What do you all think of the Gardasil leviathan attached to Perry? Bachmann went off the deep end when she said that the vaccination causes mental retardation, but I know there are plenty of conservatives (Michelle Malkin is a good example) who think that Perry’s attempted Gardasil legislation makes him unfit for office. Much as I respect Michelle, I have to disagree on this one.
Government has for decades mandated vaccinations as part of its public health responsibilities. Parents have always been allowed to opt out, but the default setting is to require vaccinations to stop the spread of transmissible diseases. I think even libertarians would concede that a core government function is to stop disease transmission, something that is entirely different from forcing people to buy health insurance and otherwise engage in “life maintenance” to save money.
People are also upset with Perry because they believe he was encouraging premarital sex. I think that’s wrong too. The vaccination confers a lifetime protection, but it seems to work only if you give it to young girls. There’s a small window of time within which to buff up that immune system. Despite the age at which girls receive the vaccination, it doesn’t exist simply to protect them during their teen years. In other words, it’s not a premarital, teen sex aid. Instead, it’s about any sex — martial, post-martial, extramarital, you name it. I bet a lot of famous 19th century women who got marital syphilis (e.g., Jenny Churchill and Isak Dinesen) would have loved to have had a syphilis vaccination when they were 12 or 13.
What’s your opinion on this one? Do you think Perry’s Gardasil initiative (a) fell outside the traditional government public health role of disease prevention and/or (b) tacitly encourages girls to engage in premarital sex?
I continue to root for the candidate who can beat Obama, and who has a generally conservative, small government world view. While I want someone with Churchill or Reagan’s charm, rhetorical chops, and moral courage, and, of course, Keanu Reeves‘ looks (always a good thing in a president), that candidate does not exist, at least not going into the 2012 election. I refuse to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Of course, living in California, it’s not as if I have a choice. By the time the primaries come here, it’s already decided. Actually that’s a good thing this year, since the Dems managed to get the voters to agree to destroy the California primary process, with a new law that makes it impossible for people to choose the member of their own party whom they’d most like to see run for president — but that’s another story altogether.