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Gingrich's scary side

June 26, 2007

Re "What Pelosi can learn from Newt," Opinion, June 20

Ronald Brownstein touts the importance of loyalty to political leaders in the smooth operation of government. Brownstein is absolutely correct -- if all you care about is operational efficiency and efficacy. After all, the Baath Party did do a better job of controlling sectarian violence in Iraq, trains ran on time under Benito Mussolini and Stalin could control the ethnic factions of the former Soviet Union. Nothing works better than political dictatorship for strengthening the power of the few and avoiding the messiness of true democracy.

Strict enforcement of party loyalty probably did help the Republican Party take control of all three branches of government, but it did not prevent the subsequent failures of governance. When power is concentrated, wisdom is diluted. After what we have been through recently, I'll take the leadership style of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) over the authoritarianism of former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) any day.

ANGUS ANDREWS

Westlake Village

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