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Jeffords Explains Why He Quit the GOP

January 02, 2002

Re "My Way, the High Way," by Sen. James M. Jeffords, Opinion, Dec. 30: Bravo! JFK would have been proud to add Jeffords to his chronicles of the brave and conscientious men in history who exhibited a "profile in courage" when Americans needed to stand up to political and philosophical bullies. We Americans need more men like Jeffords to save our faith in American democracy and save us from the self-annointed groups that would impose their dictates.

Viva la independencia! Viva America!

H. Robert Tarango

Manhattan Beach


Starting with the headline, everything about Jeffords' pompous sermon sounded fatuous and egotistical. Aren't we Americans so lucky to have such a fearless and above-it-all man in the Senate! I think not.

In truth, Jeffords never has been a Republican. He knew throughout 2000 what George W. Bush's campaign platform included, and he didn't make a critical peep during all that time. Then, when he couldn't get his way and began to pout, he became the prime target for Sen. Tom Daschle and Co. to go after to win him over. One can only speculate as to the extent of the promises the Democrats made to overturn the wishes of the voters and gain control of a Senate that was not rightly theirs.

I say, for shame, Jim Jeffords. You have disgraced the Senate with your treachery and trickery.

Robert B. Wolcott Jr.

Laguna Niguel


Jeffords' reason for leaving the Republican Party makes perfect sense to me. His action was very courageous and well thought out, and I'm glad he did it.

I've been a bookkeeper for most of my adult life. My dad was an accountant. Jeffords is absolutely right: Balance is everything!

Elaine Hampton



Jeffords changed the play at the line of scrimmage without notifying his teammates. Heck, he wasn't even in the huddle to begin with. Jeffords made a decision he wasn't elected to make. The proper decision would have been to state his conscience, then resign. Let the people decide which platform that particular Vermont Senate seat should align itself with.

Vermont made a choice, and Jeffords decided on his own account that he knew better. What kind of conscience is that? "Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14). Jeffords was elected as a Republican, and he should have accepted the counsel of his fellow Republicans.

Vermont will make another decision, and it will be to retire Jeffords.

James Cliffe

Canyon Country

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