By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Waitwe elected who?: Why the tone of arrogance and condescension in your "election special" ("Accidental Victors," by Matt Pulle, Jim Schutze and Megan Feldman, November 16)? You kick Craig Watkins and Jim Foster to the curb as if they had a moral obligation to recognize themselves as unqualified and unfit to pursue public service. If you think the lesser-qualified candidates prevailed, whose fault is it—the candidates, or local media (you), who failed to see what was coming and failed to cover it?
Watkins and Foster deserve some respect. Public service is hard. Cheap shots are easy. Next time try assisting your readers with a little coverage of important county-wide races BEFORE the election, rather than waiting until afterward to suggest that voter stupidity has saddled the county with a gaggle of spares.
As for the dozens of judicial races, my Republican friends will eventually understand the message that Democrats have been enduring for 20 years: If you want to serve on the bench, you have the option of switching parties. And though at least as many of the Democratic candidates were better-qualified than their Republican opponents, I concede that credentials did not matter at all in the judicial races. What's fascinating is that Republicans seem stunned, as if the reason they were winning all those races for all those years had anything to do with qualifications and credentials. Qualifications have NEVER mattered, and never will, as long as we continue to elect judges under our current system.
I'm a two-time sore loser, a Democratic judicial candidate (the incumbent) 20 years ago, and a failed Congressional candidate this time out. But now that The Dallas Morning News has completely abandoned the idea that they should cover local politics (but give them a governor's race that was over in March and they've got at least a full page every day for a year), I urge the Observer to step in and become an even more valuable and credible publication for our community than ever before.
In one sentence you refer to the whole question of "whether partisan voters should be trusted with choosing the local judiciary." Now there's a story—get on it!
Change is gonna come: Waanh! Waanh! Waanh! Poor Republicans. Thrown out of office by people who voted for change over the status quo. As one of those straight-party voters, I assure you it had nothing to do with Bush. My vote in Texas has no impact on him. I voted for the Democrats because I don't like what Republican leadership has done to Dallas County. Now the losers want to trash the winners. Well, I trust the voters of Dallas County. If this doesn't work out, we'll throw these bums out too. Why question our motives when Democrats vote straight-party? Blind devotion to the Republican franchise is what brought us to this point in the first place. Furthermore, since when are non-politicians barred from seeking public office? We need a few men and women like Cincinnatus, willing to abandon their fields and save our republic. Sadly, the Republican losers showed their true colors when in a fit of pique they played hooky the day after, throwing the courts into chaos. Nice work, your honors. A judge once asked Mae West if she was showing contempt for his court. She replied, "I'm doin' my best to conceal it." Enough said.
David C. Benn
Cramping their style: If I could pen an article reviewing Jimmy Webb's show ("Power Lines," by Robert Wilonsky, November 2) on Saturday night, I could sum it up in one word: DAMN!
It was the most incredible concert I have ever seen. The only downside was the stuffy environment created by certain patrons that were opposed to my friend and I laughing at Jimmy's jokes and otherwise having a good time. Mind you, I'm 26, my friend is 24, and everyone else was 55 or older. Perhaps we were cramping their style.
Rising to her level: I enjoyed Jim Schutze's commentary on Laura Miller ("Tone Deaf," November 9). You are absolutely right about her. I think ol' Laura is a great example of the Peter Principle: In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. It appears to me that she's reached it and is looking for a promotion.
Just as Rotten
Alpha Ole: There is no doubt that the Trinity Foundation is a cult ("The Cult of Ole," by Glenna Whitley, August 3). Cults are characterized by a charismatic leader who intrudes on the personal lives of others, discourages and systematically denigrates and destroys critical thinking, destroys boundaries and fosters dependence on the leadership. I once helped Trinity Foundation with an exposé on Bishop Earl Paulk. It turns out that Anthony and his ilk are just as bad and as sexually and financially exploitative as the televangelists Anthony exposes. Anthony has had past sexual improprieties which he hasn't come clean about and obviously has a personality disorder that sees the need to dominate and control the lives of people with low intelligence and lack of critical-thinking skills. He is dangerous, as are most alpha personalities with the need to dominate and think for others.
The Reverend Richard Lee