A Valuable Family

Politician’s children are in the public eye whether they want to be or not. It’s not fair, of course, that a teenage mother and father can’t work out their lives in privacy. On the other hand, Bristol Palin and Levi Johnson are likely to start their new lives with at least $100,000 from whichever magazine wins the bidding war for the baby pictures.

They’re going to need it — neither one has completed high school. This would normally be an obstacle to any kind of decent job. Kids in that situation are usually lucky to be serving french fries or washing floors. Along Branch Avenue you may see people walking with young children and their groceries–no car and the public transportation doesn’t run often enough.

So yes, I’m hard on Sarah Palin, the candidate of family values, self-sufficiency, religion and tax cuts. Especially when it looks like her family gets special privileges while others in the same situation struggle to survive and are disparaged for being poor. This is from Alaska’s newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News…

Have you noticed how our governor seems to have convinced herself only some of the rules apply to her?

This attitude was really at the heart of Troopergate. It also allows her to do things like take cash from the state for spending more than 300 nights in her own home in Wasilla.

Now it appears the governor may have found a new way to skirt the rules. How is it possible that the governor’s soon-to-be son-in-law, Levi Johnston, is working as an apprentice on the North Slope?

The governor, in trying to dispel rumors the father of her grandchild is a high school dropout, released this statement this past week,

“Levi is continuing his online high school work in addition to working as an electrical apprentice on the North Slope.”

But federal regulations require all members of apprentice programs, union or otherwise, to first obtain a high school diploma, something the governor’s soon-to-be son-in- law does not have.

The article goes on to say that a similar apprenticeship program has a waiting list of 100 applicants. None of them, I’m guessing, have the right connections to jump the line.

There’s nothing unusual about teenage parents, and being pro-choice I respect Bristol’s decision to have and raise her baby. It’s natural that her mother would do anything possible to help her. But ordinary teenagers are living in a completely different world than the Palins. Sarah Palin is cutting the safety net from under the ordinary people, who have to take the consequences of their decisions, and play by the rules.

13 thoughts on “A Valuable Family

  1. Nancy, Nancy, Nancy…

    You poor, naive blogger you. OF COURSE the rules ONLY apply to other people.

    To people like Sarah Palin, the gov’t exists solely to bankroll The Right Kind Of People.

    It’s like GWB using eminent domain to to acquire land for the Rangers’ stadium, then going on to preach about the virtues of self-sufficiency and how we all gotta stand on our own two feet.

    This is why I’ve been so adamant that people who support the GOP–or who cannot support the Dems–address these issues. After all, talk is cheap. It’s when the rubber hits the road that we find out what the GOP REALLY stands for: hypocrisy and cronyism and elitism.

    I repeat: the GOP is the party of Crony Capitalists, Hypocrites, and the real party of Elitists. Real Elitists believe in using their inherited privilege to maintain their position of privilege, while telling the rest of us to go pound sand.

    Like GWB. Had he been born into another family, he simply would have been an Abject Failure. Instead, he became an Abject Failure who dragged the rest of us down with him.

    And the people who support the GOP never quite face up to this. Instead, they lecture on the evils of Big Gov’t, or some other sanctimonious crap. They claim that Sarah Palin and John McCain are righteous people, and good, decent people.

    That’s crap. What they’ve done proves otherwise.

    And anyone who disagrees had better be prepared to give me evidence. I don’t accept faith-based arguments of support.

    The Troopergate report stated, clearly, that Palin had misused her power. She stood up and declared, falsely and repeatedly, that it had exonerated her. That is a Lie. That demonstrates her lack of moral fiber. That is proof. She also repeatedly lied about how she was opposed to the Bridge to Nowhere.

    That is what I mean by proof.

    My fondest hope is that she is the GOP candidate in 2012. Then maybe we can bury the GOP–in its current incarnation–as a national party for another generation. Or two.

