RedState's Erick Erickson seems pretty worked up about attacks being levied at Sarah Palin through her daughter, Bristol, and Bristol's former paramour, Levi Johnston, and to a certain extent, I sympathize with the point of view. I feel that had Bristol and Levi not gotten caught in the fish-eye lens of Presidential politics, theirs would have likely been just another typical teenage tale. I think that's why, for example, the recent news that a website named Palin's Deceptions has done some sort of deep restorative dive through Bristol's MySpace writings just sort of skeeves me out a bit. I sort of think that unless you have good reason to suspect you're going to uncover the Pentagon Papers or something, people should leave the MySpace pages of children alone.
But Erickson is really, really angry that Levi Johnston has dared to go out in public and speak his own mind on the matter. Apparently, he's concluded that Johnston, having gone on the Tyra Banks show, will now become some sort of hero to "the left." (He also accuses Johnston of using the Tyra Banks show to get on a "gravy train" and says he hopes "Bristol will at least claim some of Levi's money from his appearance on Tyra's show." The bad news is that the ZERO DOLLARS he earned from that appearance isn't going to go a long way.)
This is Levi Johnson appearing on the Tyra Banks show. He's a clean cut, pretty type. That is, though, a carefully constructed image -- constructed by the Palins and McCains as the Presidential campaign unfolded with the news of Bristol Palin's pregnancy.
The real Levi Johnson is something altogether different. The left, when it decided Bristol Palin was fair game, went after Levi Johnson for being a thug and redneck. He was not interested in college -- only in scoring with the Governor's daughter. The classic tale of the high school jock who is, in essence, a low life loser in it for a good time. The left and media regaled the rest of us with tales of what a loser the Palin kid slept with.
The left was right. Now, though, they can't be bothered by it. Below is the actual Levi -- no preppy clothes. No polish. Just good old boy who knocked up the Governor's daughter. Not exactly the image Tyra Banks and he would like you to think about.
Look, I remember reading plenty of blogs that noted that Johnston didn't seem that into kids and noted that he described himself as a "redneck." I also remember a lot of people taking pity on Johnston because of the way he ended up in a shotgun engagement at the order of John McCain. I mean, Meghan McCain complains that the presidential campaign ruined her dating life. Well, that same campaign brought Johnston's to a dead halt.
But I really can't call to mind a single instance in which Levi Johnston was "greeted as a hero by the left." To the best of my knowledge, Johnston has not been asked to speak to the Democratic caucus, has not been paid to travel to Israel as a war correspondent, and has not been tapped as a spokesman-advocate on behalf of a legislative campaign. Once Johnston shows up in those classic Joe The Plumber type roles, I'll be happy to both concede the point and decry the foolishness of it.
Oh, and speaking of decrying foolishness, Erickson goes right off the rails in his fervent criticism of all things Levi. Accompanying a picture of Johnston and his sister is the following paragraph:
What's even more creepy is that the other person in the picture is his sister. And, as if lifted from the pages of Deliverance, she has his name tattooed on her back finger. Think about that one for a minute.
I'm sorry...did he just accuse the Johnston siblings of having an incestuous relationship? Wow. And they say that people were hard on Sarah Palin!
Redstate Gets Down and Dirty: Raises Incest in Defense of Sarah Palin [Tommy Christopher's Daily Dose]