If I were a Republican, I would be looking towards 2016 for my candidate to get elected president, as 2012 is clearly out of the picture.

Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and the rest of the GOP continually slam President Obama for his “socialist agenda” oblivious to the fact that the majority of Americans approve of the job he is doing.

And yet those seeking the nomination drift further to the right, embracing the fringe in an attempt to win over the tea party. It would seem that the Republicans who accused Obama as nothing more than charismatic in 2008 would be better off laying groundwork for policy differences rather than taking turns bashing him as if he were a pinata at a Rush Limbaugh birthday party.

Obama has proven he is more than his rhetoric, passing health care reform that eluded Democratic darling Bill Clinton, closing the chapter on the discriminatory practices of DOMA and DADT, and orchestrating the attack on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

Someone will come out victorious in the Republican primary only after pandering to the social conservatives to a degree that will alienate many moderate Republicans and virtually all independents.

States from New Hampshire to Ohio that are usually tossups will be locked in by a president who remained calm while his opponent took empty swings at him. In a classic case of political irony, the “rhetoric” that won Obama the White House in 2008 will be responsible for losing it for the Republicans in 2012.

That’s because being president isn’t about exposing the weaknesses in the other guy but exemplifying the strengths in one’s own views, something the GOP doesn’t seem to understand.

Evan Beck

South Portland

 

New group to run Reiche just what the school needs

 

Hats off to the teachers of Reiche Community School, the Portland Board of Education and Superintendent Jim Morse for endorsing an innovative administration for Reiche School! As reported in a small, back-page article (“Teachers, not principal, to lead Reiche,” June 3), a team of two lead teachers, a parent, a district representative and the chairs of four teacher committees will assume responsibility for Reiche School.

This news deserves a front-page announcement. Much time and money has been devoted to assessing the ever-increasing poor outcomes of elementary and secondary education

Overlooked in the bleak assessment has been the fact that the teaching profession has been singular among professions for not assuming the responsibility for its own standards and direction.

We will be watching this leadership change. The Reiche team may well become a model system for educational excellence.

Kristina Minister

Portland

 

Unicameral Legislature would have been far too careless

 

I find myself wondering “What is going to happen when all the computer-educated people take over?” I believe I am now starting to see some results of this trend. Computers have brought us efficiency, instant recall and the reason to never really learn anything.

What I mean is “We only have to know where to look it up.” This is really scary to me.

The latest idea, which may return again, is replacing our bicameral Legislature with a unicameral one. This just drips with computer-geek thinking. Oh, it will be so efficient and inexpensive. We can now do what we want faster and so on and on.

What is lost in this thinking is the history is the founding of our nation. George Washington, commenting on Congress, said that the House had to be balanced by the Senate to “cool off” its passions.

He explained ideas can be very popular at a given time, and could be rammed through without debate. This can be destructive if there is no counter debate.

The reason why our national Constitution has endured longer than any other constitution because it is so stable. Everything requires debate and compromise before it can become law.

Our state constitution is modeled after the federal one. Our bicameral government is not efficient, and it shouldn’t be. If you want efficiency, get a dictator.

You don’t want that. The people are not paying attention to what is being proposd. Republicans in control this time, Democrats next and maybe Greens after that. Do you want your life to be controlled by the political whims of the moment without real debate?

John M. Roberts

South Portland

Outreach to poor needs help from government to succeed

It is my honor to be the outreach ministries coordinator at the First Congregational Church (UCC) in South Portland. In this role, with the help of a committee of church members, I oversee Community Crisis Ministries, in which we direct assistance to residents of Cape Elizabeth and South Portland.

I have developed relationships with both communities so that those without anywhere else to turn can find some support through our church. Our church seeks to offer as much assistance as we can, but our neighbors are struggling.

These hard economic times have introduced a new level of need in our community. No matter how generous our church members and community members might be, we can’t respond to all of the needs.

We need the financial and moral support of our government ages so that our neighbors can survive this economic downturn.

Our neighbors need General Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and MaineCare.

We pray that we’ll continue to be able to fill in the gaps – but we need government support now more than ever!

Kathy Sahrbeck

Cape Elizabeth

 

Press Herald’s photos are excellent – and also BIG!

 

I don’t know exactly who to credit besides the photographers themselves but the quality and layout of the photographs you use in The Press Herald are terrific! I also like it that they’re BIG!

Examples? Kid in surf “Doing the Waves” by Jill Brady (May 28) and Bruins goalie Tim Thomas saving another shot so the Bruins can compete for the Stanley Cup (same date).

Thanks so much for livening up what had been a dreary spring.

Pamela Lord

Portland