Speaking at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Wednesday, Sarah Palin deviated from her Trump touting to address the big "elephant in the room" — her son Track's recent domestic violence charges. Track, who served in Iraq, was arrested this week for allegedly punching and kicking his girlfriend, to which Palin essentially said, "Thanks, Obama." Palin attributed her son's actions to the president's neglect of veterans without any mention of the woman Track allegedly abused. News flash, Sarah Palin: your priorities are way off.
Track was charged on three counts: assault, interfering with reporting of a domestic violence crime, and a weapons charge. Track was arraigned Tuesday and entered a plea of not guilty and his bail was set at $1,500. The charges were filed on Tuesday, the same day Palin grabbed headlines for endorsing Trump, though she didn't bring up her son's arrest that evening. When officers arrived at Palin's house, where Track lives, they found Track's girlfriend hiding under a bed, The New York Times reported. The girlfriend, who was unnamed, claimed Track hit her on the head and kicked her knee. She then curled into a fetal position "because she didn't know what else he would do," according to the affidavit.
Curiously, Palin has yet to apologize for or acknowledge the alleged harm Track's girlfriend claims to have experienced. Instead, she placed blame on her political enemy, lifting the burden off of her son. Palin said at the Tulsa rally:
When my own son is going through what he goes through coming back, I can certainly relate with other families who kind of feel these ramifications of PTSD and some of the woundedness that our soldiers do return with, and it makes me realize more than ever, it is now or never for the sake of America's finest that we'll have that commander in chief who will respect them and honor them.
But while it's true that the Department of Veterans Affairs is crippled by a backlog of disability appeals, Obama's record on veteran issues isn't something to scoff at. Palin's remarks were lauded by Trump supporters, but not by some veterans, including the head of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, who wished Palin would "resist the urge to politicize" PTSD, NBC News reported.
And yet the most sobering element of all is that if the allegations against Track are true, it means Palin exploited an incident of domestic violence for her own political gain. She never claims Track is innocent, but instead says it's not his fault. There's no empathy expressed for her son's girlfriend or acknowledgement of how pervasive domestic violence is in American culture. Palin could have used this opportunity to call for legislation supporting domestic violence victims or throw her support behind a candidate with a strong record of women's rights. Instead we're left with more partisanship and a sick feeling that perhaps a real domestic violence victim is being silenced by cheers.