Johnny Cash was and is one of my few heroes. My admiration for him is based not only on my appreciation of his unique talent as singer, songwriter and performer, but on the courage he showed as a Nashville heavy hitter who stood up for Bob Dylan way back when Bob was considered a commie jew anti-war hippie by the country music establishment, and for Johnny’s overcoming substance abuse problems to create a whole new oeuvre in his later years, and for his being a man who never tried to shove his Christianity down anyone’s throat, and who, throughout his life, opposed needless war, imperialism, racism and insensitivity to the less fortunate among us.
In October, 2008, she wrote a brilliant commentary in The Nation, called “Why I’d Be a Better VP than Sarah Palin.
Contained therein is her straight from the shoulder shot about Sarah being pregnant with Trig in Dallas and taking the wild ride to Wasilla:
Finally, there is one subject in which I find I am even more conservative than the Governor, and that is in the area of neo-natal responsibility. The Governor was eight months pregnant and in Texas to give a speech, when her water broke. She reportedly made her speech and then traveled eleven hours, dripping amniotic fluid, bypassing Seattle and Anchorage (major cities with world-class hospitals) to travel to a small hospital in Wasilla that had no neo-natal intensive care unit, and gave birth there. Call me a wimp, call me insecure, but you had better also call me a maverick, because I would have said “Damn the schedule! Damn the speech and the airline ticket!” If this had been me, as soon as my water broke, I’d be at the closest hospital and that baby would have been born in Texas!
This is from a mother of five whose career has taken her to far more places around the world than Sarah’s has.
It’s a question of priorities.
What matters more: the life and well-being of your Down Syndrome baby, about to be born prematurely, or your image?
The estimable Ms. Cash makes clear the choice she would have made.
Which is the choice any sane and caring woman in that circumstance would have made. And the choice her husband–if he were caring–would have insisted on!
This leaves us with only two options:
a) Sarah is/was either not sane, or was so uncaring that she was more concerned about her image than about the life she was carrying inside her.
b) She wasn’t pregnant.
I just don’t see a third alternative.
I’ve declared myself as “trignostic,” meaning I am skeptical about Sarah’s story of her pregnancy with Trig and his birth, but I am not yet certain that it could not be true.
If it’s a hoax, it would be the worst ever perpetrated on the American electorate by a candidate for national office.
That’s a lot to swallow, which is why MSM has simply turned its collective head.
I’m still not convinced (i.e. persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt), but recent close readings of the newly-released Palin emails by Jesse Griffin at Immoral Minority and Andrew Sullivan at Daily Dish bring me closer to concluding that Sarah’s tale is an absolute and utter fraud and that Trig, in fact, was not her baby.
To me, the questions have always been valid, and the MSM dismissal of Sullivan as a misogynist freak with a tinfoil beard has been shameful.
The question of whether or not Trig was really Sarah’s baby was much on my mind last spring and summer in Alaska. Both Levi’s sister, who was photographed holding him soon after birth, and Levi’s mother assured me that conspiracy theories about Trig were absurd: Sarah gave birth to him, just as she said.
I devote a full chapter of THE ROGUE to this question, and have material in other chapters that relates directly to it.
My research did not uncover proof that Sarah was lying, but I returned from Alaska last fall more skeptical about the official version of events than I’d been when I got there.
In regard to this question, I recall the words of a US Army CID detective who on April 6, 1970 questioned Jeffrey MacDonald about his account of the murders of his wife and two daughters: “Anything is possible, but some things are more possible than others.”
I now think in regard to Trig that anything is possible, but that it’s more possible than not that Sarah’s whole story is a lie.
Even so heavily redacted, the Palin emails offer startling new evidence. By evidence, I mean facts that could be submitted to a jury in a court of law. For a long time, there have been photos online–both of Trig’s ear and Sarah’s belly–from the spring of 2008 that would seem to contradict her version of events. But much of what a photograph demonstrates, in a forensic sense, is in the eye of the beholder. If you already believe Sarah’s story to be a lie, the photos prove it. If you don’t, they’re just pictures, taken from different angles by different people at different times.
