NOTES FROM A SOMBER CONSERVATIVE
Re: "For the Morning After, a Somber Celebration" (November 11): OK, I think you're sincere, because I share in your somber mood about the Iraq situation, the daily bloody grind of those people, and the nearly 3,000 of our men and women that have not come back alive from there. Had the Republicans held onto control of Congress, I wouldn't have been in a mood of very festive celebration, either. I call myself a conservative and vote mostly Republican as the lesser of two evils, but I was sorely tested this time around.
But could it be that your somberness arises from an awareness that this election wasn't so much the Democrats' victory as the Republicans' defeat? The latter lost fair and square. They deserved it. We are not claiming voter fraud, even in a couple of closely contested senatorial races that could have helped the Republicans retain control of the Senate. If there was voter fraud, it was the one pointed out by Thomas Sowell in the November 7 issue of Townhall: the trick by the Democrats' leadership to run moderate, even conservative, candidates in order to help extremists like Pelosi and Kennedy gain control.
Conservatism wasn't defeated; on the contrary, it was affirmed by many Democrats themselves who shun like leprosy the liberal label.
But the Republican Party was defeated. It wasn't just Iraq and Foley and Nancy Pelosi's bogus "culture of corruption." The Republicans showed themselves time and again not to be comfortable in the role of majority party. When they should have unhesitatingly exercised the "constitutional" option to slap down the Democrats on Bush's judicial nominations, Senator McCain saw to it that Chuck Schumer's feelings weren't hurt. When the immigration problem cried for the "enforcement first" approach of any self-respecting country, that same senator, taking a cue from the president himself, co-sponsored with Ted Kennedy a toothless amnesty (by whatever name) bill.
But above all, when 9/11 called for a clear hammering into the ground of the ideological stakes required of a war, Bush fibbed, with Islam described as the "religion of peace" and labels like the "war on terror."
War on terror, my elbow! Terror is a tool, like the blitzkrieg and submarine warfare. Ours is a war on fanatical Islamo-fascists. That should have been hammered home. But that would have required a confident and serene certainty in the moral righteousness of our country as a fundamental force for good. And it would have required an arsenal of clear and forceful intellectual arguments by the president and his team to counter the vapid and effete, European-style rhetoric of the mainstream media, Hollywood, bash-America-first complex.
So I think many Americans decided there was no point in voting for liberal Republicans when you can vote for the real thing. The immediate future doesn't make me comfortable. The names of McCain and Giuliani are being touted as front runners for the GOP in '08. With them, we might as well make Hillary president by acclamation.
Italo G. Savella, FernwoodPark, Rochester
REPUBLICANS HELD BACK
It is no wonder that Republicans lost the election this month. They refused to use the ammo they had at their disposal.
The economy was going great, and the war against terror was so successful that we haven't been attacked in five years. The Republicans should've gained seats in the House and Senate. Instead, they lost seats in both.
On top of this, Republicans refused to talk about scandals involving Democrats: Congressman Alan Mollohan of West Virginia involved in financial misdeeds; Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana with $90,000 in his freezer.
In fact, you could say Republicans tried to lose. The Justice Department was harder on Republicans than on Democrats. It investigated Republican Congressman Kurt Weldon's daughter torpedoing his re-election bid while going easy on Democrats.
Finally, Republicans referred to the liberal media's attacks, slurs, and leaks. The Times and Newsweek should've been indicted on sedition charges for leaking classified information. Had charges been brought against CBS for the crime of forging a government document, it would've been a shot across the bow, and some of this other stuff wouldn't have taken place. But CBS wasn't even investigated, let alone indicted.
Republicans shot themselves in the foot.
Sal Palermo, Rohr Street, Rochester
While I don't agree with all the "Best of Rochester" winners (November 8), that is what makes this an interesting issue each year. But I am concerned about your choices in the "Best Comments" section. Of all the comments you must have received, choosing "Is there one that isn't racist?" to characterize the local tattoo parlors was unfair and inappropriate.
I know artists at several shops in Rochester. I have never seen any of them act racist, and in fact most will flat-out refuse to tattoo any type of racist slogans or images.
Do a little research. You could hit half a dozen shops in a matter of an hour within a few square miles in downtown between Monroe, Park, Alexander, Humboldt, and Main Street.
Bob Shaff, Stony Brook Lane, Fairport
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