February 16, 2005 – Letter to the Editor
Dear Ms. Cohen,
I am a long-time Democrat, and was a member of NDC in the 1970's and have been supporting progressive causes and candidates for a long time. My credentials with regards to politics and opposition to George W. Bush and his ilk are second to none. I worked hard for John Kerry and was out at the opening of the Clinton Library in Little Rock with other loyal and progressive Democrats. But enough of my bona fides, your statement in support of Lynne Stewart will only help marginalize Democrats and progressive supporters. The relationship to that poem by Niebuhr and the courthouse are irrelevant. Whether you supported the sharing of nuclear secrets with Stalin, or opposed the death penalty on principle, the Rosenbergs were guilty. They, and their friends, did a lot of damage to America and the American people. Yes we fought the war, as Allies and won it, thankfully for the whole world's sake, with the immeasurable help of the Soviets. But that in itself did not justify Stalin's actions, before and after the war. Churchill said, “That he would make a pact with the devil to defeat Hitler!” We gave the Soviets the ordinance to help win the war and they gave us blood and time. But in retrospect, the Soviet subjugation of Eastern Europe and the Cold War, which resulted in Korea, Vietnam, and a host of other brushfire wars did not advance the cause of freedom or de-colonialization. It cost the word untold lives and treasure.
I am quite happy that Lynne Stewart received a fair trial and received the justice she deserved. When you “lie down with dogs, you come up with fleas!” I have known and observed Ramsey Clark through politics for decades, and I am sorry that I ever considered supporting him. He supports anti-Semitic causes and an America hater and basher. Truman even said that his worst decision was to place his father on the Supreme Court. The “apple doesn't fall far from the tree.” Ramsey Clark has been on the wrong side of almost every issue forever. He is part of the reason that the Democrats have lost their majorities over the years. Obviously we can't blame Clark alone, but his views are abhorrent to most mainstream Democrats.
I am not a believer that we deserve George W. Bush because we are not “pure” enough. The average American has to be shown that a political party has an interest in its behalf. The Democrats can't expect automatic support because they think they are better than the GOP. If the Democrats or its “progressive” allies continue to think that they can support far-out policies and extremist individuals that threaten our very existence, then they will continue to lose and open the door to the reactionary right. I have seen the results of these foolish actions with my many friends and associates who have been drifting away from the Democratic Party for many years.
Lynne Stewart may hate our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, as do many millions, but her actions to befriend and aid and comfort the enemy are horrible. She deserves her fate and your metaphor about “coming after the lawyers” is insincere and misplaced.
Richard J. Garfunkel