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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 15, 2009 at 4:00 PM

E.J. Dionne Jr. on electability

Both parties ignore most qualified candidates

In the May 14 Opinion section, E.J. Dionne Jr. wrote a noncontroversial, informative article [“The GOP’s ‘Obama hugger'”], and yet there is a hidden and likely unintentional shot at the poor state of American politics.

The article was largely about how the Republican and Democratic national committees choose their candidates. The debate comes down to a choice between the ones who toe the party line or ones who are the most electable. What happened to the most qualified? It’s never mentioned anymore.

George W. Bush is the poster boy for “electable.” John Kerry and Al Gore stuck with the party line. The most qualified candidates were likely ignored by the committees.

In a subtle way, choosing between party line and electability assumes that the candidates, once elected, will vote according to the party’s wishes and not with their own brains. We are electing puppets who are controlled by money and some behind-the-scenes Big Brother.

Is it any wonder that we are seeing both Republicans and Democrats vote as a bloc? Is it any wonder that most of us, who are in the middle, feel left out?

Our current president will do well to concentrate on what the middle cares about — economy, security, energy. Meanwhile, the puppetmasters are trying to steer us into thinking that our issues are guns, abortions and lapel pins.

— Michael Kovacs, Sammamish

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