s really little difference in the Palin arrangement and what most American families face every day when both parents work and then share home duties, i.e. washing dishes, washing clothes and taking care of the children.
As for the teen pregnancy issue, I’m willing to wait and see how the family handles it over the long term. I hope they work to mitigate the situation by using it as an example of the problems pre-martial sex can cause.
Thanks for the post anyway. Good to hear your views.

Frank Laughter on September 4, 2008 at 7:38 am

Deb . . . I think you’re being a little too quick with your criticism of the “First Dude” and Bristol. We need to wait a bit before we pass judgment. You can’t watch your kids 24/7 and boys can be very persuasive . . . as I’m sure you know. The Palin kids will soon have the best nannies available. . . The Secret Service.
Also, you were SO right about Peggy Noonan! Is she losing it or is she just starry eyed from too many Barrack Hussein Obama cocktail parties? I’ll never doubt you again . . . G

gregoryp on September 4, 2008 at 7:48 am

I must respectfully disagree on your comments on Mr. Palin. Perhaps he is not your idea of perfection but I honestly don’t know of any “perfect” men/husbands, and at least one of the parents of these children is stepping up to take primary responsibility to raise them instead of having them raised by a maid, nanny or promoting government “womb to tomb” programs for raising children.
Your idea that one partner in the marriage must “wear the pants” instead of both partners working together to share the responsibilities of marriage and family, no matter how the tasks are divided up, demeans what I find to be an admirable attitude about family commitment.

fatgreencat on September 4, 2008 at 7:56 am

While I was typing my previous comment “c j” posted “its” tripe. I have never read a more wrong headed description of a conservative.
I want to know where its written that conservatives stone their teen daughters for getting pregnant.
I’m a 73 year-old conservative and I’ve seen unmarried pregnant teens come to church with their parents and people outside the families have had the good grace to let them handle their own situation.
I don’t know where c j lives but I’ve lived in several states and I’ve never seen teens cast aside or publicly berated for making mistakes, even pre-martial sex.

Frank Laughter on September 4, 2008 at 7:56 am

Debbie, I love you dearly, but I think you’re really missing the boat on this one.
I am a conservative male about your age and although the best case is having mom home with the kids, I’m not so rigid that having one parent at home instead of some daycare idiots or nanny raising them is a bad thing. Better one than none. Unfortunately you’re playing right into the leftist stereotype of us being stuck in the 1950s. For example, I’m self-employed and work from home. If I were to get married and have kids, I’m staying home – that’s where my office is. Does that make me a bad conservative man, or a she male?
And Giuliani is making a larger point, which is if Sarah were a liberal, we would hear nothing but praise for the woman who has it all, who is the epitome of modern woman…kinda like how they fawned over Nancy Pelosi?
Secondly, on the teen pregnancy…you REALLY missed it on this one. Let’s remember that the only reason that we know about Bristol is because the left did their usual character assassination bit and the family was forced to reveal her pregnancy. And it’s been front page news for days, which is vile. We are not defending her because we’re suddenly OK with out of wedlock birth or teenage pregnancy; we’re defending her because of the disgusting behavior of the leftist media. If Chelsea Clinton had got knocked up in the 90s, not only would we not heard about it in the press, we wouldn’t have heard about the subsequent abortion either, and any attempts to bring it up would have been squelched immediately.
I am now willing to vote for McCain, strictly because of Sarah Palin. I do not like McCain at all, politically. He’s a typical senator, more interested in getting along than leading. If he turns into a leader and backs up his campaign rhetoric and stays away from amnesty and gets tough on islamic radicalism, we’ll have a good president. And I am beyond disgusted with the leftist media on how they have treated this woman, who didn’t ride into DC on her cheating husband’s cigar. She’s tough, smart, warm, and witty – everything your typical liberal woman is not. I believe what you’re seeing out of conservatives and Republicans is a circling of the wagons around her, which I applaud [and which unfortunately is something that didn’t happen enough for President Bush]. It hasn’t even been a week yet and we know more about her personal life than we know about ZerObama, more questions about a 17 yr old than about William Ayers. It’s shameful and I wish you had been a little more evenhanded and not so angry. But I appreciate your blog and read you faithfully!

