Reader Mail

Critical Notice

A strong liberal turnout. Plus: Travels with Tyrrell, erring on Burr, a dose of Daschle, and more.

7.7.03

Send to Kindle

A WIN-WIN SITUATION
Re: The Washington Prowler's Democrats Get dirty:

This info you provide on Kerry's campaign spending energy and effort looking for dirt on Dean and family is the exact reason Kerry cannot win against Bush. Until these guys "get it," we the people currently have a candidate that can win against Bush, Howard Dean. Thanks for the info.

Aloha,
-- Jeanne Wolf
Kamuela, HI

It's so convenient for the GOP that Kerry's digging into Dean's background. If Howie gets nominated, our work will be done for us.

Thanks, Frenchie.
-- ERP
Flagler Beach, FL

IN THE ARENA
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s No Bull:

Thanks to Bob Tyrrell for a fine specimen of travel writing -- and, for myself, a tweak of heady nostalgia. Damned if it wasn't almost exactly thirty years ago that I visited, accompanied by as many college co-eds (I'm not making that up), the Plaza de Toros de Sevilla, the Alcazar too. Judging from Bob's vivid prose, the locals are better dressed, their lives much improved; though admission to the bull fights -- this was when Franco was yet presiding -- was to a young Yank who feasted on great Spanish cuisine for a few pesetas not much of an expense at all. The old regime is long since gone, democracy's come, and prosperity. It's wonderful to know, still, that the bull fights remain unchanged.
-- Kenneth E. Grubbs Jr.
Director
National Journalism Center
Washington, D.C.

LEFT HOOKS
Re: George Neumayr's Neutrality in Reverse:

George Neumayr continues to get it wrong as he slams our courts for handing down anti-conservative decisions. He seems to claim that the opposite of morality must be immorality, and that the absence of religion must mean irreligion. By introducing the most simplistic of terms, he conveniently ignores the rationality of the courts, that is, to prevent the imposition of traditional religious (Christian) values on all Americans. Many of our diverse citizens eschew these values in favor of their own beliefs, as legally and traditionally entitled.

As a heterosexual married person, I will not feel threatened by gay marriage if it is legalized. In fact, I applaud any group, gay or straight that promotes love, loyalty and faithfulness. No American should be denied these virtues simply because a particular religious group deems another groups' values as immoral or irreligious. The so-called "wall built to protect the family" is nothing more than homophobic, religious bigotry, and deserves to be toppled.

As for Judge Roy Moore and his Decalogue, since when are public courthouses the personal property of any judge? For them to promote a particular religion simply because it is supported by the majority public is certainly not fair to taxpayers who don't share those beliefs or values. At best, it is simple pandering to achieve power and status. Hence Judge Moore's election as Alabama Supreme Court Justice.

By the way, our founding fathers didn't consider laws permitting slavery and oppression of women as "silly" either. Our society and culture have evolved considerably since then. I doubt seriously if Mr. Neumayr would call for a return to those values.
-- Mike Harrison
Poplar Bluff, MO

I think your article would be better titled: "The idiotic writings of a paranoid right-winger in the age of American tolerance and enlightenment".
-- Gary Rohland
Tampa, FL

"One wonders how long Americans will abide this judicial tyranny. Will there come a time when Americans in large numbers actively disobey courts that actively disobey the Constitution? Should that come to pass, the activist judges will have no authority to object, having shown no respect for the law themselves. "

That time has already arrived. The pity is that the founders intended that the law would rule the public sphere, morality the private. But somewhere along the way, the people were convinced to have contempt for the very institutions they created.

It is a wise Court that would hide away a granite block with the Ten Words so that it would not become (as it has) a fetish object worshipped for its great powers to heal society's ills.

And, as for Moses, G_d made certain that no one came along to dig him up in order to plant him on the front lawn of some public building:

"So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab over against Bethpeor; and no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day." Deuteronomy 34.2 5
-- Jonathan E. Schiff

RICHARD BURR ON HOLD
Re: The Washington Prowler's Cooling His Tarheels:

Did he kill a Hamilton? You'd have thought so given his harsh treatment from the White House over his Medicare vote.

It's becoming more and more clear that principled conservatives need not apply to Congress any longer. As the Democrats move far left, the GOP jumps into the so-called middle.

That is a leftward lurch of their own that gives welfare money to people through the income tax code over and above the Earned Income Tax Credit (which effectively reimburses lower income families with children for their FICA taxes while at the same time crediting their FICA account with a contribution - a double welfare whammy), extends unemployment benefits beyond a reasonable time period (and then they wonder why the jobless rate is a "lagging indicator"), creates a universal drug behemoth to cover a statistically small minority that will only explode and worsen over time, doesn't file a strong and principled brief against race preferences in government funded education, increases government spending beyond a Democrats wildest dreams (but always less than they publicly ask for), and backs off same-sex marriages because Rick Santorum dared use his free speech rights to discuss the case in public.

