The latest dust up in the Sarah-Palin-Stands-Up-For-Disabled-People controversy involves the Valentine's Day episode of "Family Guy" in which Chris falls in love with a young woman with Down syndrome.
On a date, he asks what her parents do. She replies: "My dad's an accountant, and my mom is the former governor of Alaska."
The context for this one-liner is that the young woman, played by an actress with Down syndrome, takes Chris to task for not bad male date behavior--he leaves her standing at the table in a restaurant while he sits down and doesn't ask her about herself. When he finally does both at her prompting, she makes the now infamous comment about being Palin's daughter. In the context of the interaction, she is smiling and clearly kidding Chris. He doesn't get it, by the way.
Neither does Palin. Her reaction was to say the line felt like "a kick to the gut."
We all know that Palin is not the swiftest salmon in the Alaskan stream. She's not the most nuanced viewer either. The comment is neither a put down of people with disabilities nor is it an attack on her son. The whole episode serves to show us that we can't and shouldn't underestimate people with Down syndrome.
But you know this isn't about Palin getting the joke; it's about her exploiting the situation to attack the left in any form--from satiric TV shows to Rahm Emanuel. His use of the R-word was justly attacked from many sides. But Palin's calling for his resignation was simply using her visible position to tar the entire Obama administration.
Tellingly, she didn't mind Rush Limbaugh use the R-word, saying is was just "satire." Satire? What is Family Guy? Greek tragedy?
The moral of this story isn't that Family Guy is an insensitive show; it's that Palin is using Trig as a hostage to shield her from the shoot-out of the last election. With Trig in tow she's not the incompetent former governor of Alaska or the incendiary anti-wonk, she is simply the good Mom protecting her child and all people with disabilities.
If Palin really cared about people with disabilities, she would be supporting health care legislation and stronger enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act. But then that would be more of that "hopey changey" stuff she ridicules.
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