Defining the Clinton Doctrine
I am a proud, loyal Democrat who is opposed to the candidacy of Senator Hillary Clinton for President [Nov. 19]. I have no problem with her positions on the issues or her little sashay to the right in anticipation of the general election. And my opposition certainly does not rise to the level of hatred. But the voters (with a little help from the Supreme Court) have already passed the presidency from a Bush to a Clinton to another Bush. Now it could be passed back to another Clinton, and I'd bet that Jeb Bush is patiently awaiting his turn. I have nothing against Clinton, except her name. Alternating the presidency between two political dynasties seems fundamentally undemocratic. There is a full slate of highly capable candidates with names other than Clinton who are vying for the Democratic nomination. I hope one of them wins.
Craig Cranston, WILLIAMSBURG, VA.
Joe Klein tended to exaggerate Clinton's strengths and downplay her weaknesses. He even went so far as to declare that her new health-care plan is courageous and detailed. I'll go along with detailed. Indeed, it might be the best of those proposed. But courageous? Why hasn't she submitted such legislation since she became a Senator six years ago? The answer, as anyone but her most blindly loyal supporters ought to see, is that there would have been no political advantage in doing so. Now is the ideal time to present it to voters as a key part of her platform. And Iowa, where the first votes will be cast, was the ideal place to unveil it. If that isn't slippery, cold and calculating, I don't know what is.
Tom Forman GAINESVILLE, FLA.
Clinton's credentials are far superior to those of anyone else in the pack. I consider her the U.S.'s best female public figure since Eleanor Roosevelt. If she does not win her party's nomination, it will be a clear sign to the world that women's equality is another cause America preaches but does not practice.
David L. Enderle, FREEBURG, ILL.
I'm still waiting for the answer as to what she believes. I'd be inspired and excited to vote for the former First Lady if she would just answer a question instead of letting sheep like Klein explain her ambiguous responses. Everybody gets that she can be as politically savvy as any former President--Democrat or Republican--but by continuing to avoid taking and presenting a position, she'll eventually deal herself out of the big card game.
Brian Ahern, SANDWICH, MASS.
Crazy Little Thing Called Hate
Rich Lowry's viewpoint, "The World of Hillary Hatred," was off the mark [Nov. 19]. What conservatives hate about Clinton is that she is a woman. It's nothing more than old-fashioned sexism. Equal rights have always been anathema to them.
Richard Rowland, DELTONA, FLA.
I think most voters don't hate Clinton; they just question if she is the right person to lead the country. I hope people will not base their votes on hatred, gender or any other narrow reason. Otherwise, our great country may wind up on the losing end.
Chuck Arkens, HATFIELD, PA
Lowry wrote, "Conservatives bristle at the sense of being told what to do, and they detect a tone of moral superiority in her advocacy of children's programs and health care." That's ironic since conservatives present themselves as the ones who hold the moral high ground, preaching family values and taking every opportunity to tell the masses how to live their lives. Perhaps when conservatives see Clinton, they see themselves--and don't like it.
Rob Hernandez, LIBERTYVILLE, ILL.
What's in a Name?
Kudos to Katonah, N.Y., for fighting Martha Stewart's efforts to trademark the town's name [Nov. 19]. Is Stewart's ego so big that she has to own a town's name? This is identity theft, another example of the avarice of corporations and the people who run them. Who gives these demigods the right to tell people what's best for them? Stewart should take a page from Katonah's history and move herself!
Beth Keifer, OVIEDO, FLA.
Circa 1964, I was a resident of Katonah and had the privilege of serving as president of the Katonah Village Improvement Society. During my tenure, the society was responsible for building the beautiful library in town. (I just wanted to make the point that the society does more than organize protests.)
William R. Brown, PAUMA VALLEY, CALIF.
Don't Dis Donny
In the obit on George Osmond, you gave his son Donny Osmond short shrift [Nov. 19]. For one thing, you misspelled his first name. And you suggested that Marie was the biggest star in the family. Donny sold more records and had more success onstage. In TV, they're about even. (He hosted the game show Pyramid for a couple of years; she's on Dancing with the Stars.) Give the man his due.
Paul Grein, STUDIO CITY, CALIF.
The Muslim and western cods indeed clash, as Carla Power noted [Nov. 19]. Question any religious people about public displays of flesh, and they will tell you they abhor it. Muslims may take concealing skin a bit too far, but having witnessed what its exposure has done to Western societies, I prefer to wear my head scarf and my long dress. Besides, I like to receive recognition because of the faith I display, not because of the skin I expose. And in the private realm, sex should be discussed with decency.
Belqis Ahmed, YONKERS, N.Y.
It wasn't that long ago that U.S. citizens held views similar to those of today's Muslims. Fifty years ago, most Americans considered public breast-feeding indecent, the comedy of Lenny Bruce criminal, George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words" punishable and Henry Miller's now classic Tropic of Cancer obscene. Likewise, prior to the 1960s most people openly prayed. In my travels to Muslim countries, I found the younger generation to be just as hip as most of our teenagers. Once they come to power in 30 years, their idea of what's indecent will be closer to ours.
Jeffrey Sears, WESTON, CONN.
'Tis Which Season?
Thanks to Nancy Gibbs for her thoughts on the rather confusing and sad overlapping of our holidays [Nov. 19]. I shopped for a Halloween costume in mid-September for fear there would be none the week before the holiday. Lo and behold, the last week in October, I saw a shift from pumpkins and scarecrows to elves and ornaments--not a costume in sight, and Thanksgiving had just been left in the dust. It's disheartening that holidays have become a retailer's trap for the consumer and that we've lost their real meaning altogether. I had to chuckle while reading the article because just a couple of days before, my son and I walked into a store that was decorated for Christmas and he pointed excitedly and said, "Mama, look at the Halloween tree!"
Jennifer Vachon, PROVIDENCE, R.I.