Ted on September 4, 2008 at 8:10 am

Debbie, I think your concerns should more properly be about “how do they handle this?” more than “does/should this disqualify Palin from being a healthy conservative role model?”
I believe there is a world of difference between Palin’s husband (whom she gets her last name from) and Jennifer Granholm’s husband. I heard first “partner?” Mr “Granholm-mulhern” on Frank Beckmann’s radio program yesterday, whining (in his gay sounding voice) how Palin’s family situation basically exposes her as being mis-guided. Of course, he and the Guv Jennifer Granholm are different–as far as he is concerned–their family being dedicated to politics with the wife as the gov, it’s OK for them but not OK the Palin’s with their young kids.
I think it is evident to all that the Palin’s have traditional family values–he is the head of the household, etc—yet they, like many families are balancing many many needs. We think almost nothing of families who have a Dad go away in the military for service or families with the Mom in a professional job that changes the spouses’ family roles.
Mr. Mom is not a title I want to ever wear–but if my wife was like Palin i some “great calling,” I could change to adapt for a season of time. If,as in the case of the Palin’s, putting bread on the table tonight was already handled–I would be a much more involved Dad–inside the home. I see Palin’s husband as such a man–he seems like a real man–an is examplary that families can adapt to needs. He is not copping out. He is no less masculine holding their infant baby than he is working the oil fields or doing commercial fishing.
As far as their teenage daughter being pregnant–it sucks and unmasks a breakdown in their family.
But once again, the question is–how do you handle it? Here, they seem to have a grip–Sarah Palin is saying Bristol will have to grow up and accept the responsibilites that come with becoming a parent.”
So this is a chink in Palin’s armor. Perhaps, this is a also a great opportunity because they are living out/modeling a “step up to the plate and take responsibility for your decisions/actions” philosophy. I find it refreshing.
I will have no reservations about supporting Palin.

BB on September 4, 2008 at 8:48 am

I will also join the ranks of respectfully disagreeing with you on this issue. It’s important that one biological parent is raising the kids, not a nanny or daycare.
I work out of my home, so I could be considered a house-husband (my wife works a full-time job) but I’m not giving up my testicles anytime soon. I can cook and clean with the best of them, but I also repair my own vehicles and go hunting with my gun and compound bow. I’ve never field-dressed a moose, but it sounds fun!
I don’t think you can see the forest for the trees. The jury is still out on Palin’s views of illegal immigration and islamofascism, but I suspect she’ll have an impact on Juan McCain’s views.
This is a victory for conservatives. Period. We need to go win the election and keep a dangerous man-child out of the white house.
There are plenty of other people to attack than one of our own. Save your vitriol for the messiah and the hairplug guy.

ConnectTheDots2006 on September 4, 2008 at 8:55 am

With all respects what are you trying to say? That Sarah should not be VP pick b/c she has a pregnant unwed daughter? You know what? Teenagers fornicate whether we like it or not and it does not matter if their parents are Republicans or Democrats.
As for how the Palin household is run it is absolutely none of our business.

Ripper on September 4, 2008 at 9:03 am

I agree with you 100%. However, what has bothered me the most is not the pregnancy of Mrs. Palin’s daughter (although if she had an abortion it would bother me even more). I am mostly bothered by the fact that she has a child with down’s syndrome and will be working a heavy schedule as Vice President.
I have two special needs children. I know they take a lot of time. My wife does not work and therefore spends a lot of time with them. I spend a lot of my time away from work with them. This despite the fact that I really need to work a second job to pay the private school tuition for both children but cannot due to lack of time.
All of the above having been said, as far as I am concerned this is a single issue election. I will vote for McCain because of the only issue that I believe matters. That issue is National Security. I would vote for Hugh Hefner if I thought he would be the best candidate to crush Islamofacism.

