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GOP moderates: An extinct species

As an ardent supporter of former Republican Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr., it saddens me to observe what has happened to his Grand Old Party.

It has made a grand terrible bargain with the devil. The equation is easy to see. They don't want to raise taxes on people earning over $1 million a year, which they say is critically important for the average American.

To achieve this goal, they say, we must accept some things we may not like from a vocal minority of the party: Limiting women's access to contraception; limiting women's ability to make decisions regarding their health; and limiting men and women's right to marry whomever they wish.

We must accept Congress attempting to interfere with a husband's gut-wrenching decision on whether to pull the plug on his brain-dead wife (Terry Sciavo), and a leading presidential candidate who, without protest from the other contenders, criticizesJohn F. Kennedy's courageous stance on the separation of church and state.

For the record, Mr. Kennedy said: "if I were to accept the word of any prelate over the law of the land after swearing on the Bible in my oath of office, I would be committing a sin against God."

These are just a few examples of the deal the GOP leadership has made with a devil that might as well be called the American Taliban.

What a sad and dangerous bargain the GOP has made. If it had been like this in 1968, when Mr. Mathias first came to the Senate, he would not have been able to accomplish any of the great things he did there. I am just glad he is not here to witness this.

Mel Mintz, Pikesville

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