The Perfect Job for Sarah Palin

Amid all the babble about Sarah Palin’s recent resignation as Alaska’s governor and amid all the speculation about her potential … Continued

Amid all the babble about Sarah Palin’s recent resignation as Alaska’s governor and amid all the speculation about her potential presidential bid, few have noted a new job for which she is eminently qualified: civil rights leader for people with intellectual
disabilities.

The current fuss about Palin adds up to nothing more than posturing, spinning and playground name-calling. It’s what makes politics distasteful to so many. If I were her, I’d ignore all of it and forge ahead in a new direction, one where she could make a real difference.

All around the world, parents of children with Down Syndrome struggle against the stings of prejudice and fear while seeking acceptance for their children. There are precious few champions of this cause. The struggle of people with intellectual disabilities is an authentic civil rights movement, one in which Palin carries powerful credentials. Her infant son Trig has Down Syndrome.

She’d be fighting deep-seated prejudices. Over the years, I’ve heard countless cries for help from mothers and dads. I’ll never forget the father who emailed that he was being told to kill his baby daughter because of her Down Syndrome. Or the mother who was told her daughter with Down Syndrome was a “cabbage.” One woman was told to abort her Down Syndrome child because carrying the baby was akin to having a malignant tumor.

Most of these parents don’t dwell on the ways in which they themselves feel humiliated and scorned. They’re ready to fight for change. But they need help in creating social momentum, community awareness, political action.

Palin could be a force for all of those. Her faith, her recognition of the value of every life, would help her. And she could have leverage as a parent advocate that she couldn’t have as a politician.

As a parent, imagine the attention she could help draw to challenges children with Down Syndrome face in early childhood. There are far too few early childhood centers for children with special needs, far too few day-care options, far too few preschools that accept children with Down Syndrome. Palin’s name could do a lot for the cause of early childhood service improvements.

Imagine the impact she would have if she testified before Congress about the health disparities facing children with Down Syndrome. Good medical care is difficult to get and frequently substandard. I remember one medical professional telling me that care for children with special needs was usually “quick and dirty. Get them in and get them out.” Palin could expose the dirty secret that people with special needs are among the most discriminated against populations in the health care world.

Imagine Palin leading efforts to awaken her community and her country to the gifts of people with Down Syndrome. Today, when parents learn that they are carrying a child with Down Syndrome, the vast majority choose to terminate (some estimates are as high as 90%). This doesn’t have to be about the legality of abortion but rather about informing
prospective parents that people with Down Syndrome can lead happy and productive lives. That’s a message that both the conservative Sam Brownback and the liberal Ted Kennedy have endorsed. I bet they’d both welcome Palin as a messenger.

Some will argue that Sarah Palin is too controversial to be effective in these roles. To the contrary: she could be a uniter. On Friday, President Obama is set to announce his intention to make the United States a signatory to the 2006 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Couldn’t Palin join with the president in helping our nation renew its global leadership for full inclusion of people with disabilities?

When a child is young and vulnerable, a parent has a unique opportunity to speak with full authority about the need to change attitudes and services. Only a parent feels the struggle deep in her gut. Only a parent can know what it’s like to feel the sting of the
stares, the pain of a child’s humiliation.

Could Sarah Palin, private citizen, be a parent for this cause, one deeply rooted in the faith that teaches that all life is sacred? I think she could. I hope she tries.

Timothy Shriver
Written by

  • Paganplace

    Frankly, I tend to think the only advocacy Palin’s managed to do is to use Downs Syndrome kids to show some ‘pro-life’ extremist credentials. I’m not saying she necessarily *doesn’t* actually care, though it seems it’d be out of character for her mean-spirited smirking ignorance and general bigotry, but there’s probably more to work with there than any presumption of political, ethical, or intellectual competence in government. In politics, she’s the very picture of everything that’s wrong and corrupt about the Religious Right. I do think that for her it’s just another facet of the ‘abortion’ issue and ‘abstinence only’ that doesn’t even work in her own family. If she makes it about *abortion,* the fact so many children are born with disabilities doesn’t have to be about *pollution* or *health care* or *social programs for the disabled and their families and *science education.* But if she feels she can help by concentrating on the kids, great.

  • boosdad

    As the father of a six year old who lives with DS I’d like to point out a few things about what Sarah Palin has done for the DS community.A month ago I did a little research and discovered that the term “Down Syndrome” was googled more during the week after the republican convention than it had been in the previous 10 years combined. That’s the power of what Sarah Palin has done. The only way that the lot of persons with disabilities improves is by engaging the public and letting them get to know about people who live with these disabilities everyday. That’s a hard thing to do…believe me. In the end, the hope is that people will begin to focus on abilities rather than a particular disability.If you’d like to spend some time getting to know someone with DS you can see a video of our son at

  • Nosmanic

    I have a mental disabled little brother named Michal he’s 22. I hate the condescending attude that republican have toward the poor and family’s of the disabled. “You just got to buck up” seems like their slogan. I don’t like Palin using her son to try to score political points.

  • davequ

    It’s a nice thought, and I respect your suggestion, She will more likely end up hosting some mediocre partisan panel show on Fox.

  • summicron1

    It would be highly ironic if Ms. Palin were to become an advocate for the handicapped, discover what a raw deal they get despite the supposed kindness of charities and individual help, and start demanding more government services. she’d turn into a liberal, at least for her own cause. Sort of like Dick Cheney supporting gay marriage — when it hits home, you see why it needs to be done. Sadly, Palin has trouble seeing how that works for others.

  • beenthere3

    You people still don’t get it.Sarah Palin is all about money and fame, not actually doing something worth-while.Is there such thing as a religious “pit bull”? Give me a break.I’ll give you 100 to 1 odds Sarah Palin goes after big money book deals and highly paid speaking engagements.

  • VirginiaConservative

    Civil rights leader…great idea. Lets keep the baby killers in office so they can keep that horrific practice alive.

  • blakesouthwood

    New York City sewer inspector and cleaner.

  • huytu-4w_ed

    A GREAT MYSTERYA future job for Ms. S. Palin being

  • whocares666

    Another day another article on the celebrity fundamentali$t.

  • johntonner

    what a bunch of sick comments in this audience. you should be glad that these vicious and mean people are not after you. can think about what she would be going thru if she was in the president office. compared to the complete silence and no criticism no analysis of the present mess that obama given us. try making fun of him he will soon tell you what you can say and what you can’t. just ask the press . that’s why they keep there mouth shut and look for easier targets.

  • john_geo_smith

    Tim…you don’t get. You said “Couldn’t Palin join with the president in helping our nation renew its global leadership”. Hello…what the heck do you think her problem is? It is a lack of leadership!! Plus she can’t even take the stress of politics. Do you really think she can take the stress of this position?!? My last word…you won’t see her taking any job like this at all, period! She has always been about herself and money. I will bet anyone that within the next six months she will either have her own talk show on radio or TV (sponsored by Fox Noise), or will be doing something else where she can use her “beauty queen” looks and “journalist” talents to make a boat load of money.

  • AKShrubhater

    To Hell with you JohnTonner and Ex- Governor Gump!

  • sarahabc

    I’m afraid you are seeing a burning fire of greatness in someone who has never had so much as a spark.

  • historian_nan

    The only person Palin has any interest in being a spokesperson for is herself. If she actually cared about her son, she wouldn’t have been using him as a stage prop during the campaign. If she’s a shining example of a person of faith, I’m glad I’m an atheist.

  • revbookburn

    The problem is that Palin is one of the least qualified people to speak for those with disabilities. Palin rejects science and facts unless they can be manipulated in her interests, such as oil drilling. She speaks favorably about anti-abortion terrorists, a characteristic she has in common with the Taliban. Finally, Palin rejected funds that would assist people with heat in her own state. She is the furthest a public official can go from being an advocate for the needs of the people. She is hostile to all social services and humane health care proposals. Advocacy statements from Palin would be as meaningless as pro-dog appeals from Michael Vick. Rev. Bookburn – Radio Volta

  • jjedif

    Sarah, Todd and Bristol Palin’s perfect jobs would be as cast member of “My Name is Earl.” Then instead of having Hollywood actors playing the parts of ignorant hillbillies, the show would have some real ignorant hillbillies.It would be a hoot.

