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Web Letter

I always find it interesting when writers on the left write articles like this, and completely avoid mentioning Ronald Reagan, like he didn't exist. Are we to assume Reagan was a wacko? As one Republican, I long for someone like Reagan: strong defense, low taxes, a laissez-faire attitude to business as proposed by Adam Smith over two centuries ago. It's almost as if Mr. Moser is afraid to mention Reagan by name, and understandably so. Hugely popular and effective, he presided over a country which disarmed the Soviet Union without firing a shot; which saw interest rates and inflation drop from high double digits; which saw the US as the clear leader in the world--not an easy task after the mess left by Carter. The problem with George Bush is not his conservatism but lack of it. No Child Left Behind and Prescription Drug Benefit are both Lyndon Johnson-type Great Society programs, which should prove once and for all, there is no need to go left to try to govern in moderation. Trying to do so (1) doesn't work and (2) makes no one happy. Former President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic said it best, "As an alternative to Communism or Capitalism, there is no third way. Looking for a third way is the quickest way to the Third World."

Low taxes and laissez-faire capitalism. Could we at least try it for once? One of Ayn Rand's books book captures it, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

Mike Boylan

Albany, NY

Oct 23 2007 - 8:54am

Web Letter

The writer obviously confuses Dubya with Jeb. Jeb Bush left office hugely popular, and his endorsement, while not decisive, certainly helped Charlie Crist in his campaign for governor; with the exception of the Terri Schiavo fiasco, Jeb was never closely associated with the religious right.

Dave Barlett

Miami, FL

Oct 22 2007 - 6:39pm

Web Letter

I think Mr. Moser is missing something when he states that rank-and-file Republicans are discarding Bushism and neocon ideology. If that is the case, why is Rudy Giuliani the most popular Republican candidate? Rudy has signed on in full to the Bush/Cheney neocon philosophy of bombing first and asking questions later, and his advisers include several of the most war-like members of the failed neocon clique that made Bush's case for the Iraq catastrophe.

It seems clear that several of the major Republican candidates have decided to stand by the failed neocon war policy, with all that it entails, including the criminal violations by the Bush/Cheney Executive branch of federal law against torture and warrantless wiretapping. This stand doesn't make sense to we Democrats who can see that a large and growing majority of Americans are repulsed by the emerging gory details of Bush/Cheney's rampant lawbreaking.

So while Mr. Moser may be correct that Republican voters are growing disenchanted with Bushism and neocon ideology, we are not seeing the same disenchantment in the potential Republican standard-bearers for 2008. That suggests to me that a lot of Republicans are going to vote Democratic next year.

Robert C. Carmody

Manhasset, NY

Oct 22 2007 - 5:41pm

Web Letter

Bob Moser seems to think that without the Values Voters the Republicans could beat Hillary.

I doubt there are enough free marketeers out there who think only about taxes on dividends and capital gains to elect Hillary's opponent from the GOP. It is the Value Voters who put the GOP over time and time again; the free marketeers and libertarians will vote GOP no matter what.

The Values Voters will just stay home if their sectarian needs are not catered to. Some anti-Hillary Democrats might vote for a non-Values Republican but to do so would require forgetting about all the horrors Bush has wrought. I don't expect this.

Norman Ravitch

Savannah, GA

Oct 22 2007 - 11:47am