By Doug Kadjar - 11/20/07 07:45 PM EST
I found David Hill’s Nov. 14 column on presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) fascinating (“Ron Paul: trouble back home”). Mr. Hill contends that “Ron Paul ... has little honor in his own land. He’s about to lose his congressional seat.” Lose to whom, Mr. Hill? You failed to mention the name of any formidable opponent. Ironically, Jay Root, in an article the same day in the Kansas City Star (a McClatchy Newspapers story), wrote “Democrats are so used to losing to him that they haven’t even fielded a candidate yet, and probably won’t.”
I was not surprised to learn later in your column that disgruntled Republicans came to you in 2004 seeking encouragement for challengers to Dr. Paul. Here we are “almost four years later,” and you and the anti-Paul Republicans have yet to find someone to mount a serious campaign against Paul. Not even in 2006, a pretty lousy year for Republican incumbents, was Paul seriously challenged.
Definitely not a conservative
From Leo P. Ribuffo, history professor, George Washington University
In his review of Jon Lauck’s Daschle vs. Thune: Anatomy of a High-Plains Senate Race (“The South Dakota showdown of 2004 — from the inside,” Nov. 16), Albert Eisele identifies me as a “conservative historian.” I write to reassure friends who read The Hill that I have not undergone one of those ideological conversions now common among ambitious and/or aging professors.
While I have written with empathy and, I hope, understanding about American conservatism, I am not now nor have I ever been a conservative. I am pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, and pro-welfare state. I favor national health insurance. I opposed this squalid war in Iraq from the outset. I voted for Jesse Jackson in two Democratic presidential primaries and have no regrets. The most conservative presidential nominee I ever voted for was either Al Gore or John Kerry (I’m still not sure which one was more conservative).
I describe myself as an unreconstructed McGovernite. That is, I would like to see the development of a left beyond the latest version of “vital center” liberalism. This may not be possible but hope springs eternal.