The 2020 election
EDITOR: In the election of 1968, tainted by assassinations, a police riot in Chicago and anti-war demonstrations, Richard Nixon lied his way into the White House with a secret (and nonexistent) plan to end the war. Despite the rising clouds of Watergate and his mishandling of the war, Nixon was re-elected by a landslide in 1972. Hardly seems possible.
In 2000, George W. Bush attained the White House courtesy of a coup delivered by Florida (a state governed by his brother). Despite lying about weapons of mass destruction and initiating an unnecessary war in the Middle East, which is ongoing today, Bush was re-elected in 2004. Hardly seems possible.
In 2016, tainted by Russian interference and inappropriate political intervention by the FBI, Donald Trump, a prolific liar spectacularly ignorant of history, world events and ethics, amoral, misogynistic and generally boorish, attained the presidency. Hardly seems possible. Even he couldn’t believe it.
In Sonoma County, it is generally assumed that he will be a one-term president. Based on the above short history, that is a dangerous assumption.
Unless the Democrats come up with a cohesive and intelligent alternative program, led by youthful and, yes, charismatic candidates, it could well mean four more years for Trump in 2020. Hardly seems possible.
Consider the source
EDITOR: In evaluating the merits of the July 8 op-ed arguing that Donald Trump has the legal authority to erase the national monuments created by President Barack Obama (“Trump can topple national monuments”), consider the source — John Yoo.
In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Yoo was the deputy assistant U.S. attorney general who, under George W. Bush, wrote the notorious torture memos that provided legal authority for the secret renditions and “enhanced interrogation” that shocked the world when they came to light.
To add to his resumé, Yoo also wrote memos authorizing warrantless monitoring of the communications of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. And, to top it off, he is a leading advocate of the controversial unitary executive theory, arguing that a president in war time has essentially unlimited powers.
Yoo may be a capable legal scholar, but the causes he chooses to advocate seem questionable to say the least.
EDITOR: I’m sure golbou ghassemieh, the city of Santa Rosa’s human resources director, has good reasons for not capitalizing her name, but I don’t believe personal preference trumps correct English (“Workers to receive annual raises,” Wednesday).
In American English, proper nouns such as first names and surnames are invariably capitalized. (Though the name of the poet e.e. cummings is often printed in lowercase, that was a graphic designer’s artistic conceit; the author himself typically capitalized his own name.)
To monkey with the rules of capitalization on the basis of personal whim strikes me as a slippery slope, but since you appear to be so accommodating, I respectfully request to have my name printed backwards.
Federal health benefits
EDITOR: Christopher Sork (“Finish the job,” Letters, Wednesday) repeats misinformation about federal employees’ health care coverage that often appears in printed commentaries, emails, tweets and other online sources. In fact, federal employee health care programs depend on the governmental branch and agency. There are different systems that serve civilian employees, the military and elected officials, but none of them represents payouts solely from aggregate taxpayer contributions.