No rehab for Republicans 

I agree with you [David Hoppe] 90 percent of the time. You are a brilliant writer (you, Carpenter and Kravitz are the best) and great columnist. Keep up the good work!

That said, you are way off the mark on “rehabilitating” the Indiana Republican Party (Hoppe, “Taking Back Indiana’s Republican Party,” April 11-18). What is there to “take back”? Even before the self-righteous, right-wing “Christian” nut cases took over the party, it was certainly nothing to brag about.

On the national level, Nixon’s “southern strategy” divided the races in the South to win the White House and bring Republicans eventual control of Congress. I did not hear Bob Orr and John Mutz complaining about or dissenting from that strategy.

If you want to go back a bit further, Republican Gov. Ed Jackson answered to D.C. Stephenson and the Klan, much as Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels owes debts to Eric Miller and the “religious Klan.” This seems to be a long historical trend rather than some recent “takeover” of the Republican Party by the right-wing.

Daniels is more than happy to benefit from Miller’s assistance in winning the Indiana House of Representatives. Do you think the Republicans would have controlled the House between 2004 and 2006 without Miller’s intervention? Much like the “Swift Boat Veterans” (shilling for the White House) ran ads questioning the patriotism and bravery of war hero John Kerry, Eric Miller and Advance America are already running ads against Democratic state Rep. Terri Austin, one and one half years before the election. Have you heard a word of protest from Daniels?

To suggest that Mitch Daniels is some kind of “moderate” is really pushing the envelope! Anyone who admires, supports, worked for and is close to George W. Bush is no moderate. Mitch is the guy who, while serving as W’s director of management and budget, estimated the war on Iraq would cost $50 billion. Last year, Mitch (by executive order) set up a monument to Iraqi war veterans outside the State Office Building. This is the first time a war memorial was ever set up before a war was over.

I seriously doubt that Daniels “winced” when Miller and (as far as I know) 100 percent of the Republican state representatives and senators tried to railroad the bigoted constitutional amendment against gay marriage through the General Assembly, or that he was the least concerned about said amendment’s effects on Indiana’s economy. His silence spoke volumes, providing his imprimatur for the effort. All he had to do was say it was a “bad idea” and such would have provided “cover” for moderate Republicans (the one or two serving in the Legislature) to speak and vote against the amendment.

Eric L. Mayer


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