  • jjedif

    Oh, and did I mention, if a woman gets raped in Sarah Palin’s Alaska, the rape victim has to pay for her own rape kit to collect evidence to try to convict the rapist.Of course, many Christians believe that men “taking” women, including their wives, is what the good Lord intended. Religion is mostly about sex, hard, violent sex.

  • noHUCKABEEnoVOTE

    PALIN would make a good president… ADVOCATES don’t have executive privilege . And she would do way better than a community organizer .

  • kcleung8947

    To be an effective advocate for DS, Palin has to first learn how to make coherence sentences instead of just rambling on and on.

  • chrisfox8

    Sarah Palin is far too unhinged and undisciplined to be given “actual responsibilities.”

  • wkristol

    Uh, maybe it’s not the right job for her. Didn’t she hop on a 10+ hour flight to Alaska (from Texas) after she started leaking amniotic fluid — seriously jeopardizing the health of her unborn child who had been diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome? Doesn’t that make her the wrong person for this job? Wouldn’t the “right” person have checked into a hospital to ensure the safe delivery of her baby?

  • billy8

    Just leave the woman alone. She’s out of office now…

  • jgwlaw

    My first reaction was YES! Who better than an intellectually challenged individual to take on the cause of the intellectually challenged? Yes, it’s snarky.

  • beltaine51

    I wonder what Mr. Shriver’s late aunt, Rose Marie Kennedy, would have to say about Timothy’s insight and intent in his column. I also wonder her reaction to the hatred and in some cases outright lies spewed by the informed community of Washington Post’s On Faith readers. You are a pathetic lot.

  • MisterG1

    In just the few comments posted so far on this article, one witnesses the most tragic illness that has befallen our nation. An ever-growing percentage of our society, once tolerant of vigorous debate and respect for others of differing opinions and views, be they political, religious, or whatever, have replaced that tolerance with sheer hatred. Today, it is fashionable to be disrepectful, hateful, and rude; how much longer can a democratic Republic exist based on “hatred” versus the principles of acceptable behavior that served this nation well for over 200 years.Look at these few absurd comments and statements, authored so far, relative to Sarah Palin, in response to a well-intended article by Timothy Shriver. Palin has “pro-life extremist credentials”.Palin has “always had all the money she wants”Palin “rejects science”Palin “speaks favorably about anti-abortion terrorists”.Palin is “hostile to all social services and humane healthcare proposals”.All of these statements are, of course, unfounded, in actual fact, and I would challenge either poster, especially from the so-called Reverend, who ought to know better, to substantiate your absurd claims, and statements. Obviously, there will no substantiation, thus, one can, easily, conclude the opinions and/or statements are motivated by one’s “hatred” of views, opposite of those they hold. In these few statements, the posters, overtly, suggest that Palin is a “bigot”, “radical”, “terrorist sympathizer”, “wealthy”, and, of course, the usual “uneducated”. Whenever one can not compete, or debate adequately, in the arena of ideas / issues;

  • OHREALLYNOW

    Tim, this is political satire, right? I mean you have to be kidding, right?

  • Fate1

    Not enough money in it… Next!

  • rohitcuny

    ” I don’t like Palin using her son to try to score political points.” I really found this comment disgusting. Some Democrats hate Palin so much that they seem not to understand the bravery involved in raising a DS child. Her son Trig was born in May 2008, quite a while before she was invited by McCain to be on the ticket. When she chose to have that baby she was NOT thinking of how it would play in the presidential race. I hate to think that we have replaced the unsavory Cheney and Rumsfeld by a bunch of vicious Democrats (albeit Obama is not one of the vicious ones).

  • dlopata

    That won’t make her any money. She needs $$$$$.

  • qqbDEyZW

    Let’s make Sarah our Poster Mom on how to raise kids. Look she could teach children English or World History and pass on that great knowledge she has. Just think Sarah would teach our kids and when they reach adulthood they would be all dumb as Sarah.

  • lufrank1

    The perfect job for this one would be to just fade away.

  • arancia12

    Being an advocate would require some selflessness. I’m not saying Mrs. Palin doesn’t love her children, but Mrs. Palin loves things that feed her narcissism and her ambitions. Mrs. Palin would not share her celebrity with her son. Unless her son’s disability can get her the national-level spotlight she desires he’s all but useless to her.

  • spidermean2

    I would agree to this leftist Timothy Shriver if Obama would be her first mentally disabled patient. The only people who hates Palin are actually those who are mentally and morally deficient. I hope they will give it a try. Curing these people is of outmost importance to America.

  • arancia12

    what a bunch of sick comments in this audience. you should be glad that these vicious and mean people are not after you. can think about what she would be going thru if she was in the president office. compared to the complete silence and no criticism no analysis of the present mess that obama given us. try making fun of him he will soon tell you what you can say and what you can’t. just ask the press . that’s why they keep there mouth shut and look for easier targets.But ya know what, John? I don’t want people saying mean things about me so I don’t seek public office and attention. I am in this forum so I must expect some poster to say mean things to me. If I don’t want them to, I will no longer post. I don’t suppose anyone has said anything any meaner than Mrs. Palin saying Barack Obama “pals around with terrorists.” Or the posters who have called his daughter “wh@res” or the ones who called Mrs. Obama a monkey.

  • merrill1

    The perfect job for Sarah Palin is in the “family” business: fishing. She doesn’t need a designer wardrobe, she doesn’t need to be an orator, she will gets lots of exercise, she can pray when the nets go out and pretend she is as good as Jesus when she hauls them in. Let her start tomorrow. People with disabilities deserve better.

  • arancia12

    The only people who hates Palin are actually those who are mentally and morally deficient. You can’t make this stuff up, folks. The mentally deficient pot calling the kettle black.

  • mdpilot

    Palin will go to the biggest pot at the end of the biggest rainbow.

  • spidermean2

    The difference between Palin and Obama is that Obama thinks that talking too much emits lots of carbon in the air which then contribute to global warming. It’s actually like comparing a normal person to silly person.Those who hate Palin are abnormal no doubt.Whatever Obama plans to do with chicken manure since he hates those manure turned into methane to power poultry farms. I hope the poultry growers will have the option to dump them at the White House.

  • spidermean2

    arancia12 wrote “The mentally deficient pot calling the kettle black. “As usual, the people who deride Palin are those who think that their great great grandpa was King Kong. Don’t talk too much coz the earth might warm. Stop eating beef coz they produce cow dung which then warm the earth.Somebody should cure these people. Palin would be the right choice to cure them.

  • jhbyer

    Not all parents of children with intellectual disabilities are interested in helping them as a group. With her history of opposing improved services for the disabled, Palin seems unlikely advocate. Mr. Shriver has never even met her, suggesting he’s just wishful thinking.

  • LoxReclusa

    Point well taken…

  • AIPACiswar

    Kids with Down’s Syndrome deserve better than a woman who would stand and deliver untruthful character assassinations on the stump, to become VP. Beauty queen?! Weather girl?! This is an advocate? Could Sarah Palin pass a bar exam? Her whole career is T&A, if she looked like Candy Crowley she’d be a waitress, (no insult to waitresses.)

  • spitze

    I don’t think helping Trig is gonna make her powerful…she seems like she doesn’t even care about her family. She has great potential of being an advocate for people with disabilities, but with a pregnant daughter and her tours across America it doesn’t sound like she ever had time for her family.

  • macgregor54

    She’s unqualified to do anything but wait for death. She’s incurious, uneducated, illogical, egotistical, unaccomplished. Why on earth would kids with Down’s syndrome want an advocate with those credentials? Why would ANYONE want an advocate with those credentials?The woman displays no redeeming character that is not directly related to her own interests and appears to be blind to what the rest of us can see… someone in way, way, way over her head, trying her best to use charm where brains are demanded.No thanks. Please just go away, Sarah.

