Ad matrem et filium

Is this charge from Kathleen Parker just a lie, a reverse ad hominem tu quoque, or nutpicking?

Politicizing Bristol Palin's pregnancy, though predictable, is nonetheless repugnant and has often been absurd. It may be darkly ironic that a governor-mother who opposes explicit sex ed has a pregnant daughter, but experienced parents know that what one instructs isn't always practiced by one's little darlings.

We try; we sometimes fail. There are no perfect families and most of us get a turn on the wheel of misfortune.

Were it not for the pain of a teenager who didn't deserve to be exposed and exploited, the left's hypocrisy in questioning Palin's qualifications to be vice president against the backdrop of her family's choices would be delicious. Instead, it leaves a bad taste.

Would anyone ever ask whether a male candidate was qualified for office because his daughter was pregnant?

Some also have questioned whether Palin, whose son Trig has Down syndrome, can be both a mother and a vice president. These questions aren't coming from the right—so often accused of wanting to keep women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen—but from the left.

Did someone switch the Kool-Aid?

I wonder this because Parker doesn't name anyone who makes those charges–no, saying "the left" doesn't count as naming anyone.  She might even be able to find someone, perhaps some anonymous diarist at the Daily Kos, but that would be nutpicking: trolling the comment threads of blogs looking for the person who says just what you need them to say, claiming all the while such a person represents "the left" or ("the right" for that matter).  But doesn't even bother to do this minimally sophistical thing.  That would at least give some cover to the false assertion.

It's clear that she wants to make the charge of hypocrisy.  But in order to do this she ought to have some minimum of purported hypocritical behavior.  So rather than speciously misrepresenting some particular charge against Palin, Parker has just made something up. 

Where I come from (Michigan), that's called "lying."

And it's still lying even if it's on the opinion page.

2 thoughts on “Ad matrem et filium”

  1. That last bit about Trig is perhaps the most egregious “lie” Parker asserts in this piece. She may have gotten away with the first part about her daughter’s pregnancy (there have been quiet ironic asides bandied about, I suppose), but to imply that “the Left” has criticized Palin on account of her disabled son is unbelievable.

  2. “Were it not for the pain of a teenager who didn’t deserve to be exposed and exploited,…”  [Parker]
    The info was given to the media by the McCain campaign.  The Republicans want the press to ask about the Palin sons who are going to Iraq, but not about the pregnant daughter. Isn’t that being “sexist”?

    “These questions aren’t coming from the right…” [Parker]

    Palin made alot of right-wing enemies in Alaska and that is likely the source of the rumors which were there long before any VP nomination.

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