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Republican Congress is out of touch with...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Republican Congress is out of touch with the public's concerns

I agree with Jack Germond and Jules Witcover: The Republican-led Congress is out of touch with the American people ("Now GOP may be party that's out of touch with nation" Opinion Commentary, Sept. 20).

Since forcing the country down the road to impeachment, the Republican majority has demonstrated its inability to legislate. The intent of this Congress is do nothing, and get re-elected.

Although most Americans support some kind of health care reform with provider liability, gun control and campaign finance reform, the Republican Congress has ignored them and voted to protect their contributors.

Their re-election depends on keeping big contributors happy.

Republicans went from impeachment mode directly to election mode.

The Reaganesque tax cut Congress passed was a cynical election strategy. To the credit of the American people, they did not support it.

The various congressional investigations of the Clinton administration are actually taxpayer-funded opposition research for the Republican Party. The GOP hopes to exploit Clinton fatigue and find some misbehavior to link to Vice President Al Gore.

Even the Republican governors have recognized that Congress is out of touch -- and have sought to unify the GOP behind Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

Their apparent strategy is to put a less conservative face on the top of the ticket and hope we forget about the crazy uncles locked in the basement -- such as Reps. Tom DeLay, Bob Barr and Dick Armey.

Richard L. Ottenheimer

Baltimore

Gore's accomplishments make him the better choice

Al Gore and Bill Bradley's voting records may be similar, but they show enormous differences in their commitment and energy and their foreign policy and leadership experience ("Gore and Bradley: a puzzling choice," Sept. 24).

Mr. Bradley is casual. He is almost as evasive as Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

In contrast, Mr. Gore is direct and, when there is a problem, rolls up his sleeves and produces results.

From getting computers into public schools to coaxing the Ukraine into surrendering its nuclear weapons, it is Mr. Gore who has quietly and tenaciously made things happen.

In addition, Mr. Gore presents a unique problem for Mr. Bush. The central theme of the Republican party is "smaller government and lower taxes."

But while Republicans complain about big government, it is Mr. Gore who has tackled the problem and deserves the credit for making the U.S. government smaller than it has been since the administration of John F. Kennedy.

Jackie Harrison

Middletown

We can't get enough of Clinton's misbehavior

Like Carleton Brown, I was surprised to see another commentary in The Sun bashing the Clinton administration ("Time for Clinton-bashers to give the president some credit," letters, Sept. 28).

But I, for one, feel that we have not heard enough about the scandal-plagued Clinton administration.

Too often I hear from Clinton supporters, "We know he is morally corrupt, but let's get on with running the country."

Then they point with glee to the booming economy and say, "See what he's done for us" -- as if Mr. Clinton had waved some magical wand and created jobs and prosperity, instead of being in the right place at the right time.

It's a shame that such a great country has fallen into the hands of such an inept leader. We should all pray the year passes quickly, without further scandal.

I do agree with Mr. Brown that we should not "continue to try to destroy" the president. It is clear that he is quite capable of handling that all by himself.

Tim Alcott

Baltimore

Linda Tripp invaded her own privacy

Let me get this straight, Linda Tripp is suing the White House and the Defense Department for violating her privacy ("Tripp sues administration officials," Sept. 28). This is almost comical.

Wasn't it Ms. Tripp who secretly tape recorded her supposed friend Monica Lewinsky and turned those tapes over to the independent counsel?

She has divulged private personal conversations to the world -- and now she is upset about personal attacks on her.

I guess you reap what you sow.

Ed Hershon

Reisterstown

Linda Tripp is complaining about the invasion of her privacy?

Now that's the pot calling the kettle black, isn't it?

Thaddeus Paulhamus

Baltimore

Giuliani right to attack Brooklyn Museum's exhibit

The furor over the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and its director Arnold Lehman, sponsoring an exhibit including artist Chris Ofili's painting of the Virgin Mary spattered with elephant dung highlights the social chasm between America's cultural elite and its citizenry.

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's condemnation of the museum is to be commended. The various museum directors' amoral cries of "freedom of speech" are to be condemned.

The director of Baltimore's own Walters Art Gallery, Gary Vikan, pontificates, "I applaud Lehman. I really do. He has done something courageous . . . he believes strongly that museums are an arena for the discussion of ideas" ("N.Y. mayor demands exhibit be canceled," Sept. 24).

If Mr. Vikan and other museum directors believe that feces splattered over Jesus' mother promotes discourse, perhaps they should go back to school and refine their definitions of cerebral exchange.

Public funding should absolutely be withheld from people so oblivious to common decency and basic good taste.

Thomas M. Neale

Baltimore

I wonder when we will learn to "cut through the crap" and see what moves an "artist" who offends what people hold sacred by using dung as an art medium.

I applaud Mayor Giuliani, and I hope those artists and museum directors who support such garbage will get into therapy to resolve their problems.

Mary C. Gioia

Baltimore

Catholics tired of seeing their icons desecrated

I applaud Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's effort to halt the Brooklyn Museum of Art's exhibition that includes a dung-decorated portrait of the Virgin Mary.

Catholics are tired of the degradation of their religious icons.

Let's replace the Virgin Mary with a dung-decorated portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. or of a Holocaust survivor.

It would be interesting to see how the African-American and Jewish communities would react to such "self-expression."

Joseph A. Giordano

Finksburg

Subsidizing obscenity creates a sick society

First lady Hillary Clinton has flown to the defense of using tax money to help finance obscene art exhibits ("First lady, mayor of N.Y. clash over coming art exhibit," Sept. 28).

This kind of mindset is dehumanizing our society and destroying our public morality. When we subsidize obscenity with tax dollars, we become a sick society.

Let's not follow Mrs. Clinton down that path.

Howard A. Roland

Catonsville

To our readers

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