Believing Sarah Palin
3 Jul 2010 02:29 pm
by Dave Weigel
Like I said in my first post, I guest-blogged for the Daily Dish back in 2006. I don’t remember anyone, at the time, challenging the decision. So I was unprepared for the rat-a-tat of criticism I got for signing up this week. To quote Baseball Crank, who kept up a drumbeat about this on Twitter, “David Frum and David Weigel are free to associate with Andrew Sullivan, but how can they now call anyone else on associating with crackpots?”
There are two levels of criticism, both of starting with the assumption that by agreeing to blog in this space I am tacitly endorsing everything that usually appears in this space. One is that Andrew Sullivan is wrong and spreading misinformation about the birth of Trig Palin in 2008. The other is that Sullivan is wrong about Israel. I’m in Alaska and the subject of the Palins comes up frequently enough here, so let me just deal with the first criticism. Trig Palin is Sarah Palin’s son and it’s irresponsible to suggest otherwise.
I’ve spent way too much time in the trenches of Birtherism, so I both 1) think “Trig Trutherism” is hard to compare one-to-one to that and 2) know that it exists in the same logical wormhole. It’s less important because Birtherism first started making news as a way for activists to raise doubts about whether Barack Obama could be on the ballot, then whether he could become president. The first article I wrote about birtherism was on the petitions to the Supreme Court demanding he be denied the office because he hadn’t sufficiently proven his citizenship. Once Obama was inaugurated, birtherism became a way for kooks to raise money off of the gullible, a reason for military officers to sue their president, and — most importantly — an issue for congressmen to sign onto and pander to constituents on. The polls are all over the place, but suggest that a sizable number of Republicans and conservatives believe in this nonsense.
“Trig Trutherism” is less serious. Were Sarah Palin to become president and everything the Trig Truthers believed to be proven right, it wouldn’t matter at all. But they won’t be proven right. All of the evidence indicates that Trig Palin is Sarah’s son, and none of it suggests otherwise. I paid close enough attention to this in 2008, and realized pretty quickly that the countervailing theories made no sense. Too many people watched Palin announce the pregnancy and saw her come along until she went into labor, prematurely, while attending a National Governors Association event in Texas. Here in Alaska, people tell me that Palin fans (who at one point made up 85-90% of Alaskans) held “baby showers” for her, and she’d drop in to thank them.