It seems to me that the partisan fighting in an election year may obscure a more important consensus on key issues--which might be important to mark. Judging from the reaction of conservatives and conservative blogs to the Palin nomination, it seems to me that liberals and conservatives might now agree on these three points.1. There is no moral presumption that a woman with small children must stay home to take care of them. Each woman must decide what to do by discerning, together with her husband, her vocation, the needs of the children, and the needs of the larger community she is called to serve.2. An unplanned pregnancy, whether one's own or one's child's i, is not a catastrophe. Not having the (physically) perfect baby or the (morally) perfect teenager is nothing to be ashamed of; no one's perfect.3. An teenage out-of-wedlock pregnancy is not a great source of moral shame for the couple or for the parents. These things happen,; we need to deal with them in a compassionate, open, life-giving way that allows everyone to move forward together --as a family.If liberals and conservatives can agree on all these points, I think there will have been moral and social progress.UPDATE: I wanted to refocus the debate away from Palin in particular, and especially her daughters, to general points of moral and social order. Maybe it can't be done, and in that case, the best thing is to let the thread die.
Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor in the Theology Department and Law School at Boston College.