Democratic primary problem
Focus on the voters, not the candidates
I am very saddened by something taking place in the argument over seating the Democratic delegates from Florida and Michigan: This whole argument seems to be breaking down along lines of which candidate people support, when really it has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
I personally have been outraged about Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean's decision from the moment he made it. But my candidate preference has nothing to do with my being passionate about seating the Florida and Michigan delegates!
The entire issue is about millions of voters in Florida and Michigan being "punished" and disenfranchised for something that they had nothing to do with. Can't we all — no matter which candidate we do or don't support — get behind the principle that all the voters should be represented in the primary process?
I know, I know, a rule was broken. But the voters didn't break it. Why should we, the voters, be the ones disenfranchised?
Edna Whisler, St. Petersburg
Dems might not need Florida this year
March 16, story
Pay the penalty
We should look at the Democratic primary objectively. The citizens — and I am one — who violated the stated rules of the Democratic National Committee must abide by its decision. The penalty for holding an early primary was clearly stated, and we should abide by the decision of the DNC.
Instead of complaining like a bunch of spoiled children, we should be motivated to make our votes count when they are truly important.
Martin Klemperer, St. Petersburg
Exit plan for Crist
The debacle that is Florida's presidential primary simply did not have to be. The Florida Legislature knew the consequences of moving the primary ahead of Super Tuesday but passed a bill anyway. Our governor also knew the consequences yet signed the bill into law. The Democratic National Committee found no room for compromise and the candidates snubbed us.
As a Florida Democrat of 30 years, I am proud to say mine went as an undervote in the primary, and I will not vote for the Democratic candidate in November. But before you Republicans rejoice, know that I will only vote for John McCain if he chooses Charlie Crist as his running mate. The only thing worse than the broken promises of property tax reform and home insurance reform is Charlie patting himself on the back for nothing. Sen. McCain, take Charlie with you and you have my vote.
Len Keller, Seminole
Pastor's remarks cause Obama furor
March 15, story
Reason for fear
The article on Barack Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, appeared on Page 6A. It should have been on Page 1A as this is of great national importance. Obama's repudiation of the remarks and attempts to distance himself don't hold water.
He's had 20-plus years of such brainwashing. He was married by Wright and had his children baptized by him. Given Michelle Obama's comments on finally feeling comfortable in America, and Obama's refusal to wear a flag pin, I say: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Marcia Coxhead, Clearwater
Get past race factor
I was appalled to hear the recent rant against America and its white people by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama's pastor.
The ugly race card has been played and it is not a good thing for the Democratic Party or the United States. Obama needs to put aside the race factor and concentrate instead on the problems this country is experiencing, such as the failing economy, Iraq and NAFTA.
It is, of course, obvious the media are obsessed with the race/gender matter, and this unfortunate proclamation by the Rev. Wright will undoubtedly reflect unfavorably on Obama.
Ruth J. Anderson, Homosassa
Reject the hate
Who would have believed that black churches are leading the charge in preaching such hate? Now we know.
It's time for all of us, whatever color or background, to take a serious look at what is coming from so-called houses of worship. Barack Obama's hatemongering pastor and "spiritual adviser," the now infamous Rev. Jeremiah Wright, has shown the world what maybe is going on in many black churches. We need to see for ourselves.
With the news about churches like Without Walls in Tampa, which pulls money out of pockets and puts it in the hands of Randy White and his soon to be ex, Paula White, and now this with what was supposed to be a leading black church, it's no wonder we haven't been able to figure out what's going wrong in the world. Now we have some more clues.
Are you looking at your own house of worship? You need to be. Leave any that sow hate.
Richard Davison, Tampa
Pat Oliphant cartoon | March 14
Clintons are not racist
Pat Oliphant's "cartoon," in which he portrays Bill and Hillary Clinton as Southern, white racists, was despicable and represents a new low for media Clinton-bashers. The cartoon implies that even suggesting that Barack Obama serve as Hillary Clinton's vice president is racist.
Look at the facts. First, the "dream team" concept has been raised on numerous occasions by the media, and the possibility that Obama serving as VP is considered one of two desirable options. Second, Bill and Hillary Clinton are not racists. To quote the Times' own Bill Maxwell, Bill Clinton "appointed more blacks to Cabinet and other posts than any other president. In fact, 13 percent of his appointments were black."
It appears Oliphant and many others have too quickly forgotten about the many good things Bill Clinton did for black people and for our country.
Bill Sacco, Tampa
We shouldn't forget | March 10, letter
The letter writer, supporting Bill Maxwell's position on "Jim Crow," tells us not to forget past mistakes lest we repeat them. This long has been a well known axiom. But there are currently two wars that our "leaders" have started and continue: The decadeslong "war on drugs" and the "Iraq disaster" regrettably prove the point. Can anyone say "Prohibition" or "Vietnam"?
Jack Wilhite, Clearwater
Confounded by Cuba | March 10, George Will column
We've done worse
George Will's column, in which he called the Bay of Pigs fiasco "the most feckless use of U.S. power ever," is a stunning use of hyperbole considering the current events in Iraq.
Joseph Gravelle, Bradenton