When Sarah Palin was 43 and, one assumes, relatively far along in pregnancy, she and Todd were faced with a difficult diagnosis: her amniocentesis revealed that her 5th child, now named Trig, had an extra chromosome, a condition known as Down Syndrome. Like many expectant parents who face this diagnosis, Sarah Palin has said that her obstetrician counseled her on her options, which included abortion — an option (one might say "choice") that the Palins rejected. Instead, they accepted the extra responsibility that comes with raising a special needs child and moved forward with their lives. Apparently, according to Michael Barone and the National Review's Kevin Burke, that is why some women hate Sarah Palin.While speaking at the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges this week, U.S. News & World Report writer Michael Barone told the crowd:

"The liberal media attacked Sarah Palin because she did not abort her Down syndrome baby," Barone said, according to accounts by attendees. "They wanted her to kill that child. ... I'm talking about my media colleagues with whom I've worked for 35 years."

He is now claiming that to say such a thing was just a joke fallen flat because he thinks we're all fucking idiots. He also probably thinks we didn't read the National Review piece from last week that said basically the same thing.

Seeing the Palin family, in a very visible public forum, with an uncompromising and public pro life philosophy arouses deeply repressed feelings in post abortive parents, as well as media members, counselors, health care professionals, politicians and others who promote abortion rights, especially the abortion of children with challenges such as Down Syndrome. These powerful repressed feelings of grief, guilt and shame can be deflected from the source of the wound (i.e., abortion) and projected onto an often uncharitable focus upon the trigger of these painful emotions…the Palin family.

Of course, it doesn't just mean that Barone is guilty of a little intellectual thievery and a little disingenuous CYA back-tracking when called to the carpet for some statements so offensive that attendees reportedly left the room. It also means that he's just congenitally stupid, uninformed and possibly unable to consider the possibility that pro-choice women aren't all abortion-happy whores who can't stand it when other women don't terminate their pregnancies. Barone: Media Wanted Palin Abortion [Politico] The Palin Trig-ger [National Review]