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.


Beth Henary's Things Go Right in Texas does a great job of capturing what happened here in Texas during the 2002 election. As for that "latent Democratic base" of voters, I think they may be in more trouble than just having lost all the state wide races, and control of the legislature. For example, look at my own location here in Washington County: We now have a Republican majority on the County Commissions, and all three are women, including the County Judge! Our state representative is a female Republican, and in a sign of the times the county treasurer, long a Democratic party member, quietly switched over to the GOP late last year. In fact, we only had two Democratic party members elected in all the races here in this county. Just more evidence that the shift in power is continuing, even after W. moved to DC!

--Bruce Bockhorn


As a physician, I'm just wondering who would have paid the malpractice insurance premiums in Oregon (Claudia Winkler, Hillarycare on Steroids)? Years ago I tended a French cyclist in the ER in Monterey. He had "double vision" and needed an MRI of his brain which we immediately did (standard procedure). He was absolutely astounded that a provincial town like Monterey, California, would have an MRI machine when, at the time, there was only one in the whole of France. Americans have spectacular health care and it would be dirt cheap if the tort issues could be resolved. And that's what's so depressing for me. Tort regulation and Medicare changes would cut health care costs in half. But, rather then fixing that problem, the left wants to create an endless amount of new ones.

--Charles Kalsted


Like Fred Barnes, I'll miss Dick Armey too (Armey of One). One thing I'll really miss about him is the kind of horse sense that led him to sponsor HB 4483 on Syria--an excellent bill that has received practically no coverage in the mainstream media at all.

--Jim McDonnell, Baton Rouge, La.


I am certainly looking forward to a change in the Judiciary committee, but I would like to see Elizabeth Dole as a member (Terry Eastland, Confirmed). Republicans have no women on the committee and the Dems are constantly battering nominees over so-called "women's issues." It would be nice to have a bright, star-quality, pro-life woman making the conservative argument against the likes of Feinstein and Clinton.

--Lynn Holman


When I saw Bill Moyers' "NOW" after the election, I must admit I was shocked (Stephen F. Hayes, Preaching to the Choir).

I've always found Moyers to be pompous (take for example his conversations with Mortimer Adler and his programs on Joseph Campbell). And I knew he was left of center, but (perhaps since I found him too boring to listen to at length), I thought he was at least part of the fairly sensible left-liberal part of the Democratic party.

Now we know. Irate that the Republicans won Tuesday, he's either gone over the edge or decided that he has nothing left to lose by admitting just how loopy he really is.

As Hayes says, give me a box to check on my tax forms to support him. The more he shows his true colors, the quicker he will be, as I'm sure he would say, "marginalized."

--Dan Heath


A "banana republic"? Stephen F. Hayes had better believe it (The Northernmost Banana Republic). I'm a dinosaur of 63 years and have lived in Milwaukee my whole life. Both the city and county of Milwaukee have been a Democrat stronghold ever since I can remember. A candidate will never, ever win running for office as a Republican up here.

Milwaukee is a classic study in contrast. The blue-collar workers always vote Democrat because the union tells them to and because their fathers and grandfathers, voted Democrat, too. But on the issues, they shouldn't. These same people do not believe in anti-gun laws (deer hunting is a religion in this area). They do not believe that gays and lesbian should receive special benefits. They're not real crazy about affirmative action either. Welfare? If you want to see a reaction, just mention welfare here in the Milwaukee area. Unfortunately, these are the same people who consistently vote for every Democrat candidate. They just can't connect the dots.

--Kathy Walsh


The first time I ever voted in a national election, I voted for Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. In the fifty years since, I have seen Texas gradually become more Republican. It is not so much that Texas has changed. Instead, the Democratic party has moved away from where most Texans live day to day. Texas is largely a conservative state. When Reagan galvanized conservative democrats here in 1980, he began the downward slide of the state Democratic party. Lots of folks found out then that it was okay to vote Republican. Beth Henary's analysis of the 2002 vote in Texas was right on target and The Daily Standard is the only national media outlet that has said anything at all about the three Republican African-Americans who were elected to statewide office in Texas. All we have heard since Kirk's defeat is that Texas is not ready to vote for African-Americans for statewide office.

--Ken Coffee


I, for one, will miss having Dick Armey as my congressman. Hopefully he will remain a neighbor to all of us in Flower Mound, Texas. I know all the bass in these parts are trembling in fear at the thought of him having extra time on his hands.

--Mark Junginger


I can't agree with David Skinner's argument that Dan Savage's patriotism makes his otherwise dubious opinions about sexuality somehow acceptable (Dan Savage's America). If he was truly concerned about loving our country, he would be far more concerned about the common good. His sleazy, "everything goes" attitude toward sex is clearly not in the best interest of preserving the institution of marriage. Further, he is not in the least bit concerned with fostering the healthy courtships that help preserve a high ideal of marriage, which this country has to have if it is really concerned with being a virtuous republic. His opinion columns turn sex into an idol at which far too many Americans worship.

--Scott Hirons


Lee Bockhorn is right, and there is a practical sequence to getting the partial birth ban on the books (When Life Begins).

(1) Clear the backlog of judicial nominees.

(2) Get the tax cuts done.

(3) Get the message out on partial birth before proposing anything. Don't use Lott or DeLay, find someone who can sell it. There are probably Democrats who will support it.

(4) Then pass it. But make sure that if you bring it up, the votes are there. Coleman, Chafee, Talent, etc. could get squishy when push comes to shove. And don't bring it up if the votes are not there. It could send the suburbs racing back to Gore or McCain or Kerry or whoever the Democrats nominate.

--Will Wills

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