I_am_me on September 4, 2008 at 9:25 am

Wow. First time I’ve ever disagreed with you, Ms. Schlussel.
Around here, ‘roles’ are a joke. My wife and I do what’s needed, as needed, when needed … for each other, for our family, for others. If Tom Palin hadn’t pitched in and managed their family life, wouldn’t that be cause for this raised eyebrow? Are you implying its demeaning to Tom that he took over family management when things changed for Sarah, Tom and their family? Out here on the ranch, the women are strong and the men as strong, and who does what … and when .. is utterly meaningless. There are two things the women around here can do that men can’t … carry a child to term, and naturally nurse. Other than that, we have a saying … unless the job requires a (male organ) or (female organ) I don’t care who gets the work done so long as it gets done, and gets done right. We dang sure feel the same way about color of skin, as well. As a social conservative, and I dare say everyone out here in tough cow country is even more so, we relish strong men and are brought up to be strong men, and we LOVE stong women. And each of us have done the other’s work. So, what’s your point? We’ve had to trade positions sometimes. Soooo? How is that disloyal to conservative, can-do, liberty-first, stand on your own, G-D based real life?
C’Mon. This column is petty and beneath your excellent reasoning and writing skills.

Johnny Yuma on September 4, 2008 at 9:53 am

“The Palin kids will soon have the best nannies available. . . The Secret Service.”
Uh huh! The same ones who did such a great job with the Bush daughters.

Jeff_W on September 4, 2008 at 10:35 am

Debbie, I honestly think you are the last real women left in this country. You are so right about the Mr. Mom thing, and as far as I have seen, the only conservative women to expose it. This is looking a little scary and almost smells of a death knoll for the conservative party. We all know McCain is not a conservative and will side with the enemy. The only conservative value I can see in Palin is her pro-life stance. Could she be teaming with McCain to totally subvert the Republican party of any conservatism that may possibly be left?

Robert S. Trojan on September 4, 2008 at 10:39 am

I mean woman, Especially since you’re the only one!

Robert S. Trojan on September 4, 2008 at 10:46 am

Debbie, I love you, but have to disagree. Whoever has the best job should work outside the home. I love my husband dearly, but he’s just not very good at what he does (he’s a contractor and finds a way NOT to make money on every job… there’s some kind of disaster on every singe one, and I mean for 11 years now. He’s lucky to make 1-2% profit on each job, which doesn’t pay the bills. I’ve done better in my profession than he has, and over the past 11 years have gone from making a lot less to a lot more than he does. This has allowed hubby to work less (run less jobs) and be home normal hours, instead of working day and night running the number of jobs it took to pay the bills. Since he’s less worried about attracting business, he’s moved his office to the spare bedroom, which means he’s here when the kids get off the bus. I love my job – it’s what I went to school to learn, after all – and I like knowing that we will be able to put our kids through school and retire without being on the public dole. Our conservative values are self-reliance. Now if the government would get out of our way on imposing taxes (we would be better off tax-wise if we were living together, than married, I might add), we might be able to afford to live handout-free until we die.

lexie1 on September 4, 2008 at 10:59 am

Dear Debbie,
I usually find you “spot on” on most issues. I am an observant Jewish woman, and I agree with about 95% of what you write. I too feel that, in general, the best place for a mother (especially while the kids are little) is being at home to raise them. That being said, for several years, I had to go back to work to support our family while my husband was looking for work and then going to grad school. (It was an extremely hard time for us, as I was also a nursing mother.) Although my working outside the home is not for us, I have several friends who need (or choose) to work and have large families. I realize that some women need/crave the professional stimulation of working outside of the home and aren’t naturally “housewives”. Some fathers actually enjoy cooking and caring for their young on a daily basis. I don’t think it necessarily makes them less masculine. If that arrangement works for some, who am I to judge?
I have no reservations about supporting Sarah Palin, from what I’ve seen of her thus far. She seems like a REAL person who shares many of my conservative views, and I’m excited to vote for her. I’ll have to admit though that I’m basing her view of Israel on the words I read from a Lubavitch Rabbi in Alaska and a video I saw of her in her office with an Israeli flag seemingly randomly placed on the wall. Not much to go on, but until I hear/read otherwise, I’ll assume she’s pro-Israel.
As an aside… I once heard the similarity between Bristol Palin – an unwed, pregnant 17 y.o. (probably 18 when the baby is due), and Barack Obama’s mother – an unwed 18 y.o. when she had Barack? (I realize that Ann Dunham was probably not brought up in a conservative, religious home, but I find it ironic all the same.) I’m not saying that I condone premarital sex with the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy, but I say to give the girl a chance to “do the right thing.” It certainly won’t be easy. I think there is an opportunity for a “teachable moment” to show our kids the consequences of making poor choices. (I’ll step down off of my soap box now.)
Debbie, please keep doing what you’re doing. I love to read your blog. BTW, thank you for the time saving tool you use in your movie reviews. I don’t even bother reading the review of a movie with less than 2 Reagans. Also, thanks for mentioning in your movie reviews if there is inappropriate language.

