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Democratic Party's Search for a Candidate

June 25, 2003

Re "The Democratic Hopefuls," June 22: There is nothing in Sen. Joe Lieberman's (D-Conn.) past or present history to make him attractive as the Democratic presidential candidate. His contribution to the eroding of civil liberties under the false pretense of homeland security is nauseating, and his unwavering support for the war in Iraq and President Bush makes him at odds with most grass-roots Democrats. His claim to be the only candidate to be able to beat Bush is ambiguous at best.

No, it is time to have a man of the utmost integrity, a war hero and decorated veteran to boot, in the White House. I call for all Democrats to support Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). He is the candidate who can send this corrupt administration packing and help restore the American dream for everyone.

Roy Dickinson

Bishop, Calif.

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While your Q&A series gives the public a chance to hear how the Democratic hopefuls would handle certain issues, it can also be seen as an opportunity for a bunch of politicians to play Monday-morning quarterback. Why don't you ask them questions like the following:

Given the fact that the economy was already heading south during the end of the Clinton administration, do you feel we would still have the huge job losses if a Democrat was president? And if not, why?

Since no attack like 9/11 has ever occurred on our soil (lower 48 states), what security program would you have adopted?

Suppose another nation is showing signs of being a nuclear threat to the rest of the world but ignores all pleas to follow an international request to disarm. However, none of our allies want to get involved. What would you do?

F.L. Dayton

Hesperia

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Re "Centrists Losing Ground in Democratic Tug of War," June 21: The "centrist" Democratic Leadership Council accuses Howard Dean of being an elitist liberal and pandering to special-interest groups because he advocates broad-based health coverage for the working poor, as do some other leading presidential candidates, to various degrees. To the DLC conservative wing of the Democratic Party, which has dominated for a decade, the common people are a special-interest group, unlike some abstract majority "center" where the votes supposedly lie.

The DLC, which Lieberman used to chair, calls its think tank "progressive," a term it has hijacked from its populist origins to pretend continuity with the Democratic past that it has abandoned. "Progressive" means "Vote for us because we don't stand for anything."

Jane Gould

David Eggenschwiler

Los Angeles

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