The emails, however, are in Sarah’s own words.
As I point out in THE ROGUE , for someone who wrote in her memoir that “desperation…overwhelmed me” when she realized her amniotic fluid sac had ruptured in Dallas at 4 a.m. on April 17, 2008, Sarah was strangely indifferent to her baby’s fate. I describe how close she was to so many Dallas hospitals with neo-natal intensive care units, yet she felt no need to go to one, even though her baby wasn’t due for another month, and even though she already knew that his Down Syndrome and her age made the birth high risk.
Hell, Sarah didn’t even want to call her doctor!
I go into the hours that followed in great detail, pointing out that observations by others of her behavior every step of the way from Dallas to Wasilla cast doubt upon her version of events.
What’s new in the emails is proof that seven hours after being overwhelmed by desperation about the fate of her new gift from her Heavenly Father, Sarah was firing off BlackBerry messages, including one about Andrew Halcro, one of her opponents in the gubernatorial race of 2006, who’d started a blog often critical of her.
“What a goof he is…truly annoying,” she wrote in the throes of her desperation about Trig’s fate. She added, “I’m headed home from Dallas.”
We’ve all heard about compartmentalizing, but, hey, let’s get real: her great gift from her Heavenly Father is at risk of dying before he’s even born and Sarah is bitching about Andrew Halcro?
Despite being overwhelmed by desperation, Sarah also fired off a note to an aide that morning, instructing her not to proceed with a fake letter to the editor of the Anchorage Daily News–one that was to be sent as if it came from Sarah–responding to criticism from a couple of Anchorage radio personalities.
“Don’t submit at this time as there will be more thought put into this…” she wrote.
In THE ROGUE I wonder about how Sarah spent the hours between the onset of desperation at four a.m. and her luncheon speech. Now we know: she was on her BlackBerry, dealing with inconsequential matters, as her amniotic fluid continued to leak, putting her baby, hour by hour, at increasing risk.
IF there was a baby in her womb at the time.
Jesse Griffin’s close reading of Sarah’s letter to family and friends, written as if it were from God, provides the strongest evidence I’ve yet seen that Sarah was not pregnant in 2008 and did not give birth to Trig.
In the popular idiom, “God is in the details.” Here, God is in the redactions.
I read Going Rogue (don’t get me started.) In it, Sarah says she wrote a letter about Trig “to our family and closest friends.” Being Sarah, she opted to write it as if it had come from “Trig’s Creator, the same Creator in whom I had put my trust more than thirty years before.” She signed it, “Love, Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father.”
First, how crazy is that? You write a letter to family and closest friends announcing the arrival of a new baby as if you were God?
I’ve read saner communiques from Son of Sam and Charles Manson.
But…what’s relevant here is what Sarah redacted from the letter as published in Going Rogue.
There was sheer nuttiness, such as this paragraph, which was redacted:
(But tell me, what do you earthlings consider “perfect” or even “normal” anyway? Have you peeked down any grocery store isle, or school hallway, or into your office lunchroom lately? Or considered the odd celebrities you consider “perfect” on t.v.? Have you noticed I make ’em all shapes and sizes? Believe me, there is no “perfect”!)
“You earthlings?” What is this, Star Trek?
But then there was the money quote:
“I let Trig’s mom have an exceptionally comfortable pregnancy, so she could enjoy every minute of it, and I even seemed to rush it along so she could wait until near the end to surprise you with the news…”
There’s more sentimental tripe about Piper not waiting too long for a Christmas present and Palins having four-day birthday parties (“You all really like cake”), which goes to show that the heavenly father really needs an earthling editor, but the bottom line is what Jesse Griffin spotted.
I believe we’ve now seen an email that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sarah Palin’s pregnancy was not as reported.
On Monday, April 7th, Sarah Palin sent this letter from her official government account to her yahoo accounts. It was the draft of the letter she eventually sent to friends and family after Trig was “born” on April 18th, eleven days later.
This letter was written when Sarah Palin was supposedly thirty-four weeks pregnant. Six weeks away from her announced delivery date of May 18th.
