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Why should McCain vouch for Obama?

Even ignoring Frank Schaeffer's point about whether Sen. John McCain's attacks against Sen. Barack Obama are deliberately increasing the risk of violence (and simply accusing someone is not evidence enough to establish that claim), I found it quite interesting that the ultimatum he gave to Mr. McCain was to "declare that Senator Obama a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters," or Mr. McCain would be held responsible for the consequences ("McCain's attacks fuel dangerous hatred," Commentary, Oct. 10).

I can understand the "denounce" part. But why must Mr. McCain declare Mr. Obama a patriot and, even more, "fit for office"?

Last I checked, just about the same number of people who feel Mr. Obama is fit for office (and will vote for him) feel that he is not fit for office (and will vote for Mr. McCain). Why should Mr. McCain tell people otherwise?

Or is this simply a sneaky ploy to force Mr. McCain into an untenable situation?

Jim Jagielski, Forest Hill

Obama's associations relevant to voters

There is a difference between making the truth known and inciting a crowd to violence. I disagree with Frank Schaeffer's claim that John McCain is "instigating violence" and creating "lynch mobs" during his speeches ("McCain's attacks fuel dangerous hatred," Commentary, Oct. 10).

Americans have a right to know about the past activities of a presidential candidate.

If he associated with a former terrorist, if he sat in church listening to anti-American rhetoric from its pastor, if he rubs shoulders with the criminal element, voters must be informed.

The mainstream media don't tell the whole story.

If they do, why did I hear about ACORN - a group that uses shady methods to recruit new voters and is supported by Sen. Barack Obama - from a rival newspaper?

Mary F. Kollner, Baltimore

Hateful GOP rhetoric looks like bad omen

Thank you for Frank Schaeffer's column "McCain's attacks fuel dangerous hatred" (Commentary, Oct. 10).

Coming from a Republican, the warning to Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to stop their hate-mongering attacks on Sen. Barack Obama is more powerful than if it came from outraged Democrats.

I once respected Mr. McCain. But word about his legendary outbursts of temper made me uneasy. And his impulsive and cynical choice of Mrs. Palin for vice president is even more alarming and suggests that he does not care about the nation's fate if something happens to him.

Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin's ugly attacks on Mr. Obama are indeed dangerous, and a bad omen for what would happen should Mr. McCain become president.

Elke Straub, Baltimore

The writer has worked as a volunteer for Sen. Barack Obama's campaign.

Wedding only adds to the family circle

Susan Reimer's column "Caught up in the wedding mill, thank God" (Oct. 6) left me bewildered.

I never felt a moment of sadness when my son married. I never felt he was stepping "outside the magic circle of family." To me, he was bringing a lovely young woman and her wonderful family into the circle.

I have experienced the grief of burying a loved one, and also looked for comfort in the accompanying rituals.

However, I feel truly blessed that I cannot comprehend Ms. Reimer's comparison of a funeral to a wedding, and an engagement as a long goodbye.

Margaret Mays, Reisterstown

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