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Baby Palin -- Enough already

Craig Medred

Trig Palin: Who's your bio-mommy? Who's your bio-daddy?

Who cares? Sadly and unfortunately, it would appear former Alaska state flack and KTVA talking head Bill McAllister does; and Northern Kentucky University associate professor Bradford W. Scharlott does; and now various Outside pundits do, too.

Why? Who knows. Scharlott appears concerned about the possibility a giant baby fraud has been committed. Wa-hoo! McAllister appears worried he mighta, maybe, coulda been accused by Scharlott of helping cover up a giant baby fraud. Yee-haw!

Others seem interested because, well, they apparently have nothing to do but look at old photographs of former, half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and try to determine whether she looks pregnant.

She does, and she doesn't, and you sometimes can't tell. She could just be bloated or fat. And, as has already been stated once, who the hell cares?

Why would anyone really be interested in whose sperm met whose egg to create Trig? Can't America just be happy that a kid with disabilities has a home with a loving family and plenty of financial assets?

Even if, as some suggest, Sarah is awfully busy and on the road a lot these days, her parents -- Chuck and Sally Heath -- are around to help out, and nobody questions that they're the sort who will absolutely dote on grandchildren. So what does it matter who birthed Trig, if it wasn't Sarah, or who fathered Trig, if it wasn't Todd?

It's meaningless. It's not like the Palins stole somebody's baby. There were no infants reported missing in the Mat-Su Valley around the time of Trig's birth.

If Sarah and Todd did take responsibility for someone else's Down syndrome child -- a far-fetched idea but one that cannot be called impossible given the secrecy surrounding Trig's birth certificate -- more power to them. Were such a doubtful possibility true, they would deserve nothing but praise for their big heartedness.

Palins: Put the Trig birth issue to rest

As it is, unfortunately, they do deserve a little criticism for one thing: Their failure to clearly document Trig as their baby; their failure to make public Trig's birth certificate and put an end to all this nonsense, which is only going to heat up again if Sarah decides to run for president.

Some want her to run. Some think it would be a bad idea. She, so far, has been nothing but coy, but she did suggest she wants to engage a national dialogue about issues. And then she encouraged Donald Trump's pursuit of the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's birth certificate, which brought the whole issue of birth certificates front and center again.

It's hard to engage national discussions about the issues when you're down in the birther muck. It's equally hard to imagine that anyone who even brushes up against the birther muck would think that once they did this the biological parentage of their baby wouldn't become an issue. 

Obama has produced a birth certificate. The issue is that it isn't a good enough birth certificate. The Palins have produced no birth certificate at all. Sarah's view on the latter appears pretty simple -- "why should we?"

The answer is equally simple -- "to put the stupid issue of Trig's birth to rest."

Because if Sarah decides to run for president, "TrigGate" is not going away in this the Internet age. Even if she can keep the story largely out of what she calls the "lamestream media," as Scharlott claims she has been able to do, it is sure to break out in the alternative media or develop new legs of its own in that interconnected world of bloggers Sarah once referred to as the "kids in pajamas sitting in the basement of their parents' homes."

Why? Because of an old Ronald Reagan slogan Sarah loves to repeat -- "trust but verify."

Reagan used the phrase to describe how this country should deal with the Soviets. But it applies equally well to how American voters deal with their political leaders. They want to trust them, but they really don't. And what little trust they develop comes from verifying everything that can be verified.

Nothing maverick about ethics

So what happens when a politician renders the easily verifiable unverifiable, as the Palins have done with Trig? Questions of believability arise, trust disintegrates and Sarah ends up right back in the mess she was in when she was Alaska's governor. She quit that job because she didn't like dealing with all the ethics complaints being filed against her. The ethics complaints started because her critics didn't trust her. And if anyone remembers, the beginnings of that trace back to when the Palins tried to get former brother-in-law Mike Wooten fired from his job as an Alaska State Trooper, and then said they didn't.

Before the affair that came to be called Troopergate, Sarah was all about transparent government, and then she wasn't, and then she was again with certain conditions, and then she wasn't.

She'd probably still be Alaska's governor if she'd come out at the beginning of Troopergate, been honest, and said, "Of course I wanted Wooten fired. He's a bad trooper. Look at his record. I think he ought to be fired now."

Yes, the Legislature would have slapped her fingers for saying that, but they slapped her fingers anyway. The difference is that she would have hung onto the trust of Alaskans who were all for her before Troopergate and have steadily and increasingly turned against her since. And if she runs for president -- God help us -- all of this crap is sure to be revisited.

Sarah's less than honest responses during Troopergate will only provide fuel to support the idea that maybe, just possibly, crazy as it seems, there might be some remote possibility this speculation about Trig belonging to someone else is true.

After all, if TrigGate is all just a big conspiracy to smear her, why hasn't she gone public with the birth certificate?

Which brings us back to another old Reagan saying: "There you go again."

Do we really have to go again? Haven't we just about worn out the subject of birth certificates in this country? So Trig isn't the Palins' baby, and Barack Obama is a non-American, an alien maybe or a visitor from Outer Space.

Who cares?

Obama has now been in office more than two years. He comes up for re-election in less time than that. People who don't like the guy can vote him out then. The whole born-in-the-U.S.A. requirement for the presidency is a little stupid anyway. We've had plenty of great minds in this country who weren't born here. We could start that discussion with industrialist Andrew Carnegie or author Ayn Rand or maybe even Albert Einstein.

But let's not, because putting Sarah Palin and Albert Einstein in the same discussion is ridiculous.

The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch. Alaska Dispatch welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, e-mail commentary(at)alaskadispatch.com.

Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com