ELECTORATE IS WISING UP TO THE IRAQ BLUNDER
I could not agree more with Scheer's article, especially his closing comments about John Kerry. Kerry must distance himself from Bush and the neocons' disastrous policies. So far he has only timidly seconded these failed ideas or (worse) claimed that he would do the exact same thing--only better.
It is time for John Kerry to listen to the people of this country and give some heed to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Doing so would result in a landslide victory. Failing to do so imperils his chances by giving us nothing to be excited about, much less to work for and a likely dismal voter turnout. We need voters out in overpowering numbers this year. More Republican-Lite will not make this happen.
Scheer is also correct on his appraisal of the Middle East. Kerry must force himself to remember the battlefield courage that earned him military honors and stand up to the pro-Israel lobby that has single-handedly destroyed this country's foreign policy, ruined our reputation throughout the globe, bankrupted us and plunged us into yet another bottomless quagmire. His knee-jerk support for anything Israel wants endangers every American (as well as every Palestinian and Israeli) and makes the entire world far less safe. One can be a friend of Israel without being a quisling. It is my firm belief that a real friend always tells you when you're wrong. A real friend of Israel would do just that--and stick to it.
One day I hope to be able to vote for a presidential candidate that I have genuine respect for, instead of the one I despise the least. I am 50, and my hopes are dwindling. I have given to the Kucinich campaign several times even though I knew he had about the same odds as I would have. I am still supporting him monetarily so that at least some of my beliefs will be represented at the convention. Millions of us are ready for better--we are screaming for it--as is evidenced by your writers at this site and the readership you enjoy.
I am not ready to give up. I will hold my nose and vote for Kerry. And it is also possible that in the next few months he will reveal some of his supposed backbone and surprise me, so that I will have both hands free to vote.
It is a sad day when a recovering Republican like myself is disappointed that a Democrat is just not liberal enough.
Robert Scheer says: "Kerry has to provide an alternative..." Right. Why should he? The broad left has already pledged to Kerry its unconditional support--in exchange for nothing--in the name of ABB [Anything But Bush]. The sad thing is that we've seen this so many times before. When will we learn to be political, use political weight and demand things, rather than scurry to the "Democrat" under the banner of lesser evilism?
MY FIRST (AND LAST) TIME WITH BILL O'REILLY
The Nation, David Cole and Robert Greenwald should be praised to the heavens for finally taking on Bill O'Reilly and Fox News. I've written to O'Reilly several times explaining in detail and politely how ironic his claim is that his show is "the no spin zone" when it is paradigmatically an unfair and unbalanced example of distortions, falsehoods and outright lies.
I'm sure David Cole's incident is not unique to him. While I believe that CNN and MSNBC also distort the news, Fox and O'Reilly's egregious distortions are beyond what's tolerable. In a democracy, the Fox Factor is antithetical to free speech. While I'd never want government action to restrict such shams, focusing the public eye (through other media) is required to counteract its insidious effect on deliberative debate.
ROBERT JUSTIN LIPKIN
Thank you for the article that gave me a glimpse into Bill O'Reilly's off-screen persona (not that I can take even watching him rant on Fox News!). I am very disturbed by his and his network's unanswered influence. I joined a health club last week, and the TV monitors above the treadmills are all set to Fox News. Even though I am new to the club, I complained loudly! I didn't know the club had a political agenda until after I signed up. (They claim they do not, and that I can change the channel if I want to...yeah, and start a riot? This is Dallas!) Nevertheless, I will be voicing my opinion every time I am in the place! It is unreal to me that a large segment of the voting public does not see the right-wing propaganda machine for what it is. Please do not let them beat us. Take on Chris Matthews instead. He's been giving the other side way too much time lately, as evidenced by Katrina's visit with him the other day. Looking forward to seeing more of your team!
SUSAN BARTA RICHARDSON
After reading "My First (and Last) Time with Bill O'Reilly" it made me realize how lucky we are up here in "the Great White North"! We don't get the Fox News Channel at all--and I see that I am not missing anything, either!