"There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women," former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once remarked.
Where, then, are the liberal women when it comes to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin?
Palin became the first woman to grace a Republican ticket on Friday, August 29, when Senator John McCain selected her as his running mate. The following day, a diarist at the mainstream left-wing Daily Kos (Barack Obama himself appeared as a Kos diarist back in 2005) suggested without any evidence whatsoever that Sarah Palin's son, Trig, recently born and with Down syndrome, was birthed not by Palin but by her daughter. Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic jumped on the bandwagon, demanding that the McCain campaign release Trig's medical records.
The rumor, of course, was demonstrably false -- Kos took down the post. Sullivan, however, stubbornly claimed that the questions about Palin's pregnancy were legitimate. And certain deranged leftist bloggers continue to speculate that Palin wore a padded suit in order to disguise her supposed non-pregnancy.
On Monday, September 1, Palin released the news that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was pregnant, and that she would have the baby and marry the father. To Barack Obama's credit, he quickly condemned the focus on Bristol's pregnancy, noting that he was born when his mother was 18. But that made little difference to his followers. The left was already trembling with new paroxysms of delight. They immediately blamed Palin for her daughter's pregnancy.
"Sarah Palin opposes programs that teach teenagers anything about contraception," complained Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post. Max Blumenthal of The Nation obnoxiously wrote, "Could Bristol Palin have benefited from the sex education and contraceptives the GOP seeks to deny to public school students?" The New York Times writes that some wonder if Palin should have stayed out of politics in order to raise her family: "With five children, including an infant with Down syndrome and, as the country learned Monday, a pregnant 17-year-old, Ms. Palin has set off a fierce argument among women about whether there are enough hours in the day for her to take on the vice presidency, and whether she is right to try." A few commentators on the left have written that Palin should have told Bristol to consider abortion.