In her column "An Obama surge?" (Op-Ed, Wednesday) Grace Vuoto states that Republican efforts to curb illegal immigration, which, by the way, are supported by 70 percent to 80 percent of the American people, "will secure the allegiance of one part of their usual constituency while alienating some members of the business sector who would otherwise vote for the GOP." She also writes, "There will be many conservatives and Republicans who will vote for a Democrat as a means of giving their own leaders a black eye ... for the previous abandonment of conservative principles on key issues."
These assessments are far off the mark. If conservatives and Republicans have to choose between an exponential increase in the size of government under the Democrats and the need to protect national sovereignty, they will choose the reaffirmation of America's sovereignty and territorial integrity as expressed in anti-illegal-alien legislation. Furthermore, the conservatives meted out the black eye to the Republican Party for the abandonment of conservative principles by staying home in the 2006 election. That will not occur again in 2008.
Sen. Barack Obama has a milder and more engaging personality than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, but both support big government and high taxes, and both are borderline socialist. Any businessman or -woman who would pull the lever for either of them would be committing free-enterprise suicide. Incidentally, Americans of Hispanic descent don't want their jobs taken away by illegal aliens, regardless of their race, creed, color or national origin.
JOSEPH R. FARRELL
I read with interest Grace Vuoto's Wednesday Op-Ed column, "An Obama surge?"
Her bias against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is clear, and her premise that Mrs. Clinton cannot be elected and Sen. Barack Obama can is absurd. Even the statistics she cites prove her wrong. The Washington Times-Rasmussen poll, in which 40 percent of Americans stated that they would vote to prevent Mrs. Clinton from becoming president, leaves 60 percent who wouldn't vote that way. Getting the largest anti vote in both parties isn't bad when both Democrats and independents are overwhelmingly open to voting for her and so are 36 percent of Republicans, according to the poll.
Mrs. Clinton has the highest negatives of any candidate at this time. People like Ms. Vuoto drive up those negatives by misstating polls and Mrs. Clinton's positions. However, even with those high negatives, Mrs. Clinton has proved twice that she can win Republican upstate New York. From all the polling I have seen, it appears Mrs. Clinton is the one whom Republicans fear most, which, I assume, is why Ms. Vuoto is writing such drivel.
I believe conservatives are secretly rooting for Mr. Obama, but they won't vote for him. They just see him as the easiest candidate to beat. They see that Mr. Obama has never had a serious race and are just waiting to make mincemeat of him. I think the remarkable march to the White House that Ms. Vuoto will witness will be made by a woman.
With Mrs. Clinton's election, for the first time in our nation's history, we will be able to say to our daughters what we have only been able to say to our sons until now: "You can grow up to be anything you want, even president of the United States."
PETER D. ROSENSTEIN
In "Cost stalls West Bank wall" (Page 1, Dec. 19), Joshua Mitnick writes:
"For Palestinians, the barrier has placed yet another restriction on movement and eaten up thousands of acres of land. The United Nations' International Court of Justice declared the barrier a violation of international law in 2004."
This implies that the land "eaten up" was Arab property and that since a U.N. court so ruled, the security barrier actually is "a violation of international law." Both implications are wrong.
The United States, many European countries and Israel pointed out that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction. The Palestinian complaint, a matter of negotiation, was political, not legal. At most, the court's opinion was advisory, without the force of law.
As to "eaten up," Israel has stated repeatedly that the barrier is temporary, a counterterrorism measure, not a final border, pending a peaceful settlement with the Palestinian Arabs. Meanwhile, private owners have been offered financial compensation and continued access through numerous gates to property on the Israeli side.
Further, the legal status of the West Bank itself is disputed. The League of Nations Palestine Mandate, granted to Great Britain and later adopted by the United Nations, calls for "close," or densely populated, Jewish settlement on the land. Though "suspended" east of the Jordan River in the territory taken for creation of the state of Jordan, it remained applicable west of it and has not be superceded by law or treaty. U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) which, unlike the ICJ opinion, is authoritative calls for Israeli withdrawal from territories, not from all the territories. It recognizes that Jews as well as Arabs have claims in the disputed land, much of which is not private property but state lands, so classified not only by Israel but previously also by Jordan, the British and the Ottoman empire.
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
The holidays are supposed to be filled with joyous, peaceful frivolity. Someone should tell the entertainment industry we don't need movies like "There Will Be Blood" ("The last-minute shopper's guide to entertainment gifts," Show, Dec. 21), "Sweeney Todd," "Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem," "The Orphanage" and other blood-and-guts films that feature assorted forms of mayhem, including decapitation. What's worse, these films are being promoted as holiday family fare. It begs the question: What is going on in La-La Land, whose moguls can't distinguish between good and evil?
It's not the economy, stupid
During the summer, the public outcry against amnesty for millions of illegal aliens stopped President Bush's comprehensive immigration reform bill dead in its tracks. While Democrats equivocated, the message from Republican voters could not have been clearer: Any political party that would facilitate by fiat such a radical transformation of American culture is not a fit vehicle for conservative values.
During the summer, Republican politicians were read the riot act. However, Tony Blankley's Wednesday Op-Ed column, "Where is the conservative coalition?" analyzes the current state of Republican party politics as if the summer outcry never happened.
En route to his conclusion that Republicans should make the economy their main issue in the 2008 presidential election campaign, Mr. Blankley observed the following in passing: "As the white percentage of the country moves from 75 percent of the country in 2000 towards 50 percent by 2050, there won't be enough white people to make the 1980s-era Reagan coalition a majority."
Unlike Mr. Blankley, most conservative voters see the future demographic makeup of their country as an open question of political will, not a foregone conclusion. For them, border security means something.
By presupposing the inevitability of a thoroughly Hispanicized America, Mr. Blankley and most of the reigning elites of both major political parties are preparing the soil for any demagogue who will address without disparagement the primordial fears of English-speaking Americans.
Patriotic Americans hold some things more dear than the economy.
GREGORY L. LEWIS