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Readers' views on D.C.'s uncivil war, a capital punishment case gone wrong, the Lisker decision and the president's terrorism policy.

September 27, 2009

Re "The first shots in D.C.'s uncivil war," Opinion, Sept. 22

While I agree with most of Johanna Neuman's Op-Ed article, the idea that there is a good, common-sense center is maddening.

Maybe that phrase can apply to the micro, but it certainly doesn't apply to today's American society. Do you mean the social center where "American Idol" is more important than war?

The temporary political landscape of any given country is irrelevant to reality and to common sense.

Before the 1980s, politically, scientists provided accepted facts, then debate started with those facts on what to do. In 21st century America, when scientists provide a set of facts, one side throws them out and makes up their own set. Which is why it is so hard to have calm, reasonable discussions about important issues today.

At least on an individual basis, people don't have to debate whether or not they are in a car before they debate where to park it.

John Mathieu

San Pedro


Neuman traces the roots of an increasingly polarized political climate and lays it squarely on Newt Gingrich's doorstep.

According to Neuman, Gingrich's evil genius changed the congressional calendar to permit members of Congress to spend more time listening to their constituents (shock, gasp) instead of cozying up to other politicians in Washington.

If Gingrich's biggest sin was to make it easier for politicians to listen to their constituents instead of marching in lock step with their political party or making backroom deals, he should be celebrated as a hero of democracy.

The more likely answer is that Gingrich is not to blame, and stating so is both partisan and polarizing.

Yael Hartstein

Los Angeles

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