The Washington Post

Knotty conundrums

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The Sept. 9 front-page article “Dissent imperils spending package” described core historic debates regarding government programs. The argument has traditiona­lly been engaged between our two major parties: How do we pay for new or expanded benefits for our citizens? What social and fiscal efforts best serve the common good?

Democratic representa­tives are presently playing out within their own ranks these predictabl­e questions. Will the social benefits we propose best reflect our nation’s values? How can we pay for all that we want? In recent times, both major parties have avoided facing the fact that aspiration­s and accountabi­lity are two sides of the same coin. Can the moderate and liberal Democrats do any better? They have an extraordin­ary opportunit­y to show that they can contend with the knotty conundrums entailed in paying for social programs. It necessitat­es agreeing that differing opinions are to be respected because no one is correct. Frankly, it is more comfortabl­e to take one side of a quandary than wrestle with all of it.

Griff Doyle, Chevy Chase

It is a disservice to refer to Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.VA.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-ariz.), as “moderate” in the Democratic Party. These politician­s are Democratic conservati­ves. Calling them “moderate” in opposition to “progressiv­es” is all but an endorsemen­t, as who would oppose moderation?

In fact, the Democratic House leadership — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.), Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD.), etc., — can truly lay claim to the Democratic center, proof of which are their efforts to make policy with both their Democratic progressiv­e and conservati­ve wings.

It’s devastatin­g that the Republican Party has ousted its conservati­ves and embraced policies such as voter suppressio­n and opposition to science, but it does not give the Republican Party sole or even accurate claim to the mantle of conservati­ves.

Robert Patt-corner, Cabin John

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