How can you possibly explain her writing a letter which thanks God for giving her an exceptionally easy pregnancy (“Then, I let Trig’s mom have an exceptionally comfortable pregnancy so she could enjoy every minute of it,”) when she should have been six LONG weeks away from the end? Still facing the weeks that any woman will tell you are going to be the most uncomfortable…
How could Sarah know for sure that her birth would be easy and free of complications or that her baby would be, except for the Down Syndrome, healthy?…
And what about this sentence? “and I even seemed to rush it along…” I believe this is a clear reference to the fact that Trig came early. But how could Sarah possibly have known, on April 7th, that that was going to happen?…
Here is my question: if she could write on April 7th that her Heavenly Father let her “have an exceptionally comfortable pregnancy,” and she knew in advance she’d give birth so easily–although a month prematurely–that she wouldn’t even have to take a day off from work, how come “desperation…overwhelmed” her in Dallas ten days later?
Sarah: forget about “The British are coming!” What should worry you is “The questions are coming!”
Ever thicker and faster.
And by the way, where is Trig? Long time no see.
See “A Trignostic Wavers” from Andrew Sullivan at Daily Dish today.
As Julie Bosman reported in The New York Times last week, it’s not enough for celebrities such as the Kardashian sisters and Snooki and someone named Lauren Conrad–sorry, I’m behind the curve–who is described on Wikipedia as a “celebutante”, to crowd real authors off the nonfiction bestseller list. Now they’re doing it to novelists.
William Morrow, (now a division of Rupert Murdoch’s Harper Collins, aka Sarah’s outfit), the once-respected publisher that will inflict upon us Bristol Palin’s “memoir” this summer, has announced that they’ll soon publish a “novel” by Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian.
It will follow in the rich literary tradition established by Snooki of Jersey Shore, whose first “novel,” A Shore Thing became a New York Times bestseller, although Snooki confessed to having read only three books in her life, none of them the one she ostensibly authored.
I don’t know Snooki–though I put in some hard time at the Jersey shore in the 1980’s, while researching Blind Faith–but I knew the father of the KKK girls, Bob Kardashian, from my even harder nine months at the OJ Simpson trial in 1995. Bob was one of OJ’s lesser lawyers, also his gofer and his bagman, as in literally carrying OJ’s bags. But he’s a story for another time.
The point here is how can Sarah sit back and let others cash in on an avenue of celebrity she herself hasn’t yet explored?
The obvious solution is for her to “write” a “novel.”
With apologies to Dreiser, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, and the late William Styron and Norman Mailer, from whose friendship and guidance I benefited greatly, and such friends and acquaintances as Stephen Amidon, Craig Nova, E.L. Doctorow and Jim Shepard, among others–I’d advise Sarah to get off my nonfiction turf (where she’s worn out her welcome, as the failure of her second book showed) and take her fantasies and fabrications where they belong—-to the fiction list.
Her potential range is enormous.
Or historical fiction such as Paul Revere’s Ride, by David Hackett Fischer, although, like Sarah in Boston last week, he claimed his account was true. And at least he wrote it himself.
Given her familiarity with both states and her seemingly endless supply of ghostwriters, she could even start a series, like F.D. Caldwell, whose Alaska, Love Found Under the Stars will soon be followed by Arizona, An Adventure of Love.
Aiming higher, Sarah could try to emulate Margaret Truman, only daughter of President Harry Truman, who had authored for herself a series of 24 murder mystery books set in Washington, bearing such titles as Murder in the White House, Murder in the Supreme Court, Murder at the FBI.
Some suggested titles for Sarah’s series:
Murder at WalMart,
Murder at the Wasilla Library,
Murder (of a Neighbor) on Lake Lucille.
But I’m sure you have your own suggestions for subjects and titles for Sarah’s first (admitted) work of fiction.
Please feel free to share.
A suggestion to get you started:
A Tale of Two Babies
Sarah told the Sunday Times of London, “I am going to Sudan in July and hope to stop in England on the way. I am just hoping Mrs Thatcher is well enough to see me as I so admire her.”
Aides to the ailing Margaret Thatcher won’t let Sarah anywhere near the former British prime minister. That’s no surprise.
