The Oil Spill, Joe Biden, and Repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell

From assessing Obama's response to the crisis to whether Don't Ask, Don't Tell should be repealed

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Who’s in Charge of the Oil?

The issue is not one of too little government regulation, it is more one of incompetent oversight [“A Riptide of Blame,” May 28]. The knee-jerk reaction of many is to add to the stew of regulations rather than to reform what already exists. Unfortunately, our congressional members and executive branch never think of reforming or eliminating the ineffective or redundant. Time to wake up, President Obama, and start delivering some of the reform you promised during the campaign.

PHIL MURRAY Needham, Mass.

The Constitution Is Not Living

If, as Prof. David Strauss postulates, the U.S. Constitution is a “living” document, then whatever happened to the rule of law [“Keeping the Constitution Up to Date,” May 28]?  The rule of law is based on consistent interpretation of the law combined with the doctrine of stare decisis, meaning the importance of precedent cases. Prof. Strauss’s concept of a living Constitution says that the Constitution means whatever the courts and the people want it to mean.  If that is true, then why did the framers provide a mechanism [Article V] for amending the Constitution? Having a constitution subject to changing interpretations makes Article V superfluous and destroys the very concept of the rule of law.  Surely James Madison and the other framers never intended such consequences.

K. ALLAN ZABEL Orem, Utah

Now that the federal government is as powerful as it is, no one should wonder that it is as corrupt as it is. Using pretty words to disguise the further corruption of the Constitution should be opposed on every level. Widespread support for a “living” document can only result in its death.

MICHAEL HUGHES Royal Oak, Mich.

The Constitution is not a document that evolves over time. It is what it is. Too often in recent years, Congress has passed laws that violate the Constitution. One example is the recently passed healthcare plan; another is the increasing [federal] control of education. We need to get back to what the Constitution was intended to be.

KEN GAMES Moundsville, W.Va.

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

I served in the U.S. Army for over 21 years (1982 to 2003), and during that time I never once saw a soldier who was actually a homosexual discharged under DADT [Editor’s Note, May 28]. What I did see were soldiers who voluntarily admitted their “homosexuality” to get out of their commitments when the stress got to be too much. I also knew a few homosexuals who kept to themselves and were hard-working, dedicated soldiers. They tended to do their time and then get out when their contracts were up. People of this great nation must remember that, like it or not, we are a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Why should the government force upon the people legislation that violates the principles and values that we supposedly hold so dear?

JOHN SULLIVAN Clarksville, Tenn.

Biden a Bad Cleanup Czar

Your commentary on how Obama can turn around the oil leak crisis was very weak [“How Obama Can Turn Around the Gulf Crisis,” June 4]. Joe Biden, cleanup czar? I would love to hear the off-the-cuff remarks he would make. As far as blaming BP, [BP was] operating under United States regulations and oversight. All the finger-pointing in the world won’t stop one barrel of oil from leaking.

MICHAEL COMBS Gualala, Calif.

  • Check out our editorial cartoons on the Gulf oil spill.
  • See who gets the most from the oil industry.
  • See photos of the Gulf oil spill disaster