DEBATING HOWARD DEAN
William Greider's article ["What's on K Street?"] recommends that the series K Street be shown at Dean Meet-Ups to demonstrate what needs to be changed about modern-day campaign politics. This is quite a curious statement, since Howard Dean was featured on the very first K Street episode as a tool of the lobbyists and image-makers he decries! If anything, the episode showed Dean as just another politician happy to manipulate and be manipulated rather than the antidote to cynicism the electorate desperately needs.
In his letter ["Web Letters"], Andy Link suggests the North "spinning off" of the South with a "good riddance" attitude.
Unfortunately, Link employs the simple-minded black/white thinking of our illegal President George Bush.
Not everyone in the South is solidly Republican. If Link were to look at the numbers, he'd see that Bush won by small margins in many states (including Florida). The fact that a region tends to vote a certain way can in no way be used to characterize all the people of that region. Let's look at Utah: We have Orrin Hatch there, who is an obnoxious character. Should we make Utah its own country since we wouldn't want them in the South (that Mormon thing) and Link wouldn't want them in the North? What about the Republican governors of Northern states? Do they get ousted from office in Link's Civil War?
No, Mr. Link, it's not that easy. You have decided to try your hand at simplistic bigotry the same way that the League of the South and other neo-Confederate groups have done. The mainstream public here sees them as laughable bigots who'd rather live in the past than move into the future. I wonder what they call folks like you up North?
Leave well enough alone and don't talk about things you don't know about.
As Franklin said, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
JESSE D. BANNISTER
THE WASHINGTON POST'S THIRST FOR WAR
Half Moon Bay, CA
For anybody who cares about journalism, you've published an important story on the failure of the editors of the Washington Post to play up their own reporters' stories about the inflated claims of the Administration leading up to the war [Ari Berman, "The Post-War Post"].
The editors weren't the only ones at the Post who didn't want to make waves. The columnists, including David Broder and Richard Harwood, echoed the phony assertions about WMD and terrorism links without applying any critical thinking.
As Pincus says, it's depressing when journalism's power to make a difference is lost to the need to be a conformist.
DISABILITY RIGHTS AND RELIGION
San Diego, CA Great piece on the "Free Our People" march [Astra Taylor, "The Other Prison Population"]! It amazes me that our demonstrations never get covered. Two years ago more than 100 people from ADAPT were arrested in San Francisco--no mention on the national news, or anywhere outside San Francisco. Three people get arrested at a WTO demonstration--BIG news!
Disability issues are largely invisible because no one wants to think about their own vulnerability. They look away until one day they are us, and then they can't look away. Thank you for this wonderful piece.
This letter is in reference to "The Other Prison Population" by Astra Taylor. I understand her frustration that what she considers the "left" does not support the disability rights movement vocally. But I have to say that her comment about "conservative groups" helping out, based upon her observation that churches were involved, is a bit off the mark. I attend a church with quite liberal leanings, and for myself, it is my church upbringing that has caused me to be "liberal" in thought. Therefore, I don't think that just because churches have supported this group proves that conservatives are supportive. It could just as easily be the more liberal-minded church members who are the ones providing services. Just call me a liberal Lutheran!