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Lose in politics when you get dirty
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It never ceases to amaze me how dirty some people can make politics.

Now that John McCain has picked running mate Sarah Palin, the media has made an issue of her pregnant daughter. The intent is to make it sound as if Palin's personal house is not in order and that she is sacrificing her family at the altar of politics. Do I sense some jealousy on the part of those who are writing our news and deathly afraid that Palin is going to greatly enhance the GOP ticket?

Such a double standard in the national media. The Clintons issued the dictate to the media that daughter Chelsea was off limits and they gladly respected the order. I wonder how much the liberal-entrenched national media would have run with any story had Chelsea Clinton turned up pregnancy as a teen.

If the intent is to embarrass Palin over the issue of her daughter, it's likely to backfire. Most people understand that parents can do their best to instill values in their children but yet have their children do their own thing. We've all been disappointed about choices our children make. Most Americans would be as protective of their child as Palin is of hers. They will rally around Palin for standing by her daughter and doing the right thing: have the baby instead of abort it.

Shame on the powers at be who've tried to attack a candidate through exploitation of the discretions of a 17-year-old teenage girl.

I suspect the average American will have empathy for Palin for that reason but also because we're growing increasingly weary of media giving candidates on the left a free pass while they grill and hound those on the right. For example, on Monday, CNN went out of its way to delve into Palin's membership in the Pentecostal Church. Their piece spent an inordinate amount of time on the church's practice of "speaking in tongues," something which Palin has never done. CNN's piece was merely an attempt to tell its viewers, "Palin is a religious right-wing oddball. You can't vote for this religious fanatic because they do weird things in her church. They're all a bunch of freaks to think their dabble is a communication with God. And what's up with her believing that abortion is killing babies?"

Politics has always been a dirty business. It's been dirty locally as well.

Last year someone - I have to assume his opponent - sent us an anonymous package intended to stir crap against Supervisor Jim DeMartini. The envelope had no return address. Inside were copies of a Sheriff's Department report and a booking sheet on DeMartini from 1986. Apparently DeMartini was arrested in a heated domestic dispute with his ex-wife, Janelle DeMartini. From what I understand from the reports: DeMartini and his wife were going through a nasty divorce and while he was away on a trip to Canada, she moved back into the house and DeMartini became quite upset. They were both exchanging words and threats as a deputy responded to the call.

In an ideal world there would be no divorce and if there was, it would be a civil parting of the sheets. But people do get upset during divorce.

Keep in mind this was in 1986 - 22 years ago. I'd hate to think that any heated moment I had with anyone - let alone an ex-wife - would be used against me 22 years later in a political campaign.

In defense of Barack Obama, I'm not sure if it's relevant that he did drugs and alcohol when he was a drifting teenager. I also didn't think it was a significant character issue that George W. Bush was arrested for DUI in 1976. The fact that he hit bottom at age 30 and turned his life around was a credit to Bush. I also don't care if Todd Palin, Sarah Palin's husband, was arrested for drunk driving at age 20 in 1984; he's not doing it today.

Whenever someone tries to smear their opponent, it speaks volumes about their character. Remember when Assembly hopeful Tom Berryhill was slammed by opponent Bill Conrad. Conrad tastelessly suggested to voters that Berryhill wouldn't live long in the state Assembly because he was the recipient of a heart transplant? Most saw little validity in the point Conrad was trying to make and gauged it as a desperate political attack.

We have to use judgment when things are alleged of our politicians. There is a world of difference between a candidate who beats his wife and a politician who got into a heated argument with a wife he was divorcing 22 years ago after she returned to the house she wasn't supposed to be at.

If you can't win on the issues and have to get personal and dredge up a candidates' distant past, you deserve to lose.

How do you feel? Let Jeff know by emailing him at