HatLady on September 4, 2008 at 11:01 am

Thanks to the Left, the “Beaver Goes Family” days are gone forever. Its kind of amusing to watch them bewail the passing of the traditional family – they don’t really believe in a Mom and Dad at all. I don’t think we want to celebrate the role reversal as natural or go along with depreciating the worth of men in our society. Just because the Left loathes the idea of Dad at the head of the household is no reason to go along with it. The last thing true conservatives should be doing is celebrating the liberal assault on the family to win an election. Do we want strong husbands and fathers? That’s question the majority of the electorate – women voters may not want to hear but its not one to be swept under the rug. And if we do, then we agree with the Left that kids can have two Mommies or two Daddies.

NormanF on September 4, 2008 at 11:06 am

As for getting pregnant and THEN getting married it is a frontier American tradition (almost the norm in much of rural America for generations and no big deal.
As for our leaders being ‘role models’ that is an idiotic trap. Mom and dad should be role models for kids not the governor of Alaska. A woman up for Vice President of the US may in many ways be a ‘hockey mom’ but she will NOT be a ‘normal everyday person’ – she will be one of those peculiar people of destiny called to live a NOT AT ALL normal life. And Mr. Palin is a guy called upon to be married to such a woman. It is odd that he must play this difficult house-mom role so his wife can defend conservative values he and millions believe in.

poetcomic1 on September 4, 2008 at 11:29 am

I applaud you for being consistent on this issue. Not long ago you had an entry regarding parents bringing children to work and bring-a-kid to work day. It evolved into a debate about mothers in the workplace and roles of parents. It is funny how I was one of the very few who commented that it was possible and reasonable to bring a child to work as long as the job got done and it didn’t distract co-workers. I also stated I believed it was better to have a mother with a baby in the office than losing a qualified employee. All these people jumping to Palin’s defense didn’t seem to comment on that thread. Let’s see, Palin brought her child into the governor’s office and was able to do her job.
A family can choose to have two working parents but there is a cost. Obviously in this case she and her husband weren’t around enough to parent their duaghter to prevent the obviously unprotected sex of their teen daughter. Now they have a grandchild on the way with parents unable to provide for it, their own special needs child who will demand the full-time attention of a parent, and it will be the father taking care of this, whether they McCain wins or not. I think the people elected her to be a governor, which is inarguably more important work than an “oil-field production” worker. If she is the VP, than no doubt she won’t be able to parent this new child. Who is to say the father won’t do a better job than she? Her track record isn’t great so far. The real question is it responsible to have that many children, and not have a parent at home.

Staypositive on September 4, 2008 at 11:33 am

I read you everyday, Debbie, but lighten up already. It just happens that Palin is a gifted speaker and happened to have a hunger for getting into politics. It just happens that she was born a woman. It’s GOOD that she is NORMAL and has the interests of a normal person. She married a guy that realizes that with her ambitions he SHOULD ASSUME greater responsibility inside the home. I look at it like it is his DUTY to carry forward with his responsibilities so she can put more effort into the running of a country in need of such leadership skills. She’s got a bunch of kids and that should be used against her?
This is not a traditional, traditional arrangement but then again is it that important? Looking at the bunch of available politicians out there she looks like a great choice and so good a choice that I believe she’s a great plus to the campaign. I’ve been watching the women in the work place around me in the military police, prison system and even the grocery store I worked at as a kid, take advantage of maternity leaves, menstraul cycles, and sucking up to the male bosses for promotions ie strip poker at the chiefs house. I’ve seen them get unfair and biased good assignments for wearing their make up a little trampy. I’ve seen them play the gender and race card so many times it makes me sick but here’s is somebody who actually does her job well and people want to scandalize her. I really don’t get it.

