Kennebunkport vs. Hyannis Port

By Jonathan V. Last

By Letters to the Editor

Published November 3, 2000 8:21AM (EST)

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Among the many other bizarre assertions Jonathan V. Last puts forth in his paean to the Bush clan, his statement that "the closest thing there is to a Bush scandal is Neil's bumbling with the Silverado Savings & Loan" is the topper.

His mentioning Joe Kennedy's Nazi sympathies while completely ignoring "mild-mannered" Prescott Bush's own ties to the Nazis is a misdirection of stunning proportions.

Should Last desire, I will be happy to point him in the direction of countless material from reputable sources documenting the Bush clan's scandalous abuses of power and outright illegal acts.

This is a whitewash job to end all whitewash jobs.

-- Mark Frisk

Jonathan V. Last misses the point: The doubts about George W. Bush have nothing to do with the Kennedys. People question whether Bush has proved his merit as an individual, and that has a lot to do with the fact that the only major problem he has ever solved is his own drinking. It's natural for people to compare W. with his father and to notice all the ways he comes up short.

-- Ken Hughes

In his piece comparing the Bush political legacy to that of other families, he amazingly asserts that the closest thing to a scandal the Bushes have been involved in is Neil Bush's S&L troubles (as if that were just a trifle). Perhaps Last was in deep-freeze during the Iran-Contra scandal. Perhaps he was on the space station Mir when President Bush spent the last few days of his presidency signing preemptive pardons for much of his inner circle. Most presidents sign pardons for people who have already been at least indicted, if not convicted. Not so the efficient George H.W. Bush, who knew that he ran the risk of being implicated in the scandal (then under investigation by the independent prosecutor). So by giving his cronies pardons before the investigation was even finished, he took away the IC's ability to use the threat of indictment to secure cooperation. The only one left to take the fall was Ollie North.

Then there are the reports of George Dubya's drug usage and going AWOL while protecting the skies of Texas from Communist attack, not to mention his dad's alleged affair with a staffer. I find it disheartening that a press corps that could not get enough information about Bill and Monica hasn't even bothered to dig into these stories.

-- Todd Sanders

Whatever nobility springs forth from Prescott Bush, his progeny do not enhance it; in fact, they spit in its face.

While Prescott believed in civil rights, George the Elder was a happy practitioner of the Republican "Southern strategy" to pander to anti-civil-rights feeling. George also sold his own beliefs down the river for a spot on Reagan's ticket, which propelled him to his own term as No. 1.

And George's sons do not seem to operate from any sort of noblesse oblige. Indeed, their public records show that they're all for public service, as long as they get to start at the top. All of the famous Kennedys started at the bottom compared to the Bushes; there remain many unfamous Kennedys working the nonglamorous ends of Congress and statehouses today. If the Bush legacy doesn't seem to help ol' W., it's because it shouldn't. It stinks.

-- Francis Volpe

The article regarding the Bush family is precise and thorough, discrediting the myth that Gov. Bush is solely a son of stuffy Northeasterners.

For Gore and Clinton, politics is a beast that is fed simply because it has an insatiable appetite. There seems no method to their pandering faux sincerity. The more moderate Kennedys deflect this, even though Ted still projects it with his shrill liberalism.

The Bushes see the good in service, and they do so with no worries as to excessive legacies.

-- L. Cortes

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