- The Washington Times - Friday, October 13, 2006

The FDR example

Though I can agree with Bruce Bartlett’s opinion about the Republicans in Congress (“Bush agonistes,” Commentary, Wednesday) and some of the domestic-policy antics exercised by President Bush, there is an overriding consideration we must take at this time, for this coming election, and that is the prosecution of the war on terror.

Though Mr. Bush may be expanding government in the manner of Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, we must not treat him as the nation treated LBJ, but as we did FDR.

FDR was expanding the role of the federal government in American society when we entered World War II, and even though the opposing side did not support his agenda, it supported him enough, as did the nation, so that we could continue to prosecute the war on fascism that raged in Europe, and against imperial Japan in the Pacific.

Mr. Johnson, on the other hand, had to contend with the spoiled children of the baby boom, who had been co-opted by the propaganda machine of the Soviet Union’s moles in America’s political left wing.

This lead to the public’s loss of confidence in Mr. Johnson, to the fall of Saigon and the first major military loss for America’s armed forces. We basically lost the will to win a war.

If we surrender now to the ennui that is permeating segments of society over the Bush domestic agenda, we run the risk of going back to the policies of the liberal left, who would have us learn to tolerate the occasional suicide bombing in America or the loss of several thousand friends and family members until maybe we are all subjugated to Islam.

So, as much as it pains me as a conservative to have a Republican president who acts as a if he is a socialist, I would rather see Mr. Bush have the support of a Congress that will allow him to prosecute this war, and not one that would undercut his authority and his support for our troops.

For our national security, we must make sure our Congress remains steadily Republican during these important midterm elections.

NORMAN HENDRICKSON

Bowie

Misusing history

In Thomas Sowell’s column “Frivolous politics: Part II” (Commentary, yesterday) he displays one of the largest problems confronting our nation in regard to most of our international problems: the intentional misuse of history or the narrow view of history to support one?s political ideas. He lambasts the Democrats for not understanding the lessons of history, while his own grasp might need to be called into question.

The main reason Germany lost in World War II was the sacrifice of 8.5 million Soviet troops. Without this bloodletting, the Western democracies would not have had a chance. Tiny bits of history should not be used as a hammer to beat one’s political opponent over the head. Instead, a broader understanding should be used to not repeat the mistakes made by others.

JOHN PERCER

Springfield

Time for Speaker Pelosi

The Bush administration and its supporters have tried to scare voters into preserving Republican majorities in Congress, seeking to alarm us over the prospect of many things, prominently including the potential for liberal Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California to become House Speaker (“RNC takes aim at liberal ‘threat’,” Nation, Sept. 20).

While I believe Mrs. Pelosi would unwisely push for tax increases and for a minimum-wage hike which would largely benefit young, part-time employees who are students, there is much that she proclaims she will pursue which would be of benefit to the nation: to restrict the actions of out-of-control lobbyists, who facilitate the selling of government to the highest bidder, gaining access through greasing the palms of our elected officials; providing federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, thereby choosing to enhance the lives of living, breathing individuals over the “life” of fetal tissue; and enacting every recommendation of the September 11 Commission, which would facilitate the protection of chemical and power plants, ports, and public transit.

Would reasonable and objective individuals not conclude that a Speaker Pelosi could bring honor to herself and our nation, that she would stand head and shoulders over the current Speaker, Republican Dennis Hastert, a most undistinguished and unqualified individual, who has presided over our calamitous elective war in Iraq, a government spending spree worthy of any tax-and-spend liberal Democrat, a rise in the level of contempt and rage toward America throughout the world and an unprecedented decline in our nation’s prestige and respect?

Would there not be some advantage in divided government so as to provide meaningful oversight of an administration that has demonstrated a belief that it is entitled to unbridled power?

It is often said that it is better to choose “the devil that you know” over “the devil that you do not know.”I believe that the “devil that we know,” the Republican national “leadership,” could not be any more unresponsive to the people nor any more bumbling than it has demonstrated itself to be throughout its period of monopoly power, which it has squandered.

It is time for a change. Notwithstanding many disagreements I have with her liberal mindset, I believe that Nancy Pelosi is an honorable woman who would be likely to restore some modicum of honor and respect for the House of Representatives. Could the Democrats possibly be any more disastrous for our nation than the Republican Party has been since George W. Bush was elected?

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

Errant Medicare cuts

The Wednesday article “Medicare cuts hurt disabled” (Business) was right on the mark. However, it is important to note that in addition to suppliers of power wheelchairs, the users of these devices — often the severely disabled and society?s most vulnerable — also are affected.

The pending Nov. 15 policy changes by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will have two main effects on people with disabilities.

First, Medicare beneficiaries with severe conditions, including those with spinal-cord injuries, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease), multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy, will not have access to the most medically appropriate power wheelchair technology to meet their functional needs.

Additionally, the Medicare cuts provide disincentives for important research and development, which is the catalyst for future technology that improves the lives and mobility of persons with severe disabilities.

We encourage CMS to put the needs of people with disabilities first and revisit these changes before they are scheduled to take affect Nov. 15.

SHARON L. HILDEBRANDT

Executive director

National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology

Washington


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