samurai on September 4, 2008 at 11:53 am

Many women would say they gave up dreams and careers for the sake of family. Only this time the situation is reversed – the guy gives up his career for the sake of family. Are we really arguing only men can pursue a career but women can’t? If both partners decide the wife is to be the breadwinner, how does that change the family? Single men are adept at domestic responsibilities. And not every family cannot afford a nanny. I think it sounds Debbie, like you’re arguing that a choice you and I don’t agree with is a choice a family shouldn’t make. Freedom is all about choices we don’t necessarily agree with. That’s the other side of the coin.

NormanF on September 4, 2008 at 12:01 pm

At the end of the day, my biggest concerns about Sarah Palin is:
1. Whether or not she supports a strong and independent Israel.
2. Whether she will help eliminate petroleum as the prime mover of our transportation system so America can be free and independent again.
I’m not looking to hire Sen. McCain or Gov. Palin to be a parent. Having said that, I look at your article and other like-minded articles and wonder. There’s something a little fishy about the GOP and Sarah Palin.
How did an obscure governor in a far-away state jump to the head of the class? Where are Bush Administration people at the convention? I haven’t seen Bush 41 speak. I haven’t seen old favorites like Colin Powell speak.
Somethin’ ain’t right but I don’t know what it is.

There is NO Santa Claus on September 4, 2008 at 12:02 pm

I have to respectfully disagree with you here. I think only a man totally confident in his masculinity would do what Todd Palin has done.
Both Sarah and Todd seem entirely comfortable, natural and happy with their family arrangement. There’s nothing dishonorable about it at all in my opinion.

Tempus Fugit on September 4, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Deb, I like your site, and enjoy reading your posts and appreciate the privilege of venturing my opinion. Here goes.
Comparing Bristol Palin to Jamie Lynn Spears?
Are you kidding?
The Spears family is pretty much considered trailer-trash…with money.
Britney had already spiraled way out of control – and was an unfit mother – when Jamie Lynn became pregnant. The collective outcry was mostly: ‘Hasn’t this family learned anything?, and ‘Here we go again. The situation is different in the Palin household. There’s no prior history of such behavior in this family, nor have they behaved like trailer-trash. Bristol and her boyfriend behaved irresponsibly, and now they’ll become young parents. They (and their child) will have to deal with it from here on. She’s 17 and pregnant. And? What should be done, Deb? What? The deed is done. I’m sure Sarah & Todd sat down and had the talk with their girls and did their best to set a good example. But Bristol is pregnant anyway….annnnnnd? Should Sarah Palin bail out, or decline the nomination because of her daughter’s pregnancy? Despite all of Sarah’s successes, she should be penalized for her daughter’s irresponsible behavior?
My reaction to the Bristol pregnancy: ‘Great. Just great. That’s just perfect timing.’
And I’ll propose that it was probably the same reaction that most of the GOP/conservative republicans had as well.
But, having said that, should McCain now withdraw his offer from Sarah?
What reason should he give?
And let’s go with that. Let’s say that McCain withdraws the offer, and the public finds out why. (Because she’s the mother of an unwed teen..and she could not be both a mother/grandmother and VP simultaneously.) What would your opinion be? Would you say: “Good for John McCain! A real man, for sure!”…?
Deb, I’m the middle of 7 kids. My parents were always around and set a great example. But some of my siblings have me scratching my head, thinking: “Are we related?” We all saw the same example, yet some of us chose to not follow it. Mom and Pop did a great job, but some of us kids just didn’t get it. Same with the Palin family.
re: Todd losing his ‘stones’. Oh, good grief! The guy is being a parent. He’s helping his wife and kids – his family – to lead good lives. You make it sound as if he now pees sitting down. (He’s not James Brolin.) What would you have him do, Deb? Spell it out for us. Should he take a ‘women belong in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant’ attitude? Should HE be the governor instead of his wife? Is that it? Should she stay home (in the kitchen) while he goes out ‘a huntin’? She ran for office, she succeeded, and their household dynamic radically changed. What to do? Should he have prevented her from pursuing a political career? Perhaps a divorce due to irreconcilable differences?
I don’t know what employment Todd gave up to become a ‘house-dad’, and I don’t know if I’d do the same. It would depend on whether I was a CEO of a major corporation, or if I hung drywall for a living. If I really enjoyed my career, I would’ve had a lonnnng talk with my spouse before they made the decision to go into politics.
“…not a problem that a man quit his job and subvert his life to raise the family in submission to the ambitions of his wife..”
Subvert his life? Taking responsibility as a parent equates to “subverting your life”???
And who’s sweeping anything under the rug? The Palin family made no attempt to hide it, and I haven’t heard anything from the GOP resembling a ‘thumbs-up’ regarding unwed teen moms. Bristol’s pregnancy affects Sarah Palin’s credentials/abilities….how?
Deb, what you’re implying here is highly sexist:
Sarah cannot be VP and raise children simultaneously.
Todd Palin has become more feminine by staying home to raise his own children.
Translation: Women should stay home and raise kids, and men should go out and work/have careers.
You state that you’ll vote for Sarah Palin, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out why. You’ve made it abundantly clear in this column that she and her husband will set a bad example for the young men and women of this country.