  • spidermean2

    Palin may not be brilliant but she is not stupid like Obama who thinks that carbon emission will kill us all. Whether he likes it or not, something cleaner and more abundant will replace oil. He is over-reacting like an ABONORMAL person making destructive laws to “heal the world”. He should heal himself first together with idiotic leftist liberals here.What America needs is a NORMAL person.

  • SherryLP3

    Setting aside all the sarcastic comments above to get back to the main point–Mr. Shriver, you have a very good idea! The very fact that Sarah Palin has financial and societal access to the best medical and educational care for little Trig can help call attention to the fact that so many families don’t have access to those things for members with Downs Syndrome. As a spokesperson, she can point out the need to provide “advantages”–or rather, normal access –to other people who don’t have them.

  • B2O2

    I wholeheartedly agree with the author that Palin is the ideal person to advocate for Americans with intellectual difficulties. Her inability to form coherent thoughts or absorb any kind of knowledge into her brain will reliably evoke sympathy from the public after the smoke from the political battles finally drifts clear. And her good looks of course will paint these kind of Americans in a more favorable light – this is a tried and true PR angle.Oh… this column was about Trig??? So sorry!

  • Bob65

    The hatred of Sarah Palin as displayed by some on here just shows how classless these people are. Evidently proudly holding your son and standing with the rest of your family during the most important event of your life is “using your kids as a prop”. I would be willing to bet Obama never suffered the same insults from these people when he appeared with his daughters.

  • ChooseBestCandidate

    she is eminently qualified: civil rights leader for people with intellectualyes, she can do this as a part of her Presidency. She can surely incorporate this into her job as Commander-In-Chief.

  • Lollardfish

    My son, like Trig, has Down syndrome.Sarah Palin does not speak for me.If we want to make the lives of people with Down syndrome better, we need to work on their lives … not what happens in utero. Palin has shown no interest in anything post-delivery.Also, to be anti-abortion but to refuse to support health care, child care, and first-rate education for all children, and all people, is not an ethically just position to take.

  • ChooseBestCandidate

    the more they unfairly insult an innocent child and a patriotic female Governor, the more her backers will vote for her. PERIOD.LIKE michael jackson, some of you can try and try and try again, but in the end it is the PEOPLE who will show how they really feel and NOTHING amount of insults, or made-up stories will deny Sarah Palin and her family.

  • ChooseBestCandidate

    Also, to be anti-abortion but to refuse to support health care, child care, and first-rate education for all children, and all people, is not an ethically just position to take.

  • Hillman1

    She made it clear that she will not support gay families, so she could not be a spokesperson for all Down Syndrome families.She was also very dismissive of pretty much anyone that lives in a major East Coast city during the Presidential campaign.Turns out those folks in those cities are often the biggest donors to things like Down Syndrome care and research.Not quite sure how inclined people are going to be to give you money and attention after you spent a Presidential campaign saying they were not real Americans and snidely questioning their patriotism.

  • ChooseBestCandidate

    yes, she is anti abortion. obviously you are pro-abortion? so should you be called names and be insulted because of your ABORTION stance?

  • ekim53

    Sarah Palin already does a lot in that area. He’s says things like Iran is just one of those small countries and not a threat to anyone, just before his teleprompter tells him to reconsider.

  • ChooseBestCandidate

    PALIN will be a bigger representative for ALL challenged people as PRESIDENT PALIN.

  • ChooseBestCandidate

    “…She’s always had all the money she wants and proposed to trot out a Downs Syndrome baby as proof …”===================please take in the above post and step back. maybe do something else for a while?

  • mitt1968

    DUH!!! What a stupid human being. The role any intelligent person would play would be explaining a way to KEEP FROM GIVING BIRTH to a Down baby!But dumdum Sarah wants to pretend that this is a BAD THING — even genocidal — so she will suck up to the “right to lifers” and pretend that Down Dodos should be born, despite the parents intelligence and worry. Man what a moron. And there are people out there who support her! Again — DUH!!!

  • Lollardfish

    Dear “ChooseBestCandidate:”I understand that you want to support your chosen candidate, Palin. But it is quite clear that the GOP is not in favor of providing health care. To say to a woman that she must carry a baby to full term (i.e., ban abortion), but that the government is not going to guarantee health care, education, child care, and support, is not ethical. I believe there is an ethical pro-life stance – it is anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, pacifist, and resolved to fight for social justice. Notice, if you will, how those positions transcend standard political boundaries. Now I do not share that position in all aspects, but at least it’s ethically consistent.I know that arguing with committed people on the internet is pointless, but as a father of a boy with just as many chromosomes as Trig Palin, I feel it’s crucial to try.

  • lkc356

    The Perfect Job For Sarah Palin [besides alienating independent minded voters from the Republican party]…

  • yh132

    Are you kidding??? And condescend to something that looks so much like community organizing?? Too low to stoop for someone who’s caught a itch for the brass ring.Besides, if she can’t handle 17 more months of being governor of a state with fewer people than Fairfax County, how is she ever going to have the patience and follow-through to advocate anything?

  • htietz1

    Well to bad for all the other parents of children with disabilities that were born before Palin became a known name. My gosh, how did they ever manage? Most families that have a person with a developmental disabilitiy seem to get on with things and find resources along the way. It’s not easy though. Gradually and as needed folks find how how PL94-142 applies to their child having the right to a free, appropriate public education, in their home school with the other kids in the neighborhood and how the Americans with disabilities act can help them too. I’m sure Palin hasn’t even thought about Trig going to “school” yet. However I imagine he may already be receiving early intervention service through the school district where they live. Palen is not a stupid woman but she has no experience yet to even know what all the questions may be in regard to assisting folks with disabilities let alone how to get all the needs met. There’s many a “mom’s” group that meet and make changes in communities all over the country and the world for that matter.

  • dgblues

    Well, I must admit, it makes more sense for her to take up a cause she knows something about.So she can choose from several things. Yes, an advocate for special needs children could be one thing. But what about these options?- Alaska secessionist pin-up girl- Wildlife eradication spokesperson- Motivational speaker at exorcist conventions- Amateur econo-climatologist- Advisor to politicians on ethics violations for fun, profit, and retributionOh, I’m sure there’s a bunch more. The woman is a bottomless well of talent.

  • inverness1

    HTietz1: your comment “PS Down syndrome isn’t the only type of intellectual disability.”Yes, exactly, but it is the most common intellectual disability which can be diagnosed before birth and which therefore has become the object of an intense campaign to abort. More potentially severe disabilities which can also result in mental handicap (autism, cerebral palsy, etc.) cannot – yet – be diagnosed before birth and have not – yet – become the focus of eugenicists.For this reason, it is important for people with Down Syndrome to have a political – and not merely a social – champion.

  • CincoDeMe

    I remember hearing this portion of Palin’s Speech on Children with Special Needs, October 24, 2008 in Pittsburgh, PA and all I could say was, “She has NEVER, EVER said, ‘My son has Downs’ Syndrome’!”Here’s the portion of the speech that I’m referring to:My little fella sleeps during most of these rallies, even when they get pretty rowdy. He would be amazed to know how many folks come out to see him instead of me.When I learned that Trig would have special needs, honestly, I had to prepare my heart. At first I was scared, and Todd and I had to ask for strength and understanding. I did a lot of praying for that understanding, and strength, and to see purpose.”Referring to her son’s “special needs” doesn’t make her the parent of a child with Downs’ Syndrome. A child with a peanut allergy has special needs, but it (most likely) won’t limit his ability to graduate from high school in 18 years, to attend college and live independently. A child with Downs’ Syndrome will (most likely) require at least Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and special support for learning. Ms. Palin wouldn’t be an appropriate representative for anything associated with the long-term needs of those families!Lets remember:

  • ccates

    Ms Palin only wants to be an advocate for herself. The issue of special needs children isn’t sufficient by itself to give her the attention she craves. No issue it.

  • babloom

    Timmy, I am disappointed that you would suggest Ms Palin as an advocate for children with Down Syndorme or those with any disabilities. The true advocates in that community are dedicated, hard-working and committed. They don’t quit when the challenges are hard or the spolight shifts. They are true heroes in our communities. Ms Palin does not yet qualify. Perhaps when she has a chance to parent Tryg over time she will gain the true autheticity that makes parent advocates so effective.

