Monday, September 21, 2009

'No, I don’t want the retarded baby—I want the other one.'

Vanity Fair just published a mini-memoir from Sarah Palin's former son-in-law-to-be, Levi Johnston. It's cobbled together from interviews and written in a streamlined narrative style, obviously with help from Vanity Fair staffers ghosting paragraphs from a bunch of wandering recordings Levi made. Considering much of it is critical of Sarah Palin, the presentation might seem a little slickly unfair. But this was pretty much the case with her campaign speeches and is liable to be the case with her forthcoming autobiography, so it only seems just that what's good for the goose is also good for the gander.

The whole thing is brutally funny in that way things can be funny when they reveal pretty much what you imagined was true all along. For instance:
Coincidentally, there had been a big rumor going around Wasilla that Bristol was pregnant even before she actually was, and Sarah had recently denied it was true. When we told Sarah the news, the first thing that came out of her mouth was “I just told everyone on TV that you weren’t pregnant. So how are you pregnant now?”
You suspected it all along, but now you know: Sarah Palin does not understand how people get pregnant. Hell, you can string this theme through other parts of the interview: "She always wanted things and she wanted other people to get them for her. If she wanted a movie, Bristol and I would go to the video store; if she wanted food, we’d get her something to eat, like a Crunchwrap Supreme from Taco Bell." This could very well be what happens when an infertile mind is told to guard her over-fertile uterus by "wrapping that shit up."

It's only four pages, and they're all gold, even if some of them turn out to be untrue. Also, lest you think I'm being uncharitable to Ms. Palin with this, page four has this gem:
After Tripp was born, Sarah would pay more attention to our son than she would to her own baby, Trig. Sarah has a weird sense of humor. When she came home from work, Bristol and I would be holding Trig and Tripp. Sarah would call Trig—who was born with Down syndrome—“my little Down’s baby.” But I couldn’t believe it when she would come over to us and sometimes say, playing around, “No, I don’t want the retarded baby—I want the other one."
Edit: hat tip to friend and reader Devri for reminding me that Palin has previously had zero tolerance for jokes about special-needs children, such as President Obama's "special olympics" gaffe on The Tonight Show:
"I was shocked to learn of the comment made by President Obama about Special Olympics," Palin said in a statement. "This was a degrading remark about our world's most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world."
I don't know; maybe these jokes become totally appropriate again once you quit your job.