By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
PELOSI'S MIDDLE WAY
AS A LIFELONG DEMOCRAT AND SOMEONE who knows a thing or two about the party, I was disappointed to read Doug Ireland's misguided article "Pelosi's Problem" [November 15-21]. Instead of trumpeting Nancy Pelosi's significant accomplishment — the first woman in U.S. history to assume either party's top leadership position — Ireland's one-sided diatribe against her represents a missed opportunity. It's not enough that Republicans are dumping on Pelosi by alleging that she's a "San Francisco liberal." Now the extreme left is attacking her because she's "not liberal enough." Hopefully, as Pelosi begins her tenure as Minority Leader of the 108th Congress, the Weekly's readers, and the vast majority of Americans, will begin to see her as a shrewd, polished, middle-of-the-road Democrat with a deep commitment to helping people who truly need help and, ultimately, to getting things done.
—Joseph R. Cerrell
KUDOS TO MARC COOPER FOR EFFECTIVELY taking the far left wing to task in his Dissonance column ["Our Peace Movement, Not Theirs," December 13-19], and for not being intimidated by their attacks against him. For too long, the majority voice of reasoned, committed and principled liberals in this country has been drowned out by the ravings of self-deluded revolutionaries, communists and anarchists who are devoted, one-trick experts at only one thing — tearing down the work of others. They have every right to have and express their beliefs, but not as representatives of the liberal left. We need to take back the liberal message and get it out of the hands of these interlopers who detract attention from our legitimate message.
This is a critical time for any real patriot on the left. Now more than ever we need to be united and effective in tackling the right-wing assault on America. We have neither the time nor the luxury of being able to accommodate and pander to the far-left fringe. We have more important things to attend to right now, like confronting this disastrous administration and Congress, taking back the Democratic Party from under its Republican spell or, failing that, getting started on building a third way. Once and for all, let's get our priorities straight and do something pivotal and important on the left instead of playing our usual role as amusing and entertaining side shows to the real process taking place in front of us.
RE: MARC COOPER'S "OUR PEACE MOVEMENT, Not Theirs." It was nice to see a photo in the paper of some of the people in our group, Neighbors for Peace and Justice, Studio City location. Unfortunately, instead of identifying us, the caption said, "Signs of dissent among the dissenters," which refers to the article, but has nothing to do with who we are. This is ironic, because the point of the piece, spelled out in the last third, is that new groups and ideas are surfacing in the anti-war movement that appeal to a broad constituency. That's us. We represent a new approach on the grass-roots level. Weekly neighborhood vigils are popping up all over L.A. with minimal organizing behind them, because a real sense of urgency exists; people can't wait for the next major demonstration to voice their opposition to Bush and his plans for a pre-emptive war against Iraq. When they find out there is a place close by, they come, many every week. At present we have five locations; other peace groups hold vigils as well. These events may fly under the radar of the media (including Mr. Cooper's radar), but their impact is growing; at each demonstration we get our message out to thousands of motorists and hundreds of pedestrians. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.
So come on down, Mr. Cooper, and get to know us. You may even have a site in your neighborhood. And bring that photographer with you — maybe she can include you in the shot this time.
MARC COOPER WRITES, "FOR FUNDAMENTAList is the most polite and diplomatic characterization I can attach to a small choir of leftists who as much as declared jihad on me and a couple of other writers when we suggested that at least a tad of critical thought should be applied in building a peace movement."
That would be fine if there was time. The whole world is about to go up in smoke, so Cooper is a little late to form his own Silver Lake Camp David.
"The new anti-war movement . . ." Talk about shooting ducks in a barrel! It's not like there is some huge anti-war movement out there.
"Hardly the war to win over the millions we need to stop Bush." I protest with the All-Faith Group in front of Farmers Market. These peaceful, gentle old-timers light candles and hold up signs saying "Peace is Patriotic." Who is that alienating?
"Leftists who as much as declared jihad on me." Jihad against Marc Cooper? Dream on! As if anyone gives a fuck about him.
THE WEEK WITH BERNHARD
THIS IS JUST A QUICK THANK YOU TO Brendan Bernhard for a well-written and balanced piece on Patrick Buchanan and Taki ["Do Two Rights Make a Wrong?," cover story, December 13-19]. It was a good read, start to finish.