Kathryn Lopez

Palin's resignation announcement suggested that she and her family were subject to the pains of overexposure. Some will blame her for it. Others accuse her of being an erratic quitter. Or she may also be a human being who was served up too much too soon, whose family was suffering because of it. Maybe she was a woman of obvious ambition who saw an opportunity to dial back the media onslaught and get some control over it.

As a popular child singer, Jackson was too young to do such a thing. By the time he was "Bad," and later a father swinging his child over a balcony, perhaps he was far beyond being able to show the judgment demonstrated by Palin's decision to make a change in her life and the life of her family.

You don't have to like Palin or own "Thriller" to consider the effect that massive public scrutiny has on human lives. Just a quick look at any celebrity tabloid will reveal a host of young people who have been burned by the glare of the floodlights.

Michael Jackson should be a warning. Sarah Palin should be a cautionary tale -- maybe in a special way to young moms in politics. At some point maybe we all ought to step back. Palin may have wisely decided to. Whatever the politics, whatever the entertainment genre, things like common decency and the Golden Rule dictate we look at the man in the mirror when watching human frailty on display.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.