I've been following the war of words between Levi Johnston and the Palin clan with some voyeuristic interest, but I haven't posted on it, because Talented Earthquake Productions is not a tabloid, thank you very much. Not that others covering this are tabloids - Andrew Sullivan is still on the case, and he's a class act.
But I have to say something, because I am starting to feel something I never thot I would feel.
I am starting to feel sorry for Levi Johnston.
Sarah Palin has been attacking him relentlessly. The guy is a 19-year old kid. He's not the most responsible 19-year-old around, not by a long shot, and I rather seriously doubt we would be friends if I were his age and living in his neighborhood.
But he also is just an average guy who's 19 and got in some trouble with his girlfriend. He sounds like he's been mostly honest about what's went down. Sort of hard not to be honest, since we all know what happened between him and Bristol. He's mostly saying the right things about being a father - he needs to grow up fast, etc.
It might not have been the smartest idea to go on the Tyra Banks show. Not sure I see the logic there, except to generate some publicity for himself.
So he's playing the game, and Sarah Palin is playing the game. Except that he's not much of a game player. He's 19! He's a kid from Alaska who knocked up the governor's daughter. Which, let's be honest, was not the brightest move, either.
But boy does Sarah Palin look like a mean one. This is the father of her grandchild. You would think she would either shut up, or issue some incredibly bland statement. "We regret that Levi Johnston has gone on talk show XYZ, but we believe that a father's presence in the life of a child is important, and we are confident that Levi will be a good father for Tripp." Something utterly innocuous that everyone would ignore.
One question that this episode raises is: how much did Sarah Palin know about what these two kids were doing? From what Levi has said, it sounds like they were sexually active on a fairly regular basis. This pregnancy didn't come about because of a one-time thing. They were in high school. Bristol was living at home. Which means that Sarah Palin either knew about it and ignored it, or she didn't know about it, which means she's a fairly clueless parent. Johnston has said that she probably did know, because "moms are pretty smart." Either way, it doesn't say great things about her as a mother. Unless, of course, Sarah Palin thinks that letting her daughter have sex on a regular basis with her boyfriend is being a good parent. Really kind of doubt that's the case.
I hope Levi Johnston figures out how to be a good father. And I hope Sarah Palin is a good grandmother. But I am going to die laughing if she runs for another office and starts talking about "family values."