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Saying no to fear politics

August 11, 2007

Re "The politics of fear," editorial, Aug. 7

The Times is right to point out that Democrats must show the courage of their convictions and stand up for principle, but the people have a role to play as well. Prior to the weekend debate and vote, I wrote to my senators and congressional representative, urging them to vote no on the bill as currently structured.

Newspapers such as The Times have a role to play too. On important bills like this, it is important to list how our congressional members voted. This was not done in your otherwise excellent article, "Officials defend spy law" (Aug. 7). It is your job to inform us not only of what is going on but of who has done what if we are ever to hold our public officials accountable.

George J. Lujan

South El Monte

Democrats have fallen into the trap of fear politics since Sept. 11, 2001, first authorizing the war in Iraq, then approving the horrendous Patriot Act (twice), approving additional war funding after winning back Congress, and now approving what you correctly call an "unacceptable surveillance law."

I don't understand what the Democrats have to lose. Congress' approval rating is already under 30%. Why don't members just stand up for what they believe, stop caving in to the Republicans and do what they were elected to do? I'll probably change my registration from Democratic to independent unless the Democrats get some spine.

Daryl Lubinsky

Gardena

I am disappointed with Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) vote to authorize President Bush's FISA-eviscerating legislation. If the Democrats won't stand up to the president's fear-mongering, who will? Does anyone honestly believe Vice President Dick Cheney & Co.'s claim that the executive branch needs this authority to keep us safe? Is there any group more discredited than this foreign policy team? Please tell me one thing they've gotten right with respect to foreign policy and homeland security.

Not only is this legislation unconstitutional, but it's dangerous in the hands of one of the worst administrations in our nation's history.

I understand the Democrats' fear of being portrayed as weak, but trepidation is not a characteristic that the country is looking for from its leaders. Sadly, that is what this legislation projects.

John Ragosta

Los Angeles

We should tap the phones of Bush, Cheney, Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales and every member of Congress. If they're doing nothing wrong, they have nothing to fear. Right?

Jack Chansler

Monrovia

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