But how about the trip to Sudan, where summer temperatures in the capital, Khartoum, average more than 105 degrees? (Maybe the move to Arizona was to acclimatize her.)
On anyone’s list of the most unfortunate countries on earth, Sudan would have to be near the top. Put it this way: Sarah’s not going there for the shopping.
Can anyone see any reason for Sarah to make this trip other than to give herself another “foreign policy” credential for the 2012 campaign?
–Is Franklin Graham paying for it?
–Will Greta Van Susteren tag along?
–Think she’ll bring any of the kids? How about her “good biblical wife” Todd?
–Will Sarah pop over to Kenya to get a refill on her protection from devils from Rev. Thomas Muthee?
–How much of her fortune will she donate to humanitarian aid for the impoverished people of Sudan?
No matter what’s in the (heavily redacted) emails that the state of Alaska will release on Friday, video and photos of Sarah touring refugee camps in Darfur –location of genocide so appalling that former Secretary of State Colin Powerll called it “the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century”–will make it old news by next month.
It’s one thing to hop on the back of a Harley in Washington, and wink and wave.
During her 2008 vice presidential debate with Joe Biden, Sarah claimed that as Alaska governor she tried to fight atrocities in Sudan by having the state pension divest itself of investments there. Not so, as ABC News demonstrated. In fact, Alaska state representative, Les Gara, a co-sponsor of the divestment measure, said that Sarah’s administration “killed our bill.”
Despite Palin’s claim in the debate, her administration’s position on the bill was summarized by her deputy revenue commissioner, Brian Andrews. At a legislative hearing in February, 2008, he said, “Mixing moral and political agendas at the expense of our citizens’ financial security is not a good combination.”
In other words, forget the atrocities as long as we’re making money.
Nonetheless, in the debate, Palin said, in regard to the genocide in the Darfur section of Sudan:
“What I’ve done in my position to help, as the governor of a state that’s pretty rich in natural resources, we have a $40 billion investment fund, a savings fund called the Alaska Permanent Fund. When I and others in the legislature found out we had some millions of dollars in Sudan, we called for divestment through legislation of those dollars to make sure we weren’t doing anything that would be seen as condoning the activities there in Darfur.”
Which is exactly what she did not do when it mattered.
As the legislative session was ending, and there was no chance that the bill could even be brought up for vote, she had another aide say that she’d changed her mind and now supported the it. However, as the Washington Post reported, that was only after it was clear that time had run out.
In other words, she was against it before she was for it, and paid lip service to it only after she knew it was dead.
Of course, in the same debate, Sarah also said, “We’re building a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline.”
How’s that AGIA thing working for ya now, Sarah?
Someone could–thus no doubt will–soon post an album of all “Pouty Piper” photos from this latest example of Sarah’s willful mistreatment of the very children about whose privacy she expressed such concern last summer, when I moved in next door.
I hope this photo will be included:
Is that, “I pledge allegiance,” or “Mommy, I’m feeling sick again?”
(By the way, don’t miss that clown in the back with a Statu(t)e of Liberty crown on his head: a stereotypical, not to say archetypal Palin supporter.)
Having a granddaughter Piper’s age, I not only sympathize, but empathize.
I also can’t help but be reminded of Sarah’s faux-outrage about me a year ago, as she swung into mama grisly mode on the Glenn Beck show.
In regard to my having become her summer neighbor, Beck asked Sarah:
“Do you feel, as a woman, do you feel violated?”
“I feel more protective than ever in terms of my kids. Any mom would. Just wantin’ to bring your family even closer and wrap your arms around ‘em and not let the infringement on their rights and privacy be so overwhelming…”
Well, hell of a job this year, Sarah, protecting Piper’s “rights and privacy,” upon which, incidentally I never infringed in the least.
Scenes like the above make me all the more eager for Sept. 20 and publication of THE ROGUE, when I’ll finally blow the lid off this whole Sarah-as-AnyMom sham, not to mention a number of others.
I was thinking of writing a piece for The Daily Beast about a Palin appearance in New England this week.
