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Party Differences Cut as Deep as the Gender Gap

November 14, 2002

Re "Liberal Leader for a Liberal Party," Commentary, Nov. 12: Ross Baker ignores the basic difference between the Republican and Democratic parties and the reason why Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) now leads the Democrats. He cites African Americans' and union members' support and ignores the fact that a majority of women support the Democratic Party. The gender gap has persisted since it first began to be tracked in 1980. The selection of Pelosi, the first woman to lead a national party, is simply a recognition of this fundamental difference between the parties.

Basic to that difference is a woman's right to choose. The Supreme Court's decision in Roe vs. Wade -- which gave women that right in 1973 -- was not limited to abortion rights but signaled that basic human rights must include a woman's right to participate on an equal basis with men in our social, economic and political lives. With Pelosi leading the Democratic Party, it's the women's votes that will make the difference in the 2004 election.

Frankie Haller

Bellflower

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Re "Be Careful What You Wish For," by Robert Scheer, Commentary, Nov. 12: It seems, Mr. Scheer, you don't share the same joy that the voters had in the GOP platform on election day. The Democrats' tax-and-spend policies of social engineering, safety nets and entitlements don't work now and won't work in 2004. Because the electorate is split 50/50, you need some conservatives to buy into those philosophies now.

The Dems had better go back to the drawing board to find something that will appeal to this new electorate; otherwise, it's going to be a long decade.

Elmer Richardson

Corona

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The Democrats lost because, instead of insisting that resisting terrorism necessarily includes support of the Bill of Rights, social programs and the aggressive prosecution of corporate crime, they did little but echo the president. It doesn't take a political scientist to know that the faster they run to the right the more they guarantee us a Republican dynasty.

Jerome H. Manheim

Long Beach

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