Readers weigh in on David Talbot's "Why Dean and Franken Are So Hot Right Now" and Gary Kamiya's "Would You Like Some Freedom Fries With Your Crow, Mr. President?"

Published September 5, 2003 10:34PM (EDT)

[Read "Why Dean and Franken Are So Hot Right Now," by David Talbot.]

David Talbot is exactly right in pointing out that a sizable group of We, The People, absolutely loathes, despises and detests President Dubya and all that he stands for.

We want an alternative candidate who has the guts to call Bush and his cronies on the lies and deception, to unseat him from power and to undo some of the devastation Dubya has caused through his inept handling of the economy, foreign policy, environment, military and veterans, budget deficits, corporate cronyism, and the rest.

I preordered Al Franken's book as soon as the Fox News flap hit the media, not because I'm a big Al Franken fan, but in order to register my support for the truth and for someone who's willing to uncover it, despite the predictable slings and arrows. (Little did I know I'd enjoy the book so much.)

I'm supporting Howard Dean's grass-roots campaign not because he has the perfect policy solutions, but because Dean has been the only candidate willing to fight forcefully -- in plain-spoken, mad-as-hell language -- against the neo-conservative onslaught. I am encouraged that John Kerry seems to have grown some balls, as evidenced by his powerful announcement speech this past week. But I'm worried he's still flirting with attacks on other Democrats, rather than focusing laserlike on the source of our ire.

Count me among those who will support the alternative candidate who's as appalled and as pissed off as I am, and who has the cojones to pull no punches against Dubya and his evil cronies.

-- Mark Yolton

After reading your piece I just wanted to let out a whoop and a holler -- further evidence that something is changing in the progressive landscape. Whereas most articles I read set my mind to thinking, this one (like Al Franken and Howard Dean themselves) just stirred something emotional within me.

Who knew 2004 would be a year for hope?

-- William Workman

Finally someone that gets it! I'm tired of the Dems taking the intellectual "high road" and "not stooping to the GOP's level."

Let's pop open a can of whoop-ass and get to work!

-- Matt Harp

First of all, if you're banking on two of the biggest idiots I have ever run across in my life to be the saviors of the Democratic party, well, welcome to another four years of President Bush.

In the article Talbot writes:

"Why did O'Reilly come so embarrassingly unhinged earlier this year at the notorious Book Expo showdown with Franken?"

Embarrassingly unhinged? The way I saw it, O'Reilly was a guy that had had it with the incoherent natterings of an idiot. If I had been in O'Reilly's place not only would I have told him to shut up but I would have probably gone over and physically removed Franken. He brought nothing to the table aside from schoolboy attempts to embarrass O'Reilly -- which he did not. The only person that should have been embarrassed was Franken himself. Anyone who would conduct himself in such an unprofessional and childish manner deserves to be told to "Shut up!"

And if it's a fight Franken is looking for, that pansy couldn't beat Ronald Reagan -- even in the former president's current condition.

-- Chris McLaughlin

"Hate" is not too strong a word for me. For the first time in my life of 50-plus years I have given big money to support a candidate -- Howard Dean. I do this because we need a candidate who will fight the Elephant and its handlers. Every time I hear the smarmy good 'ole boy voice I vow to do all in my power to kick him and his cronies out of office.

-- Petra Hoffman

I have been to two Dean MeetUps and David Talbot put his finger on one of reasons for Dean's support. But it's not just Dean's feistiness that's appealing. He has two qualities that have been scarce in American politics for several generations -- common sense and principles.

-- Owen King

[Read "Would You Like Some Freedom Fries With Your Crow, Mr. President?" by Gary Kamiya.]

I just read your scathing, and extremely well-written, article on the strange sight of the Bush administration asking the "irrelevant" U.N. for help in rebuilding Iraq. I would like to add only one thing. The article intimates that, in a perfect world, the rest of the world would let bygones be bygones and rally round for the sake of Iraq. Quite true. The writer goes on to state that other nations are not helping out because we're enjoying the spectacle of the Bush administration's humiliation.

Well, that might be partly true. But it doesn't address the reality that foreign soldiers under U.S. command will be seen as indistinguishable from U.S. soldiers. Like it or not, that paints a target on our guys, too. (I'm speaking as a Canadian.) If the U.N. was seen to be in charge of the operation, there's a slight possibility of less anti-occupier hostility against the troops. But if Canadian or French or German troops were operating under U.S. command, they'd be seen as U.S. forces, and invaders instead of helpers. I can't say I'm eager for that to happen, as much as I recognize that innocent Iraqis have already suffered enough from this whole mess.

-- Shelley McKibbon

As expected, Gary Kamiya has written an excellent opinion piece on the Bush administration now going to the U.N. for help.

It's a travesty that our soldiers and the Iraqi citizenry are made to endure the mess the administration created. In the buildup to the war, I met a small group of very young reservists in a fast-food restaurant. They didn't look to be in their 20s yet. All were eating without saying a single word. When I left and passed them by, I waved to them and wished them to "stay safe." They looked up and waved back, and I will never forget the solemn looks on their faces. They were the unmistakable faces of trepidation and fear. I hope they are all right.

I am so saddened by this war. But I know I'm certainly not alone -- not by a long shot. I, like millions of others, worry about the future and what this war has wrought in instilling hatred of our country.

I hope that by speaking out, we the people can express to the rest of the world that the Bush gang did this in spite of our collective will. And I can't wait until the next election, when Howard Dean and Wesley Clark (my dream team) can restore dignity to our nation.

-- James Li

The problem with "I told you so's" is that you open yourself up to criticism. I seem to remember a moving defense of war from Salon's news section by Edward W. Lempinen. Personally I was in favor of the first Gulf War and opposed to the current one. Still, I was deeply affected by Lempinen's impassioned exhortation to the left to take up arms against the abuse of human rights in thorny areas like the Middle East. I remember Salon's editorial coverage generally leaning in favor of the war, just from a more lefty point of view.

Bush's lies and prevarications are obviously more objectionable than Salon's struggle with the moral labyrinth of Iraq. But if you are going to confront the Bush administration over its hypocrisies, you have to confront your own stance on the issue. Did Salon underestimate the complexity of the dilemma posed by Iraq? Can human rights be defended in a state of anarchy? I think you can still defend the case for war in Iraq but as you (very rightly) take Bush to task, you must recall your own words.

-- Rodkangyil Danjuma

By Salon Staff

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