I don't hate myself enough to actually read Bristol Palin's new book, but fortunately some will read it for me and do their writeup. Thank you, internets!
It doesn't appear to have anything groundbreaking--yes, the Palins didn't get along with the McCains, though in their defense the McCains didn't seem particularly nice. And Bristol had the usual "doe eyed" romance with Levi Johnston, the sort of ill-conceived relationship that's unfortunately all too common among Americans without the Palin's money and influence to keep their oldest daughter from living on state aid. And the remark about Levi's "jealous sister" tattooing her brother's name on her own wrist is pretty damn weird and not at all undercutting those stereotypes about Alaska inbreeding.
But the big revelation of the book is that Bristol lost her virginity when Levi got her blackout drunk on wine coolers. This goes beyond the "hey what a couple of drunken tools" level to an outright accusation of rape. And Levi Johnston never directed a movie called "Rosemary's Baby" so he won't have Hollywood defending him this time.
Now, I normally treat everything a Palin says as a lie, because it basically always is. But a rape accusation raises the stakes severely--if Bristol actually is telling the truth (perhaps a recessive Palin trait, gotten from some long dead ancestor who married into that pack of deceitful loonies), then by all means Levi Johnston should be facing criminal charges for what he's done. He certainly shouldn't have been paraded around at Republican conventions and treated as a member of the family until he inconveniently broke up with Bristol. Immediately upon reading this book, Sarah and Todd should have been in a pickup with extra gun racks on their way to Wasilla to mete out some frontier justice, by which I mean calling the cops on this guy. (Frontiers aren't what they used to be, of course). Levi should be in jail for such a thing, is what I'm saying.
And, if Bristol just made this up to sell books and smear Mr. Johnston--well, then she deserves all the vitriol and scorn that goes with false and damaging accusations. Calling someone a rapist is far worse than calling them even a murderer, and here's why--picture you meet someone at a cocktail party and he's like "yeah I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die." You'd probably be like "oh, but I bet he deserved it, maybe stole your wife, insulted your honor, some sort of Old West thing, right?" But imagine instead you hear him say "I raped a woman in Reno, just because I could." See, there's justifiable homicide, there's no justifiable rape. You'd likely walk away from the guy and freshen your drink, if not toss it on him.
So what we have here is a pretty damning charge, which perhaps to a Palin is done as lightly as suggested that David Letterman can't be trusted around a pre-teen girl (as Sarah Palin suggested regarding her daughter Willow a couple years ago), and requires a clear answer. Does Bristol assert that Levi actually raped her, and if so, why not formally charge him? And if this is just the usual Palin bullspit, how about an immediate retraction, with an apology to Levi for tarnishing his name--however tarnished it may already be--and an apology to all actual rape victims whose stories are treated with more skepticism every time there's a false accusation like this one?