"Children are off limits."

I agree that the Obama campaign needs to steer away from any discussion of a minor child of a candidate. That's not, however, the same as discussing the hypocrisy of a ticket that promotes abstinence-only education and favors SCOTUS justices that would revisit a woman's right to reproductive freedom. That's worthy of discussion, the obvious nature of Sarah Palin's daughter becoming pregnant as a result of pre-marital sex is not a judgment on her personal behavior, but a reflection on what policies a McCain/Palin administration would advocate for -- and how real life can get into the way of black-and-white thinking on such matters.

It always seems different when these issues happen to social conservatives. They suddenly find compassion when it's one of their own. I'm glad they have it for someone.

That said, it's getting hard for the Palins to claim a complete zone of privacy if the Alaska governor's daughter and shotgun-wedding-in-his-future boyfriend are going to St. Paul to appear during the convention in a display of 21st century "Christian" pre-marital sex family values.

Levi Johnston, the boyfriend of the pregnant 17-year-old Bristol Palin, plans to join the family at the Republican Party's nomination here of mom and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for vice president.

...The Palin family already has captured the attention of this hall, after Sarah Palin and husband Todd announced Monday that their daughter planned to have the baby and marry the father. They also asked the media to respect the young couple's privacy.

Good luck with that this week, as the small-town hockey player makes his national TV debut. It is traditional for the running mate's family to join him or her on stage at the close of the vice presidential nomination acceptance speech.

However, the focus should not be on the personal decision of Palin's daughter, it should be on the policy goals of McCain/Palin, a proudly anti-choice, and anti-sex ed, creationist ticket. Decisions that flow from this ticket's election would affect the personal decisions of all women in Miss Palin's situation.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), was quite blunt about the Palin hypocrisy:

Republicans stressed Palin's conservative family values in announcing her selection as John McCain's running mate on Friday. Frank says the recent disclosure about her daughter blunts conservative claims that liberalism harms family life.

"Apparently she's a great favorite with the conservative social movement," Frank said. "They have said that it's liberalism and liberals who have undermined families -- same-sex marriage has been a problem, they don't want gay people to adopt ... This helps undercut those arguments."

And, after all, Gov. Palin slashed funding for teen mothers.

I have no desire to discuss Miss Palin's pregnancy; I just want to know if the presumptive veep simply has less compassion for other women who choose to make different decisions than her daughter, and thus this is what informs her anti-choice, anti-sex information position.

So - what should or shouldn't be on the table -- and what is the real framing that should take place?