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I have long been concerned by the bitter partisanship displayed by so many members of Congress, senators and representatives alike. It seems that members often place party loyalty and the political "agenda" above all other considerations, even to the point of prevarication and calumny directed against the political opposition. In the process, Congress has lost the respect of the American people. This is not a Democratic Party problem or a Republican Party problem, it is a problem for all of us.

I was particularly distressed to view Sen. Harry Reid's interview on television the other day. The senator was asked about the unsubstantiated charge that he made during the last presidential campaign regarding Gov. Mitt Romney's alleged tax evasion. Instead of admitting his error and apologizing for the damage done, Senator Reid took obvious delight in the fact that his blatant lie had helped defeat the Republican candidate. When political commentators were later asked about Mr. Reid's comments, those who supported the senator took refuge in the old adage that "everybody does it" or "all's fair in love, politics and war." Unhappily, this was just the latest instance of Senator Reid's extreme partisanship and frequent disregard for the truth. At the same time that this was happening, President Barack Obama was praising Mr. Reid as one of our greatest senators. What a sad comment on American politics today. No wonder so many citizens have lost faith in our government.

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I realize that Senator Reid has announced his intention not to run for office in 2016 and I am very pleased with his decision. Nevertheless, the senator has a year and a half left to serve and he can continue to impede bipartisan legislative efforts during that time. I urge Senator Reid's Democratic colleagues to reject his leadership and elect a new Senate minority leader now. That would do much to restore confidence in Congress and respect for the Democratic Party.

Edwin S. Jordan, Ellicott City

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