Sunday, January 4, 2015

In defense of Palin (no really)

So it's no secret that I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin. I find her politics odious. She's divisive, spiteful, bitter, and a raging hypocrite of fairly epic proportions. Yes, I have addressed several WTF Palin moments on this blog. (There's just so many to choose from! She's like the gift that keeps on giving to a political blogger.)

That being said, even I have my limits of Palin-bashing.

For one, I don't condone the rampant, often disgusting levels of sexism hurled her way (or any female's way). I don't care what side of the political aisle you're on, some boundaries just don't get crossed.

And for two, I don't agree with bashing just for the sake of bashing. Palin gives us plenty of political fodder. There's no reason to go digging for any ol' thing to make an anti-Palin stink about. It's petty. It's low. And it ruins your best argument that that's what the other guys are doing.

Yes, I'm talking about dog-stepping-gate.

A few days ago, Sarah Palin posted a blurb on her Facebook page extolling the "blessing", if you will, that her readers' stumbling blocks be turned to stepping stones in 2015.

While it's easy to assume she didn't wish these blessings on everyone, just those with whom she is politically and religiously aligned, it was a nice message nonetheless. It seems like 2014 was a rough year for a lot of people, so the idea that those obstacles will become opportunities in the coming year is a nice thought.

Palin also included a few photos and an anecdote of her youngest son, Trig, turning his own stumbling blocks to stepping stones. He wanted to help with the dishes. He couldn't reach the sink. So he found his own solution, by way of using his service dog as a step-stool.

In all honesty, I found it sweet.

Trig has Downs Syndrome, which means he has been, and will continue to be, faced with countless challenges with which he will struggle. Challenges most kids don't even have to consider. The ability to figure some of them out on his own is heartwarming. He's a cute, innocent kid, regardless of who his mom is or what you think of her.

Of course, this seemingly benign Facebook post immediately resulted in the usual Palin backlash.

Most of the time, the backlash is pretty warranted (and in all honesty, I think Palin stokes those fires on purpose).

But in this case? Seriously overblown.

What little kid hasn't used their family dog as a pillow, step-stool, crash pad, or noble steed? It's practically a right of passage for kids, and it was always the mark of a good dog to be able to patiently take the "abuse" their little humans could throw their way.

But it's not actual animal abuse. It's not neglect.

Trig was not beating, starving, humiliating, or harming that dog. He's a little kid with special needs. He simply wanted to be involved in what was happening in the kitchen, and as a trained service dog, Jill let him.

Look at the pictures again. Her head is up, her ears are perked, and she's panting. All signs of a happy dog, not a hurt dog.

Sarah Palin may be many things, but even this uber-liberal hippie democrat can see that she's not abusing her pets.

So let it go, people. It's not worth it. Politically and personally, it's nothing more than a petty witch-hunt. If you care so much about abused and neglected animals, volunteer at your local animal shelter, donate to the ASPCA, or adopt a shelter pet.

But snarling over a non-issue simply because it's Palin-related? Well that's just immature partisan bullshit.

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