Add that to GOP governors that make Democrats look fiscally responsible with outrageous increases in overall state spending in the 1990s and it's almost enough to want the waffling Bush 41 and a minority status in Congress back again.

For once, I'd like to go into the voting booth not holding my nose when I vote for GOP candidates that cave and pander. If the Democrats weren't 2,000 times worse, they'd be back in total control of government!
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

The item in the Prowler implying that Rep. Burr may be in the doghouse with the Bush team because of failing to support the Medicare bill was interesting. The item was clearly cautioning Burr not to get "too cocky," but I wish the Bush team wouldn't put politics ahead of sound policy.

This new prescription entitlement is going to be a huge burden on future tax payers and it will have been introduced and made law by Republicans. That's a terrible precedent and will send me, for one, looking for Libertarians again. Why worry about defeating Democrats when you get watered down Democrat legislation from Republicans. I know the Bush team is inevitably going to think about politics, but I expect magazines of opinion to do more to keep them honest instead of just congratulate them when they punish a guy who actually seems to be giving some thought to the bill's content.
-- Judith Sears

THE FIRE LAST TIME
Re: The Washington Prowler's Daschle Deforestation (scroll down):

The Prowler's item on Daschle and his forest-thinning bill fails to remind readers that last year, while still "majority" leader, Daschle pushed through a special rule allowing thinning in South Dakota only.

When this became known, Republican Senators from the Western states tried to have the rule made general, but Daschle quashed the effort. If I'm remembering correctly, though, one Republican did manage to get a special forest-thinning provision for his state.

It's reasonable to suppose that in 2003 Daschle (a) still doesn't want his state's relatively few forested acres to burn as is occurring elsewhere, especially with his re-election, if he seeks it, coming up next year, and (b) can't sneak through another special exemption now that he's no longer running the Senate.

What all that tells me is, he'll run for re-election.
-- Kevin McGehee
Coweta County, GA

As I recall, before the 2002 election (or maybe it was last year during all the major fires) Daschle put through a bill that allowed thinning of forests in South Dakota only. Created quite an uproar with the rest of the states: Arizona and Colorado, for instance. And he fought against enlarging the bill to include the entire west. I believe he got quite a bit of flack on it.
-- Ann Bunn
Yuma, AZ

PATRIOTIC GORE
Re: Jed Babbin's The Mess of the Press:

In a recent article your writer said the "Dems" and "media" are saying quagmire because that's "their only means to defeat Mr. Bush next year." Let me suggest that it works both ways. After all, the War on Terror is Bush's (and Rove's) plan for re-election and to dispute that is to be in deep denial. Under those rules, it's only fair to ask (1) Was Iraq a real threat? (2) How long do we stay, or, to put it another way, how many GI's do we have to lose ? Oh and spare me the patriotic bit, you right-wing dudes like to think you have some sort of monopoly on love of country. I find it really offensive to have my loyalty questioned because I do not agree with your politics. In the words of John Wayne, to question my loyalty in such circumstances "just ain't American." Hey, one final thought: Are you guys part of the group that think Joe McCarthy was a great guy? I mean have we lost our minds? The guy was a drunk-hack politician who only wanted the spotlight and if he wasn't smearing people about communism it would have been some other issue he could have fabricated to get famous. Have a nice day.
-- Richard Doody

KELLER LOGIC
Re: Marty Keller's letter in Reader Mail's Holding Court:

I sit in shocked amazement at the letter that reached this page from one Marty Keller. Mr. Keller argues that the newly invented right to sodomy created by the Supreme Court is just one of many such changes to our Constitution such as the repeal of slavery, granting women the right to vote, and the creation of the federal income tax, and that the Founders would be happy with the process if not necessarily the result.

Whatever the merits of this new right, there can be no question but that there is a world of difference between it and those other rights and powers aforementioned. In banning slavery, for example, the constitutionally mandated policy for amending the Constitution was in fact followed, as one can see quite clearly, in the 13th Amendment. As for the other examples, one can feel free to peruse the 16th and 19th Amendments. In Lawrence v. Texas, however, the court decided to willfully amend the Constitution on its own.

Our system of government is intended to be republican in nature -- with the power to change the Constitution vested in the legislature and the states. The continuing power grab of the Judicial branch embodied in legislating from the bench, as this most recent case is a prime example of, would have disgusted the Founders, and should revile an American populace not wishing to be ruled by five unelected oligarchs. One would hope that more of those opposed to the Texas sodomy law, as I myself am, would recognize that the means, of anti-democratic fiat, are not justified by the ends for which this decision was wrought.
-- Scott Wilhelm
Newton, MA

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article