An Alaskan Tale

There are two stories out of Alaska which I feel compelled to talk about. The first is Levi Johnston, Bristol Palin’s boyfriend or fiancé (I’m not sure which). The second story is about Sherry Johnston, Levi’s mother. Both are sad stories. Both tales remind me how completely un-ready for prime time Sarah Palin and her extended family are.

Sherry Johnston pleaded not guilty to six counts of possessing and selling OxyContin yesterday. She had no lawyer and asked for a public defender. She is in the middle of a divorce from her husband. This sounds like a story that we’ve all seen before, but this time it’s not on Montel Williams or Jerry Springer.

Levi Johnston has problems of his own. Over the weekend, a talk show host asked a simple question regarding how it is that Levi is able to be in an apprenticeship program without the prerequisite high school diploma. It is now being reported that Levi has quit his job and is returning home to focus on “education.” Sarah Palin denies having any influence in getting him a job for which he was not qualified.

This is an extremely sad commentary on our society. As a trauma surgeon, I see this kind of story every day.