News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Would sex education have made a difference?

I feel guilty posting this image. Bristol Palin's fate is no different from that of thousands of other unfortunate teens. But the irony was just too much. Dan Quayle, who Palin resembles in so many ways, once derided the TV character Murphy Brown for glamorizing out-of-wedlock pregnancy. How ironic that the current Republican VP candidate would find her own daughter in a similar predicament.

Bristol Palin does not deserve to be publicly humiliated. All the same, right-to-lifers like Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle need to be lambasted for their narrow views. These hyper-moralists oppose any kind of birth control education. Their only solution to teenage pregnancy is abstinence.

Would Bristol's pregnancy have been avoided by education about contraceptives? No one can say. One thing is certain, though. Sarah Palin did not want her daughter taught anything about ways to prevent a pregnancy.

The entire Palin family will now have to live with the consequences.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez

Gustav could not have come at a better time for the GOP

The president's hurricane dodge has a downside. If the federal government’s response to hurricane Gustav is less than stellar, Mr. Bush has set himself up for yet another ignominy.

As a powerful hurricane once again threatens devastation to a fragile region of the U.S. coast, many at the Republican convention are grateful. The reason? President Bush will be “focusing on the planning for hurricane Gustav” and unable to attend the convention. Vice President Dick Cheney is also embroiled in these “high-level plans” and will skip his planned convention appearance as well.

Of course, everyone within the GOP knows this is simply a convenient excuse. Republican politicians have been moving away from President Bush like someone with B.O. on a bus. The hurricane ruse helps take some of the sting out of the humiliation.

What an incredible collapse for a president who once held record approval ratings. The high-water mark of the Bush presidency came in 2003 when he strutted on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in a flight suit and declared the war in Iraq as a “mission accomplished.” Five years later, Bush is a pariah within his own party.

Is George W. Bush the worst president ever? You’d have to be a die-hard Bush supporter if you didn’t at least admit he’s in contention.

This hurricane dodge has a downside, however. If the federal government’s response to hurricane Gustav is less than stellar, Mr. Bush has set himself up for yet another ignominy.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez