A sure-fire way to beat Clinton

Daniel Schorr's Feb. 17 column, "Everyone's running against Clinton," triggered a related thought: Conservatives have finally figured out a way to beat the president - claim every McCain or Bush primary victory is a defeat for Clinton.

Conservative commentators and talk show hosts across the country have been boasting this past week: "The Senate may not have convicted President Clinton, but in their fashion New Hampshire voters just did," or "McCain won big not because of campaign-finance reform but because voters loved the idea of voting for someone who seemed to be everything Clinton isn't."

After suffering two presidential defeats and five years of watching their congressional leadership repeatedly outmaneuvered, claiming victory against Clinton after each GOP primary must feel pretty darn good. And by claiming victories against their political nemesis in races he's not actually in, Republicans have finally figured out a way to guarantee their side wins.

Ray Giles Roseville, Calif.

The press favors McCain ... for now

Your article "This year, apathy is out and politics is in..." (Feb. 15) raises questions that are easy to answer. The media are performing as enthusiastic cheerleaders for Sen. John McCain. The media know that all indications are that Al Gore will have easy sailing to his coronation at the Democrat Party convention.

But how long will the media's love affair with McCain last? We know that 90 percent of the people in the media are Democrats, so it is safe to assume that they will go home to roost with Al Gore come November. An indication that the present enthusiasm will not be long lasting is that the Al Gore and Bill Bradley camps don't seem very worried about Democrats crossing over to vote in the Republican primaries. Many primaries are open primaries, so people in either party are free to vote willy nilly.

If the Democrat Party apparatus perceived a real threat to the solidarity of their base, they would be taking serious pot shots at McCain, which they are not doing. With all due respect to McCain, the current McCain "phenomenon" is simply a case of the liberal media and cross-over Democrats trying to pick the Republican presidential candidate.

R. Krishnaswami New York

Can day care help reduce crime?

Regarding your article "How day care may cut the crime rate" (Feb. 16): Has Vancouver demographer David Baxter considered that this generation of "high-schoolers and 20-somethings" have also committed some of the worst crimes we have ever seen - and against each other?

The shootings at many schools around the US should sound an alert. Adolescents who are accused of serious crimes are indicators that whatever we are doing for and with our children is creating, in a significant few, a lack of regard for the sacredness of life.

Let us not be hasty in deciding that day care creates less crime before we look carefully at the nature of the "fewer" crimes that are being committed.

Susan A. Tannehill Clarence Center, N.Y.

Your article on the positive effects that day care can have on later behavior of children was quite interesting and true for children who experience high quality care.

What a casual reader may miss is the emphasis on quality. Most child care in this country is mediocre. If America cared as much as Canada does about its children during the early years when the mind and behavior patterns are being developed, I have no doubt we'd see a real decrease in criminal and psychotic behavior.

Phyllis Belk Philadelphia, Pa.

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