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War Opponents: Dean, Kucinich and Graham

September 04, 2003

Re "With a Pile of Money, Dean Ups the Ante," Aug. 31: Ronald Brownstein writes of "a Democratic establishment still concerned that Dean's unrelenting opposition to the war in Iraq might make him an easy general election opponent for President Bush." Thousands of us believe that [former Vermont Gov.] Howard Dean's attack on Bush's agenda, including the preemptive war on Iraq, is the reason for Dean's phenomenal rise.

Other Democratic invertebrates showed their true strength in supporting Bush and his war plans. And let's not forget that Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) proved she had more guts and courage than her colleagues, including fearless Minority Leader Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), when standing up against shock-and-awe Bush.

James DuBois Sr.

Ventura

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Contrary to your assertion that presidential candidate Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) is "the alternative for the sliver of the Democratic left that finds Dean too moderate," I believe that Kucinich is the alternative for the majority of the Democratic Party that will find Dean and all the front-runners too conservative. Dean is succeeding where the other front-runners have failed precisely because he is perceived to bring a return to traditional liberal values like collaboration with our allies, strong public education and affordable health care for all.

However, once Democrats get hip to Dean's conservative core -- his A-rating from the National Rifle Assn., his support of the death penalty and his anti-environment/pro-big business record in Vermont -- they will see that Kucinich is the only candidate who truly represents their values.

Eric Forst

Culver City

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Though Dean is technically the only "leading contender" who opposed the war in Iraq, Brownstein fails to mention two candidates: Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who voted against the war in the Senate, and Kucinich, who rallied most of the House opposition to the invasion. Though I don't doubt the veracity of Dean's antiwar rhetoric, his opposition was largely intangible, unlike the forgotten efforts of Graham and Kucinich.

Brian Wantz

Ventura

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