Speaker John Boehner, and Christine O'Donnell's Prospects

Would Rep. John Boehner make a good House speaker?

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Speaker John Boehner?

I sincerely hope that Representative Boehner will place the good of the U.S.A. before partisan winning if he becomes the speaker of the House [Editor’s Note, September 10]. I hope that debates would be couched in terms of benefits for the future, not just the next election. I also hope he will have new ideas: cut out unneeded earmarks as a way to balance the budget instead of just raising taxes, raise Social Security retirement age to 68, pay for unpublicized needs such as the new locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., instead of wasting money on the cause of the moment. Mainly, I want the next speaker of the House to consider the future strength of our country, not his or her political party. [See where Boehner gets his campaign money.]

BETH GALLOWAY Maggie Valley, N.C.

As one of those supposedly sought-after independents, here’s my take: Both Boehner and [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell come across as deserving of the criticism as “the party of no.” Among the most prominent examples was the performance during the healthcare “summit” hosted by President Obama. Obama’s repeated appeal to find and act on common ground was summarily dismissed. Their mantra of “start over” sent a negative message loud and clear. A willingness to work together was diminished by their negative attitude. I have grave concerns about government spending and the devastating impact on my children, grandchildren, and beyond. Like many citizens, I’m incensed over the partisanship that has only intensified, despite the hope that seemed possible with Obama’s election. My impression is that Boehner as speaker will only serve to continue the partisanship. As with the populist Tea Party movement, more than anger is needed. Continued divisiveness is not productive.

[See which industries contribute to McConnell.]

RICHARD PALZER Clarendon Hills, Ill.

As a lifelong moderate Republican who has moved toward independent because of the Republican Party’s strategy of “No,” I expect Mr. Boehner to at least get something done on positive programs with a “new” House. The people expect their leaders to accomplish something. Being the opposing party shouldn’t allow members to squander power on rhetoric and empty nigglings. It’s time for real deals and real programs, and for them to be role models for the general public.

JIM BERRY Campbell, Calif.

Christine O’Donnell Can Win

Those who believe that Christine O’Donnell can’t win the Senate seat in Delaware just have to go back 38 years in Delaware history to when a 29-year-old man took on a sitting Republican senator in a year in which Richard Nixon would carry 49 states in one of the biggest landslides of all times [“Tea Party Groups Push GOP Right,” September 17]. The senator, James Caleb Boggs, was a moderate whom everyone liked. But with determination and lot of work, the young Democratic challenger named Joseph Biden won by 3,000 votes—and 38 years later, he is vice president of the United States. Yes, O’Donnell can win. If the Republicans throw her under the bus, they deserve to get their butts kicked.

GARRY DeMANTY Stockton, Calif.

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