I'm speaking out for bloggers -- like the Reader's -- who stand behind their material. In Tuesday's Tribune John Kass wonders, "Have American presidential politics become so hateful that a pregnant 17-year-old girl has to have the intimate details of her life exposed to the nation by character assassins?" And he goes on, "Ask the left-wing Internet haters, the anonymous propagandists who call themselves bloggers on the Daily Kos."
I will stipulate that left-wing Internet haters -- as well as right-wing Internet haters -- are truly odious, but I feel obliged to direct readers to my colleague and fellow blogger Whet Moser, who observes there was actually only one such hateful Daily Kos blogger, and he was being urged by his companions there to shut up.
I will also stipulate that there is nothing remotely amusing about the situation Governor Sarah Palin and her pregnant daughter find themselves in. Though another blogging colleague, Ben Joravsky, makes a pretty frisky case that there is.
Personally, I write simply to make two points. The first is that all bloggers are not anonymous skunks. The second is that when the "storm [that] brews over Palin," to quote a headline in Tuesday's Sun-Times, passes, as all storms do, it is likely to leave behind an abortion issue that has been modestly transformed.
Let me stipulate one more thing -- that despite what Mary Mitchell suggests in her pugnacious Sun-Times column Tuesday, hypocrisy is not something Governor Palin can be accused of. The Republican Party maybe. For as Mitchell observes, when single teenage girls get pregnant on Chicago's south side "Republicans don't make it sound like a beautiful thing. They call it tragic and a moral failure, and they often blame the teen's parents."
In the case at hand, Bristol Palin is having the baby and marrying the father, and mom says she's behind her all the way. But I'm not sure mom is saying it's a beautiful thing. She's saying she's proud of her daughter, who will have to grow up fast. Consider the situation the Palins found themselves in: a 17-year-old daughter pregnant by a kid her same age who reportedly described himself on MySpace as a "fuckin' redneck" who likes to "kick ass" when someone bugs him and who doesn't want kids. Bristol Palin will have their baby and God bless her. But millions of Americans who might be wavering on abortion have been reminded why they became prochoice.
Either other girls like Bristol have options or they don't.