Re "Dominance on GOP Agenda," Feb. 2: The Republicans finally have come clean about their true intentions in tort "reform." They want to make it harder for trial lawyers to make money so the lawyers will have a lot less to contribute to Democratic candidates.
The truth is the Republicans want to take money from all Americans in order to keep money away from Democrats in elections.
When an injured person wins a tort case, the majority of the money, most commonly two-thirds, goes to the injured person.
If the Republicans succeed, all Americans should know that if they are badly injured by some large corporation that actually is at fault, the Republicans will be taking away money from you and your lawyer, mostly you -- money you might badly need because of your injury.
"Tort reform" is a sham term. Nearly all the proposals do not aim to make the tort system more fair. They aim only to limit the amounts badly injured people can obtain for their injuries.
The Republicans also conceal the fact that runaway punitive damages were eliminated years ago by a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Why fool around with killing funding sources for their opposition or redistricting states to push the balance of power in their favor? The GOP majority should just go ahead and pass a law outlawing the Democratic Party.
The Republican Congress could set up a Committee for Un-Republican Activities. They could subpoena voting lists from blue states and call upon citizens guilty of voting Democratic to name names of fellow travelers.
Why not just stamp out this nasty two-party nonsense? After all, President Bush got a 1% mandate and he deserves to "spend his capital."
How can "freedom" and "liberty" survive in an atmosphere of opposing opinion and criticism?
Gloria J. Richards
Bush's intent to weaken the Democrats by clipping their ability to raise money for political activities should be of major concern to Republicans as well. In a democracy, I believe that it is in our best interest as citizens to encourage diverse and creative thinking about how to solve important issues. For example, whether you are for or against tort liability, we need to hear a lively discussion about it.
This is true for the war in Iraq, private pension accounts, Medicare reform, gay marriage, environmental issues, abortion, education reform and much more. It stands to reason that having two or more very vital and active political parties with opposing views gives us a chance to hear the pros and cons of the issues.
Our ability to govern ourselves depends upon an educated citizenry. Our politicians, including the president, would do us a favor by doing something about all the big donors that are able to control our current political discussions.