Candidates asking for defeat by not picking women for VP

Your editorial “Handling the VP question” (July 9) did not cover the most important factor.

It is clear to even an older male Republican like myself that any 2008 presidential candidate who does not choose a woman as his running mate is asking for defeat. But months after having effectively won the nomination, neither Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) nor Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has seized the advantage on this point by stating that his choice will most certainly be a woman. The longer each waits, the greater the chance of being one-upped — being forced to follow his opponent’s lead and losing any benefit he might otherwise get by picking a woman.

Worse than that, both men are wasting large amounts of time and staff vetting possible choices (and enduring criticism about who they picked to do the vetting) when the media have far greater resources and are more than willing to do it for them. By now every last female vice presidential possibility should have had her tiniest mistake and past associations relentlessly probed and exposed — all for free.

Even worse than that, both of the candidates have proved to be pathetically egocentric and insecure — wanting every TV moment and newspaper story to be only about them right up to the convention. And this will result in valuable campaign time being wasted on the nation getting to know the vice presidential candidates which should have been better spent debating serious national and international issues.

So, measured in terms of common sense, strategy, best use of resources, timing and sense of priorities, both Obama and McCain have shown themselves to be hopelessly unqualified to be president. With a population of more than 300 million people, this is the best we can come up with as our next national leader.

I think that if any of the top female executives in this country ran on a third-party platform of anti-war, anti-immigration, pro-American jobs, and pro-local control and pro-parent control of education (feds out), she would beat both of these shallow, self-centered fools. Please, dear God, let it happen.

New York

Group’s focus should extend to illegals

From Bill Mefford, director of civil and human rights, United Methodist Church

James Dobson, leader of Focus on the Family, recently called Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) theology and worldview confusing and distorted. I do not speak for Obama or what he believes, but Dobson’s critique invites the question of whether he himself is not guilty of self-serving distortions about his own theology and worldview, especially regarding one of the most important issues facing our country: immigration.

Focus on the Family’s website states that its mission is to strengthen, nurture and defend the family. If so, where is Focus on the Family in defending and nurturing the thousands of families torn apart by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its recent crackdown on undocumented immigrants? Children are being detained in adult facilities. Children as young as 6 have been separated from their parents. Family members frequently are separated without being allowed to let each other know what has happened. And, exacerbating the situation, detention is often indefinite because of the large number of people DHS has apprehended and the long delays in processing their cases.

In addition, private detention centers are being used to house immigrant families and there are currently no federal standards to regulate how immigrants are being treated in these centers.

Thus, we have seen immigrants denied medical treatment — immigrants who are fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. Perhaps most troubling of all is the constant fear that so many immigrant families live in, never knowing if this might be the last day they see their loved ones.

Why has Dobson and Focus on the Family been silent about the widespread demonization and dehumanization of immigrants and their families by the media and even some members of Congress? Why has Dobson not used his enormous political influence with the White House to call for an end to these inhumane raids by DHS?

Washington