Lack of bi­par­ti­san­ship

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - OPINION -

Con­cern­ing “With­out vi­brant par­ties, our democ­racy flails in grid­lock” (May 17): Although colum­nist Andrew Mal­colm rightly crit­i­cizes both po­lit­i­cal par­ties for fail­ing to present “co­her­ent mes­sages” to the Amer­i­can peo­ple, he over­looks the ma­jor cause of to­day’s po­lit­i­cal grid­lock in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.: a dearth of bi­par­ti­san­ship. The blame for this prob­lem should be placed at the GOP’s doorstep. For the past gen­er­a­tion, the Repub­li­cans have en­gaged in vi­cious par­ti­san at­tacks, pro­ce­dural fil­i­busters and even re­fused to con­sider a vote on for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s nom­i­nee to the Supreme Court.

When Obama was first elected, he tried to reach out to Repub­li­cans and re-es­tab­lish a spirit of bi­par­ti­san­ship. In­stead, the GOP lead­er­ship an­nounced its de­ter­mi­na­tion to make him a “one-term pres­i­dent.” Now our coun­try has a chief ex­ec­u­tive who ped­dled a phony birther con­spir­acy (for al­most five years) to dis­credit Obama, and who is de­ter­mined to dis­man­tle ev­ery as­pect of his pre­de­ces­sor’s legacy.

In the Novem­ber midterm elec­tions, cit­i­zens should re­mem­ber the Repub­li­cans’ long­stand­ing, re­lent­less “scorched earth” tac­tics, as well as the record of the di­vi­sive re­al­ity TV host now oc­cu­py­ing the White House, when cast­ing their votes.

Luisa West­brook , San Francisco

New lead­er­ship

Andrew Mal­colm’s ar­ti­cle makes the same point that Wil­lie Brown made in “Dems, wean your­selves from Trump­bash­ing” (May 13). The Democrats have to be more than just anti-Trump. They need to sim­ply and clearly state their pro­gram on taxes, the en­vi­ron­ment, econ­omy, etc. I have seen time and time again a huge anti-in­cum­bent sen­ti­ment in the coun­try only to see at elec­tion time, the vot­ers meant your in­cum­bent, not theirs. This is why I think the party needs new lead­er­ship. House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi and Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer have done a good job, but ideas are lack­ing and the dy­namism is gone.

Leonard Dorin, Lafayette

Know about safety

Re­gard­ing “Ship­yard Shenani­gans” (Ed­i­to­rial, May 17): You got ev­ery­thing right but the last sen­tence. The pub­lic doesn’t just need to “be­lieve” the ship­yard is safe, they need to “know” it is.

David San­der, Martinez

De­fine ‘un­sta­ble’

Re­gard­ing “Un­sta­ble peo­ple’s guns can be seized” (May 13): I won­der how you de­fine a per­son as be­ing “un­sta­ble”? To some, it would be wear­ing a T-shirt pro­claim­ing “I Love Trump” while shout­ing, “LockUp Hil­lary.” To oth­ers ...? Very prob­lem­atic, don’t you think?

Jef­frey Colflesh, Menlo Park

High spend­ing

Re­gard­ing “S.F. plan to treat addicts on street” (May 17): Where does it end? San Francisco is al­ready spend­ing in ex­cess of $241 mil­lion per year on home­less­ness. Now, Mayor Mark Far­rell wants to add an­other $6 mil­lion to treat 250 home­less addicts. Do the math, $6 mil­lion di­vided by 250, that’s an­other $24,000 per ad­dict. And yet, the peo­ple who pay these tax dol­lars con­tinue to suf­fer the degra­da­tion of those in­sti­tu­tions that should be mak­ing the city an at­trac­tive place to live and work (i.e. schools, parks, li­braries, etc.).

Pete Now­icki, San Francisco

Memorable words

Re­gard­ing “Frank McCul­loch — for­mer S.F. Ex­am­iner man­ag­ing ed­i­tor” (May 16): My thanks to Steve Ruben­stein for his beau­ti­ful, mov­ing and com­pre­hen­sive obituary of Frank McCul­loch.

I quote McCul­loch’s quote about the press: “We ad­mit the free press is not what it should be, and prob­a­bly never will be,” he said. “But it’s all we’ve got. So long as this re­mains an open so­ci­ety, you and we — a free peo­ple and a free press — are stuck with each other.” In this ter­ri­ble time of Pres­i­dent Trump, we must re­mem­ber and trust in a free press. McCul­loch’s words are now tacked on my bul­letin board as a daily re­minder.

Linda Chiarucci, San Francisco

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