Okay, I admit it. When I first heard about the Palin Family Brawl, as it were, I was pretty enthusiastic. After all, is there any other public figure in history – aside from possibly Andrew Jackson – who could land herself in an all-out drunken wildnerss melee and come out relatively unscathed after (allegedly) beating the crap out of her neighbors, all while wearing platform American flag shoes? No. No, there isn’t. Sarah Palin is the only modern politico that I can picture taking a right hook to a lumberjack and living to tell about it.
And to that end, the whole thing was pretty funny. And it would have continued to be funny except that last week, the police who took the call released an audio tape of Bristol Palin, Sarah’s daughter, who described being beaten, dragged and sworn at. Which is decidedly not funny, particularly when you consider that Bristol sustained injuries in the altercation. In this war-on-women world, Bristol Palin actually has a story from the front lines. And, like other recent female victims of violence, you’d expect luminary CNN hosts to come to her defense.
You would, of course, be wrong. Because, of course, her last name is Palin.
On Wednesday, before playing a tape in which Bristol Palin describes an alleged altercation at a party in Wasilla, Alaska, Costello said, “This is quite possibly the best minute and a half of audio we’ve ever come across. Well, come across in a long time anyway.”
In the tape, Palin is heard describing what happened to her after she confronted someone she accused of pushing her sister.
She also told her viewers to “sit back and enjoy,” which is a far cry from what she told her viewers before showing them, say, the tape of Ray Rice manhandling his fiance in an elevator. Costello took to Politico to apologize, but she has yet to say anything about her mistake on air.
The whole thing wouldn’t be so odd if it weren’t for the sudden, election-time focus on the War on Women all over again. As Democrats across the country try to peg Republican candidates as being the heavy hand of oppression that keeps women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, despite evidence to the contrary, they try to portray themselves as the savior of the hapless female victim. The woman who can’t stand up for herself in tough situations, who can’t take common sense precautionary measures in her sex life, and who can’t manage to leave enough room on her credit card to pay out of pocket for her own birth control. Even though it’s pretty clear that they believe women aren’t able to make their own choices, even if they’re gung-ho about women having them, they feel confident, even smug in their own importance to the great struggle of femininity.
When it comes to protecting women victims, it seems you only earn their support when you vote their party line. I’m no member of the Bristol Palin fan club (and I’m sure there probably is one), but I have a problem with a woman being beaten and dragged across the pavement in front of her kid, whether that women is a card-carrying Republican or not. I suppose that’s what separates us, though.