But I’m not going to play hide-and-seek. So, Sarah, you can relax–at least until Sept. 20 when THE ROGUE will be published.
Seriously, how far does she think this “Close your eyes and count to twenty, then catch-me-if-you-can” approach will take her?
Actually, knowing her, and knowing MSM, I’m sure she thinks–with some justification–that it can take her all the way to the White House.
Even still, I feel sorry for the reporters assigned to the bus tour beat.
And I have an idea for MSM editors: un-assign them.
There’s a lot of talent out there chasing after ephemera.
And, as with the dog chasing the school bus, it’s only worse if you catch it.
Here’s something else, and uglier: Sarah used Trig as her photo-op prop on her Going Rogue tour in the fall of 2009.
Now, almost two years later, that poor Down Syndrome child is neither so photogenic nor so manageable, so he’s off (or under) the bus.
So it’s Piper who has to fill in. Do you think that poor girl had a choice?
Last summer, Sarah complained long and loud that I’d moved in next door because I wanted to peer at Piper through her bedroom window.
Her hot-to-trot flunkies like Beck and Van Susteren made that slanderous accusation into a right-wing meme.
But the notion was so silly and sick that I couldn’t even get mad about it.
I do, however, have granddaughters who are just about Piper’s age.
Their mothers and fathers have nurtured them since birth, and continue to do so. I can’t wait to see them again in July.
But what about poor Piper, reduced to a photo-op, and with no chance to opt off the bus?
The only time I saw Piper—I never laid eyes on her last summer—was at a Sarah book-signing at The Villages, Florida, just before Thanksgiving, 2009, when I reported on the event as part of my research for THE ROGUE.
I was appalled to see the poor girl ushered up to a FOX News platform for makeup before Sarah brought her on camera during an interview with one of the Fox blondes about what a swell Thanksgiving they were all going to have.
Trig, at least, was too young and too Down to know how he was being used.
Piper was being taught to love it.
And it’s only going to get worse.
In the end, there are three things to remember about Sarah:
1) Everything she says and does is fraudulent.
2) She cares about no one but herself.
3) She believes that God has told her that 1) and 2) are okay and that any harm she does to her children is merely collateral damage.
Here’s one of the great things about kids: they can upstage even the Ultimate Upstager.
End of her first day on the bus, and poor little Piper is pissed. As Michael D. Shear reports for The New York Times:
The youngest Palin daughter looked none to happy to be delayed by the press corps, and repeatedly tugged at her mother’s arm during the questions. At one point, she said, “Mom, let’s go.”
After all this, I wouldn’t be surprised if in ten years Piper Palin joins Al Qaeda.
I wonder if this time she’ll really ride the bus.
Doesn’t look like there’s much space on the side for an ad for THE ROGUE, but I’ll ask Crown to inquire anyway.
At least this will give us all a chance to get out and say hi to Sarah in person–maybe our last chance.
And it will get Chuck and Sally and Piper out of Alazona for a while, and it also gets Trig out of mothballs.
More seriously, it will be a genuine test of how far Sarah’s star has fallen since the Going Rogue days in the fall of 2009.
And, of course, it may be the quasi-official start of her 2012 presidential campaign.
I’m sure she’s anticipating huge cheering throngs at every stop. Do you think she’ll get them?
Any thoughts as to which of Sarah’s band of Merry Pranksters will be on board? Meg Stapleton? Rebecca Mansour? Franklin Graham? Greta Van Susteren? Mary Glazier? Andrew Breitbart? William Kristol? Shailey Tripp?
Whoever Sarah chooses for the cast, I’m sure they’ll have a rollicking good time on the road.
Although I doubt the new tour will dethrone Ken Kesey and the original Merry Pranksters from number one on the “Best Bus Tours of All Time” list.
Sarah said last night that she and Todd will travel to Birmingham today to offer solace to those who lost loved ones and property in the recent tornadoes.
“We want these folks in those parts to know that they are not alone in this time, and Americans come together in moments like this to help support and to rebuild,” she said.
I hope a Birmingham journalist will ask Sarah one simple question: “How much of the $100,000 fee you got last night for being Trig’s mother will you be donating to Alabama tornado victims?”
