The Pregnant Palin

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sex education.jpgWho would be so churlish to disagree with Obama’s call for the media to step away from the Bristol Palin pregnancy story? And yet, and yet. Is it out of bounds to note, in the context of her teenaged daughter’s pregnancy, that Sarah Palin declared herself unequivocally opposed to anything but abstinence-only sex education?
I presume it’s OK to ask a candidate, “Would you oppose sex education in the public schools, including the use of condoms and other birth control measures, even if it resulted in your daughter getting pregnant?” Dick Cheney, you’ll recall, angrily swatted away as an invasion of privacy a question relating his partnered lesbian daughter to the Republican Party’s stance on gay marriage. But again, I see nothing wrong with asking a candidate, “Would you oppose same-sex marriage even if you had a gay son or lesbian daughter who wished to marry?” So the relevant question, so far as I can see, is only whether it is legitimate to use some actual fact about the candidate’s children to give force to an otherwise hypothetical question about the candidate’s position on an issue. It’s got to be. Especially when the candidate signals her own opposition to abortion by calling attention to her decision to carry a pregnancy to term knowing the baby will have Down Syndrome.