Eric Marcus

Can't They Afford a Babysitter?

Filed By Eric Marcus | October 05, 2008 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: hockey mom, Joe Biden, Republican Convention, Sarah Palin

My grandmother has been dead for three years. But I still often hear her voice. It's not a sign of mental illness. I just knew her really well. By the time she died in her 103rd year, I knew her so well that I could guess with a very high degree of certainty how she would react to almost anything-- especially when it came to brides, bimbos, anyone with a big bottom, and especially babies.

Grandma adored babies, and had very strong opinions about their care and wellbeing. So while I watched the Republican convention-- and more recently the Palin-Biden debate-- I could hear my grandmother saying with just a hint (but, oh, such a hint!) of scorn in her tone: "At this hour of the night, why is she schlepping around that poor little Mongoloid baby? Can't they find a babysitter?"

Grandma was old school, so her use of the long-discarded term for Down Syndrome would have been without malice. On the other hand, the babysitter remark would have been meant for the jugular. No baby in my grandmother's care, especially a special needs infant, would be up way past its bedtime in a room filled with thousands of cheering Republican (or Democratic, for that matter) delegates. Never. "What are they thinking?" my grandmother would have asked with exasperation, followed by an icy, "She calls herself a mother?"

Sarah Palin indeed calls herself a mother--a hockey mom to be precise--and she uses that credential as both evidence of her ability to understand average Americans and as an argument for why she's the right person to serve as vice president alongside John McCain. Whatever. My grandmother would argue, "If that's what she'd do to her own baby to give herself a leg up, what else would she do?"

I don't want to imagine. But if we're really unlucky, after November 4, the Palin baby isn't the only one who will be losing sleep over the next four years.

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Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | October 5, 2008 9:41 PM

"If that's what she'd do to her own baby to give herself a leg up, what else would she do?"

Exactly my thought!!! Thanks for saying it!!!

FINALLY SOME SAID IT. Thank you. Grandmothers have a way of saying things that the rest of us can't or won't or shouldn't say ... but desperately need to. Grandmothers and children have that in common -- they can get away with it.

Anything, ANYTHING for a win. Now bring on the Levi/Bristol shotgun wedding .....

You know, your grandmother and my mother. I could hear mom in my head too. She'd have said the same thing - minus the mongoloid comment, of course. LOL

Crash2Parties | October 6, 2008 4:42 PM

From: 20...r_n_122474.html

Gov. Palin's opted to board a jet from Dallas in April while about to deliver a child. Gov. Palin, who was eight months pregnant, says she felt a few contractions shortly before she was to give a keynote speech to an energy summit of governors in Dallas. But she says she went ahead with it after her doctor in Alaska advised her to put her feet up to rest. "I was not going to miss that speech," she says.

She rushed so quickly from the podium afterwards that Texas Gov. Rick Perry nervously asked if she was about to deliver the baby then. She made it to the airport, and gave birth hours after landing in Anchorage to Trig, who is diagnosed with Down Syndrome. "Maybe they shouldn't have let me fly, but I wasn't showing much so they didn't know," she says.

The baby was a premie, born hours after the second flight in as many days. Maybe, just maybe, that is why you are not supposed to fly in your third trimester.

Just sayin'.

WOW so we are going to use the whole mommy thing to pick at Palin now. I notice that no one is blaming her husband who as a parent has equal responsibility for where Trigg is and what he is participating in. I also notice that no one is complaining that the Obama girls attended the democratic election and were up past their bedtimes to support their father. They also most likely had to miss time in school to attend the convention but that was all about witnessing a historic event right? I certainly do not support Palin in any way but if you are going to judge her by one standard you need to be willing to apply that same standard to all of the other candidates running for office.

You bet that the "the whole mommy thing" is on the table. How many times have we heard Sarah Palin promote herself as a "mom"? If she's going to use the fact of her motherhood as a credential that makes her worthy of the office she's running for, we have a right to question how she goes about being a mother. And whether I'm channeling my late grandmother, who worked hard at being a good mother and was the best grandmother anyone could hope to have or my late mother, who was not a natural mother, but who would never have schlepped me around as an infant after my bedtime as a symbol of her religious beliefs or forced my sister to marry her teenaged boyfriend if she'd gotten pregnant or boasted about sending my brother off to an insane war, or I'm just speaking for myself it's not brain surgery to draw the conclusion that Sarah Palin is a lousy mother. And regarding Obma's kids, they are not infants, he's not forcing them to get married, and he's not sending them off to Bush's war with a smile on his face. The Palin-McCain team has made everything fair game. Of course the focus of the campaigns should be on the financial crisis, but there's no ignoring the motherhood issue (and all the rest) when the McCain campaign is trying to win this election on the stupid stuff.

What Eric said. I rushed here to say that, but he beat me to it.