How does that saying go? First time’s an accident, second time’s a coincidence, third time’s an enemy action? Well, then, I feel confident in accusing Mary Elizabeth Williams of waging ignorant aggression, and justified in responding with extreme prejudice.
So let’s get this straight — at an age when plenty of young adults are still living at home, working part time at Chili’s, and making their biggest plans based on the merits of $5 pitchers or Jager on tap, Bristol Palin is a home owner contemplating her educational future. You’d think that maybe the prospect of Palin — a girl who got knocked up at 17, has a high profile and an often justly reviled family, and whose recent claim to fame involved dancing in a gorilla suit — becoming a property owning, possibly matriculating member of society would be enough to make her numerous detractors pause a moment and say, hey, good for her.
She sure does have a soft spot for the helpless and downtrodden, doesn’t she? First she felt obliged to take up for the poor millionaire athlete against the mean old animal welfare workers, then she bravely stuck up for a plucky little Bronze Age mystery cult against the tyranny of a billboard suggesting it’s a crock of shit, and now this. I’m actually intrigued to see what she’s going to come up with next!
You know, I faced a serious dilemma here, one that took an actual coin flip to resolve. No, really. I’ve said before that the amount of scrutiny the Palin family gets is in inverse proportion to their actual significance, that far too many bloggers have been lazily using them as a crutch to avoid writing about anything remotely interesting or important. My first instinct here was to avoid this low-hanging fruit, to refrain from wasting any more pixels on these clowns. But I’ve only become aware of what a fucking moronic hack Williams is in the last couple weeks, so the novelty of mocking her still hasn’t worn off quite yet. What to do, what to do? Well, the coin came up heads, so here I am.
But before I start launching salvos, let me concede a general point she tries to make: it’s a bad thing when urban, educated liberals gratuitously sneer at people simply because they happen to be rural, poor and uneducated. Not everyone who lives in a trailer park or a small town in the middle of nowhere is a bigoted yahoo, it’s true. Nevertheless, we’re talking about the Palins here, and you kind of lose any expectation of sympathy or fairness when your entire public persona, since the very first time we made your accursed acquaintance, has been purely based on condescending, judgmental sneering at anyone who doesn’t fit your bullshit definition of what “real” Myrrhkins are supposed to be like. I suppose it’s possible that Bristol could turn out to be something other than the perpetual resentment machine that her mother is, but based on what we’ve seen so far, it ain’t bloody likely, especially since she’s already been generously rewarded for simply being one of her mother’s appendages.
Being a hack, though, Williams can’t just leave off at suggesting that maybe the kid should be given a chance to become her own person. She has to go for the gobsmacking, counterintuitive comparison between Bristol and her peers as evidence of why she should be respected, if not admired. Oh yes, Mary Beth, let’s get this straight, indeed: Sarah Palin is the telegenic face of a political movement that takes a malicious glee in scolding other people for their supposed moral failings and lack of responsibility while making endless allowances for the inbred children of their aristocracy. If George W.’s last name had been anything but Bush, he would have been living in a cardboard box outside an ABC store in his forties, not being groomed for a career in politics. Most of us don’t have fathers with rich friends who will pour millions of dollars into keeping us out of the gutter. And unlike Bristol Palin, most unwed teen mothers are not going to be given tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees to go around and tell other teens what a mistake it was to have a kid at such a young age, because, hey, look at how much she’s suffering. They’re not going to be provided with lucrative appearances on imbecilic reality TV shows simply because of name recognition. In a society run by people like Bristol’s mother, they’re going to have extremely limited access to birth control, education and employment opportunities, and almost no margin of error when it comes to making the sort of dumb choices that adolescents are indeed prone to making. I had a few peers who made the mistake of getting married too young before getting stuck raising a child on their own while working two or three jobs and going to school part-time, but all I seem to recall hearing from the conservative aristocracy was that these sluts with their loose morals were destroying the fabric of society, and they needed to get back to church and stop being so quick to leave their husbands over a little infidelity or physical abuse.
I don’t blame Bristol, or anyone else given the opportunity, for grabbing that cash with both hands and making a stash. But there’s something fucking obscene about someone like Williams, who you would think should know better, acting as if she earned a damned thing, rather than being just the latest example of an entitled brat benefiting from incredibly good fortune while telling everyone else that it’s all due to being a “hard ass worker“.