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June 10, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Presidential politics: Romney, Obama and Clinton

GOP not interested in ‘grand bargain’

Thomas L. Friedman provides a lot of good analysis in his column [“Deep holes, weak leaders, Opinion, June 7]. Then he throws it all away in his conclusion that President Obama should focus his entire campaign on efforts to forge a “grand bargain” with Republicans.

This assumes that the Republicans would be willing to participate. Obama has spent his entire first term trying to forge such bargains. He has been confronted with intransigence and unwillingness on the Republican side across the board. This is the latest in a series of examples where somehow bad behavior on the part of Republicans is the fault of Democrats in general and Obama in particular.

And it’s not just Friedman. Most commentators most of the time excuse bad behavior by Republicans by ignoring it while chastising Democrats in general and Obama in particular for not trying harder to come to a deal with Republicans. This is in spite of the dozens of examples of Republicans backing away from positions as soon as Obama accepts them. It would be nice if this behavior was confined to Fox News and conservatives. But Friedman writes for The New York Times. This sort of thing is standard operating procedure for commentators working for the supposedly left-leaning mainstream media. With friends like these, who needs enemies.

— Patrick J. Russell, Seattle

The fundamentals

The news of both Presidents Obama and Clinton uttering flattering kudos to Mitt Romney for his background as a businessman caused me reflect on the constitutional fundamentals of a presidency. [“Clinton: Romney would be calamitous for U.S.,”, June4.]

Businessman Romney deserves no more credit for his background than Pipe-fitter Pete, Carpenter Knut, Garbagewoman Wanda, Worker-Bee Bradley, Caddie Clint, nor Lawyerman Lincoln. Americans, all!

Each equal under the Constitution. Romney seems skewed to the quotation from Orwell’s Animal Farm: “some pigs are created more equal than others.”

Ironic, too, that Clinton would use the word “sterling” about Romney. Maybe Romney’s adoption of the European economic policies mean that we will be converting to the Pound Sterling monetary system?

Ergo, those of us in the trenches, or the sty, need a man such as Obama as our president for the next four years, because he, not Romney, has a better concept of equality and won’t advocate the business slaughter of the economy and Porky.

— Dean G. Tonkin, Seattle

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