guitarguy on September 4, 2008 at 12:37 pm

On another related note:
Did anyone notice the expression of Bristol’s baby daddy? It looked like…”What did I do? Shoulda waited. Damn. Shoulda waited! Never thought this would happen.”
That 2-5 minutes of fun had a rather high price, Skippy.

cirrus1701 on September 4, 2008 at 1:31 pm

I agree with Debbie. I think the sad thing is that she is exihibiting more of the attributes we would like to see in men for VP or POTUS, and there is not a whole lot of men who will step up to the job.

SongBird on September 4, 2008 at 1:52 pm

gg, good points.

samurai on September 4, 2008 at 2:26 pm

I think you missed the boat on this Palin thing, but I am glad you will be voting for McCain/Palin anyway. No one is saying that having an umarried pregnant daughter is a good thing. There is no need to lash ourselves over this because all conservatives knew (including you, I believe) that the dems would make enough comments. Our thing is that her daughter is not aborting and that the boy and her are getting married.
I had done research on her a while back when I first heard she was on the “long” list. It did not seem to me that he was a Mr Mom and I still don’t feel that way. I think you need to do more research on what they are doing to take care of the family.
It does not seem to me that he has taken over her traditional role. It seems that he is helping as are the other older children. I remember when My younger children came along (and I only had a total of 3). My oldest girl helped us with the baby girl and when the baby boy came 4 years later, the girls were helping until they left for college.
Yes, this is my first time writing. I was not happy with McCain alone and am totally for him now with Palin there. I would have voted for him anyway, because who could vote for someone that went to Wright’s church and is friends with a so called “ex”-terrorist who never really regretted what he’d done. (Mr Ayres?) not sure of spelling.
Anyway, I generally don’t mind your diatribes. However, when you know the left is going to do all it can because they are really afraid now, why do a “peggy Noonan” and help them?
Otherwise, I appreciate your blog because I learn a lot about the “real danger” in this country and only some of them live in Dearbornistan. There are huge enclaves elsewhere. No one else tells it like you do when you remind us how all Muslims both here and in the middle east were dancing in the streets over what happened on 9/11. The video was clearly on TV, but the attention span is short.

adorabl on September 4, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Well I see the Rockefellar Republicans are hood winking far too many conservatives with Sarah Palin faux super mom.
I agree with everything Debbie said. Sarah Palin wears the pants in her family despite all of you that think it is ok for the husband to stay at home and change the diapers.
Do you people realize it will still be John McCain at the helm granting Amnesty, taking away your guns, voting to ban oil drilling in Alaska again, signing on to every liberal one word government plan that is offered up.Have you forgot this is the man that signed on to the Kyoto treaty and crossed the isle to vote with the democrats more often than not. Thanks to McCain we have lost our first amendment rights during campaigns. He voted for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
This is the same man that wanted to run for Vice President with John Kerry and you are going to vote for him?
Gun Owners of America gave McCain a 27% rating in other words he is anti gun.
McCain has not changed after all Juan Hernandez is still his immigration advisor.
He is just using a very popular Governor and her lust for power to win all you people ove
r to the phony Conservative so desperate to win, he nominated somebody that is 180 degrees opposed to him on most issues.
Have you all forgotten who formed the gang of 14?
Watching all the women last night at the convention, I see the feminization of America is complete.These so called conservative women were literally in a frenzy and glee that a woman was nominated.
She is not going to be President, Juan McCain is.
The RNC has turned into a soap opera just like reality TV.
I will be voting for a real conservative, Chuck Baldwin not the One world Candidate that has all of you fooled by nominating a woman.
There is little difference between McCain and Obama. Just look at their past voting records.

