Assessing the convention

Speeches and ideas provoke varied reaction

Sen. Joe Lieberman is right. Party politics is a problem in Washington, particularly in the U.S. Senate.

It's easy to look up voting records for elected officials. Readers should know that 76 percent of Democratic senators voted along party lines 90 percent of the time; 14 percent of the Republican senators voted along party lines 90 percent of the time. As for individuals: Barack Obama, 96 percent; Joe Biden, 97 percent; John McCain, 88 percent; Lieberman, 87 percent Democrat; Amy Klobuchar, 94 percent, and Norm Coleman, 79 percent.

I would rather see the senators vote for their state and country 90 percent of the time instead of their political party 90 percent of the time.

Tim Probst, Andover


Sarah Palin is the new face of the Republican Party? A fear and smear speech with no substance for what she can do for the American people in financial crisis. Hmm, sounds and looks more like a new face in the same old GOP. Glad to know that the GOP still has my best interests at heart.

John Stigman, Osakis, Minn.


McBrilliant knocked it out of the park by selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate. A real American, a mom, an NRA supporter, a union supporter and Bible-believer — perhaps there still is hope for the USA.

Barb Ramirez, Prior Lake


Great hair! Stunning specs! Fine complexion! Unattractive sneer!

Sarah Palin said, "Long ago, a young farmer and haberdasher from Missouri followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency. A writer observed: 'We grow good people in our small towns with honesty, sincerity and dignity.' I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman."

Reading the line, Palin unwittingly reveals her ignorance of history. Harry S. Truman did not live and serve "long ago." Truman's remarkable leadership is well within the memory of my sizable voting bloc.

Joanne Bergman, Angora, Minn.


I find it very, very odd that the McCain/Palin ticket seems to be telling us that it will bring change to Washington when John McCain is a three-term senator, making him a very real Washington insider, and Gov. Sarah Palin had her inauguration sponsored by an oil company.

I don't think things will change if they are elected.

Mark Abeln, Minneapolis


Why there was so much effort by Republican speechwriters and candidates to bash Barack Obama's experience as a community organizer? After hearing the speeches, one would think that it's shameful and useless to dedicate one's time and energy to bettering one's community.

This insults and undermines the hard work and dedication not only of millions of American community organizers — whether they be to the left or right — but also the people who take the time out of their lives to help the McCain campaign every day by going door to door, setting up booths at events, and all the volunteers who helped out at the RNC.

Karla Meyers, St. Paul

Sexism and balloons

As an Obama supporter, I was nonetheless excited to watch Sarah Palin — a woman on a major-party ticket —-accept her party's vice-presidential nomination. I couldn't believe it when the camera panned past a supporter's button declaring: "Hoosiers for the Hot Chick."
The McCain camp doesn't need to spin sexism from Palin critics. Republicans are doing a fine job of it on their own.

Julie Reiter, Minneapolis


There were many red, white and blue images and homages at the RNC, which I felt cheapened my service to the United States. Until all veterans have adequate hospitals and health care, the Republicans are waving their flags disingenuously.

Sally Costello, Minneapolis; Gulf War veteran

Police at work, on video

I was dismayed to see the treatment of press representatives in St. Paul with the detention of Democracy Now's Amy Goodman. What good did it do for the safety of the citizens of St. Paul to detain a journalist doing her job? The video of heavily armored police certainly gave me the impression that St. Paul is not a friendly place.

Dave Ambrose, Astoria, Ore.

Graveside vigil

Just tell the story

In writing about Dwan Fairbanks and the husband she lost to the Iraq war, Nick Coleman describes that war as being one "hardly anyone can explain or justify" (column, Aug. 31) — and seems to suggest a lesser degree of honor in serving in a war some cannot explain or justify.

Coleman and others need to understand that the honor is in answering the country's call to serve, whether the war is popular or not. Do not dishonor those who served or those who lost their lives by suggesting otherwise.

Andrew J. Eisenzimmer, New Brighton