There are many amazing things in this saga, some that I've already tried to point out, and others that I will continue to pursue in the future. But as I think about this, really, one of the most amazing things is the neat switcharoo that the McCain campaign pulled when the questions were raised, beginning on August 30th. It's almost impossible now (nearly three weeks later) to put together a really accurate timeline of how the rumors started and when, but it seems that the "big" hit came when a diarist named ArcXIX posted an expose to the liberal website Daily Kos around lunch time on August 30th. (These posts have been pulled down and were gone from the Google cache before I started collecting my data. I am still trying to get a hold of them, at least from some screen shots.) The summary of the Daily Kos post was - exactly comparable to what I am saying on this blog and website - that many details of the Sarah Palin pregnancy and birth story did not add up, and that the MOST logical explanation (and an explanation that had been floating around Alaska for months) was that she was covering for her daughter.
The story became huge - until it was shut down abruptly with the announcement two days later that BRISTOL Palin was now five months pregnant.
What? Hold it. I thought we were talking about Sarah Palin.
The question is Did Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, give birth to Trig Palin on April 18th, 2008? The question is NOT: Did Bristol Palin NOT give birth to Trig Palin on April 18th 2008? The McCain campaign wants us to focus on this question, but it's not the core question.
To repeat: The pivotal question is "Did Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska give birth to Trig Palin on April 18th 2008?" Saying that Woman B did NOT have a baby proves nothing about Woman A, no matter how cleverly the "spin" might be crafted.
Twenty two years ago I gave birth at home to a son. If someone walked through my door a minute from now, within four hours I could provide substantial and irrefutable proof that I gave birth to him, proof outside my immediate family. I would have the testimony of a credible and experienced midwife whom I am still in touch with. I would have the eye witness testimony of an additional 3-4 women who were physically in the room when I gave birth. All of these women would be delighted to tell anyone who asked that the idea that I had not given birth was ridiculous. I would have the testimony of many people who saw me hugely pregnant before the birth, and scores of people who saw me breastfeed him at one point or another, many of which I could still get in touch with. I have birth photographs. I could provide all of this within hours. And this is a home birth - twenty two years ago.
Now... let's go back to Gov. Palin. We have no photographs, no eyewitness testimony. We have one fairly tepid statement from her physician that she "did not think it was unreasonable for her to fly back," given to the Anchorage Daily News on April 22nd, and then, nothing else. (Which of course, if one REALLY wants to read between the lines, was 100% true. It would have been completely reasonable for her to fly back to Alaska if she wasn't pregnant!)
In spite of rumors that were extant in Alaska both before and after the birth, and then, of course, the incredible scrutiny given this situation since late August, Dr. Cathy Baldwin Johnson, as far as I can see, has never been willing to stand up in front of a camera, and say, "This is nuts. Of course, Sarah Palin had the baby. I was there." Ditto any nurses. Ditto any other women who were at Mat-Su simultaneously. No Susie Smith smiling on camera for CNN saying, "Of course, we ALL knew Gov. Palin was there at the same time I was having Johnny. It was very cool to have my baby at the same time as she did." Nothing. The silence is deafening.
(Actually, this is not accurate. We have one alleged statement given by one woman who was there simultaneously who has stated that she did NOT see Sarah Palin - she only saw "Todd in the hall," and that when they did see Gov. Palin "several days later," it did "not look like she had just had a baby." Links to these statements can be found on my website proper.)
My speculation? There exists a small but real number of "inner circle" people who know the truth. There must have been some "plan" as to how this birth was going to be managed, a plan that went down the tubes when Bristol Palin went into labor 4-5 weeks early with Sarah Palin inconveniently out of town. None of them are willing to lie by "commission" (i.e, go on camera and say they were at the birth) because of the very real fear that at some point the truth might come out, and then they look, at best, like lying idiots, and at worst, criminals. For example, if it ever does come out unequivocally that Sarah Palin did not give birth to Trig, whatever doctor signed that birth certificate would surely lose his/her medical license and might, quite literally, go to jail. So what they are all doing at this point is lying by "omission," praying no one else talks, and holding their breath.
And, then, the switcharoo. The McCain campaign (obviously with the complicity of Bristol Palin's parents) in panic mode, quite literally threw a 17 year old child under a bus. It's simple. The way we "prove" that Sarah Palin DID have a baby is to (supposedly) "prove" that Bristol, now "five months" pregnant, could not have.
Honestly, this is amazingly slick. The McCain campaign managed to lay to rest most doubts about whether or not Sarah Palin gave birth without ever discussing Sarah Palin OR the birth. Not one tiny "real" detail about Sarah Palin or Trig Palin that was not already known was released. And, by framing it in these terms, they get a second benefit. Since this has now become "about Bristol," pursuing it any farther becomes "going after families." Of course, again, the fact that they released the info that she was pregnant in the first place is conveniently ignored.
What? Did this really happen?
The only thing crazier than that they did this is that the news media and the Democratic National committee has allowed them to get away with it.
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