ScottyDog on September 4, 2008 at 3:39 pm

I agree with you ScottyDog. Debbie and a lot of conservatives though are holding their noses for the ticket because the country cannot afford Obama. That matters more than the Pallins’ particular family arrangements at the moment. A second Jimmy Carter term would be a disaster for the country!

NormanF on September 4, 2008 at 3:52 pm

The RNC has use the lesser of two evils argument ever since Jimmy Carter and it is still working sadly.
Both Obama and McCain are picks from the CFR and will govern accordingly. More big Government and closer to the one world order they have been advocating. One of McCain’s first acts will be to grant amnesty to about 50 million illegals, mark my words.
If you think Sarah Palin is some newcomer from out of left field you need to read her biography. They, the(RNC) have been grooming her for about a decade in Alaska politics.They even financed her run for Mayor.
Her librarian get up should be a red flag.
Who are they kidding?
Yeah she is a great speaker but she is hardly the folksy person they are trying to use to get you to vote for a RHINO I mean Demorat.
McCain even let a Democrat speak at the convention that he wanted to have as a running mate, Lieberman for crying out loud.
I am surprised he did not invite his best friend Ted Kennedy to speak to the RNC faithful! He spends more time with Kennedy than he does his fellow conservatives.
That ought to tell you how out of touch the RNC is lately.
I no longer vote for the lesser of two evils because you just get another phony that calls himself a conservative like GWB.

ScottyDog on September 4, 2008 at 6:52 pm

Debbie, are you unfamiliar with the parable of the 10 talents? God calls upon us to make the most of our talents, it is a sin not to do so. Your advice would urge Sarah Palin to “bury” her talents and to behave in the same way as the “bad” servant. Going against God’s commands? Not very conservative!

James Gatz on September 4, 2008 at 8:24 pm

I think that if you are called to serve, and you are able, then you serve your country. Debbie, you’re making it sound like she was angling for this position. From what we know, Palin really didn’t want to the VP job. She was called to serve. The double-standard is that if you want fathers more involved, and given the rate of absentee fathers…….then why isn’t Todd Palin to be saluted for his sacrifices?
Either you denounce single-motherhood and want fathers involved in their children’s life, or you don’t.
It seems like you want the father involved but not too too too much. Hey c’mon, now. One parent is home, while the other parent goes to work. You don’t like the gender of the parent that’s going off to work…..even though she didn’t seek it out….she was called !!!!
As for teen sex, Debbie are you putting forth the argument that mothers who stay home and don’t work, never end up with pregnant teen daughters ? Dunnow about that.
I’m much more worried about the far greater problem of single motherhood, than I am about teen promiscuity….which happens even in the best of famlies.

Maxine Weiss on September 4, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Wow. This column was a blast from the past. I’m not a conservative, but much less am I a tranzi progcon like the Kossacks and Obama worshippers. Call me a Hayekian. I don’t regard a Republican victory in November with special anticipation, but I think a victorious Obama would rapidly shift Jimmy Carter into the number two slot on the “Worst US Presidents” list. The way I look at it, in a marriage like the Palins’, where’s the comparative advantage? Todd Palin is a mensch, by any meaningful interpretation of the word. But salmon fisherman/oil worker/snowmobile racer is not fungible with State Governor. It is simply appropriate from a rational point of view that he take the back seat and be there for the remarkable woman that he married. Anyway, why do we assume that exposure to the lifestyle of a President is going to irredeemably mark you from childhood? Most presidential offspring turned out just fine (with the notable exception of the Kennedys, but that was mainly chickens coming home to roost). Chelsea Clinton’s politics may be diametrically opposed to mine, and to those of many people here, but I think it would be the height of unchivalrous behaviour to claim that she has emerged as anything other than a decent, well-meaning, valuable human being.
Please, can we leave the demonisation of political opponents to Kos and Jane Hamsher and their cohorts? To disagree with someone is not to cast them in the role of the other, the devil. Depicting your opponent as an anti-Christ, that’s a Leftist trick, straight out of Hoffer. And can we please not be so rigid as to make the perfect the enemy of the good?
This is the 21st Century, people, and if it takes a mother-of-five hockey-mom Evangelical to save us from the progcons, then so be it.

