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Reasons for failure

January 31, 2008

Re "Why Congress didn't get troops out," Jan. 27

The Times reports as news, not an editorial, that the failure of Congress to pass legislation to bring our troops home from Iraq is the fault of the Democrats. This implies that if Congress only had more Republicans, we would soon have our troops home. This kind of spin reporting will soon make you as laughable as Fox News.

Frank Rich

Malibu

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Although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) clearly have failed to carry out the mandate given to them by the electorate, The Times could hardly be more wrong about why they failed. The unprecedented obstinacy of George Bush's unitary presidency epitomizes the uncompromising attitude that has taken over the once pragmatic Republican Party. Senate Republicans repeatedly threaten to filibuster Democratic legislation, such as last year's moderate proposals to separate Iraq deployments by equal time back in the U.S. That proposal failed in the Senate because few Republicans were willing to break with the president for even the best of causes.

Reid and Pelosi failed because they refused to fight back against Republicans' repeated threats to hold America hostage to Bush's policies. Bush's mantra that it is an unpatriotic failure to support our troops unless Congress rubber-stamps all of his disastrous Iraq policies is arrogant hogwash. Pelosi and Reid have miserably failed because they lacked the courage to act on that simple truth.

John Strain

Redondo Beach

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