The president’s bold support shifted the mainstream. Andrew Sullivan on why it shouldn't be surprising—Obama’s life as a biracial man has deep ties to the gay experience.
This week, President Obama finally completed his “evolution” on gay marriage, and in the days since, many a talking head has weighed in on the president’s historic endorsement. Among these politicians, elected officials, scholars, and activists on both sides of the aisle is Bristol Palin, herself an authority on traditional families. Bristol took to her blog, Bristol’s Blog, to express her disappointment with Obama.
Palin took particular issue with Obama’s note that he changed his mind, in part, because he was unable to explain to his daughters why their friends’ gay parents should be treated differently. Since when is it OK for the president of the United States of America to make important decisions based on what his Gleeked-out teenage daughters think, Bristol demanded. “In this case, it would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage,” Palin wrote. “Or that—as great as her friends may be—we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview.”
The irony of this statement probably goes without stating, as Palin is a single mother who got pregnant out of wedlock as a teenager. What’s fascinating, though, is that, for someone who’s racked up ++an admitted slew of public mistakes by her 21st birthday, Palin feels compelled to weigh in on almost every contentious issue—often trapping herself inside a glass house with a fistful of stones. The Daily Beast dug into the annals of Bristol’s blog and public statements for a broader sample of her punditry.
On Sex Before Marriage
Bristol Palin was not an abstinent teen—as evidenced by the 3-year-old son often seen resting on her hip. After giving birth in 2009, the then-18-year-old mother admitted that she wished she’d waited another 10 years before getting pregnant, but said encouraging all teens to practice abstinence is “not realistic at all.” Then the Candies Foundation came along. On a mission to promote abstinence to teenagers, the fashion brand’s anti-teen-pregnancy organization offered Palin a reported $262,000 to be their spokeswoman. Before long Bristol was appearing in awkward TV ads with Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, urging him to “pause before you play” and swearing off sex before marriage to avoid “another situation.” The Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg argued that Palin “might say that pregnancy is something to be avoided, but the story of her life speaks louder. If you’re cute and lucky, it says, getting pregnant can be a way to get paid lots of money for doing nothing at all.”
On Sandra Fluke
After being called a “slut” by Rush Limbaugh, Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke was surely in need of a confidence booster, and President Obama decided to be the one to make her feel better. Obama called Fluke, condemned Limbaugh’s words and said her parents “should be proud.” Meanwhile, Bristol Palin is still sitting by the phone, waiting for the president to call her. Bill Maher—who donated $1 million to Obama’s reelection super PAC—has said some awfully nasty things about her, Bristol pointed out in an open letter to Obama on her blog, and suggested “If Maher talked about Malia and Sasha that way, you’d return his dirty money and the Secret Service would probably have to restrain you.” Palin admitted that she wasn’t really expecting Obama to return Maher’s money, or even to call her. “But would it be too much to expect a little consistency?” she wrote. “After all, you’re President of all Americans, not just the liberals.”
On Shacking Up
Bristol took to her blog to quash rumors that she and her boyfriend were “shacking up,” insisting her parents would never allow a boy to sleep over. But even if she weren’t staying at an apartment on Sarah and Todd’s property, Bristol writes, she wouldn’t consider participating in the new cohabitation trend that’s sweeping the nation and fooling sexually active youths into thinking sharing bills with their significant other will actually lead to happiness. Because, according to the three pillars of truth—The New York Times, the Bible, and Beyonce—“the best way to secure relationship success is to … ‘put a ring on it.’ ”
On Gas Prices
Palin is a big advocate of her mother’s “drill, baby, drill” campaign. She mocked silly hippies who wasted their time on Earth Day “buying inferior-yet-more-expensive recycled products” and planting trees, encouraging those who forgot about the holiday to check out her mom’s own blog post on the subject of energy independence. “Don’t feel bad if you didn’t do anything to celebrate … The earth will survive,” she wrote. A few days earlier Bristol complained about the “sticker shock” she experiences every time she takes her truck to the gas station, but refused to even consider trading in her truck for “a goofy little Volt.” She’d be the laughing stock of Wasilla. “Here, you have to drive something big and safe to meet the challenges of icy roads, moose collisions, hauling family members, and carrying equipment,” she wrote. “I doubt a Volt would even have enough oomph to warm the car up here!” Once again Bristol plugged her mom’s own Fox News special on how to solve the rising cost of gas: “President Obama, if you aren’t doing anything, you might want to watch!”
On the Meaning of Easter
Last month, Bristol took some time away from the political beat to answer one of society’s most burning questions: “What is Easter about anyway?” To explain the meaning of Easter, Bristol offered a lyric from the Christian rock band Tenth Avenue North: “After all, it’s not about what you’ve done, it’s about what’s been done for you.” There you go. That’s what Easter is all about. Now, she instructed her readers, watch this awesome music video and “have a great Easter week—you’ve been remade!”
On Hillary Without Makeup
Most recently, Bristol weighed in on the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s “au naturel” [sic] look while speaking overseas. Though she’s “not a Democrat or an important leader,” Palin has been the subject of criticism based on her appearance, and expressed sympathy for the secretary of state. "When people choose to mock young impressionable females and even more mature national political leaders, it spreads the lie that the value of women resides in their appearance,” she wrote. “As women we should resist the urge to laugh at our sisters, both Democrats and Republicans alike. Plus, Hillary looks good! I think we should give her credit for not having a makeup artist following her around and being comfortable in her own skin.” Bristol also shared a far more flattering photo of her mother without makeup.
The president said in 1996 that he would support legalizing gay marriage, and 16 years later became the first Oval Office holder to do just that, writes Michelle Goldberg.
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