Monday, September 01, 2008

SPEAKING OF SILVER LININGS. I think it's terrific that Sarah Palin's evangelical supporters are "over the moon" with joy that Palin's 17-year-old daughter got knocked up. And, taking a page from our Republican brethren, for whom both everything and its opposite is always good news for the GOP -- you can see a spectacular case of one such character running this game here -- I'm going to tell you how it's terrific no matter how it plays.

First, it offers normal people a piquant reminder that fundamentalist Christians, powerful as they may be in the GOP, are deeply strange. We've heard endlessly from these folks that America is a moral basket case "slouching toward Gomorrah," and that liberalism is the cause. Now the Jesus people are celebrating a pre-maritally pregnant girl and her upcoming shotgun wedding. Rod Dreher, who called a bride a slut for showing a tattoo at her wedding, now rejoices that Bristol Palin will be showing a baby bump at hers. Americans may like God but they retain a healthy skepticism about the godly, and this case shows why.

Second, as we were also reminded endlessly that Bill Clinton taught youngsters to suck cock, we may expect a wave of rebellion among Republican teenagers now that the strict moral precepts of their parents have been proven conditional. Maybe the other Palin kids will come to the Convention stoned out of their minds, spraying the delegates with silly string and laughing uncontrollably. Why shouldn't they? It would just offer more proof of Palin's "plain folks" credentials.

Now let us dream big: maybe this event will help put an end to political bullshit about candidates' family members. Imagine our politics without slurs of the sort Michelle Obama has had to endure -- and those stories weren't even true. Perhaps we'll even hear less conservative yammering about family values in general. How nice it would be to go through even a single season without candidates taking a strong position on the Old Testament.

This is by far the least likely of my suggested outcomes, but as I said, I'm trying to think like a Republican. Maybe the Democrats should be trying the same thing.

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