Reader Mail

Chances Are

That Republicans will win, Democrats lose, Stephanopoulos and the Saudis come through, and Watergate be forgotten.

6.21.02

THE ROAD TO HELL:
Re: George Neumayr's Mundy, Mundy:

Mr. Neumayr may have been thinking of Whittaker Chambers's line:
"Christianity without the crucifixion is liberalism."
-- Paul J. Heffernan
Boston, MA

CHARLESTON CRACK
Re: The Prowler's The Senate in Jeopardy:

Terry McAuliffe may have a pipe dream of a Democrat winning in the South Carolina Senate race to replace Strom Thurmond, but only if he's smoking crack could he actually believe it will happen. We already have one liberal Democrat from Charleston whom no one can understand -- we don't need two!
-- Warren Mowry

SIMON'S CHANCHES
Re: Peter Hannaford's The Pandora's Box Factor:

Great article by Peter Hannaford. I wish I could be as optimistic as he is. Unfortunately, the only time I see Simon is on the ad blaming him for the Savings and Loan business. California is a one issue state: Abortion. The people here would vote themselves into a gulag as long as it had legal abortions (preferably free -- BTW, I am pro choice). California could be rivaling Massachusetts as having the largest bloc of dumbest voters. Hopefully, most will be too dumb to make it to the polls and Simon will sneak in. I am not betting on that, though.
-- Ann Ellwood

KID STEPHANOPOULOS:
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski's George, Andrew, and William Jefferson:

Whatever makes you believe that the "brain trust" over at ABC News would feel any pressure or guilt if Steffi went (dare I say it!) liberal? They are the ones who elevated him to his position, knowing exactly who he is and what he represents. We conservatives could holler all we wanted, and it would fall on deaf ears. After all, didn't we holler when the rumor mill on this started? Did that slow them down?

ABC News could care less about conservative viewers. They are going after the "younger viewers" with this move, trying to entice them to watch by putting in a putative MTV-known celebrity, a pop-culture fellow. The fact that he is a shrieking liberal just makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside. A perfect choice for them. So what if conservatives holler; we'll just shuffle off to Fox News and leave them alone.

Nothing but wholesale changes to the entire management at ABC News would fix this situation. Since the mantra of TV programming is always "counterprogramming" then hopefully one day a network exec will wake up and say, "Hey! I've got an idea! Everybody else is Liberal! Let's go conservative!" Scorn and lots of free advertising would follow, along with a tremendous flood of new viewers!

Naah...
-- Robert Wood

NOT A PRAYER
Re: Jed Babbin's A Most Dispensable Ally:

In your reporting of the Saudis telling George Bush that he could not say a Thanksgiving prayer with our troops, I thought of the reported incident when Teddy Roosevelt was to appear before the English Throne.

He was advised that it was the "norm" for those leaders appearing before the throne to genuflect as he approached it. Teddy told them that "the President bows before no man," and to the horror of his hosts did not do so.

I get a feeling that had Teddy been told not to pray he would not have, like George, accepted that Saudi insult.

Of course Teddy was Teddy and George was George.
-- Ken Wyman
Huntsville, AL

Jed Babbin replies: Mr. Wyman makes a great point, and I hope it will not be lost on the President. Bush 41 was far too concerned about keeping a coalition together in the fight against Iraq. Bush 43 realizes, I think, that the price of Saudi cooperation is far too high, and the support we would get valueless. We don't need, and really shouldn't want, the support of any coalition (except one made up of us, the Brits and the Turks) in the coming fight. For the Saudis to deny us permission to use bases in their country, to treat our people as they do, and for us to let them continue is simply unacceptable. TR was -- and Mr. Wyman is -- right on the mark. We need to fight according to our conscience and our beliefs. The more we compromise them, the less likely we will win.

EARNINGS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell's Ordinary Heroes:

I recently retired from the Air Force Special Operations Command and I enjoy reading the Prowler everyday at work. I particularly was moved by your "Ordinary Heroes" tribute to the two Medal of Honor Recipients who passed away on June 11.

I would like to correct a minor, yet significant, tendency that I commonly observe in the civilian press. The practice of referring to these men as Medal of Honor "winners" does not do justice to the actual events. "Winner" implies some sort of competitive game or a game of chance, like playing Bingo or buying a lottery ticket. It also implies a zero sum event (when there are Medal of Honor winners, there must also be Medal of Honor losers in our midst).

These men did not perform these heroic acts to "win" anything, they "earned" it. Again, people "win" at Bingo, but they "earn" the Medal of Honor. They were simply common folks who were doing their duty, as you so effectively pointed out in your article.

The proper way to refer to these heroes is "Medal of Honor Recipient." Or, Mr. John Doe was "awarded" the Medal of Honor. Throughout my military career I have been to several professional educational symposiums that some of these men frequent. Some shudder when a member of the audience uses the term "won" or "winner" during the question and answer period. They would usually politely correct the questioner.

Thanks again for the superb article.
-- Alan H. Vafides, Lt. Col., USAF (ret)

R. Emmett Tyrrell repeatedly refers to men who have "won" the Congressional Medal of Honor. This does not sound right. Isn't the medal earned by heroic actions and awarded by Congress? People win contests, not recognition for bravery of the highest order.
-- unsigned

WATERGATE AS PRANK
Re: Editorial note Watergate City:

The lion's share of the pundit parade bordered on the meretricious. I thought perhaps Ms. Drew was trying to draw a teardrop from yours truly, as she recounted having to re-read her journal that she kept daily during the Watergate interregnum. The torching of the media was performed, at Forrest Sawyer's expense, by Mr. Buchanan, who finished with panache thusly: that Watergate was the moral equivalent of a couple of college students breaking into a professor's office and stealing the final exams.
-- Edward Del Colle

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