The virtues of patience | April 16, David Broder column
Voters should look for tangible plans
I read David Broder's commentary on the patience President Barack Obama is exhibiting in pursuing his policy agenda, and Broder's characterization of Obama's current and potential future accomplishments as "substantial, but deferred."
I agree with Broder's view and subsequently pondered the stance of tea party organizations that seem to oppose every facet of what Obama is trying to accomplish. It is clear that tea party goals are for smaller government, tax cuts, reduced federal spending and reduced federal regulation. But if tea party-supported candidates were elected, by what plan will they achieve these goals?
I decided to comb some of the tea party websites in search of a plan. Here is a synopsis of what I found.
The Tea Party Patriots website was replete with information on where and where to find tea party protests and how to order T-shirts, bumper stickers and signs. But other than a simple statement of the Tea Party Patriots aims to reduce excessive federal government spending, taxation and regulation, there was no hint of a plan on how that was to be accomplished. Similarly, the Tax Day Tea Party website and the associated Patriot Caucus highlighted a focus on electoral activism, but again articulated no plan on how change will occur. Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project website had a tab for "The Plan," but when you click on "The Plan" you find the statement that he "will be explaining the entire Plan over the coming weeks and months."
I do not disagree with many of the sentiments of tea party goals. My point is that it will be prudent for voters, before they vote for a tea party-endorsed candidate or any other candidate, to identify a tangible plan on how changes will be accomplished. Without a plan, your vote could be up a creek without a paddle.
Gerard Meyn, Dunnellon
The virtues of patience | April 16, David Broder column
Judging Obama: Still waiting for results
David Broder gushes over Barack Obama's willingness to forgo instant gratification in favor of long-term achievement. That would admirable unless our hero turns out to be Jimmy Carter looking back over 40 years of his Department of Education's "achievement" or Harry Truman contemplating the contributions of Israel and the United Nations to world peace.
If Obama's diaphanous achievements turn out to be universally loved, like say the GI Bill, then transformation will have been vindicated.
History suggests his belief in the infinite malleability of man, the junk science of behavioral economics and the power of radical egalitarianism will put him in the rarefied company of Fillmore, Pierce and Garfield.
Gary Harrington, St. Petersburg
Even wackos should stand and be counted April 16, Daniel Ruth column
Daniel Ruth once again uses the same tired old left-wing tactic of labeling tea party people as radical extremists. The tea party people I know personally are intelligent, hard-working Americans who are appalled at the Obama administration's policies. They are against big brother government controlling all facets of business, health care and housing, and spending this country into bankruptcy.
They are against a president who apologizes for America and shows weakness to our enemies. They are against a president with the arrogance to tell Israel to stop building homes in their own country.
Personally, I'll keep drinking tea while Daniel Ruth and Garrison Keillor keep drinking the Kool-Aid.
Martin Horne, Treasure Island
Palin joins antitax tea partiers | April 15
The Palin agenda
What a contrast! In Thursday's paper you feature an AP story about Sarah Palin joining the Tea Party Express, touting guns and religion, and on another page you show Michelle Obama dancing with children in Mexico, just after spending time in Haiti.
In a previous letter I referred to Palin as a no-brainer, but I have to take that back. She has made more than $12 million for herself since resigning as governor of Alaska and is on the way to making another $12 million. She must have some brains to be able to do that.
But evidently, Michelle Obama does not have that kind of a brain. If she were to run against Palin in an election there would be no doubt in my mind whom I would vote for. Michelle Obama makes me more proud of being a Democrat, even though she is not traveling around the country trying to make money for herself or the party. And the Republicans and the tea parties should be ashamed of Palin.
Morris Grossman, Sun City Center
Unpopular & re-elected | April 19, commentary
Entrenched in office
A good example of what Dale McFeatters is talking about occurred back in a 2000 Democratic primary for Illinois' 1st Congressional District. U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, whom my mother was not very fond of, was being challenged by a bright young state senator. Still, she voted for Rush because of his seniority and "clout." Rush is still in office 10 years later.
The loser in that primary, a guy named Barack Obama, did manage to go on to bigger and better things. Unfortunately, most challengers of entrenched incumbents never do, and Congress changes little.
Joseph H. Brown, Tampa
I find it somewhat amusing how Mother Nature and the ash cloud from Iceland are causing such havoc in the world because people can't fly. What did man do before we could fly? We survived.
Isn't it a shame that Mother Nature could so easily have such an impact on today's technology (sarcasm)? It just goes to show you: Man does not rule everything, and anything can happen.
I'll be amused again when the sun gives off a massive solar flare of charged particles that knock out the satellites and/or power grids. Again, humans put all their trust in computers and electricity, without having manual backups. What did we do before this computer technology? We survived.
What will it take before society realizes that we shouldn't rely solely on today's technology?
Greg Fudala, Largo