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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Credit the GOP, Not Bill Clinton

June 30, 2004

Ronald Brownstein correctly points out several of the major changes in American society that occurred during the Clinton administration: welfare reform, an emphasis on work and responsibility and a balanced budget ("Clinton's Biggest Gains Not on Conservative Critics' Radar," June 28). These changes resulted in the most significant and rapid gains by the poor ever. Attributing these actions to Bill Clinton and the Democrats is truly a revisionary approach to history. Brownstein also points out that "his lack of political discipline produced a leftward drift during his first two years that helped the GOP seize Congress in 1994."

What Brownstein and the Democrats want us all to believe is that what happened after 1994 is attributable to Clinton. It is not. These changes are attributable to the Republican control of Congress. I challenge Brownstein to retrace the policies stated in the political platforms for the two parties before "Clinton's successes." Which party stood for welfare reform? Republicans. Which party stood for a balanced budget? Republicans. Which party emphasized work and personal responsibility? Republicans. The truth of the matter is that after 1994, Clinton became a very effective Republican president.

Jeff McCombs

La Palma

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Nothing Clinton did in his presidency could have been more damaging to working men and women of this country than NAFTA and GATT.

He turned over to the right wing the one thing they wanted most, which was their eventual gift to the multinationals -- a low-wage society in this country. This gift will probably end the middle class in America.

Carl Melin

Buena Park

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Re "Power Is an Aphrodisiac That Can Carry an Extreme Price," Opinion, June 27: So what if Clinton had a little fun in the Oval Office?

A president is under enormous stress; he is the most powerful man in the world, and his sex life is really none of our concern.

Elke Heitmeyer

Sherman Oaks

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I am just back from standing at Eso Won Books in L.A. for seven hours. We got our tickets 1 1/2 weeks ago. We stood in the sun. We didn't complain about those people who let their friends in line. We didn't complain when better-connected people walked on in.

We had our tickets. They were a promise for a handshake and signing by Clinton. Their value is in the ethical, responsible behavior of the issuer, payable to the bearer on demand, wouldn't you say? No. They stopped signing books and offered "an unsigned book or a refund." That's hardly the same thing, is it?

Steven Price

Los Angeles

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