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Top Ten Letters

Torricelli, PETA, Steve Earle, the Braves, and more.

12:00 AM, Oct 7, 2002
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THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.

*1*

Here's a mischievous idea regarding the U.S. Senate seat that Torricelli will soon vacate to any Democrat that is almost guaranteed to cause an eruption of rage from any Democrat apparatchik (Fred Barnes, The Old Switcheroo).

Since the Constitution gives each house the final word on the suitability of its members, if the Republicans get the Senate back at 51-48-1, they would have the Constitutional authority and the power to expel Lautenberg on the basis that his election was an illegal and/or immoral act and, therefore, to seat him would besmirch the Senate's reputation. Even if Torricelli resigns and McGreevey appoints Lautenberg, a GOP-controlled Senate could refuse to seat him--or even expel him--on the same grounds.

Yes, the knifing of a former member of the club would be the hardest of hardball and, thus, I have a lot of trouble seeing Trent Lott and others on the GOP side of the aisle shoving the blade home. (Oh, the collegiality!)

But I can dream, can't I?

--Scott Belliveau

*2*

Reading Christopher Caldwell's Literary Heroes of the Stock-Market Crash occasioned a small chuckle, since I was an employee of Globalcenter, Global Crossing's webhosting subsidiary. Leo Hindery made it fairly clear beginning in mid-2000 that his objective was to reduce GX's debt load by selling the subsidiary I worked for, which he finally accomplished, to the late and unlamented Exodus Communications in January 2001.

Leaving aside the logic of this decision, which removed much of GX's ability to provide "full service" telecommunication solutions to global enterprises, the sale was for (originally!) $6 billion of Exodus *stock*; stock that rapidly became worthless and may well have served to push GX over the edge into Chapter 11.

Leo can certainly write colorful memos, but his ability to manage public companies, let alone display "social responsibility," is sadly lacking. The fact that Gary Winnick is squirming away is enjoyable of course. . . .

As for myself, I've survived to be a reasonably happy employee of Cable and Wireless. Not everyone else was so lucky :-(

--Rupert Fiennes

*3*

One could argue that conservative administrations are marked by an atmosphere of greater moral clarity (Katherine Mangu-Ward, Suicide Kings). Hence the likelihood that in conservative times, more individuals must face their own failings and depravity. That such individuals then resort to a final form of weakness is unfortunate, but the suicide rate goes up in response to an appropriate increase in the norms of responsibility--and hence an increase in guilt about our moral failures. The point is, the problem here may not necessarily be bad statistics--but bad interpretation.

--Richard Mulliken

*4*

The Democrats claim that they need to replace Torricelli in order to preserve the voter's "right to a competitive election." Would that there were such a right, and about 350 gerrymandered House districts and unknown thousands of gerrymandered state legislative districts were therefore unconstitutional.

--Kevin Murphy

*5*

The decision in the "Torricelli cannot win" case, and the make up of the New Jersey supreme court, are the natural outcomes of the Faustian bargain conservatives make when they elect RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) in order to keep power.

These are Whitman Republicans who are aborting the rule of law, just the way she wanted them to (pun very much intended). We are told by the appeasers within the GOP that we should vote for squishy Republicans because control of judicial appointments is so important. Last Wednesday in New Jersey, the hollowness of that argument was exposed in vivid and disturbing detail.

--Eric N. Darbe

*6*

I sure hope this postseason will be less frustrating for us Braves fans (Terry Eastland, Chop Talk). The big question will be whether or not to keep Glavine and Maddux after it's over. These guys prove that opportunistic pitchers who rely on brains, control, subtle changes of speed, and living on the borders of the strike zone can achieve a level of greatness. But it's a greatness which preys on batters' weaknesses.