Bristol Palin has a boy

Name: Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston


Joan Walsh
December 31, 2008 5:59AM (UTC)

I'm the lucky on-call editor today and this news is just in: Congratulations to Bristol Palin for having a healthy baby boy, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston.

Bristol gave the baby the surname of his father, 18-year-old Levi Johnston, although the pair is not yet married. Tripp is a somewhat more conventional and less inspired moniker than Trig, Track, Willow, Bristol and Piper, the now infamous names of grandma Sarah Palin's five kids. It's hard not to notice how American political dynasties get a wee bit less creative and robust every generation.

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There is no word about whether Bristol will wed Levi, as planned last summer, after her mom, Alaska's governor, got the GOP vice presidential nomination. (It's been so long, it's hard to type that and really believe it really happened.) Both families have had their issues lately; Palin went home to defeat in November, and this month Johnston's mother was arrested for the illegal sale of the prescription drug Oxycontin. Nasty classist folks like to call it "hillbilly heroin;" I prefer to think of it as Rush Limbaugh's drug of choice. Of course, drug problems and unmarried pregnancies hit Democrats and Republicans, but one party tends to scold more.

The Oxycontin problem aside, I've been hoping since August, when the news broke, Bristol would find a better future than marrying her self-described "redneck" boyfriend. It's even possible she – and/or Levi – voted for Barack Obama, because they knew the chance of a politically mandatory wedding would plummet when John McCain lost.

In all seriousness, Broadsheet sends best wishes to Bristol and Tripp. May all mothers and babies born in the Obama era get the love and support they need, no matter the circumstances. And may all teenagers everywhere get honest and accurate information about family planning in the new year.

 


Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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