THANK GOD unwed mother Bristol Palin broke up again with Levi Johnston, the father of her child. I hope this time she’s had it with him once and for all, although I fear for her because I believe she thinks everyone is honest and that she believes everyone can be redeemed.
I thought Johnston was scamming Bristol when they announced their reconciliation. If this were a novel or soap opera, Democratic operatives would have paid him to string Bristol along for as long as possible and use her to cause as much hurt and chaos in the Palin family he could while keeping himself in a position of credibility to tell any lie about Gov. Palin that served his handlers. But apparently Bristol has more intelligence and self-esteem than Levi remembered, while Levi is too stupid to handle the demands of a long game.
But somehow the headline for this post didn’t just pop into my head in the night, it woke me up to watch a whole train of thought. To wit, bitter and dissatisfied people, especially those who see no way of getting out of their plight, are easy to turn into traitors. This might have started with posts by Ace about the gay serviceman who is the source of the leaks about U.S. forces in Afghanistan — he was bitter about a break-up but is dressing up his treachery as a blow against “don’t ask, don’t tell” — which linked a Harper’s piece from 1941 brought to light by The Anchoress, who says she got it from Bookworm, pondering how to tell, when this was worth knowing, “Who goes Nazi?”
Somehow in my sleep it occurred to me that the Left immediately saw that Levi Johnston was traitor material: under financial pressure, young and naive, conceited, lazy, bitter, hurt, angry and easily led. This is the IQ test that conservatives flunked — when Johnston tore up the golden ticket of being a member of the Palin family, probably because it involved a little too much work and responsibility, conservatives responded by vilifying and shaming him. That was the flunking part. Because it was so easy to neutralize Johnston as a threat by giving him a job that paid enough to solve his financial problems, puff up his vanity and give him a sense of purpose. This young man was not raised to understand delayed gratification or the concept of earning credentials.
Now, I do understand why it might not have occurred to conservatives to do such a thing: they would be derailing Johnston from getting an education or a trade for which he actually was qualified, so they would be destroying his life. That is not the same thing as stepping back from his tantrums and getting out of the way of his destroying himself. I think it is morally repugnant to conservatives to use someone in this way and then throw them under the bus when they are no longer useful, or actively a liability.
By the way, I am NOT suggesting this is something the Palins should have done, or arranged. But it is for damn sure the kind of loose cannon that a competent Republican National Committee chairman would have seen and dealt with.
Meanwhile, I am concerned that Bristol is the Fredo of the Palin family. In 2008, she knew her mother was governor and how babies are made when she decided to have unprotected sex. Recently she blindsided her mother by announcing her reconciliation with Johnston in a magazine before telling her family. The Left knows that Bristol is Fredo. And they are experts at rubbing raw the resentments that turn the Fredo’s of the world against the people to whom they owe the most loyalty.
What we on the Right need to do for conservatism is to have Bristol Palin’s back and make the price for attacking her such a heavy one that the attacks stop. In addition, the people with the power and wealth to do it should see to it — if they haven’t already — that Bristol gets highly-paid work that allows her to complete college and care for her son in comfort and dignity. Then, with more maturity, she’ll have a shot at meeting and marrying a man worthy of being the love of her life, father to her children and support through good times and bad.