  • HumanSimpleton

    I disagree.She is incurious, uneducated, anti-science, and irresponsible.She also quits when the going gets tough.How does that make her qualified for any job, much less one that requires someone who is educated, persevering, and responsible.The fact that Trigg suffers from the syndrome is irrelevant. Otherwise, you might as well trust a guy suffering from cancer to treat it, than his doctor

  • Dadrick

    Wow, the irony. You make a petty, mean joke – and you flub it.spidermean 2 wrote:I would agree to this leftist Timothy Shriver if Obama would be her first mentally disabled patient. The only people who hates (sic) Palin are actually those who are mentally and morally deficient.

  • Dadrick

    My kid with DS, who we chose not to abort, is smarter than you are.mitt1968 wrote:What a stupid human being. The role any intelligent person would play would be explaining a way to KEEP FROM GIVING BIRTH to a Down baby!

  • BeckyinMo

    Wow. So much hate here.I respect Sarah because she did what was right for Alaska and for her family, after taking on $500,000 in debt to clear her name from false accusations. She is loved in Alaska and helped that state. She didn’t do polls to see how to best portray stepping down and she is not so heavily dependent on teleprompters that she says “I don’t know what happen, but the police acted stupidly” or compare her poor performances to the Special Olympics on national television. Please people, wake up.If you don’t like her, fine, but embracing such hatred is not good for you or for anyone else.

  • naughtymonkey

    Dear Mr. Shriver:

  • swatkins1

    One thing you have to like: At least Sarah Palin is blocking out stories on Paris Hilton. When is Palin’s sex video going to be released?

  • DSK1231

    I am sorry, how does Palin’s faith help make her a better advocate?Does one need to believe in God to feel it necessary to help the handicapped and disadvantaged?

  • hstamper5

    mrg1,

  • onestring

    …Until she opens her mouth to speak, you mean.It won’t take long for unscientific views presented as fact to spout from the loquacious air-head’s pie hole.

  • fstanton66

    I’m sorry, but this article is silly. Sarah Palin in the last year that she has been on the national stage has not shown any character whatsoever. Everything she does and everything she says is calculated to put herself in a good light, including parading her poor children in public like little trophys that show the world that she is the world’s greatest mother. She wears her religion like a merit badge that proves she is better than everyone else in this world. Since she became a public figure she has done nothing but divide people and galvanize feelings both for and against her. Her rhetoric is derisive of those who do not agree with her. Rather than just stating her opinion on things, she goes that extra mile and continually belittles those who disagree with her whether they be Democrats, progressives, environmentalists, animal rights activists, pro-choice advocates, etc. She would be a horrible person to lead or fund raise for Down syndrome children or any other cause which did not forward her backward view of the world. In order for a person to effectively represent disabled children that person would have to be a person that can explain the beauty of these children and the difficulties they face to the uninitiated. Sarah Palin comes off as being totally self-absorbed and most importantly, superficial. It is time for so-called Christians to look at the politicians whom they supported since Ronald Reagan and acknowledge the superficiality of supporting politicians merely because they are “Christian.” They need to look at the track records of people like Ronald Regan, Dan Quayle, Tom Delay, George Bush, II, Cheyney, Rove and Lee Atwater, all of whom hid behind their Born Again status to hide evil, corupt and mean-spirited actions which have hurt the United States and lowered the dialog on the American character to a cliche. It is time for Christian writers and Christians in general to look in the mirror and acknowledge the harm they have wrought on this country with their superficial appraisal and support of their so-called choices in political and religious leadership. It is un-Christian to be devisive; yet that is what we have had for the last 30 years in this country. And a great deal of the blame goes to Christians.

  • Nosmanic

    I have tried not to said anything to anyone about Palin until now I knew if I said anything it would just be good for her, and I was right. After reading your comments I felt bad for what I said. So a reread what I wrote and I don’t see what was bad. I call it like I see it. Sarah would say. The comments are vicious because for the last 2 decades anyone who believed in any leftist ideas have been said “denounced their faith”, aren’t good christians, “hate their country”, and/or are “baby killers”. And the left took it and tried to be reasonable and work with the other side but repubilcan aren’t interested in anything but hate and fear.For true christians you can’t believe in abortion is anything but pure evil, same for homosexualty and contraception. But you can kill all the people you want, have affairs (“It’s my wifes fault”), torture, you can even rape women if you want(because they asking for it). Just don’t change your mind on anything that’s the worst thing you can do. And don’t give anything to the poor, they’re lazy parasites.It discussion has brought out the worest in me. But that what happens when you hit home.

  • knjincvc

    Maybe after she finishes her stint as GOP fund-raiser-in-chief, earns a couple of million for herself and moves to the lower 48.

  • takomaguy

    Sarah Palin should become a televangelist. While she’d have nothing more to add than any other televangelist, and she would certainly be as credible, based on her past antics however, she would probably be more entertaining than most other televangelists. Further, if she follows the “Willowcreek”, or “Saddleback Church” business model, “Sister Sarah” could make a pile of money and live the life-style to which she seems to aspire.

  • ccnl1

    Let us face the simple fact that Sarah is a lot better looking than Hillary!!

  • Leofwine

    Maybe she can do for Down’s Syndrome what she did for Alaska. Actually that’s a horrible idea…

  • truthforpeace

    ‘Palin’, or to ‘palin’, or to have ‘palined’:PALIN pay-lyn adverb 1. to naively, ignorantly and inappropriately accept a position while not having the requisite qualifications 2. to have naively and inappropriately accept a political nomination without blinking, when one should have not only blinked, but also thought about ones’ own lack of qualifications and the expected mal-effects on one’s self, family, political party or country; as in: ‘to pull a palin’ 3. to inappropriately blame the media for accurately noting ones’ lack of qualifications after one naively and inappropriately accepted a political nomination for which they did not hold the experience or qualifications for.PALINED pay-lyn-ed verb 1. to have pulled off a bone-headed action, or a boner; as in: ‘to palin’ or ‘to have palined’ 2. when a crony is offered, and accepts, a government position which they have not the experience or qualifications for, and then problems occur because of this, as in: Sara Palin palined when she hired her unqualified high school friends for high offices in Alaska; or, as in: John McCain palined when he choose Sara Palin as his Vice President nomination. 3. to hire cronies or other unqualified people, so that they do a poor job so it looks like the government can not handle societies needs, and so as to promote the privatization of government, by actively acting to make it work poorly, as in: President Bush palined in appointing the FEMA head who palined during New Orleans’ Katrina hurricane.

  • gjhinnova

    “Her faith and her child would make her a top advocate for kids with Down Syndrome.”Are you kidding? She’s an incurious flake. No thinking person would hire her to any position of responsibility.

  • truthforpeace

    I work and advocate for persons with disabilities, intellectual and other. Palin is NOT a disability advocate! Disability advocates act like advocates, not like Palin! First she would need to start advocating for her own son; that means she needs to be there for him and not off on her own personal political adgenda. As a parent, Palin has demonstrated as much advocacy for her own most important disabled son, as a turnip! …She was Governor folks, if she has potential as a disabled advocate, she has shown essentially NONE, so far.Maybe as an ultra conservative ‘shock jock’ she could do well!

  • wcmillionairre

    I believe Sarah should create a teen sex porno web site; at least she wouldn’t have to hire actors!

  • ccnl1

    whistling, whistling, whistling,”Nice” to see you back again full of your normal pleasantries. Reminds me of someone !!!!