David Gillies on September 5, 2008 at 12:01 am

Forgive me but what is “out-of-wedlock?” I know we all think we know what it means but I am not so sure.
If it means she did not have a license issued by the state, then yes it is out of wedlock.
But if it means that she was not “married,” then it is important to know what being “in wedlock” actually means.
I was going crazy during this whole thing because they kept calling her fiancee “boyfriend.” The last time I checked, he asked her to marry him and she accepted. They were therefore, “betrothed” from that moment forward.
In other words, “married.” The ceremony, and the license, are NOT needed under any religion’s doctrine. They are merely artifices designed to announce the already agreed status declared by them. The do not need anybody’s approval to be a married unit.
So there was no illicit sex and the baby is not actually out-of-wedlock. Of course, our legalistic society has officially put forth the propaganda that a license is necessary to “be married” and to legitimize the unborn child but it just isn’t so.
Using the terms “unmarried” and “boyfriend” and “out-of-wedlock” was a crass political decision. If Todd and Sarah had had more time to deal with this, they may well have consulted with their spiritual/religious advisers and come to understand that Scripture has no marriage requirements in it except for the duties of a man towards “his virgin.”
In those days, she really had no say in the matter – it was between the male suitor and the female’s father. When they cut a deal, most Hebrews allowed her to reject the marriage but she better have a good reason since Daddy might not want to support her any more.
But all those rituals of the proof of virginity and the ceremonies had nothing to do with the state of marriage in any legal sense. The male and the female were married when the male and the father agreed to it. The males of Biblical days knew that it was the sex act itself that “married” them and obligated him to support her as his wife.
There was little or no promiscuity. And there is no allegation that Bristol was promiscuous. The Assemblies of God are pretty strong fundamentalists – I doubt that they read Scripture in any way other than literal. So the advice the Palins would have probably gotten from their church elders would be that the deed has changed the status and the marriage should happen soon so that the child is born after the ceremony.
The treatment of the teenage pregnancy by the political operatives is shameful not only because it is not Scriptural but because it was unnecessary. All they had to do was tell everyone that the two of them were married but that the ceremony had not yet happened. If challenged, they could refer inquiries to the church elders, which would mean that any liberal MSM types would fare no better than Obama did at Sarah’s speech.
It is hard to be a true conservative. 🙂

platypus on September 5, 2008 at 12:45 am

Concerning the Palin article, I agree with you Debbie. I believe our greatest threat to this country is not terrorism, but the breakdown of the family. We are imploding from the inside!

Our Lady of the Word on September 5, 2008 at 1:32 am

Good comment Ted.
I think Rudy Giuliani was mostly bashing the leftist supposedly ‘progressive’ media for asking whether she should be at home caring for the kids. That was where those comments were directed. Why is the left media suddenly concerned about traditional values? Are ‘progressives’ really sexist? You know, that sort of thing.
Also, I highly doubt Todd will stay home “permanently” as Debbie says, or be emasculated.
But I like your site and will continue to read it because you are a thinker, not a blind follower… and you tell it like it is/you see it no holds barred. No one is safe from your scrutiny! Sarah Palin is AMAZING, though 🙂

Xoce on September 5, 2008 at 3:30 pm

I just read Lawrence’s excellent comment.
Exactly. Exactly what IS “marriage” and do you need a piece of paper?
If you’ve been legally married and divorced 5 times, which is more of a “marriage” your 5th one, or Bristol and her fiance’s relationship?

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