    You know, I get a little tired of repeating myself. It’s just that the RW noise machine is so relentless, and it keeps repeating the same old lies. I feel that someone–a lot of someones, actually–has to stand up and call them on their lies. My apologies if I’m repetitive and occasionally over-the-top.

  2. Nancy-not to be argumentative,but when have the rules ever applied to Patrick Kennedy?If it weren’t for his name,he’d do well to get a job as a Walmart greeter.No disrespect to them,by the way,because some of them are disabled and would rather work than sit at home.
    I amnot a Palin fan.She lost the election for McCain in my opinion.Mitt Romney or Tom Ridge would’ve made it a contest.

  3. Joe-not be crass, but when did Patrick Kennedy drop out of high school? When did Patrick Kennedy impregnate a 16 year old girl? It amazes me how you “seem” to miss the point of the post, which then allows you to take potshots at the Kennedys or Clintons or Obamas. I can openly admit to being a Kennedy apologist and still acknowledge that the family’s standard bearers have committed more than a few missteps over the years. And as far as Palin “losing” the election for McCain— WHO CHOSE HER FOR THE VP SLOT????

  4. Richard-you just accused me of taking potshots at the Clintons and Obamas.I certainly would never support Hillary or Barack Obama,but taking potshots at them and their families personally?I haven’t and you should apologize for accusing me of that.
    I absolutely despise the Kennedys and their sense of entitlement to “lead”.
    Patrick Kennedy has behaved in a thoroughly disgraceful way-the incident requiring Coast Guard action on a boat;the assault on a security screener at the airport;the drunk driving incidents;and his history as a deadbeat tenent-someone with his wealth-also remember the arrogant comment -“I never worked a day in my f+”:in’life”?It was made in a sneering,dismissive way aimed at people he supposedly represents.This is a human wreck who is afraid of his own constituents.
    McCain picked Palin-to his discredit.What do you want me to say?
    Patrick Kennedy used to “represent”me in Congress so I certainly have a right to express my dislike for him.Sara Palin doesn’t affect my life in any way.
    Jim Langevin is now my Representative in Congress and while I don’t agree with him on much,he is no embarrassment by any means.
    My son dropped out of high school,and later got a GED.He is an honest working man and a very good father to his little girl.What the hell does being a high school dropout have to do with anything?I would measure my son against a feckless idiot like Patrick Kennedy any day of the week and I believe he’d come off as the better person.I could never imagine him pushing around a middle aged lady doing her job.
    I usually try to be coutreous on this blog,but you just really pissed me off with the tone and content of your remark.

  5. Klaus-so what you are saying is that we should have one-party rule?Like such havens of free thought and speech as Cuba,Venezuela,PRC,Iran,etc,etc….?
    Because it sure sounds that way from your admittedly over the top comment.
    Well,now you have the White House and both houses of Congress controlled by one party.The party of those who never lie of course.Let’s see how good things are in two years.The Dems have already had two years of Congressional control.Balming Bush will only be viable
    for awhile and then Obama will have to take full responsibility for what goes on in the nation as far as the Executive Branch is answerable.
    You know,except for the constitutionally weak Governor,RI is under one party rule.It works out great,huh?

  6. Joe,
    It is apparent that my post “pissed you off”. In doing so I feel that I also managed to draw out a very human response from you, something primal. Something real.
    You are always courteous in you posts, but you also possess the ability to manipulate, twist, and spin comments made against the right/McCain/Palin etc… and return fire by going after those that you most certainly have no love for. Your volleys are deftly crafted and quiet in tone-Ronald Reagan would approve. It is a gift to be able to smile while delivering a blow(figuratively). You have mentioned your admiration for Reagan in the past and you have, in my opinion, mastered several of his techniques on this blog. I was certainly no fan of his policies, but even a Kennedy/O’Neill suck-up like myself, has to admit that while he may not have been a brilliant man, he certainly was a brilliant politician. If it is an apology you seek from me, it is an apology you will get. Perhaps my tone was too harsh and my reply too hastily composed…I am sorry. While you may not have mentioned Obama or Clinton in this post, you HAVE in the past gone after both clans– which is fine, it comes with the territory that they have opted to venture into. So please do not act as is you are above the fray, because slinging mud with a smile on your face is still slinging mud.