  • Dungarees

    Civility, people. Civility.The question is whether or not we think Governor Palin would be a good spokesman for people with intellectual disabilities (without specifically defining those disabilities).Regardless of what I may think of the governor personally, and I don’t believe she’s demonstrated the qualities or qualifications for higher office (but that’s my view and I’m not asking anyone to share them), my instinct is to say that as a prominent figure with a child with with an intellectual disability, she would be a good champion for the cause; she would have a unique pulpit on which to advocate on their behalf.But… and it’s a big but, she had the platform as governor, and she had a platform as a vice presidential candidate, I haven’t seen anything that shows me, outside of caring for her son who (in my view) she parades, as she does her other children, as political luggage; I hope it’s me that’s missing it but I haven’t seen anything that leads me to think that she cares about the issue beyond her son being a stump speech item.Tell me that she wants to help the Special Olympics; that she’s willing to cross the line with her hand out to others for this cause, then you might make me think she can do something tangible. But so far I haven’t seen anything that leads me to thing that she really gives a damn.And I hope that I’m wrong because the initial post makes sense. She’s in a unique position to make a difference. I just don’t think she cares enough to make that difference.dungarees@gmail.com

  • davidjames1

    I think you raise a very good point. But I never cease to be amazed at how people choose to read Sarah Palin. I’m a Democrat and it disgusts me to read the bile people post and rave about her. I think she would be very good at this kind of work though I must admit I never thought about it before. One small point though. Is “intellectual” disability really the term you were searching for?

  • dbert4

    Why would a woman that can’t even provide intelligent names for here own children make a good “anything” for other children?

  • kmwray

    What so many Palin advocates fail to take into account is how horribly she was vetted and then prepared to be named the GOP VP nominee.Now all eyes (okay all political junkies only) are trying to see what she does next. Now a mid term resignation of a one term state executive hs everyone abuzz as to what Palin will do next. There is nothing to guess. Down Syndrome advocay takes some intellectual heft and quite a bit of public policy smarts, which the vetting revealed she is conspicuously short on.Palin will park her wacky road show with great PR tidbits like “the media is the enemy” (tell that to Ronald Reagan who worked them like a master puppeteer) and “I could see Iowa from Idaho, when I went to school there as part of my multiple college 6 year education plan”.Stay tuned its gonna be a wild ride

  • dmlpearl

    I suppose one would have to be cynical to suspect that this “perfect job” is simply part of the large effort to remove Governor Palin from the political scene.Sure, this perfect job is one for any caring mother, not requiring any critical thought, good for morning TV shows, and readily dismissed when bigger issues arise.

  • jrzwrld

    Dude, just because she has a Down Syndrome child doesn’t mean she would be a great advocate. First of all, her desire to cut taxes at any cost kind of precludes her advocating any moer government spending on special needs children. Second of all, she has largely kept Trig in a box, trotting him out as a prop to be carted around when necessary for the cameras. She has not spoken out once about his development and what parenting a Down Syndrome baby involves. She has no interest in being an advocate for Down Syndrome children – there’s no power or glory involved.

  • mhoust

    We don’t need advocates for Down’s Syndrome children, we need to stop having Down’s Syndrone children, or any other children with birth defects for that matter.1. Tests are available to determine whether or not a fetus has a genetic defect.2. Abortion is a legally permitted means of terminating a pregnancy with a defective child within the first 3 months.3. No one should be forced to help care for a defective child that the parents elected to have born. That means zero government healthcare dollars and zero insurance dollars.The fact of the matter is that most birth defective children can be prevented or eliminated before birth. Their presence causes extreme hardship on families and society as a whole. Conceiving a defective child is a tragedy, choosing to have one born is an even greater one.

  • spidermean2

    Some years back, I wondered why doomsday is coming. Today I wonder why doomsday has not come yet. You just can’t believe how stupid people has become.Only fire I guess will extinguish the stupidity of most of these people. Very sad.

  • rkentesqva

    Conceiving a defective child is a tragedy, choosing NOT to have one born is a crime against humanity for which, in a sane society, those responsible for such a crime would be punshed just as a would-be slave owner is punished today. And for the same reason.Eugenics and the execution (by abortion) of “useless eaters” is purely a Nazi concept. Review your history; we punished German doctors after WWII for doing what you advocate. Civilized people do not murder their babies just because they have an extra chromosome. Our tragedy is that we have ceased to be civilized.

  • alaskachic93

    Whether or not I like Sarah Palin is irrelevant. This piece of writing is insulting trash and yet more evidence of media’s ability to trash a person relentlessly.

  • spidermean2

    A Bible-believing person. I think that is the main reason she is hated for. You can’t kick gainst the prick. You will only self-destruct if you would try.Stupidity is self-destructive. The prophecy states that the destruction is so great. No wonder coz the stupidity is mind-boggling too.

  • kdmcjacobson

    “DEFECTIVE”? What is Normal? When a seemingly non-defective child is born there is no guarantee that child won’t be defective. There are no genetic markers for intelligence or talent or looks or personality. There are no guarantees that child won’t have ADHD, diabetes, cancer, crooked teeth, need glasses, or become an alcoholic. What shall we do with the elderly or people who suffer accidents?My daughter has Down syndrome. She is the joy and light of my life. My life would be so empty without her. Before she was born I don’t know how I felt about “therapeutic abortions.” Now, after knowing my daughter, the very thought of it makes me sad. Yes, DS is 100% preventable. BUT, these individuals truly enrich our lives. Just ask her classmates, doting grandparents and aunts, and other associates. If you know you are carrying a child with DS please carry the child to term and give it up for adoption. Someone else will care for your child. My life is FULL of challenges and constant struggles. Having a child with special needs brings on many different issues to contend with. But, having a “normal” child can be challenging, too. My struggles just tend to be a little different. Through our daughter we have learned gratitude for what we have. Sometimes I see the struggles of other families and am grateful for mine. I heard it said once that our weaknesses can become strengths. Our daughter has truly become a strength to us.

  • chasemonster
  • Fonz

    I think Sarah is cute. Now that Tina isn’t on SNL she could take her job. Actually, I’d like to see her on Monday Night Football. She’d be a good color commentator. That wink just does it for me. But I bet she gets a job on FOX, probably opposite O’Reilly. She could wink and he could smile back at her.

  • doctort

    Hi-

  • dunnhaupt

    As her son-in-law revealed, Sarah Palin’s only ambition is to make big bucks. I presume she will now get a fat book deal rather than be a poorly paid spokesperson for Downs. A ghost writer who actually can spell should not be hard to find.

  • irae

    How is the pay being a spokesthingy for Down’s children, because even Real Americans have bills to pay, dontchaknow? Also will there be any media elites, and I’ll be needing an upgrade to my wardrobe, also.

  • Sanuk

    I like the idea – she could start by advocating for national health care… oh wait.Problem with Palin is her ideology would keep her from doing what is truly right regarding these kids.

  • teganmcdonough

    I think Sarah Palin would be a perfect fit as an “Energy Advocate”, in Washington, for The People. She KNOWS Big Oil, and she KNOWS how to Lobby.

  • catlady1

    I agree with other posters that Ms. Palin is not cut out for that work. She seeks the limelight for herself, and it would be difficult for her to be willing to shine it on some of the problems you cite. She seems to believe it IS all about her and her needs and wishes.Secondly, she seems to be consumed with financial gain. The DS platform would not give her the money she seems to seek.Third, and most important, I don’t think Ms. Palin LIKES DS people very much. I have NEVER seen a photo or video of her holding/carrying her own son. I am not saying one does not exist, but for most mothers if they have a young child they hold and carry and coo over it, rather than handing it off to their older children to tote around.I also have a problem, as a teacher, with some of the basic premises upon which this posting is based. In my experience (I have taught for 37 years) DS and other handicapped children now have excellent options and programs and policies available to them and their parents, including SIGNIFICANT financial support. In my own state, we have a remarkable center which provides every type of medical assistance, specially tailored to handicapped people. What I see, however, is understandable fear from parents who face dying before their children do: what will happen to them after the parent dies?

  • Utahreb

    “Coulda, woulda, shoulda” – but she would not be content with less publicity and money. I volunteered and worked with children and adults who were physically and mentally challenged, and they are so loving and kind and it was such a great experience. Even taught beginning swimming to many – a real challenge and it was so heart-warming to see them pass the course – yes, I cried.Palin wants and needs the money, the limelight, the publicity of speaking engagements, TV interviews, the ghost-written book. Being a spokesperson for DS would not satisfy her needs.

