Sunday, August 31, 2008

Apparently, I'm a sexist.

Like many, I was very surprised by the Sarah Palin pick. But the more that I read about her, the more she seems like the kind of maverick that would complement McCain. Plus, it would also revitalize the campaign, which can't hurt.

But here's the thing. And I have a very hard time admitting it. But here goes.

Palin has a four-month-old Down's Syndrome child. The right is positioning this as a sign that Palin can put her money where her mouth is when it comes to pro-life policy (never mind that it was a *choice* that could equally stand up in a pro-choice context). They are saying this is a good thing. And while I applaud Palin for opting to keep a special needs child, I can't help but wonder how it will affect her duties as VP.

If I think the best of Palin, then I know that when her child needs her, that child will come first. And a child with Down's Syndrome is going to need her often. There are going to be doctor's appointments, tests, all manner of complications that could happen at any time. And given her son's young age, it is very unclear what those needs may be and how much time they will require. And of course, whether they will occur when it is convenient for the country.

At some point, I think that Palin will be put in a position where she has to choose between her child and the American people. Not only it is an unfair choice to put upon her but also unfair to that child and the people she was chosen to represent.

Of course, any pundit out there will say, "Would you say the same about a father who had a special needs child?" And I will tell you honestly -- a child with Down's Syndrome at 4 months of age? Yes. Yes, I would have concerns. I see it the same way I would a VP with severe health issues. (And in fact, after Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with cancer, I almost got slapped for telling someone that I thought that perhaps it would prove too much of a distraction for a leader of the free world).

Frankly, I just think it is just too hard to stay focused when there are so many unknowns, so many potential problems that take the VP's head away from where it needs to be -- on our country.

So, apparently I'm sexist. And since it's out there now, don't be surprised if I slap you on the ass and tell you to get me a beer.

(P.S. Now they are speculating that the baby isn't even Palin's. Oh vey).


Lee Anne said...

You know, I had some of these same thoughts. Just who will be taking care of the child? If her husband can do it, fine, but it remains such a stress on a family and a marriage. Still, I like the fact that she's not a Washington insider, social conservatism aside. Also, consider the fact that we know so much about the candidates these days... would it have mattered fifty years ago when a special needs child of a candidate would have been institutionalized and forgotten? It's a tough one, but she's a tough woman.

Non-Essential Equipment said...

Even if her husband does take the main role in raising the baby, I don't know that it mitigates the problems. Down's babies often have heart issues, hearing and sight problems, increased susceptibility to infection. How do you put that on the backburner, whether you are the mother or the father, while you are second-in-command of the country?

liberal army wife said...

not sexist at all. Whether or not I like the woman (and I don't), I agree! For BOTH parents, it's a hell of a lot. Now, I could be nasty and say that they probably have a nanny/housekeeper at this point, the woman is a governor, he works... c'mon folks, these people AREN'T you or me, who couldn't afford it.

Not sexist at all... and I agree about Edwards (notwithstanding that he's lower than whale crap, not just for deceiving his wife, cause that's between THEM, but he deceived US too!) Sometimes, you just need to give more to the family than to your job/career/profession/charity - whatEVER it is that you spend time on.