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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 9, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Krauthammer: Has the president fallen to Earth?

Gloating at president’s struggles, offering no solutions

Editor, The Times:

Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column [“The president who fell to Earth,” Opinion, Sept. 5] shows the attitude of the far right.

The emptiness they feel at not having a Republican president or a majority in Congress must be intolerable. Krauthammer and company attack President Obama and Democrats for what they are doing, or not doing, without a glimmer of an idea from any of the far right about how to fix a broken America — other than to let business handle it.

They lie and innuendo about bills proposed while they only read sound bites the way news anchors on TV entice you to watch the news even after commercial breaks. They seem to delight in Obama’s supposed loss of popularity, while they do nothing to fix the problems. Conservatives also forget the problems that we have now occurred on their watch.

Come up with better ideas before you criticize. America needs your help, not rancor. Do something constructive.

— Gary S. Silverstein, Olympia

Obama’s empty promises, not right propaganda, hurt him in the polls

In response to Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column, President Obama’s poll numbers are dropping not because of a liberal doctrine but due to a lack of one.

It’s the left of center that is in the majority in this country, and they are the ones who put Obama in office under the delusion that he was going to be any different from his centrist rhetoric.

Bogged down in two unpopular war occupations, reluctant to pursue illegal and unconstitutional behavior by the previous administration, refusing to even look at a single-payer health-care system and failing so far to address campaign promises such as rewriting trade laws that have exported American jobs and exploited the world’s poor for private profits are the reasons Obama’s poll numbers are down.

It’s not because of any so-called liberal agenda, despite the propaganda from the ridiculous right.

— Chris Anderson, Seattle

There’s nothing grass roots about Obama’s opposition

Charles Krauthammer can hardly contain his glee at President Obama’s failing efforts toward reforming our health-care system.

Krauthammer ascribes opposition to Obama’s policies to what he calls a “real grass-roots movement,” but most Americans will readily recognize Obama is up against powerful and entrenched special-interest groups.

Public opinion has little to do with what happens in Washington, D.C. these days. This is especially evident when one considers Krauthammer’s reference to the U.S. being a center-right country.

This needs to be examined more closely. A Pew poll from late June asked Americans if they would increase or decrease spending in various areas of the federal budget.

Overwhelming majorities favored increasing federal spending on health care, Medicare, education, environmental protection and government assistance to the unemployed.

Krauthammer can crow all he wants about this being a center-right country, but it simply isn’t true. What is true is that the forces in control of our country are very much to the right of U.S. public opinion because of the dominant role money plays in our political system. In this light, it is particularly ironic that Krauthammer refers derisively to the “established lobbyist special-interest order of Washington.”

Just who does he think these groups are, if not the powerful health-insurance interests who have organized so effectively against real change?

Krauthammer and his center-right colleagues may be quite pleased they have been able to maintain the status quo. But in the years ahead, as the American people continue to pay outrageous medical bills and have few options, they will look back upon this period as a lost opportunity and a tragedy.

— Blake Wood, Seattle

Republicans let their jealousy show through

I never get tired of Republicans who are so jealous of President Obama they will do and say anything to bring him down (to earth, or better still, beneath it.) Looming larger than the jealousy, of course, is the real fear he might put his dreams into practice.

The 2008 election showed the majority of voters want a new vision for America, one that threatens those who have amassed great wealth under the previous regime. Even though they’re in the minority, they have lots of money and mouthpieces like Charles Krauthammer to muddy the waters.

Just a reminder: A lot of people aren’t interested in doing the right thing. Don’t be fooled by this claptrap. And, speaking of Napoleon, can you imagine if we had elected John McCain?

— Michael Johns, Seattle

Obama faces massive task while Republicans are bankrupt in policy

Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column likened the current presidency to a carnival with its barker. But the real shell games and cheap tricks preceded 2009.

Enron and Bernie Madoff cashed in, more enabled than challenged, as general living standards declined. Our Constitution and standing among other nations was trashed. Ignorance, belligerence and worship of the market mantra created a stable that needs thorough cleansing.

It’s a massive task, which partly, not wholly, explains the Obama administration’s spotty performance as it mounts a trial-and-error, not-doctrinaire, recovery.

This residue of the past should not deflect the 2008 electorate’s move past the centrism Republicans at large, Krauthammer and those beyond him on the media’s right fringe seek, for now, as a default position. Bankrupt in policy, they need something, anything, to halt progressives and swing the pendulum back their way in 2010 and beyond.

Their rhetoric and tactics demonstrate desperation, like just saying “No!” They play on deep fears in our politics and culture, provoke our worst instincts and dishonor our republican vision and democratic practice.

Krauthammer’s column merits contempt and a deep, not decent, burial.

— Milton Krieger, Bellingham

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, Federal government, Health care, Media, Politics, Republicans

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