  • spidermean2

    A hockey mom and an avid baseball buff are normal people. Global warming freaks are not. They try not to breathe to prevent carbon emission that will warm the earth. The worst part is when they hold a high office and prevents other people from breathing.You may think it’s farfetched but that is how Obama’s trade laws are going. This nation will be creating lots of enemies in no time.Gloom and doom is coming soon. Thanks to these idiots who support an idiot in the White House.

  • hayesap8

    Your warm and fuzzies are quite admirable, Mr. Shriver, but come on. Sarah Palin is destined for a propaganda job at Fox News.

  • norriehoyt

    If you had a good cause you wanted to see promoted, would you want it promoted by David Duke or Joseph Goebbels?

  • EnglandR

    Palin is a joke, a very cruel one. She does not gives a hoot about anybody or anything other than Palin.Her has no heart or love. She is a pagen who pretends to be a Christian.

  • skramsv

    The only job Ms Palin should consider is staying home and taking care of her children and grandchild. It is crystal clear that they need her full attention.

  • mischanova

    Sarah Palin might start explaining to people how they can care for developmently challenged children without any government assistance. She could put together a whole program showing how to take care of all of these children through the private sector alone. If not, she could begin to rethink and take back her rhetoric of the last few years.

  • GeneCar

    I am puzzled by those who say that Sarah Palin is personally greedy and all about money. I find this difficult to reconsile with her refusal to accept a salary rise as Governor of Alaska, while her vicious detractors were trying to bankrupt her with false “ethics” complaints. Nor has she accepted fees for any of her recent or speaking engagements. I am also puzzled by those who see Palin as a narcarcist. If narcarcism is about exceesive “self love”, it is rare to find it in a person who has a happy and lasting marraige, as is obvious in the case of Sarah Palin. It is rarer still in people with large families, particularly if one child has special needs.

  • portiaperu

    I’m puzzled by “faith” being a qualification for advocating for the disabled.Many important qualifications come to mind for this hypothetical position – faith does not seem relevant.

  • Fate1

    mhoust blathed: “The fact of the matter is that most birth defective children can be prevented or eliminated before birth. Their presence causes extreme hardship on families and society as a whole. Conceiving a defective child is a tragedy, choosing to have one born is an even greater one.”Wow what a cold heart. Remember, abortion a CHOICE, not a requirement under any situation the woman chooses not to have one. Your comment is as heartless as anti-abortionists who would require fetuses with genetic defects be carried to term against the mother’s wishes. Its the mother’s choice, not yours, not anyones but the mother.

  • kmoscillo

    Having a child with disabilities does not automatically make a person an eminently qualified civil rights leader for people with intellectual disabilities.

  • Fate1

    GeneCar wrote: “I am puzzled by those who say that Sarah Palin is personally greedy and all about money. I find this difficult to reconsile with her refusal to accept a salary rise as Governor of Alaska, while her vicious detractors were trying to bankrupt her with false “ethics” complaints. Nor has she accepted fees for any of her recent or speaking engagements.”How about quitting a $125K a year job so she can write a multi-million dollar book? If she were a dedicated public servant she would have stuck it out as many public fugures in similar situations have. Her notion of “service” seems to be “getting her way”. When that stops she quits.How about a parent who leaves their children behind to work in another city, resulting in one becoming a teenage mother and obviously someone else caring for the diabled son. And, with all of this, leaving home for months to run for vice president and in the process buying $150K worth of clothes? How about bringing your children out at midnight, including the disabled 6-month old, in a convention hall with thousands of people loudly screaming to show yourself as the good mother she has you believing she is. Who subjects a baby to that kind of noise at midnight?And, in Palin’s own greedy-narcarcistic words:

  • whocares666

    … and her bastard grandchild makes her a perfect spokesperson for the value of home schooling.

  • kham1234

    [[[[ month ago I did a little research and discovered that the term “Down Syndrome” was googled more during the week after the republican convention than it had been in the previous 10 years combined. That’s the power of what Sarah Palin has done.]]]I thought that the candidacy of the Vice presidency made that happened. Palin has been around for few decades, and as Governor for a while, but Palin herself did not generate many Google down syndrome searches.

  • LauraVW

    I think we need Sarah Palin to lead the revolt against organized crime in Washington first. Then we’ll get back to you.

  • turnerusa

    I don’t care for Palin’s brand of politics as I think it’s not productive to national dialouge, and her crediblity in my mind is shattered as I do see her mastery of subject matter foreign policy as one example need to hold a credible place on the national stage. Given her focus on family and real exprience with down syndrome, on the face of this seems to make a lot of sense. She should turn the pit-bull on something that she has crediblity it, i think she’d do a great job.

  • NotNowMooky

    Exactly how does faith in witchcraft make her a good spokesperson for anything? Is your thought that she can “cast demons” out of the Downs kids?

  • inverness1

    Excellent blog, Tim. As the mother of a child with Down Syndrome, I very much hope Palin will continue to use all the attention she attracts to keep Down Syndrome in the news. I think the whole community feels very keenly how much your mother’s activism is missed. She is a very gallant lady and a great leader. While I don’t think Palin could possibly equal your mother’s achievements, she could at least be a very visible (and vocal) advocate.As for some of the comments on here: wow, you people are vicious and your posts constitute hate mail. Maybe you should fixate less on Sarah Palin and get a prescription for Prozac or something.

  • ccnl1

    mhoust,In India and China, female fetuses are considered “deformed”. Shall we abort them???

  • lwatkins4

    Narcissists make terrible spokespersons, let alone for D.S…In case you hadn’t noticed, Sarah Palin is intellectually disabled herself. Even most Republicans agree on this. If she’s a spokesperson for anything, it’s for anti-intellectual narcissists – of which the Republican party has many.

  • morcab

    SARAH PALIN JUST MOVES ON;Definitely there should be more to it,but whatever it might be ,…. those factors are to be sorted exclusively by Gov Sarah Palin herself. Whichever strategy is there,… logic dictates that it would be unwise to telegraph it …for obvious reasons.

  • caseyb1

    Only three links to Palin articles in today’s Post? Gee, folks not enough Sarah news for me I want MORE. Actually, this is the only one that is worthwhile.

  • naughtymonkey

    Here’s some food for thought–Never mind $arah Palin.

  • koolkat_1960

    Timothy, you have got to be kidding. To call this woman shallow would be an insult to shallow people.

  • ccnl1

    Sarah reminds me of Arnold S, good-looking, great build and talker and tough as nails. Unfortunately Arnold cannot run for “Pres”. Sarah can and apparently will. Now if we can only get her to see the reality of religion!!!

  • seattle_wa

    “a new job for which she is eminently qualified: civil rights leader for people with intellectual disabilities”Did you intentionally use this phraseology? Or were you inadvertently speaking the truth?

  • metonyme

    One can see this from the insults that commentators have posted that lack of understanding and sympathy for disabled persons and their parents is deeply ingrained. “Down Dodos,” to take just one example (posted by MITT1968). That is probably the most serious obstacle to anyone’s advocacy for intellectually challenged persons.

  • WALDENSR

    dear sirs,

  • Fate1

    Morcab wrote: “Gov Sarah Palin, is very smart woman and does not take to be a phD in physics, to capture that her deccission has ligitimate foundation beyond the average understanding of all of us as audience and as expectators.”Wow, that was as nonsensicle as something palin herself would have said. And what are “expectators”?Morcab wrote: “As for to tagg her as merely ‘quiter’ , like someone without responsablility is quite incorrect, for at this point she did accomplished in less than three years what most others public officers do in two complete terms.With that said Alaska is in at very good vector, much more progressive than when she did start the task. As I did my homework everyone can and should investigate as well, for auto-confirmation of facts,…in other words each one interested, takes care of the details.”Starting to think this is Palin herself. Makes no sense at all…Morcab wrote: “In addition , beside the money saving as reslult of not to deal with puny acusations that cost a lot of money to Alaska, the State is left in good hands with many things already accomplished in advance.No, the investigations continue. She is not saving the state anything except ethics complaints on future things she would have done.Morcab wrote: “So , to emphasize, she has been very solid responsible.There is no way you could be talking about Sarah Palin the former governor of Alaska who quit her job (responsible?). She says Africa is a country, takes credit for defending America against Russia via the Alaska National Guard and says she visited Iraq when she only went to Kuwait. Hardly someone of high intelligence. As for other attributes you ascibe to her:I don’t think it is those attacking Palin who need to do their homework on Palin’s history and character.

