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Blast at Dems reaches too far

December 05, 2007

Re "The gentry liberals," Opinion, Dec. 2

I get a good laugh at Sean Hannity obsessing over limousine liberals, but I don't find it as funny when The Times prints pieces like the one by Joel Kotkin and Fred Siegel. To make the connection that, because some wealthy people are tending to move away from the Republican Party along with the rest of the country, the Democratic Party is the party of the upper crust, is pretty weak. I'm not a huge fan of the Democrats, but to characterize them as the worse of our two major parties for working-class Americans takes some genuine effort.

Should I look forward to an Op-Ed article by Rush Limbaugh on Hillary Clinton's connections to the Kremlin, or the Beltway Boys teaming up to analyze the horror of labor unions or the awesomeness of Jesus?

Kurt O'Brien

Huntington Beach

From the North American Free Trade Agreement supported enthusiastically by President Clinton to the recent Peruvian trade agreement passed by the Democratic Congress, the gentrification of the Democratic Party is nearly complete.

A party, once proud of its support for organized labor and indeed the working man, has thrown in with corporate America. How can this be explained?

It's the way we finance our political campaigns.

The working folk of this country cannot afford the high price tag for well-paid lobbyists the way multinational corporate entities can and do. Liberalism will only reassert itself when the current corrupt campaign finance system is replaced with a public one. Sadly, that's not in the offing any time soon.

Bob Teigan

Santa Susana

Kotkin and Siegel complain that liberals are concerned with gay rights and global warming instead of "lunch-pail joes." What about lunch-pail joes (or janes) who happen to be gay or lesbian? Are farmers who are worried about global warming-induced drought "lunch pail" enough?

Their criticism of the Democratic candidates is absurd. All of them are proposing healthcare plans and other programs to help working people. Kotkin and Siegel are just another couple of hucksters claiming to speak for working folks they know nothing about.

Evan Gerstmann

Los Angeles

The writer chairs the political science department at Loyola Marymount University.

Kotkin and Siegel indict leading Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as "gentry liberals" who care little about the needs of working-class Americans. How, then, do these propagandists explain that the top domestic priority of both candidates is universal health coverage?

I question the wisdom of publishing an article that blatantly rehashes archetypal conservative boogeymen -- Hollywood moguls, ivory tower professors, dot-com millionaires and the like -- while deliberately ignoring Democratic health and education initiatives that would mainly benefit middle-class families.

Ethan Drogin

Los Angeles

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