Going Rogue:Republican Kids Destroy the Family Values Image
Back in December of last year, a Wasilla, Alaska homeowner discovered that the home they had for sale, but were no longer living in, had been broken into and vandalized.
The lock had been forced, wooden doors had been so badly damaged they needed to be replaced, the walls had been gouged with knives, and vodka and orange juice containers were strewn all over the house. It appeared that sexual activity had taken place on the beds, and valuables like computers and clothing had been stolen. The home suffered between twenty and thirty thousand dollars in damage.
The Troopers were quickly notified and the investigation began. At first, there were very few leads. But by January of 2010, as you might have guessed, one of the teenagers identified was Willow Palin.
The incident has only recently set the blogosphere ablaze due to speculation that Sarah Palin is using political connections to neutralize the scandal and keep Willow out of trouble.
Sarah Palin’s eldest daughter, Bristol, has been the source of much controversy including but not limited to; her teen pregnancy in the face of her mother’s stand for “abstinence only” education, her estranged relationship with the father of her child – who is now a playgirl centerfold whose mother has a rap sheet for slinging crystal meth and her participation in a failed educational program supposedly aiming to educate her fellow teens on the dangers of sex before marriage.
But middle child, Willow Palin is not the only Republican offspring who has “gone rogue” in recent times. She is but one example of the GOP’s kids who offer us a glimpse into the hypocrisy of the conservative mindset… or at least the humanity which defies the lockstep perfection which their parents present to the mass media.
Maybe one of the most under-reported and outrageous examples is the case of Barbara Bush—the eldest daughter of George W. Bush—who was often ignored by the media in favor of her more photogenic sister, Jenna.
Babs was reportedly holed up in a hotel room for an entire weekend with gay folk sensation, Rufus Wainright, doing crystal meth and dodging secret service back in 2003. Wainright reported to motherjones.com that he went into rehab shortly after that, but there’s no mention of how the first family dealt with their trifling daughter.
Wainright spoke fondly of Ms. Bush saying bluntly, “I haven’t seen her around much, lately. But she herself was very nice and actually quite pretty. I consider that whole period to be somewhat of a mirage. Being with the president’s daughter, no matter who the president is, you are connected to the most powerful political force on earth, and that’s scary. And when you mix crystal meth and alcohol with that, it’s…kind of exciting. A little too exciting.”
Meghan McCain, daughter of GOP Senator John McCain is another study in contradictions. Having convinced her mother to join her in a highly publicized campaign for gay rights, she continues to defy her father’s stance against repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” regulations. While this may be seen as a ploy to create a moderate view of the McCain family, it doesn’t wash well with the uber-conservative Tea Party that McCain and Palin have been making broad appeals to lately.
It must be noted here, that these are not rare occurrences in the Republican Party. A little scratch of the surface reveals that most well-known Republicans have family members who sharply disagree with their politics or just live in stark contrast to them—exposing the lies and secrets, sometimes by accident and sometimes quite purposefully.
In 1992, Ronald Reagan’s somewhat illegitimate daughter, Patti Davis wrote a scathing autobiography called “The Way I See It”. Her book was like a missile aimed straight at the heart of Reagan’s hyper idealized family man image—and the larger utopian portrait that the GOP has painted of themselves.
Her parents conceived Patti before they were married—while Reagan was still married to his first wife, Jane Wyman. In the book, she tells of throwing out all of her family photos and scrapbooks in an effort to exorcise the demons of her past. She describes a mostly loveless childhood of neglect and psychological abuse at the hands of the President and first lady.
Davis tells of a childhood in which they feared their mother and were neglected by their father—two emotionally disturbed people who spied on their children with household intercoms and didn’t even attend their eldest daughter’s wedding.
In 1994, Newt Gingrich, who has worked tirelessly to block gay rights in California, formed a political friendship with the late Republican congressman and former entertainer named Sonny Bono. Today, the deceased Scientologist’s then-lesbian daughter, Chastity, is now known as “Chaz” Bono and has undergone sexual reassignment surgery to become a man, much to the reserved dismay of her family.
Meanwhile, Gingrich’s own sister, Candace has become a staunch advocate for gay rights and trails right behind her older brother, reminding voters that he speaks with forked tongue. In her Huffington Post blog, she argues for the end of homophobia and harrassment.
In the final analysis, when determining what a Republican means by their mention of “family values,” one has only to look at their family for the flipside of that coin. They invite us into their homes and private lives every time they attempt to dictate to us how we should live. They have stared into the abyss and the abyss… sometimes stares back into them.