  • dolph924

    Maybe the family members and nannies who actually take care of her child with Down’s Syndrome should be the spokespeople, rather than absentee mom Palin.

  • minion1

    At first I thought you were referring to Ms Palin herself as the example of one with an intellectual disability. I know several children and adults with Down Syndrome that would be far better spokespersons for Trigs disability than Sarah would. Some who have been ambassadors around the world with the Special Olympics and more. A young couple that went to the Jr. Prom this spring, they taught their fellow HS students a great deal about compassion and caring for others.Things I’ve never seen in Sarah. And I live in Alaska. Wasilla to be precise. And no “choosebest” she doesn’t really support those programs, concepts listed.

  • carol58

    As the mother of a child with DS, I would love to have a well-recognized national spokesperson to educate the public about the syndrome and advocate for the disabled.

  • Dadrick

    Oh no! I’m positive that I’m not the only parent of a kid with Down syndrome whose jaw just dropped.Please DO NOT send Sarah to help us. She’s welcome to bring Trig to our parties, but she would make a terrible leader or spokesman. She would only convince people who already agree with her anyway.And her involvement would further push the myth (which your article perpetuates) that families with kids with Down syndrome are all conservative or anti-abortion.I welcome conservative leadership on this issue, and I think left and right can work well together on it – Brownback and Kennedy are a case in point. But send us anyone but Palin!As for mhoust – you don’t know what you’re talking about. We have never regretted our decision NOT to abort our child. She’s no burden. The world would be better with more of them (and fewer of you for that matter).

  • heuristic77

    Palin is far to concerned about her Gucci fashion accouterments and coiffed hair to take on anything as selfless as being an advocate for the intellectually challenged. I really don’t care what she does, as long as she stays out of politics.

  • ceetowne

    I thought “right on!” when I read the 1st paragraph: Palin should be a “civil rights leader for people with intellectual disabilities.” What better example could there be, I thought, of someone with intellectual disabilities than Sarah Palin? Imagine how perplexed I was as I read on…instead, a suggestion that Palin is capable of acting selflessly??? Get real.

  • FinnS

    I’m sorry!

  • labman57

    Palin keeps asking God what she should do next, but He keeps replying, “I’ll have to get back to ya on that, Sarah”.

  • clouburns

    Mr. Shriver, my worst nightmare — as the parent of a wonderful teenage son with an intellectual disability — it Sarah Palin. She is why my son and I got very active in the national campaign — i.e., very active fighting against her.If you give me your e-mail address, I’ll send you pictures of my son holding his protest sign at the October 2008 Palin fundraiser at the Orange County Center for the Performing Arts. On one side it said: “Palin is change we CAN’T live with!” The other side memorialized Palin as devotee of witchcraft hunters…I pray every day that the Lord will save us from that shameless woman, and protect my son from her.

  • clouburns

    Is the President ever going to “really” address the disability prejudice he revealed on the Jay Leno show? Ever since President Obama made it “OK” to joke about disabled people, I have heard the “R” word repeatedly — and I hadn’t heard that word for at least 20 years previously — and I now notice many people feeling comfortable flaunting their disability prejudice.How unexpected and sad…

  • sboulais

    I do not see Sarah Palin as an advocate for Downs Syndrome children. She shows absolutely no evidence that she has formed any relationship with her child–and they are known to be affectionate in the extreme. She carts that baby around like a sack of potatoes. Also, in this chapter of her mid-life crisis, she apparently will be leaving this special needs baby in someone else’s care while she follows her “own particular star.” I’m sure there are thousands of parents out there with DS children who truly love, interact, and actually parent their children. To suggest, in all seriousness, that Sarah Palin could represent them and their children, given her own serious lack of parenting for her son, is a truly ludicrous, insulting idea to those thousands of parents.

  • Asfarwest

    The ultimate job for Sarah Palin is a TV show on the Fox channel. She can be a un-factual bile-spewer like O’Reilly or Hannity – or – have a Palin family reality show featuring feuds with Levi and other shenanigans. Such a show would satisy Ms. Palin’s true needs; 1) to be in front of a camera, 2) to exploit her family and 3) to maintain the gratification she receives from stirring up hate-fueled reactions in people. Ms. Palin’s “spirituality” seems to be a personal and political strategy, not a practice. I’ve seen no qualities of self-reflection nor have I seen a shred of compassion for anyone who does not fulfill her self-serving purposes.

  • ccnl1

    Again, Sarah reminds me of Arnold S, good-looking, great build and talker and tough as nails. Unfortunately Arnold cannot run for “Pres”. Sarah can and apparently will. Now if we can only get her to see the reality of religion!!!

  • terri11

    The disrespect shown by some posters is what makes Sarah Palin attractive to folks and will drive many to her. My God, you folks are so pumped up with yourselves and you offer nothing but ridicule. You must be the folks Obama was addressing with the “clinging to guns and religion” Freudian slip. It is wearing thin with many of us. Palin is straight forward and honest. Like it or not, folks find that refreshing when they’re subjected to career politicians ad nauseam. She doesn’t share your political values but she practices what she preaches and that’s what scares you. Despite your claims to the contrary, I’m convinced that you and others ridiculing Palin and republicans in general here are, in fact, afraid of Palin. Afraid because she represents that which you hold in contempt. I’m further convinced that what is really threatening to you is that she walks the walk and you are afraid others might follow. If you want to proclaim that she was not a target of the left out of fear then knock yourself out. If you want to claim that she wasn’t subjected to an unprecedented assault from the left and continues to be, then so be it. You and your fellow travelers will be the only ones fooled by that.

  • clouburns

    Terri-11, there is NO doubt that many people are afraid of PALIN and the devastation she and her ilk would wreck on the United States. And yes, that is the (rather obvious) reason she is being “subjected to an unprecedented assault…” How could it be otherwise, unless you are someone who just thinks this stuff is fun and games? When my Country is at stake, I don’t mess around, nor do I suffer fools guietly.

  • catlady1

    I was hoping someone would post a link to an unposed picture of Sarah holding and interacting with her son. So far, no luck.

  • zjr78xva

    A cynical piece by Mr. Kennedy-Shriver.No matter. Gov. Palin has a rendezvous with destiny, and our country desperately needs her to liberate us from the doltish quasi-commie boy messiah.PRESIDENT PALIN

  • pvilso24

    Lots of ugly hatful comments describing Palin as usual. Such venom.Where is liberal compassion ? tolerance ?Palin must have CUT funding for special needs kids in Alaska right ? Wrong.. they tripled under her last budget.I’ve read that 9 of 10 DS babies are aborted despite DS children being among the happiest and best-behaved children one can imagine.Palin made a choice BEFORE she was a VP or Presidential candidate to have her baby Trig. She has set a fine example for ALL women.A working-class, big family Mother, a successful politician (PTA Mom, Mayor, Reformer,Governor). If she were a Democrat, she’d be President right now.

  • Fate1

    spidermean2 wrote: “A hockey mom and an avid baseball buff are normal people. Global warming freaks are not. They try not to breathe to prevent carbon emission that will warm the earth. The worst part is when they hold a high office and prevents other people from breathing.”Now, please, where is there any evidence of this? Do you just make stuff up in your mind and then expect us all to take your fantasy as real? Do you think people to be that stupid? Oh, I forgot, we’re all idiots.spidermean2 wrote: “You may think it’s farfetched but that is how Obama’s trade laws are going. This nation will be creating lots of enemies in no time.”No, its farfetched. But thanks to Bush we had lots of enemies who are now glad Bush is gone and are becoming fast friends. The problem is conservatives don’t know a friend from an enemy. Remember France and how conservatives hated them for not supporting our invasion of Iraq? They were correct to not participate. They were correct in pointing out there was little evidence of WMD or an imminent threat. But even after they were proven to be correct conservatives still considered them to be our enemies. That is how one thinks when belief and ideology trumps reality.spidermean2 wrote: “Gloom and doom is coming soon. Thanks to these idiots who support an idiot in the White House.”Sorry to hear gloom and doom is coming for you spidey. Maybe if you figure out the algorithm for what is making the gloom and doom you can alter the algorithm to fix it. Until then try to enjoy your own reality, which seems to be an unhappy place. Maybe you should try some fishing, in Alaska or do some charity work as many have said is very rewarding, anything to get your mind off God destroying your world.

