- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 24, 2008

Republican debacle

Your May 22 Editorial, “Republicans in disarray” pretty much describes the problem with today’s Republican Party. When a person such as former Virginia Gov. James Gilmore, who is running for the Senate as a Republican, cannot explain to you his vision for running for the Senate, “he was unable to clarify how Republicans could achieve both clarity and unity,” this speaks volumes of the ineptitude of the current crop of Republican candidates running for office. This reinforces the three defeats suffered by Republican candidates in previously safe Republican seats in Illinois, Mississippi and Louisiana that the party held for decades.

The same day’s Op-Ed, “Republicans unveil energy agenda,” by Rep. John Boehner, Ohio Republican and House minority leader, is also very illustrative of the malaise of the party already in office. While Mr. Boehner points out several of the actions needed to pursue energy independence, he does so without much enthusiasm, clarity or fire in his belly. When I read the article, it gave me the impression he wrote it as an afterthought or because someone made him write it. It lacked grit.

We should drill for oil everywhere in American soil and waters where oil is to be found, starting in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. We should rightfully blame the Democrats for high oil prices and initiate a very vigorous campaign to do so. We need abundant supply to meet the growing demand to keep prices down. We should point out (with vigor) to the American public the idiocy of blaming the oil companies for high prices and high profits. Economics 101 tell us they are making good profits because they sell a product in high demand.

Next, we will need to build nuclear plants all over the United States as part of a new “Manhattan Project” to help us achieve energy independence. Alternative sources may sound very nice and green, but they will never replace more than a portion of the oil that we now use. Clean nuclear energy can.

Rush Limbaugh in his radio program recently said he was astounded at the ignorance of our elected officials, both Democrat and Republicans, who seem not to know even 10 percent of what he does — and Rush is not even a college graduate, he noted. The man is correct. The mediocrity and mendacity of our elected officials is a national shame. Where is “none of the above” when we need it?

ARNALDO VAQUER

Arlington

Who can, who cannot?

According to Barack Obama and his supporters, we can’t talk about his big ears, can’t talk about his wife, can’t talk about his mother, can’t talk about his father, can’t talk about his grandmother, can’t mention his middle name, can’t talk about his voting record, can’t talk about his religion, can’t talk about appeasement, can’t talk about color, can’t talk about race, can’t talk about his schooling, can’t talk about his lack of experience, can’t talk about his income, can’t talk about his flag pin, can’t talk about the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., can’t talk about Tony Rezko and can’t talk about William Ayers (“Rumor mill keeps Obama on defense,” Page 1, May 14).

Has Mr. Obama heard of the First Amendment?

MARGARET WEBER

Hauppauge, N.Y.

Coattails require a ‘war machine’

Recent editions of The Washington Times carry Op-Eds and commentaries that sound like a funereal wake for the Grand Old Party (“Self-inflicted wounds,” Op-Ed, Monday).

Writer Ben Domenech recommends that “Republicans must be unafraid to clean house and rid themselves of [their] corrupt membership” in the House.

Recommendations to address critical national issues and to clean house — and clean the House — are for the good of the party and its candidates. But one must add the critical political backdrops.

Voter behavior and current political affairs have provided the opposing party a major benefit. The extended boxing match between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton amounts to an around-the-clock, day-in, day-out, week-after-week propaganda exposure from every media outlet.

This is a popularity contest giving Mr. Obama rock-star headlines. “Obamania” gives the senator a fine set of coattails. These coattails are likely to embrace a wide variety of voters, especially the groups of weak and wobbly participants on the sidelines.

Regardless of Republican needs and the need for “House cleaning,” Mr. Obama’s coattails surely contributed to the defeat of Republican stalwarts. An effective Democratic propaganda machine, helped along by the media, indeed exists. It is time to roll out a Republican war machine of sizeable caliber.

CLARENCE L. TIPTON

Alexandria

Eucharist unprotected

In his May 14 letter, “Eucharist protected?” Steven Grist spoke of well-known Catholic pro-abortion public figures receiving the Eucharist in spite of widely publicized Church guidance forbidding it. Receiving Holy Communion for such Catholics is in direct violation of Church teaching and results in the commission of two mortal sins, sacrilege and scandal. The precepts of the Church are clear in this matter. However, the bishops are sharply divided. Some enforce; others do not.

The well-known, ongoing schism in the American Episcopal Church may be a precursor of things to come in the U.S. Catholic Church. Catholics believe the Eucharist is the real, divine body and blood of Jesus Christ. As such, it must be honored, revered, adored and protected. Those Catholics who publicly and repeatedly violate the Eucharist by receiving Communion unworthily can hardly be called believing or practicing Catholics. For this reason, schism may soon become very visible in the Catholic Church in a measure comparable to that affecting the Episcopalian community.

The Eucharist is fundamental, even the essence of the Church. It is inexplicable that the majority of prelates in the United States, in spite of Church teaching, do not support withholding Communion from notorious supporters of abortion. This action would seem to support the observation that these bishops no longer believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Because there are a substantial number of bishops who stand firmly in support of Church teaching regarding the protection of the Eucharist, the divergent positions point to a serious rupture of ecclesiastical union and unity, i.e., schism.

To those who are not members of the Catholic Church, this may seem a minor issue. It is not. It is a grave split and could lead to serious dissension within and shattering of the Catholic Church in the United States.

RICHARD F. KOTT

Fort Washington