March 18, 2010

Too much space spent on critics of president

Most President Obama supporters, like me, are not ideological purists. For example, I share many of economist (and New York Times columnist) Paul Krugman's views about the too-cozy relationship of Obama's two senior economic advisers with Wall Street and major banks.

But I appreciate the president's efforts to redirect economic interests away from upper-crust benefactors of the Republican enterprise; I respect his efforts to reach out to foreign leaders in this hemisphere, in Europe and in the Middle East and to restore the notion of the United States as a democratic nation intent on forging political, economic and military collaboration.

What I don't respect is the print and mainstream media allocating extensive time and space to legitimating the arguments behind the Tea Parties and the stupidity of critics of the handshake with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Criticism of the right needs equal attention, particularly the vacuousness of their political and economic policy positions.

Stephen M. Rose




Michael Dow, in his letter ("Tying veterans to extremism big mistake by government," May 4) regarding his perception that the Obama administration is somehow attacking veterans, conveniently leaves out a couple of facts.

The Department of Homeland Security report he refers to was commissioned and researched under President Bush's administration, not President Obama's.

It takes many months for such reports to be researched and fact-checked. At the time of publication President Obama had been in office less than three months.

Mr. Dow also insinuates that the Obama administration would overlook the threat from radical left-wing terror, another misstatement. Another report, commissioned under President Bush but released by President Obama, addresses the threat from the radical left and was released a month before the right-wing threat report.

For the record, both Oklahoma City bombers, as well as the Washington, D.C., sniper John Allen Mohammed, were Gulf War veterans. Maine native Raymond Lavasseur is a Vietnam veteran as well as a notorious left-wing terrorist.

Those men are not typical by any means, but the threat is real, history shows that. These reports are relevant to our security.

As a military veteran, Mr. Dow would know that tactics that fail the first time will almost inevitably fail again. Instead of repeating the same tired old strategy, change is needed if different results are to be expected.

In 2008 those opposed to Barack Obama screamed "socialist" in an attempt to fearmonger the American people into voting against him.

That strategy failed miserably last November. Maybe it's time to try another, less petty tactic?

Jeremy Smith

Old Orchard Beach

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