  • dgblues

    Palin used that poor child as a political prop — a bone thrown to those advocating centralized government control of women’s reproductive systems. That poor kid was dragged around and paraded in front of the cameras like a dog. “Oh, look at me! I could have aborted him but I didn’t! Isn’t he cuuuute??”While this pornographic opportunism played itself out, the daughter was busy getting pregnant by the son of a drug dealer. That’s what I call family values.I don’t think this scenario qualifies Palin for any job except maybe those that require a high degree of tolerance for hypocrisy, like RNC Chair.

  • chatard

    Well, here is a ‘nuanced’ way to get Sarah Palin out of the picture. We will pretend to regret the outpouring of vicious diatribe by our liberal friends and appeal to the nation to draft Sarah to be a spokesman for Down Syndrome. Her silly little foray into traditional values, conservative, America -first politics can be overlooked as we cement the ceiling over her. Isn’t that right, Mr. SHRIVER/KENNEDY/QUINN?

  • sufi66

    You might be correct if she hadn’t spent almost the entire presidential campaign using her child as a political prop.If a TV camera was present out came the child waved around like an American flag.Consequently, I can’t escape the suspicion that the role you suggest would only be another scheme for her endless self-promotion.

  • persiflage

    McCain aptly demonstrated how far the GOP has fallen with his selection of Palin for VP. Totally unqualified in every sense of the word, and one heart beat away from the Presidency. The threat to the nation was that close and that great….McCain should have been thrown out of office himself. Palin has continued to show her near infinite unsuitability to hold a federal government position of any importance, and yet her admirers still clamor for Palin, the Presidential contender. What she discovered was that politics is never easy or pleasant, even at a local level. Personally I think she was getting dangerously close to be exposed for some serious personal mis-step in the matrimonial realm. So close to the political demise of South Carolina’s Mark Sanford for similar offenses, there was great political risk for a similar exposure, to anyone aspiring to high office. Better to bail out, and try for a come-back at a later date. Lastly, Mrs. Totally Ordinary for President of the USA just doesn’t have quite the panache that we seek in our natin’s leaders.

  • runzwithscissors

    When she gave birth, those of us already with children with Down Syndrome applauded her announcement, and had great hopes. However, her later behavior just left me with a profound disappointment. And think back to what a wonderful spokesman George Will was (his son must be 40 now), or others already in Congress such as the Republicans Brownback & Rogers, who already have a disability caucus, since they, themsleves, are parents of a child with a disability. The bipartisan Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus, co-chaired by McMorris Rodgers, invited the advocates to present expert testimony on the needs facing Americans with Down syndrome and other disabilities. Among the presentations were stark assessments of the need for improvements in medical research, health care, employment and education.And where was the so-called spokesperson, Palin, last March? Not willing to be part of a group, but wanting all the limelight for herself, I would venture. Those others actually are doing something, not just wanting the spotlight.There are credible spokespersons out there — why has she not joined up with them? Her showboating only distracts from those who have been actually trying to get stuff done.As an advocate for my son, age 25, with Down Syndrome, I don’t want her speaking for us. I was a mother with a career in scientific research, who took a year off to get my son a good start. Speech (signing), OT, PT, doctor’s visits, devising my own exercises to achieve each milestone (modified from others’ suggestions), out in the world on every shopping & other expedition, camping at 3 months, flying at 4 months, mexico at 11 mos, it was a full-time effort. And he did well, walking at 17 mos. At 14 mos, I went back to my career, because his full-time preschool was able to provide the stimulation he needed.I did not see that from Palin. I saw her bite off more than her family deserved by inserting herself into the national spotlight, instead of taking care of the business of Alaska & her family. And now poor Trig (correctly spelled Trygg in Norwegian) is 16 months old, and has missed that intensive activity he should have had. Let’s see if he walks in a month…I doubt it.Our kids need more than just love and advocacy. Words are easy. The actual work to give them a good start is hard — and it seems as Palin has delegated that, too. She has not put in the work that would support her as an advocate. So I call her words hollow and false. She certainly loves her son, no doubt. But I feel she’s using him, weirdly, to get attention for herself.

  • runzwithscissors

    I just read through so many comments that I missed the first time around. ANd I will say I’m pleased to be in the company of so many other moms of kids with Down Syndrome who see right through her.We might dislike Palin, but there’s a bond we want to have because of our children. She could have won us “libs” and “progressives” and “socialists” over, had she stepped up to the parenting. But she didn’t..and one wonders if Trig will suffer her narcissism the way her other children might have.It’s very sad.

  • homeland1

    Mr. PRESIDENT, Ms. POLOSI & CO.:”Ho Ho OBAMA & YOU Must Surely GO!””HO HO, OBAMA & CO. must Surely GO!” “YO YO, OBAMA Gots To GO!”-Prof. GATES, not Bill Gates, Not Asst. Sec. State Gates.., Must GO To Jail asap For almost (Conspiring) insighting a National & Possibly International (RACE BASED) RIOT!? The TERRORISTS & CO., are LOVE-N THIS!……___________________……Mr. OBAMA. Please, like an EX-Friend, Distance yourself from Mr. “Racist-GATES”, not P.O. Crowley, like ye didth with REVrend/Brother Mr. Wrong, ooopps Meant your Ex-Friend Rev. Jeramiah (Bul{Frog) Mr. Wright!–Or Else: “DOWN with OBAMA & CO., comes 2012/13 and beyond!” “Ho Ho OBAMA & CO. Must Surely GO!””HO HO, OBAMA & CO. must Surely GO!””YO YO, OBAMA Gots To GO!”PS: Its a good “PROBABILITY” that Prof.? Gates Wanted To Get Busted. All he had to do was smile, look into P.O. Crowleys eyes and ask, “Why are you Here Sir/Mams”? And simply sing, “Yazza Mon or No-Mon to questions! And Hope He/Cops go away w/good REASON&CAUSE&SATISFACTION! Nothing Complicated!

  • Paganplace

    To be honest, really, that poor kid’s been of no use to Republicans the moment he becomes more than an excuse for Republicans to claim ‘If you’re *rich,* there’s no excuse not to have an abortion, even if for some mysterious reason, we shouldn’t be concerned about the environment or health care or *real* families, as long as we tell everyone it’s their fault about sex. ‘ I mean, it’s *Repubicans.* The kid might not actually *be* sick, so they can say, ‘You don’t need health care, you need more crazy eschatology!’ Makes the premise of her basically running for President an *embarrassment,* but that doesn’t even make it *true,* does it? I’m not putting anything past whoever thought she could be sold as remotely qualified for national office in the *first* place. But casually-proposing to lead-the free world in the name of ‘family values’ *while* raising a special needs kid…That’s all I needed to know.

  • Paganplace

    I mean, really, Mr Shriver. “I had a Downs Syndrome baby… Which I propesed to either ignore them or the rest of the country.”Does not a good acvocate make.

  • razzl

    It’s unfortunate, Timothy, that you dismiss all the very legitimate criticism of this extremist woman just because you don’t have a stomach for public discourse. But a serious point to be made here is that Palin cannot, in fact, be a useful advocate for that cause because she has hobbled herself with so many destructive attitudes toward government, social responsibility, and the collective institutions of society (such as the legal system which keeps watch over civil rights) that there are virtually no concrete measures for helping the mentally retarded that she propose which wouldn’t conflict with something or someone she has already shown public contempt for. Sorry if that’s too political for you, but you’re writing for the Washington Post, so try be a man about the cognitive dissonance that goes with the public opinion gig…