I had heard murmurings about Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter being pregnant, but until I read this Reuters article, I had no idea just how far-fetched and vicious the rumors were:

McCain officials said the news of the daughter’s pregnancy was being released to rebut what one aide called “mud-slinging and lies” circulating on liberal blog sites.

According to these rumors, Sarah Palin had faked a pregnancy and pretended to have given birth in May to her fifth child, a son named Trig who has Down syndrome. The rumor was that Trig was actually Bristol Palin’s child and that Sarah Palin was the grandmother. [Emphasis mine]

A senior McCain campaign official said the McCain camp was appalled that these rumors had not only been spread around liberal blog sites and partisan Democrats, but also were the subject of heightened interest from mainstream news media.

Wow.  Maybe I still have a lot to learn about radical liberals and the MSM, but… wow.  Do these people know that we’re living in the real world and not some kind of soap opera?  I mean, I guess the scenario could happen in real life, and maybe it does, but the fact is, I recall Gov. Palin’s pregnancy being very well-publicized and very real.  I didn’t see with my own two eyes that she was pregnant, but I read the stories about how she was going to carry the pregnancy to term despite the baby’s diagnosis of Down syndrome.  Among pro-lifers, it was a pretty huge story.  The woman is a public figure, so unless there was some huge elaborate conspiracy to make her appear pregnant when she really wasn’t…  I think I’ll trust that she really was pregnant.

Maybe it’s just me, but reading things like the excerpt above can be such an odd experience.  Living in this society and trying to be a reasonable person sometimes makes me feel a little insane.  Or at least very surreal.  Sometimes I just have to stop everything and ask myself, “Is this really the way things are?  Am I just having a bizarre dream?”  Sadly, I always have to answer “Yes” to the first question and “No” to the second.

In any case, I don’t see the daughter’s pregnancy as any big deal.  That’s an issue for the Palin family to deal with, and I think that many American families have to deal with the same problem.  If they don’t experience it within their nuclear families, they probably have extended family who are in that situation.  Unfortunately, it’s part of our society and culture.  I wish it weren’t.  I would never want to be in that situation myself.  But I’m not exactly scandalized by it, and I doubt that many Americans are.  In fact, it could possibly help more Americans to identify Palin as “one of us.”  That sort of identification should not be underestimated when it comes to politics.  We all prefer people who are like us.

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