There was a lot in Palin’s meandering speech announcing her resignation that didn’t quite make sense, but one brief part that did was her mentioning of the ridicule of her infant son, Trig. Also note that in the past month or so, we’ve seen David Letterman joke about Alex Rodriguez knocking up one of her daughters. (The fact that Letterman kept insisting that he meant the elder daughter didn’t really make it much more excusable; for some reason, getting an apology out of the acerbic late night host was like pulling teeth.)
It’s one thing to step into the public spotlight and know that people are going to ridicule your intelligence, your appearance, your judgment, your voice and accent, etc. But it’s another to know that your loved ones will get that scrutiny, too, and in particular your children. Kids don’t pick their parents. I wrote about this here.
That spurred this terrifying thought: The lesson that the ruthless corners of the political world will take from the rise, fall, and departure of Sarah Palin that if you attack a politician’s children nastily enough and relentlessly enough, you can get anybody to quit.