  7. Richard-thanks for your thoughtful response.I have indeed gone after the Clintons and Obamas,but only in the sense of criticizing their positions.In Michelle Obama’s case it was one thing-her job with the hospital-having lived and worked as a federal agent in and around Chicago for eight years,I became pretty well-schooled in the ways of Chicago politics and it struck me as improbable for the spouse of any Chicago politician to get a nice job outside of their usual occupational area at a very high rate of pay without there being a quid pro quo of some type.Not necessarily illegal,but no coincidence either.
    As far as the Obama’s children-they are grade school kids,and it would be absolutely wrong to say anything about them.I never brought up Chelsea Clinton either.Hillary is a powerful figure-going after her is completely legitimate since she has become a Senator and even when she set up the secretive working group to reinvent health care.
    Thanks for the apology-it marks you as a fair guy-I had to admit in print that I was wrong about Matt Jerzyk after having met him personally-not like he asked me to,but I had said some things about him that turned out not to be true.
    I had to develope some techniques in my career-interrogating people in a foreign language or in partial English forces one to be inventive.
    I’m not a Republican-I was done with them after baby Bush’s smear job on John McCain in 2000.I think Palin might be a good Governor in Alaska-who knows?I’ve met Alaskans and they are very idiosyncratic and independent folks,so it’s hard to tell what they think is good government.They’ve elected such disparate people as Ernest Gruening,Joe Foss,Ted Stevens,and Frank Murkowski-I defy anyone to find a pattern there.I do know she could not have been an adequate President.
    BTW I never disliked Tip O’Neill.Don’t we all have friends who have associates we can’t stand?
    Claiborne Pell was terrific Senator-he was liberal,ok,but an upstanding man with a committment to honest service.I voted for hiom against Claudine Schneider,whose politics were closer to mine because I respected him and thought the Pell grants were a great achievement-not a giveaway,but an enhancement of the abilities of those not wealthy to better themselves through education.
    I try not to be doctrinaire,but sometimes I probably am.

  8. Joe, I think your question to Nancy about Patrick Kennedy deserves a response.

    I mean how many stories can we print of any political family that is able to use its political influence to help its family? Both Democrat and Repbulican alike have done if for years.

    Why single out Palin?

  9. The Palin situation is similar to a ‘family values’ politician caught in some act of immorality. It’s the hypocrisy. When she runs around the country accusing her opponent of wanting to ‘spread the wealth’ and then she bills the state of Alaska for nights in her own home, and trips with her children to New York City—when she lectures poor people about self-sufficiency, then arranges for her grandchild’s teenage father to jump the line for a coveted job, you know she is not willing to live by the same standards she preaches. I’ll be impressed if she can demonstrate that an ordinary kid who gets pregnant in Alaska can count on her Governor to support a basic safety net and a ladder of opportunity.

  10. Nancy-this is all the more reason why the outpouring of admiration from all quarters for Claiborne Pell is so relevant.He sought no favors for his family or himself.He served out of an apparent desire to use his time here to do good.I only feel sadness that two of his children preceeded him in death.It’s the worst that can happen to anyone.

  11. thanks for mentioning Claiborne Pell. I was just thinking of how the word ‘elitist’ was thrown around this election. Claiborne didn’t pretend to be anyone but himself, and he left a legacy of opportunity for low-income students. my husband, and a big part of the blogosphere benefited from Pell Grants.

  12. yes-my point having been that no matter where he might have come from by sheer chance,he understood what was needed

  13. don, you’re a bit off track.

    Palin isn’t using the influence of her family. She is abusing the powers of her office. There’s a big difference.

    The first is wrong. The second is wrong and illegal.

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