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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 7, 2008 at 4:45 PM

Presidential politics

Women don’t want your puppet

I may not own a pit bull or many tubes of lipstick, but I am a soccer mom who has had years of experience in my community. I have earned my stripes as a women’s activist by attending hours of meetings, marching and making many phone calls for 40-plus years. I have counseled and assisted women in getting abortions before and after Roe vs Wade. I have researched and worked for Native American women’s right to quality health care and I have lobbied for equal pay.

I should be pleased to see a woman running (for the second time) as the vice-presidential candidate, but I am not.

Why?

Because the only option afforded me is Gov. Sarah Palin. She is not capable or qualified to lead on the issues that directly affect women’s lives: maintaining a woman’s right to control her own health care, improving employment and education opportunities or lobbying for equal pay.

I see this nomination as a slap in the face to all those women from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Hillary Rodham Clinton who have given their time to promote women’s rights.

Sarah Palin thinks she doesn’t need to answer basic questions when interviewed. She should be proud enough to say she won’t cooperate with a preapproved agenda. She wants to continue circumventing the constitution by maintaining Vice President Dick Cheney’s trajectory of the VP position as a fourth branch of government and she continues to ignore the facts, all the while delivering glib comments with charisma and smiling zingers directly into the camera.

We need much more than a quick study and hockey mom to restore our moral and political image on the world stage. Is the Republican Party afraid of having an intellectual woman who might speak her mind?

McCain needed and got himself a media darling to counter the so-called “star power” of Obama. Palin is supposed to appease women, thereby deflecting any real debate. Women have been handed a puppet and not a real leader.

— Kris Melroe, Seattle

What about the Keating Five?

Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin are trying to draw links between Sen. Barack Obama and former radical William Ayers, a man he does not appear to have been close to, nor whose views and actions has he ever expressed sympathy for [“Trailing Obama, McCain hopes to gain in debate,” news, Oct. 7].

Since we’re looking into the candidates’ pasts for associates of influence, perhaps a more relevant example would be McCain’s friendship with Charles Keating Jr. Keating stole billions from Lincoln Savings and Loan Association in the 1980s and helped precipitate the savings and loan crisis that has been much referenced recently.

What needs to be remembered is that McCain received more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from Keating and interfered with regulators on Keating’s behalf, delaying the closing down of Lincoln Savings for two years and exacerbating the final cost to the tax payers by billions.

For his role as one of the Keating Five, McCain was reprimanded by the Senate ethics committee “for exercising poor judgment in intervening with regulators.”

Given the current economic crisis and McCain’s long history of deregulation, this is an association that really needs to be examined.

— Richard Yonck, Seattle

Secrets don’t make friends

Why did Sen. Barack Obama claim multiple times that he had no real relation with Bill Ayers when the two have served together on boards?

Ayers launched Obama’s political career. This isn’t normally done by someone who is just your neighbor.

Why is the Obama/Biden campaign hiding who their small donors are?

Over half of Obama’s campaign donations are from people giving under $200.

They aren’t required by law to disclose who gave the money, but every other campaign has revealed who they were getting money from. Why the secrecy? Will we find out years from now that many of these donations were fraudulent?

— Janet Suppes, Bellevue

We don’t want a prom queen

I read the story “So, how’d she do? Depends on the party” by Bob Young [news, Oct. 3] with interest.

As a teenage female voter, I was shocked that women are reacting positively to Gov. Sarah Palin.

In this story, one woman said, “You go girl!” and another commented, “You got the feeling she was an open person you could talk to.”

What about substance and responsible leadership? American women need to realize that a woman who frequently winks into the camera, flirts with viewers and uses her looks to make up for lack of knowledge and experience, is lowering women to sexy, spunky prom queens.

Instead of a plan for reducing the taxes of Middle America, for alternative energy and protecting America from terrorists, Palin drew on dumb tactics.

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton of the 19th-century Women’s Rights Movement would be repulsed by Palin’s version of women’s progress. Let’s wait for a woman who can be knowledgeable and truly capable of political leadership.

Think carefully before electing a prom queen!

–Janie Bube, Seattle

Divided we fail

Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have decided to try and win this election by further dividing an already deeply divided country.

Sen. Barack Obama has run his campaign on the idea of finding common ground.

The parties don’t agree on abortion, but let’s bring down the rate of unwanted pregnancies. People in gang-ridden parts of the country have different views on guns than people in rural communities, but let’s at least agree to keep AK-47s out of the hands of gang members. He knows America is deeply divided and that a leader must be willing to bring people together.

If we have a president who is too far to the right, or too far to the left, half the country is always going to be outraged, and that doesn’t solve a thing. Maybe Obama has a “liberal record” but that, as he pointed out at the first debate, comes from having to react to the extreme policies of President Bush. I truly believe he stands somewhere more in the middle.

McCain and Palin are using people’s fear of the unknown (fueled by rampant Internet rumors) to divide us: “Don’t trust this man who wants to teach your 5-year-olds about sex and will stop at nothing to tarnish the lily-white reputation of this hockey mom you can all relate to. Also, he’s probably a terrorist; just look at his middle name!” It comes down to fear, but it also comes down to trust.

I trust Obama to continue to try and find the common ground and common good we need to bring this country together. I fear that if McCain is elected, the polarizing attacks he used during the campaign will continue and divide this country beyond repair.

Divided we fail.

— Mairin Reed, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

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