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Saturday, September 18, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Letters to the editor

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Presidential timbre

Bush carves decisive action into uncertain times

Editor, The Times:

E.J. Dionne correctly observes that "Kerry's views were easily parodied by Republicans in New York because voters are still not clear on what Kerry stands for and what he would do for them" ("Kerry's terrible month could also be his salvation," Times, syndicated column, Sept. 7).

As someone who has alternately voted Republican and Democrat over the past 30 years, I have been unable to find any compelling reason to vote for John Kerry rather than George Bush.

During this time of international conflict and domestic fear of terrorism, when decisive, consistent leadership in the White House is even more critical than normal, I would need a very good reason to vote an incumbent president out of office, regardless of party affiliation. Party politics are simply not relevant for me in this election.

I will be voting for the person who inspires confidence in me and instills fear in the hearts of those who would threaten my country. That person is definitely not John Kerry, based on his record.
— Diane McGaha, Vashon

Competency of dunces

The Republicans' election mantra is "George Bush is a decisive leader who is far better prepared than John Kerry to protect the United States from terrorist attacks."

Excuse me, but who was president when the U.S. was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001? All the facts indicate this administration was far from being prepared to protect the U.S. from terrorist attacks. They were downright incompetent.

I would say that, if we judge our leader by his first-term results, he should fail miserably. Alas, that also goes for the economy, foreign relations, and certainly history's largest and most out-of-control budget deficit.

Only presidential adviser Karl Rove could weave this record of political incompetence into the image of "a decisive leader who is far better prepared than Kerry to protect the United States from terrorist attacks." Only fools would believe this illusion.
— Larry Dennison, Port Townsend

Natter and anti-natter

It never fails to amaze me that Republican apologists like Ed Jones ("Gaps in the truth when Democrats challenge president," Northwest Voices, Sept. 15) call us nabobs (former Vice President Spiro Agnew's favorite word, and we all know what happened to him) while completely ignoring the many transgressions of the Bush administration. So, I ask Jones the following:

• Why does he claim George Bush's National Guard records are forged when experts tell us all the print features in those documents were available then on IBM typewriters?

• Why didn't Bush twist a few arms in Congress in an effort to get the assault-rifle ban extended? As it turns out, he didn't twist even one.

• Why does he insist in perpetrating the falsehood that crime is down across the board when, clearly, that is not the case?

• Why does he ignore the simple fact that John Kerry went to Vietnam to do his duty as he saw it, while George Bush and Dick Cheney did not?

• Why does he fail to mention that Bush sent our country to war (which to date has cost the lives of thousands) on what have now been proven false premises, created a gigantic budget deficit from a huge surplus in less than four years, and greatly degraded the stature of the United States worldwide?

Until Jones can answer those questions, what he says cannot be taken seriously.
— Ken Kreps, Puyallup

Animus brief

I become weary this time of year. Not with all the campaign mudslinging, but with those crying "mean-spirited" at the other side — as if they themselves aren't!

We are fortunate to live in a day and society when most of our "wars" with each other end up in heated debates and catcalling, rather than bloodletting. Before radio, TV and the Internet, all this (type of activity) was confined to conventions and articles in some periodical that we could dismiss and go on with our lives. Now we hear it and see it whenever we handle a TV remote.

So may the charges of false bravado in Vietnam or the lack of service in the National Guard come to the forefront, and may the return salvos be made, again and again, until the charges are exhausted of any detail — along with other "'matters of importance."

And may the truth in each case be what's left when the dust clears, so that we citizens of this fine country can make a somewhat reasonable choice of which rascal we want to win.
— Jack Dunn, Bothell

Waiver of immigrants

Equal-slights amendment

Constitutional amendment introductions in the Congress are not the sort of story that should be buried (in the news), especially when they are a clearly political abuse of that profound and scary undertaking ("Amendment would drop requirement that president be U.S.-born," News, Sept. 16).

The Constitution is a fragile and unique descriptor of the singularly most-advanced culture ever created by thoughtful protectors of freedom and equality; and a proposal to disfigure it for the purpose of enabling the political advancement of a nitwit and a bigot is offensive in the extreme.

The honest issue is whether this country needs to promote someone who describes men who think war should not be the first solution to international strife as girlie-men into an office where his predecessors have proved they can start one single-handedly.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's sole claim is that he made big muscles and did a very poor job as an actor. To date, his sole claim to real fame is that, with a single noun, he managed to insult men, women, pacifists and independent thinkers.

No good can come of this.
— Harold Pettus, Everett

The melting plot

Politicians — sigh — you've got to love them. First, they give tax incentives to companies that outsource American jobs. Then, rather than come up with real legislation, they want to outsource health-care reform by importing drugs from Canada and Europe.

Now, they want to outsource the president through an amendment to the Constitution that would allow a foreign-born, naturalized citizen to be elected to the nation's highest office after living here only 20 years.

Surely the gene pool isn't so thin that we cannot find equivalents within citizens born in the states?

Don't mess with the Constitution on these grounds.
— Richard Stringfellow, Monroe

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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