Your thoughts on current political news

The last month has been a whirlwind politically, with the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump ending in acquittal and the Democratic presidential candidates heating up the campaign trail. NCR published two editorials regarding the impeachment, one midway through the trial, "Reaping what we sow in the impeachment trial," and one after it ended, "Heroes of the impeachment imbroglio." At the same time, NCR published a series of essays making a Catholic case to vote for five Democratic candidates: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Letters to the editor are edited for length and clarity. To join the conversation, follow the steps below.


The editorial "Reaping what we sow in the impeachment trial" was insulting to Republicans, many of whom are Catholic and it contained misrepresentations that were either willful or indicative of a total lack of understanding of the constitutional issues. By the time I had read the editorial, it contained a footnote that it had been edited to "clarify" Sen. Lamar Alexander's position. However, you continued to misrepresent professor Alan Dershowitz's argument even after your edit.

Dershowitz's point, which was made in answer to a senator's question about whether motivation was relevant, was that political decisions are often made with mixed motives, some of which are self-serving and some of which are in the interests of the nation or those of the politician's constituents. Rarely are political actions taken for motives pure as the driven snow. Almost anything a politician does may benefit his re-election prospects. Accordingly, unless the motivation is so crass as to be exclusively in the nature of a high crime (bribery for example), we cannot judge a political act based on motivation when almost all political acts are to some extent driven by the desire to be re-elected, which all politician's believe is in the national interest.

And for the record, I personally resent the suggestion that I belong to a cult. Furthermore, the inane assertion that we are now getting closer to becoming a dictatorship in the mold of North Korea is a hyperbolic bridge too far and is indicative of your failure to appreciate the utter lack of due process that characterized the entire impeachment process until the Senate shut it down for the unconstitutional farce that it was.

ROBERT D. HERPST
Florham Park, New Jersey

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Please refrain from such biased reporting as a Catholic entity. A "Trump cult" is so slanted and biased. I am millimeters away from deleting you from my favorites. Then "political orgy of dishonesty offered by the president's defenders" is another way of summing up your lack of bias and an indication you are clueless as to how the legal system works. 

How about the complete dishonesty of Rep. Adam Schiff and company and all of their lies? They blew it in the House trying to get to the bottom of it. You lack credibility and credentials in the rules and now are adding to the orgy. By the way, the Harvard law professor is still highly credentialed, unlike this editorial board. You must have overlooked he was against impeaching Bill Clinton and for impeaching Richard Nixon. He also did not vote for Trump, so there goes your cult stereotype.

JOSEPH EGAN
Park Ridge, Illinois

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It is an incredulous position to accept that the claim against President Donald Trump would be seen as unimpeachable. But however distasteful and tenuous it may be, it is thinly defensible. Having to wear that albatross will not likely be of much comfort to Sen. Lamar Alexander as he departs from public life.

Let us remember that Alexander took this position as an explanation of why he did not vote for the first-hand witnesses to testify to the Senate. Therein lies the rub. Alexander cannot rest upon his individual understanding of Trump's action being unimpeachable to justify his vote for no witnesses. This was a selfish act. The American people had the right to hear these first-hand witnesses.

But Alexander, believing the calling of the witnesses to be a moot on the basis of his opinion on impeachment, helped deny the American people from something they wanted and had the right to know. That is, the testimony of those witnesses. It was a sad day for America.

STEVE HAMMOND
Norfolk, Virginia

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Senate Chaplain Barry Black's words can certainly be applied to House Democrats who have consistently refused to even allow an up or down vote on the "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act" which would outlaw and penalize infanticide in the United States.

Certainly, the "role of Christian faith" emerges here. It would be nice if your editorial board would write an editorial criticizing the House Democrats for this offense against God.

(Fr.) MARK A. KREDER
Toms River, New Jersey

***

As I listened to Sen. Lamar Alexander justify a failure to act in the face of what he declared to be morally objectionable behavior, I was struck that he, along with so many who are similarly situated, seemed to be declaring to our children that "the ends justify the means." I was struck, sadly, at what is a fundamental shift in our national moral compass.

DAVID GEISLINGER
Colorado Springs, Colorado


In John Kenneth White's entire article, which lionizes former Vice President Joe Biden as a "civil rights" advocate, the word "unborn" is conspicuously absent.

Yes, we're told some might "disagree" with Biden's fealty to Democratic abortion orthodoxy and that abortion rates declined in the Obama presidency (even though Democrats now disavow wanting to make "safe and legal" abortions "rare"), but not one expectation of any action by this "civil rights" leader to do anything about the pre-eminent civil rights issue of our day.

Not even a word about his about-face on the Hyde Amendment, which implicates taxpayers in abortion funding. There are no civil rights without the first right on which all the others rest. That's the "totality" of the case.

JOHN GRONDELSKI
Falls Church, Virginia

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I read with interest the first two segments of the Catholic case for Joe Biden and for Pete Buttigieg and look forward to seeing the rest.

I hope you will get someone to write "A Catholic Case for Donald Trump," too. I'm not going to vote for him, but I'd like to see what his supporters think he has to offer.

If you do that, though, please do a serious fact check against what the president has said and supported over the years and while in office. Thanks for thinking about this.

(The Rev.) BEV BINGLE
Toledo, Ohio

***

As a practicing Catholic I am outraged by your support of pro-abortion democratic candidates and of your support for pro-abortionists Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden who claim to be Catholics.

How can you say that you are a Catholic publication when you do not support pro-life issues and pro-life candidates?

It is my firm belief that if I vote pro-life, God will take care of the rest of the issues that come up in America. 

Just like Jesus rejected those in the temple, it is time to reject publications like yours that claim to be Catholic yet reject the basic right to life of all human beings including those in the womb.

You are not a Catholic publication; you are a liberal pro-abortion publication. I am disgusted with you associating your publication with the word Catholic. You will never again get any support from me as long as you continue to support pro-abortion candidates and agendas.

CECILIA COTE 
Spokane, Washington

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I enjoyed the opinion piece aligning Mayor Pete Buttigieg's with the U.S. catholic bishop's teachings.

Besides the stated opinions in the article, I think Buttigieg will serve as a much needed commander in chief in today's perilous world.

For too long the current administration has coddled and supported dictatorships around the world. Abandoning the Kurdish people is just one example of a dangerous foreign policy based on whims and wobbles of the current president.

Buttigieg knows foreign policy must be consistent and based on sound policy and strategy. 

As a former member of the armed forces, Buttigieg can make rational decisions that will hopefully bring America back to its former position as leader of the free world and a defender of human rights whether in Ukraine or North Korea, Syria or Africa.

DAVE HALL
Taipei, Taiwan


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