Where are the Democratic fire-breathers?

By David Talbot

By Letters to the Editor

Published November 28, 2000 8:24AM (EST)

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That's what I'd like to know. Here in the San Francisco area, the people I talk to couldn't be more outraged by Bush's cowardly and contemptible tactics to block the attempt to find out, as closely as humanly possible, who did win the most Florida votes. Yet I constantly hear pundits saying that Republicans care more if they lose than Democrats do. Well, not the Democrats I know! We just don't know what to do about it -- tour buses to Florida to stand on street corners exchanging epithets with the Bush League not being quite the thing, frankly. I know there have to be millions of other frustrated Americans, the majority of whom voted for Gore, who feel similarly outraged and powerless and underrepresented, while the Republicans use the Big Lie technique ad nauseam. We need our Democratic leaders to represent the U.S. Trust me, even we middle-aged, bleeding-heart, on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand types have our limits of tolerance and understanding, and the Republican strategists have crossed the line. We will support you against them.

While I have never admired Bush, his performance since the election has exceeded my worst expectations, and I now loathe the man. He has spent his whole life pushing to the front of the line, without regard to merit or fairness, and the damaging effects of that sort of indulgence on an apparently already weak character are all too evident. He obviously thinks he should move to the front of the line for the presidency, too, regardless of a small matter like the number of people who actually voted for him. In fact, in his worldview it is a matter of such unimportance, he doesn't even want to find out.

-- S. Keene

I find it disgusting that you categorize Whitewater as a "bogus scandal." Do you know how many people were killed in mysterious circumstances? Are you saying that these people don't matter? Are you saying that it's OK to break laws because you are the president and a Democrat?

As far as the "blow job," I agree that the whole thing was blown (excuse the pun) out of proportion, however, the president handled the whole thing like an idiot! As far as I'm concerned, the "blow job" was a matter between himself and his wife. Unfortunately, Clinton went in front of a court of law and lied. Why didn't he say to the people of the United States that he wouldn't answer any questions publicly on the matter and that it was between himself and Hillary? No, he says that he never had sex with "that woman"! Could he have possibly handled it worse? I don't think so.

Gore is handling this election like a bull in a china shop. I think he knows that this is his last chance to run for president and is willing to do anything to win. Everyone knows that Hillary Clinton has her sights on the presidency and Gore will never have another chance. He is not thinking about what is best for the American people, he is thinking about what is best for Gore! He is a sore loser who will not concede. He takes credit for things that he had no hand in, for instance the invention of the Internet. I have grave concerns about putting a man who is so mentally unstable in the White House with his finger on the proverbial nuclear button. I used to think he was just another halfwit in office but I am really concerned that there is something mentally wrong with him.

-- Holly O'Connell

Where are the Democratic fire-breathers?


At Salon.com.
At The New York Times.

In other words, the media elite. The same elite that validates accusations made by Joe Lieberman and the Dems that a peaceful gathering of 50 to 60 impassioned citizens was tantamount to "intimidation." (Incidentally, the Miami-Dade elections panel has been on the record saying it was NOT "intimidated.")

And what would those same finger-pointing journalists, pundits and critics (Talbot among them) have said 30 years ago about anti-war protests? That it was a healthy exercise of Americans' freedom of speech.

Victory at the expense of fairness (i.e., following the rules that were set before the election) is no victory at all. Perhaps Democrats have more integrity than Talbot thinks and that is the reason for their silence.

-- Colleen Kenny

I hail the fact that senior members of the Democratic Party have remained civil through this election imbroglio. Let the Republicans have their fire-breathers; I have no interest in being a party to mob behavior. (In fact, early on I lamented Jesse Jackson's inflammatory rhetoric.) In the long run, civility and calm wins, even if only on moral grounds.

-- Terrance Carroll

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