Regular contributor Right Wingnut recently made a post “calling out” another regular contributor Martha for being a Trig Truther. This topic is one that I have never considered, so I was amazed to see the list of comments grow and grow until (at the time of my writing this) there were 87 comments. Most posts have maybe 20 or so comments. I am still relatively uninformed regarding the “Trig Truther” issue.
My question is how much delving into personal and private matters is too much as we seek to nominate the best, most qualified, most competent nominee to represent the Republican Party in the 2012 nomination. Does the Trig Truther issue matter? Should a parent/presidential hopeful be judged in part on how their kids turned out?
Every potential presidential candidate has a personal issue or two that their opponents like to dwell on.
Mitt Romney (my guy) has been criticized for taking a family trip with the dog in a kennel tied to the top of the car.
Sarah Palin has been criticized for having a daughter who is an unwed mother and for exercising questionable judgment regarding her traveling in an airplane when she was in her last month of pregnancy.
Mike Huckabee has been criticized because his son was involved in an animal cruelty case.
Newt Gingrich has been criticized for having at least two affairs.
There are probably others, but those are the ones that come to mind.
My personal opinion is that some of these personal issues matter, and some don't. Romney's dog incident doesn't really bother me. Before the days of hyper-protectiveness, I used to love riding in the back of my dad's pick-up truck as we carried water in two big barrels to feed our 3 horses and 1 cow. I loved standing up, holding on to the barrels and feeling the wind through my hair. I have seen enough dogs riding in cars with their heads out of the window to believe dogs like that feeling too. Besides, I'm sure he made necessary safety arrangements for the dog.
Sarah Palin's children have received way too much media attention. Palin's daughter who had a baby out of wedlock is not really an issue for me as there are a lot of good parents who have children who don't do everything their parents taught them. Whether or not Trig is the biological son of Palin is irrelevant to me also. I am the mother of two young children. My oldest daughter is 3 and a half, and she came to our family through adoption. My youngest (and surprise) daughter is almost 2. In my heart and mind there is no difference between the two. This is just simply a non-issue. What is potentially an issue in my mind is if Palin did in fact fly from Texas to Washington being 8 months pregnant, showing signs of premature labor with a special needs baby, that shows something of a lack of judgment.
Mike Huckabee is probably my least favorite of the potential GOP candidates, and I would love nothing more than to see his potential campaign crash and burn, but is his son's animal cruelty case Huckabee's fault or responsibility? I have enough other reasons to dislike Huckabee that I am willing to not pile on with this issue.
Newt Gingrich and his affairs are, without question, fair game in this campaign. It speaks volumes about his loyalty and judgment. No matter what other strengths he brings to the ticket, his history of behavior when in a position of power completely destroys his candidacy for me.
So which personal issues are valid to attack, and which are not? When are children and family off limits, and when are they valid targets?
I hope that the Republicans can get together and unite strongly behind a candidate to defeat Obama, because ultimately, that's the most important thing. All of this sniping and undercutting of people that we need on our side is counter-productive.