I doubt that the question will be asked (last night, Sarah took only pre-approved questions), but I think we know what the honest answer would be.
However, I’m sure Sarah’s inspirational words about how sometimes God has to tear down so He can build anew will do more to lift spirits than a mere cash donation.
But here’s another idea: I happen to know first-hand that Todd has a whole crew of fence-builders on call 24/7 in Wasilla. Maybe he could send them down for a couple of weeks to help with rebuilding? After all, I won’t be returning to Lake Lucille until September.
Incidentally, attendance at Sarah’s speech last night was estimated at between 150-200. Heck, when the crowd is that small, you don’t have to estimate: just count ’em.
God to Sarah: “A hundred and fifty is all you could draw? You’re wearin’ out your welcome, gal. Better go home.”
He writes today: “I’ve been struggling to write a long new post on this entire thing, and am almost happy with it.”
I can say this about Andrew: he recognized from the start that the combination of Sarah Palin and the bedazzled media’s failure
to expose her for the fraud she was and is represented a genuine and grave threat to democracy. At the time, the 2008 election result was far from certain. In her Christian dominionism, her ignorance, her willfulness, her petulance, her spitefulness and her unbalanced belief that God really had annointed her to impose her narrow view of Christianity on a sinful, secular nation, Palin posed a clear and present danger to our way of life.
And we are by no means out of those woods yet. I have no doubt that she is currently preparing for a Fall Offensive that she thinks will carry her into next year’s primaries on a wave of fresh momentum. Given the weakness of the GOP field (Donald Trump?!!) , she could still become the Republican candidate.
The campaign that would follow that calamity would tear this country apart as maybe nothing has done since the Civil War.
So be grateful that Andrew Sullivan is standing watch.
…and many won’t like what he says.
From the start, Andrew has made an effort to be scrupulously fair about the Trig question. For being willing to consider even the possibility that Sarah’s story was a hoax, he was derided. Today’s post is further evidence of his scrupulousness, and although I disagree with him about many things (he is a Republican, after all) I’ve never found him to argue from false premises.
However, I’m less persuaded than he is by the belated first-person accounts of Quinn and Loy.
Loy wrote the original ADN story that said what a shock it was to learn that Sarah was pregnant, because she never looked it.
Now, three years later, he suddenly remembers that, yeah, actually, she did look pregnant, I just didn’t notice it at the time? A good cross-examiner could have fun with that in a courtroom.
As for Quinn, it was widely rumored that he was romantically involved with Palin aide Ivy Frye while covering Sarah as governor for AP. He doesn’t work for AP any more. I don’t know why, but I’ve heard the story of his relationship with Fry often enough and from enough different people without axes to grind that, at the least, it gives me pause in regard to Quinn’s credibility.
But set aside questions about the motivation of these two, suddnly key “eyewitnesses,” who decided in unison to go public last week. As all cops, prosecutors and defense attorneys know, eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. How about eyewitness testimony three years later?
I’m a Trignostic. I don’t have a dog in this fight. But I don’t agree with Sullivan that the “recovered memories” of Loy and Quinn (neither of whom I know, by the way) should be accepted as having significant weight.
Not only is eyewitness testimony unreliable, but these were young male reporters covering the most dazzling & sexy political figure in Alaskan history. Sarah invites them to view her (veiled) belly in private? And now–contradicting what they wrote at the time–they both decide retroactively that she was obviously pregnant?
Something about that smells like fish to me: and not like fish that even Todd Palin could sell commercially.
Sullivan says the Loy and Quinn accounts “buttress–powerfully–the case that this whole thing is a tempest in a spatula.” He finds Loy and Quinn “persuasive.” I don’t.
Hmm. I’m not so sure. That reminds me of the argument that friends of Jeffrey MacDonald made in his defense: he couldn’t have murdered his wife and children, because he’s not the kind of man who could have done that. Turns out that he did, and he was. So a long-distance psychological evaluation of Sarah by a pediatric specialist who’s never met her doesn’t rise to the level of evidence either.
My verdict? Jury still out. But we thank Mr. Sullivan for his testimony.