Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sarah Palin Attacks Continue: Email Hacked, Trig Should Have Been Aborted

The number of baseless attacks on Sarah Palin has been well-documented. I've blogged about it until, frankly, I've grown tired of it. Tonight I realized that as tired as I am of the subject, for the sake of human decency, I should continue to try to make people aware of them. With that in mind, there are two topics to cover.

One, in case you haven't heard, hackers managed to break their way into Sarah Palin's private email account. Screenshots of her messages, photos friends had sent her, were posted on a blog for people to laugh at. Do people have no decency? Kim Priestap has a long post covering the story at Wizbang. My quick thoughts:
  • The McCain camp's only action was to issue a statement saying that the FBI was investigating the matter and they would be no further comments on the matter. I think this is the right decision.
  • The FBI has apparently asked the Associated Press for copies of the emails they received. The AP declined because, you know, they are impartial and can't take a side. For the record, what bullshit. But in the end I doubt it will make a difference in the investigation.
  • A wide-variety of federal laws have been broken and personally I hope they people involved get the book thrown at them. McCain should stay clear of the subject; the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Department of Justice should not.
The other topic was so distasteful to me I actually wrote up a post on it earlier tonight and found I was being incoherent and in the end decided to just delete it. This story is also being covered at Wizbang. Cassy Fiano writes about a Nicholas Provenzo editorial opinion entitled "Palin's Down syndrome child and the right to abortion." In his writings, Provenzo makes the following statements:
Like many, I am troubled by the implications of Alaska governor and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's decision to knowingly give birth to a child disabled with Down syndrome. Given that Palin's decision is being celebrated in some quarters, it is crucial to reaffirm the morality of aborting a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome (or by extension, any unborn fetus)—a freedom that anti-abortion advocates seek to deny.


That is, we need the mentally retarded to teach us how to better sacrifice our lives and divest ourselves of our self-interested ways more than they need us to care for them. At Noodlefood, Diana Hsieh condemns such a stand as "the worship of retardation." Given that Palin had complete foreknowledge of her child's severe disability yet nevertheless chose to have it, it is hard not to see her choice as anything less.
I'm am (almost) speechless. In discussion about abortions, I've heard people hurl accusations such as "You aren't pro-choice, you are pro-abortion!" and I've always thought it was nonsense. I was wrong. If it matters to you as a reader, I am pro-choice and I've always taken that to mean that women (and couples) should actually have a choice. I detest the idea of someone in government dictating such a personal decision. But to claim that killing any baby that has a defect is the moral thing to do is astounding. Sarah Palin made a choice. A choice she should be free to make. To say she is "worshiping retardation" is one of the dumbest statements I heard this entire campaign--and as we all know there's a wealth of them to choose from.

Note also that Provenzo refuses to call her son Trig. Provenzo repeatedly refers to Trig as "a child disabled with Down syndrome"; I'm surprised he doesn't use the term "it" and be done with it. In the comments someone describes Palin as "anti-abortion, pro-retardation". Pro-retardation? Is this an Onion article? I can only wish it were, it seems.

The point of linking these two stories is to make you stop and think about freedom in this country. You are reading the Internet Freedom Trail, after all. You may not agree with Sarah Palin. You may think she was a horribly poor choice for vice president. But think about the seething hatred directed at her that has spewed forth from some many directions it is mind-numbing. Does it represent the society you want to live in? Do the people instigating the attacks represent you? I hope not.

For other reasons, before the choice of Sarah Palin, I had already chosen to vote for John McCain (more on that later). But I swear that if I had been undecided the treatment of Palin would have been enough for me to vote for her merely as a sign of support of common decency and freedom. I strongly hope that other independents reach the same conclusion.


Paul Hsieh said...

First, Nick Provenzo has responded to the many misrepresentations of his views in a followup post at:

Second, I'm going to speak up to support Nick Provenzo's *moral* defense of the 90% of women who have learned that their fetus has DS and who eventually chose to abort.

If a woman takes a serious look at the consequences for her life of having an abortion vs. raising that child, and she decides that an abortion would best foster her happiness in the full context of her life, then that is her legal right. And more importantly, she would also be making the *morally* right choice for herself.

Of course, if a woman chooses to have the DS child, that is her right and I genuinely hope that things work out as well as possible for the child and the family.

But to uphold the 10% women who choose to have the DS child as automatically morally superior to the 90% who choose to abort is wrong.

Those women who have made the difficult decision to abort do not deserve to be tarred with the label "murderer" for choosing their own happiness. And anyone who would attempt to saddle those women with an unearned guilt should be ashamed of themselves.

Dan Karipides said...

I see you posted the same comment here as you did on the followup post you linked in your comment.

Note that nowhere did I say that people who choose to abort a pregnancy are acting immorally. I specifically stated I am pro-choice--and that means people get to choose. In every situation, some people will choose to have an abortion, others will not. Morality doesn't enter into it. So I think we agree there.

What is offensive to me about Provenzo's writing is he is claiming that there is no choice. That Palin and women like her are "worshiping retardation" by making the choice they did. That's ridiculous.

Just because I disagree with Sarah Palin on the right of women to choose--she's argue they don't have that right--doesn't mean I support people making irrational and offensive arguments against her.

You and I agree on that point it seems--noting your paragraph where you hope things turn out well for the families that choose not to abort a Down syndrome baby.