- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 12, 2006

Lieberman and the Democrats

It is, indeed, a sad day for the Democratic Party when the most honorable man in that party, Sen. Joe Lieberman, is cast aside for some new-version “cut-and-run” left-winger (“Local, national Democrats line up behind Lamont,” Page 1, Thursday). Like Winston Churchill after World War II and President Bush after the Gulf War victory, a few people have cast aside probably the most qualified men ever to hold those offices in favor of know-nothings.

Mr. Lieberman is a man who examines each issue and chooses a path that is right for his constituents. He does not hate the other party or differing opinions just because he does not agree totally with them. Unfortunately, the national Democratic Party has become resoundingly negative. Would Democratic senators really be more at home in the Senate of Cassius and Brutus, where a blade in the back was preferable to an open discussion?

I sincerely hope that Mr. Lieberman will run as an independent and continue to speak for moderation rather than radical left-wing ideologies.

WILSON FARIS

Gaithersburg

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Sen. Joe Lieberman’s Democratic primary loss to Ned Lamont was the best thing that could have happened to Joe and America. His defeat redefined the Democratic Party as the party of weakness and cut and run and released a man of honesty and integrity to be a louder voice of reason in a sea of senatorial discord.

I believe he will easily win the upcoming election.

Mr. Lieberman is one of the few Democrats who has had the chutzpah to follow his convictions and not be cowed by the leadership of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and company as they march in lockstep to the extremist antiwar and other “groups” they represent without question.

Mr. Lieberman has stated that he will align himself with the Democratic Party, but if they don’t respect and listen to his newly emancipated voice, it is more than likely that he will vote for America rather than the Democratic Party line, especially after being almost totally abandoned by his Democratic leadership friends with whom he has served for 18 years.

CHRISTOPHER S. MOODY

Gaithersburg

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In 2000, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman almost became the 46th vice president of the United States. It would have been unthinkable at that time to consider that six years later, he would be facing defeat in a primary election bid to be re-elected to the Senate, yet that it what has occurred.

Connecticut businessman Ted Lamont came out of nowhere to snatch victory from Lieberman on the strength of one issue only: our calamitous war in Iraq, for which the misguided Mr. Lieberman has consistently been a cheerleader.

While Mr. Lieberman pleaded with the electorate to consider that he has been with them and against President Bush on most other issues, the importance of the Iraq war understandably took precedence, the electorate indicating that it could not overlook Mr. Lieberman’s huge miscue on the matter.

The Lieberman defeat should send shock waves and alarm bells through both parties. It indicates the extraordinary level of disgust of the American people that we continue in a conflict which was initiated under false pretenses. The administration’s explanations for going into Iraq have shifted and are not clear. The mission was ill-planned, and that we are now bogged down in a morass from which there is no graceful exit in sight any time soon. Our presence there precludes the possibility of any American military involvement elsewhere, something of which our enemies are all too aware.

Even if he is able to pull out a November victory as an independent candidate, Mr. Lieberman and pro-Iraqi war activists of both parties have suffered a stern rebuke. Others who seek elective office ignore this at their own peril.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

The age of mediagarchy

I completely agree with Daniel Halper’s assessment of bloggers (“Kudos to bloggers,” Letters, Friday). They deserve credit for speaking truth to power, as it were. The media today believes it is the fourth — and most important — branch of government. It also seems to think that its pronouncements ought to be made law, no matter how ignorant and ludicrous. Call it what it is: mediagarchy.

There is an arrogance among reporters that is amazing, but it cannot hold. I would go so far as to say there is “unsustainable development” in their egos. With all the hot air and carbon dioxide these goofballs emit, surely they contribute more to global warming than a million sport utility vehicles.

Bloggers have the ability to keep the insufferable traditional news types in check. Otherwise, why would they be hated so desperately? The proof of what I say is this: Many in the media claims to support “undocumented workers.” On the other hand, they hate bloggers, who by the fact that they do not have “accredited journalism degrees” are undocumented workers.

Bloggers, keep fighting the power. We need you.

TIM DUDENHOEFER

Silver Spring

Pedestrians need sidewalks

The editorial “Tysons tunnel a third rail” (Tuesday) certainly got this right. Spending another $500M on a tunnel (Do you really think it will only be $500M?) is ludicrous. The excuse offered is that it would make Tysons more pedestrian-friendly.

Anyone who grew up in a real city in the middle of the last century would have a concept of “pedestrian-friendly,” which markedly differs from today’s standards. Pedestrian-friendly used to mean the presence of sidewalks along city streets. In fact, the city planners a century ago actually had the sense to separate the sidewalks from the street with a dividing strip containing trees. The trees provided a safety barrier for the pedestrians, and eventually produced an aesthetic cathedral-like canopy, giving shade to those same pedestrians during the hot summer. And believe it or not, the electric buses with the ugly overhead power lines, or the street cars ran right down the middle of that same street.

This menagerie of sidewalks and transportation, laid out in a grid, not only produced a pedestrian-friendly landscape, but apparently provided the densities necessary for a lot of businesses.

Do you think the tourists waiting in line to ride the streetcar down St Charles Street in New Orleans or the cable cars in San Francisco would prefer being underground?

So, what was the cost of the pedestrian-friendly inner city of old? It was a fraction of what is being proposed for Tysons Corner. The only way you could justify a tunnel, which would probably become the southern version of the Boston “Big Dig,” is because the commercial density was so great you would actually have to start removing existing buildings to make way for the train.

Manhattan would qualify, but Tysons certainly does not. Just put in some sidewalks already.

SAMUEL BURKEEN

Reston, VA 20194

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