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Forum, May 1: Biden’s address to Congress was a big hit

Published: 5/4/2021 10:43:49 AM
Modified: 5/4/2021 10:50:08 AM
Biden’s address to Congress was a big hit

One hundred days into his Administration — well, 99, anyway — President Joe Biden not only hit a home run with his address to Congress, he hit for the cycle: single, double, triple and a round-tripper, plus, he pitched in relief, all while hitting every note pitch perfect.

You knew from the start it would be a good night for the 46th President when you saw Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi behind him, a historic first with women in such lofty leadership roles. Plus no Trump and Rush Limbaugh’s dead. I don’t mean to disparage the deceased, but that loudmouth spread venom for decades, sowing the seeds for what transpired Jan. 6 with the Capitol Insurrection. Call it the Limbaugh Legacy, and Trump gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom just a year ago.

But times change. It just feels like we can breathe again & get excited about rolling up our sleeves to face the huge challenges before us and get America back on track. Joe just gives you that feeling he knows what he’s doing — he served for 44 years in the Senate, so he knows what makes that body tick, and he learned as vice president under President Barack Obama how important it is to go big.

Moreover, Biden’s getting the job done with the help of his exceptional team while restoring the confidence of Joe and Jane Sixpack. America is indeed back and on the move. And that sound you hear is the solid crack of Biden’s bat meeting the ball straight in the sweet spot and sending it out of the park. Finally we’ve got the guy who knows how to do what needs doing, and not a preening Peacock-in-Chief. That was for the birds.

BOB WILLIAMSON

South Woodstock

Columnist gets it wrong on Iran

I was deeply troubled by Eli Lake’s Op Ed about Iran, supporting “regime change” as the right strategy for the U.S. (“Regime change, writ small, is the right strategy,” April 28). In the first place, how do we like it when another country decides what a better form of government should be for us? Assuming that we know better than others what is good for them has not served us well in the past: Look at our abysmal foreign policy failures in Chile, El Salvador, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, etc., over the years.

Our current allies in the Mideast are hardly angels: the Saudis are a murderous anti-democratic regime that regards women as second-class citizens. Israel, while undeniably a democracy, treats the Palestinians as sub-human. Iran is a bad actor, ruled by a fanatical religious autocracy, which is anti-American. (This is understandable, given our misguided, ham-handed interference in Iran’s domestic affairs decades ago, causing the country to swing to the right.) Instead of demonizing one actor and supporting the others, why not be more nuanced in our approach?

Who has the right to decide who should have nuclear weapons? We as Americans certainly lack any moral superiority. We are the only nation to have ever used nuclear weapons on people, killing and maiming huge numbers of Japanese noncombatants in 1945. While I wish that all such weapons could be banned, in this world, where bullies push other countries around, we need to understand the delicate dances of diplomacy, and find ways to live together without violence, cruelty and grandstanding. Ignoring the Golden Rule is always a mistake, at home or abroad.

MARGARET BRIGHTMAN

Quechee

Bipartisan in word, but not deed

Is it just me or do Democrats and Republicans spend more time expounding on the phrase “broad bipartisan support” than they do actually practicing this ever-elusive parity? Ever the optimist, I am hopeful that the work of and for the people can grind on during these already tumultuous times. We’ve all been through enough!

DONALD B. PERRON

Lebanon

Who needs an AR-15?

Nobody needs an AR-15. That is, other than the victims of numerous pogroms in Eastern Europe, the Armenian victims of the Ottoman Turks, the scores of millions of victims of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot, or the Tutsis and their sympathizers in Rwanda, not to mention more than a few Blacks in our own South. And that’s a far from exhaustive accounting of the 20th century alone. Nobody needs an AR-15? Go ask the Uighurs.

ANTHONY STIMSON

Lebanon




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