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Clean-Cut Divisions Mark the Presidential Race

September 30, 2004

Re "How Dare Kerry Speak Up," editorial, Sept. 28: Early this morning, having read the line, "Compared with [John] Kerry, George W. Bush is a coward," I stood back from the kitchen table and whispered, "yes." In that moment the Los Angeles Times, for me, affirmed what it is to be an American: freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the freedom to express it. Proud to see the big boys and girls of public discourse step up to the plate.

Philip J. Hilow

Sunland

*

The noble Los Angeles Times has sunk to a new low with its editorial calling Bush a coward. The strident, shrill stance of The Times stamps this great newspaper as a vehicle of diatribe, not a medium of enlightenment.

Jim Downs

Oceanside

*

Your desperation to see Kerry elected is coloring your judgment when you have to resort to calling our president a "coward" in a political season. If your elephant's memory denies you any recollection of the smears and epithets thrown by Kerry and his surrogates for more than a year, that's one thing. But to suggest a double standard where none exists and to heap insult on readers like me, who support this president and believe him to be a man of strong conscience and character, is cheap and sets a new low for journalistic standards. Criticism is fair; invective is cowardly.

William J. Becker Jr.

Los Angeles

*

Which of the following is the more patriotic act? (a) Exercising the constitutional right to criticize government leadership and policies during a failed war. (b) Exercising family political privilege to volunteer for military service and then shirking assigned duties and regulations during a failed war. Voters, mark your ballots.

Peggy Staggs

Orange

*

Congratulations -- this editorial put into words my own revulsion and indignation. As a very senior citizen, I have lived through more elections than I like to count, but this one lines up as the most appalling yet. To think that I am in enough good health possibly to survive another four years of this administration simply fills me with dismay. Thank you for your gutsy comments, which I aim to distribute far and wide.

Ruth Smith

Lakewood

*

I can't take it anymore. The stench coming from the editorials you print and the letters you allow mirrors the desperation and mean-spirited, baseless attacks emanating from the Kerry camp. I will not support your rag, which has more than ever become a Democratic newsletter, and I feel like I'm contributing to a thinly veiled 527 being a subscriber to your paper.

I will cancel my subscription immediately.

Mark Harris

Northridge

*

I have read with interest Robert Scheer's last three weekly columns and my question is: Why are Kerry and the Democratic Party unable to clearly articulate the same arguments for Bush's failure in office? This election should be a closed case for former prosecutor Kerry, but he continues to lag in the polls and timidly accepts the rousing beatings, lies and accusations the Republicans gleefully provide him. I blame both Kerry for his inability to communicate why Bush should be thrown out of office and Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire for giving us a candidate lacking the ability to put an end to this nightmare of an administration.

Maybe a Bush victory in November will be the wake-up call the Democratic National Committee needs to shed its mentality of learned helplessness and finally get its act together.

Capt. Todd B. Zoltan

U.S. Marine Corps

Camp Caldwell, Iraq

*

So you say Dick Cheney "pushes the envelope" about an Al Qaeda-Iraq connection? (Sept. 27) Why don't you say it like it really is?

Cheney is misleading the American people by deliberately trying to create that misimpression, in an attempt to justify the immoral invasion and occupation of a country that did us no harm and that we now know had no capability of doing so. He's a liar like his boss, Bush, pure and simple. You don't need to dance around the obvious.

Karl Simanonok

Long Beach

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