I'm sure that newcomers to the blogosphere often wonder why anyone ever reads Andrew Sullivan. Since Obama came along, after all, Sullivan has been nothing but nothing more than just another no-talent Obama sycophant who is inordinately obsessed with convincing himself that the Catholic Church does not really mean what it teaches on homosexuality. In other words, no one that anyone would want to read. But I, like many of the "older" readers of the blogosphere, can remember when reading Sullivan was useful, if not exactly either entertaining or insightful. Sullivan was indicative, you see, of what a certain class of relatively well-informed but overall wishy-washy voter was thinking at a certain point in time. In other words, a useful weathervane. And he was such an individual primarily because he truly fancied himself a man of principle in the way that many Americans do: not often internally consistent, but adhering to a set of identifiable, if vaguely fuzzy ideals.
Now, Sullivan is in the tank for Obama. Hard. His infatuation with Obama has reached such levels that it's impossible to tell what Sullivan believes in, except that Barack Obama is the greatest human being to ever walk the face of the earth. In other words, he's not useful for much anymore. But I still usually read him anyway; habit can be a difficult thing to overcome. Now, however, it appears that McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as VP has exposed that Andrew Sullivan has turned himself into human scum in the service of Barack Obama, still, even as of this moment, demanding that Sarah Palin produce her obstetrician to provide a blow-by-blow account of Trig Palin's birth.
Let's review the facts of one of the scummiest and stupidest conspiracy theories that the online left has ever peddled (and that is really saying something). . .
Like most leftist conspiracy theories, the Trig-as-Bristol's-secret-child-theory is both based upon "facts" that are lies, and conclusions that would not necessarily be true even if the "facts" weren't lies. The three "facts" upon which the Trig conspiracy theory are based are these: 1. Sarah Palin didn't look pregnant; 2. Bristol Palin did look pregnant; and 3. since Sarah Palin told certain individuals backstage at a speech in Texas that her amniotic fluid started leaking, there is no way that she flew back to Alaska and then drove from Anchorage to Wasilla to have the baby.
Now, points one and two are just teh awesome in this context. I mean, we're talking about a girl who is 17 years old, what on earth could possibly be wrong with suggesting that she looks pregnant based upon looking at pictures of her? There's no way you could possibly do damage to someone's self esteem by calling the attention of millions of people to a little pouch on her belly, right? This is totally fair game, isn't it? I mean, just look at the freaking evidence, it's so obvious anyway!!!:
Whoa! This chick is obviously pregnant! There is no way that that is the ordinary abdomen of a 17-year-old girl! I mean, look, we found other evidence, look how obviously pregnant she is!!!:
Pregnant! QED! This proves that it was not just a trick of the camera angle?
Wait a minute, what's that you say? That second picture is from 2006? Holy smokes, this chick is pregnant all the time!! It's no wonder she could have a baby on April 18, 2008 and currently be five months pregnant! She's permanently pregnant! The pictures prove it!
Meanwhile, this picture right here? It's so obviously not Sarah Palin being pregnant earlier this year!
You stay classy, Andrew Sullivan. And "reality-based." I'm glad you're obsessed enough with whatever it is you think Barack Obama is going to give you that you and the rest of the netroots are willing to go there. Women of America, take note: if you look anything like Bristol Palin, the average Obama supporter suspects that you're probably pregnant. Otherwise, why would you look like that?
Now as for the rest of this theory: what about Sarah Palin's decision to fly back to Texas after she began leaking amniotic fluid? Well, it's not what I would have done, but then again, I haven't had five kids. So in other words, I'm sort of lacking in the relevant life experience that would have enabled me to make that call. If Sarah Palin felt that she could make it back to Alaska, given that this was her fifth child, then that is her judgment call to make. Say, Andrew, had a lot of experience giving birth so that you can cast aspersions on Sarah Palin's judgment?
