Tom Campbell's Sept. 30 Op-Ed article on the brinkmanship in Washington between Republicans and Democrats prompted an angry reply from reader Marvin J. Wolf of Mar Vista Heights, who wrote that the piece made him wonder whether Campell was "just another Republican liar."
Wolf continued: "His statements that 'Republican leaders in Congress do not want to harm the economic recovery' and that 'neither side will compromise' are demonstrably false. The Republican speaker of the House announced that his legislative goal was to provide jobs. Instead, he promptly passed a string of bills further restricting abortion rights. The House has yet to pass a jobs bill. The Republican leader of the Senate was at least more forthright: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that his legislative goal was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. The GOP does not care how much the poor and the middle class suffer if they can turn the White House into a Republican office. And Campbell is obviously bent on the same goal."
FOR THE RECORD:
Postscript: The Oct. 1 Postscript, "Who's being partisan," incorrectly said Tom Campbell's Sept. 26 Op-Ed article was published on Sept. 30. —
Tom Campbell, dean of Chapman University's law school and a former U.S. congressman, replies:
Mr. Wolf's letter illustrates one of the fundamental problems in politics today: the vast, bitter divide between Republicans and Democrats, among members of the public as well as members of Congress. Wolf may not agree with the Republicans in Congress; I don't always agree with them, and I'm a Republican. But to say Republicans want to hurt the economic recovery is absurd.
Congressional Republican leaders believe, along with many economists, that only private sector jobs will create a real economic recovery. Demanding a bigger government, with higher taxes and regulations on those who employ people, encroaches on the private sector and hurts the recovery. Republicans are not "liars" for believing this.
According to Wolf, Republican economic views are somehow negated because House Speaker John Boehner tried to restrict abortion rights. Do you see the connection? I don't, but then, I'm a pro-choice Republican, for smaller government in economic and in private matters. I'm guessing Wolf doesn't know Republicans like me exist.
As for fault on both sides, the president said he won't agree to a long-term budget deal without tax increases, and Republicans won't accept tax increases. We are set up for stalemate. My article called for a truce that would allow the government to operate.