Letters to the Editor

Recipe for futility

So Michael Der Manouel Jr. [letter Feb. 18] thinks liberals and conservatives hate one another. Yikes! And that Republicans must engage in "smash mouth, take-no-prisoners" politics. Wow! This is in response to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's call for a post-partisan approach to government.

The last time I looked, the only widely popular Republican in the state was the very man Mr. Der Manouel so viciously attacks. After playing hard ball in support of his reforms in 2005 -- and losing badly with the smash-mouth approach -- the guv turned to efforts to find common ground with his opponents. The result? Compromises on raising the minimum wage, funding deteriorating infrastructure and other accomplishments.

James Madison said that in a nation as diverse as ours, compromise among its varied interests was essential. Those who follow such a course are usually supported by the public, men like the late Ken Maddy and the former secretary of state Bill Jones.

Nationally there is too much smash-mouth politicking. In the 50 years I have been watching, and occasionally participating in politics, I have never seen the degree of hatred that exists today. Nor have I seen so little accomplished.

David H. Provost

Emeritus professor of political science