Columnist Leonard Pitts recently applauded Rep. Maxine Waters for her comment about where the tea party should go ("Sometimes, you just have to stand up to a bully," Aug. 28). He admitted that her remark had been intemperate, and I believe Ms. Waters has also. But Mr. Pitts hardly introduces a double standard by seconding her opinion.

The tea party, and by extension, the entire Republican party with which it is almost unanimously affiliated, has made no secret of its aim to cripple and foreshorten the administration of our current president. The GOP's efforts to this end have led to bruising battles in Congress, with no substantive legislation passed that has been palatable to the American people and little progress toward the common good. This has been a systematic obstructionism leveled against the person and the office with neither dissembling nor apology.

Republicans, spearheaded by tea party loyalists, have done far more damage to the people of America, the Democratic party, and the president than merely telling us all to "go to hell." By comparison, as Mr. Pitts ably pointed out, Ms. Waters' comment was, at best, a weak and ineffectual scold on a group that has valued politics above the common good.

Thad Paulhamus, Baltimore