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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 12, 2009 at 4:00 PM

National politics

Slow cook bipartisanship, don’t zap it

Here’s a novel concept: Trust takes time and bipartisanship grows from a seed.

In our microwave, get-it-done-in-less-than-a-minute society, of course the media would assume bipartisanship failed [“Bye-bye for now, bipartisanship,” News, Feb. 10]. After all, President Obama made major overtures to Republican legislators and only three senators out of all the Republicans in Congress voted for the economic-stimulus bill.

Spurred by ill wishes and jeers from right-wing commentators, the mainstream media declared bipartisanship DOA.

However, Obama understands that relationships and trust take time. It is incredibly refreshing that our president lived up to his commitment to listen unconditionally and then included feedback from all parties in the stimulus package — no strings attached.

He is proving that he is the president of the United States, not just those who voted for him.

May Obama’s overtures, openness and good-faith efforts be the dirt, water and sunlight to help nurture a new era of bipartisanship in which Republicans and Democrats alike proudly work together to hash out bold and effective solutions to the opportunities and challenges we face as a nation and world. May he reverse the toxic strategies of former Speaker of the House Newton Gingrich and former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove.

It’s all hands, regardless of label, on deck.

— Suzan LeVine, Queen Anne

Misdirected questions

During the [recent] press Q&A with President Obama, one reporter asked if he would let the press take pictures of our fallen hero’s flag-draped coffins returning home. He said it was under review.

Now I hear on the news that two senators have asked the same.

How about asking the military families if they want the press to use their fallen heroes for ratings? Yes, I know how The Times feels. I bet you didn’t ask the families if they wanted those pictures printed.

— Robert Travaille, Prosser

Entrenched, isolated and sour

Charles Krauthammer’s Sunday column, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” [Feb. 8], demonstrates a risk of predictability.

I find myself no longer finishing his columns for insight on conservative views. His pattern of trying to show us how misplaced our faith is gives his work a feeling of being entrenched, isolated and sour.

In the spirit of exploring fresh ideas and bringing to light undiscovered solutions, I challenge Krauthammer to get out of his office and private-club circles to chat with

people at the grocery store, library, park and bank. He will find that many are hopeful and thrilled with President Obama’s actions and words since he took office.

Krauthammer, you have the smarts to introduce solutions into the global conversations of our times.

— Susan Lamont, Redmond

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