President Obama’s GOP Meeting

Your thoughts about the president’s meeting with Republicans.

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You asked if President Obama’s visit to the Republican meeting should be repeated [Editor’s Note, February 5]. It should, as it provided a public rebuttal of several questionable claims from the floor. But I’d like to see another way. Washington State publishes a voters’ pamphlet with statements for each proposed action, statements against, then rebuttals of each. All this is done on two facing pages. Our political climate is rife with statements and accusations without direct, point-by-point rebuttal. The result is inaccurate, outrageous statements going essentially unchallenged in the media.

Tom Karasek, Longview, Wash.

When President Obama met with Republicans, I thought, wow, this is something I’ve never seen before. They were actually talking with each other. Everyone seemed to be a bit more civil when they were speaking face to face. It was refreshing. Maybe if they continue to do this, the after-the-meeting rhetoric will cool down, and they might even get something done. That would be even more refreshing.

Kate Reimer, St. Louis

I think it is imperative that the president meet on a regular basis with Republicans and Democrats for the sake of the country and the government to restore respect for the institutions and maybe even a few politicians. In the interests of civilized and “parliamentary” discourse, he should meet with the entire congressional membership without significant pomp and circumstance. Ground rules would have to be established ahead of time, and I am not even sure there should be TV coverage. A good old-fashioned radio experience may help people concentrate on what is being said rather than seeing which side of the aisle comments might be coming from.  

John F. Kelly, Portland, Ore.

The meeting with President Obama and the Republicans was the best news we’ve had in a long time. That’s the kind of open-door debate we really need. It would probably get a very high rating if done on a regular basis and in prime time.

Joe Wagner, Plymouth, Minn.

I thought Obama came out quite well addressing the Republicans: reasonable, personable, charming, engaging. It’s dangerous to Republicans to let him have center stage. The GOP in those meetings could and should have pinned him to the wall for what he does versus what he says. President Obama is the guy who wants to redistribute wealth and find understanding with our enemies in talk. That appeals to many, even to me at times. But it does not work, and we have ample evidence in history that it does not. Capitalism and superior military strength may not be perfect in societal/­economic arrangements and state conflicts, but to date they are the best for giving all of us in America a good and safe life no matter how unequal the riches of that life may be and no matter how destructive to our enemies.

Jack Gregory, Anderson, S.C.

The president is on television or in the print media with a well-choreographed program laying out the administration’s position nearly daily. The recent meeting with the Republicans was informative to a degree, but there was too much campaign rhetoric. Once strict guidelines are established, an hourlong meeting with each side of the aisle, alternating every six months or so, would be much more informative.

Michael McClure, Kanarraville, Utah

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