Now here's the thing that makes me 100% confident that this conspiracy theory is just as dumb and unfounded as the others. If, hypothetically, Palin was merely wearing a fat suit and received a cell phone call from Bristol that she was going into labor, there's no way she would have told anyone that her water broke. Only an idiot of the highest order would have done that if they were involved in a cover-up, knowing the kind of scrutiny it would have involved. When you are pregnant, you do not need to tell people that your water has broken for people to excuse you from a venue quickly. I mean, for goodness' sake, you can just mention "contractions" and it's a lot cleaner. Forget contractions, just mention the restroom: anyone who's been around a pregnant woman will get the hell out of your way. And if you really got some kind of call that your daughter you've been covering up for is going into labor, would you seriously take the risk of finishing the speech you're scheduled to give and have your whole story blown? Hello? Sarah Palin may be many things, depending on who you talk to; the one thing she clearly is not (based upon the fact that she can string remarkably coherent sentences together without a teleprompter) is a first-class moron. And if this was truly a conspiracy, only a first-class moron would have executed it this badly.
Now, Andrew Sullivan sees fit to demand that Palin produce her doctor to testify as to treatment given to her (hey Andrew, you willing to do the same?), supposing somehow that the Alaska media hasn't already dug into this can of worms. Byron York informs us of the obvious truth that this isn't so:
Here in St. Paul, I was on NPR this evening with a man named Michael Carey, who is a columnist and former editorial page editor for the Anchorage Daily News. We started talking, of course, about the day's Palin news — the fake baby story and the real baby story. As far as the fake baby story was concerned, Carey told me that the rumors were going around in Alaska a few months ago, not long after the birth of Sarah Palin's fifth child. He told me that Daily News reporters and editors explored the story quite extensively, and, as Carey said on NPR, "could find no basis for it except that people who didn't like Sarah Palin believed it." He told me that Daily News reporters talked at length to the Palins about it — Carey said the Palins were actually eager to talk about the rumor because they knew how much it had spread around Alaska. He also said Daily News reporters looked into the medical angle of the rumor, which included talking to at least one doctor involved, and again found nothing to support the story. In the end, Carey told me, the newspaper became "convinced that it was not true."What is amazing about all this is how making just one phone call to a man like Carey could have given some of the bloggers at The Atlantic and DailyKos pause before they wrote so extensively about it. Why didn't they do that?
And now we have word, forced into the national media thanks to jackals like Andrew Sullivan, that Bristol Palin is five months pregnant. It's been four and a half months since Trig Palin was born. This is enough to silence all reasonable people on this question; Andrew Sullivan still thinks this won't be put to rest until we hear it from the doctor's mouth.
Folks, I don't know if the Obama campaign is behind this story. Obama says that he won't associate with people like Andrew Sullivan, and that he'd fire anyone caught peddling this story. For Sullivan's part, this is irrelevant; Sullivan never cared what the Catholic Church said about being a good Catholic; now that he's traded in Catholicism for Obama worship, I have no idea why anyone would expect his basic attitude toward authority in religion to change. Many of Obama's supporters feel the same way. So regardless of whether the Obama campaign is pushing this through back channels or not, Obama's supporters - the movement people who are propping up his campaign - are certainly willing to believe it, and to drag teenage Bristol Palin's name through the mud and into the public limelight because she had a tiny pooch on her belly.
You know, I used to think that the Hillaristas' claims of sexism from the Obama campaign were overblown. Geraghty thinksit's kind of hard to miss it once you start looking. I'm coming around to Geraghty's point of view.
UPDATE: I forgot the fourth idiotic point which supposedly proves that Bristol Palin is really Trig Palin's mother: supposedly, the Palin family holed Bristol Palin away from everyone for 8 months claiming she had "mono" so as to hide the fact that she was pregnant. I really didn't deal with this because it's more or less directly contradicted by the fact that they... dragged her out in public to take the top photograph above, which conclusively proves that she's pregnant. This is, um, not exactly the sort of thing you do when you're allegedly holing someone away.