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To The Editor:
Once, a 3-year-old was playing on the living room floor when the adults above her mentioned a great aunt had died. The little tot calmly looked up from her cowboy toys and asked: Who shot her? Mr. Lehman seems to make the same extra-logical assumptions about Republicans. Perhaps I could help … with a lesson I learned.
When I was quite young, there was a great general named Eisenhower. And, after he defeated people (who claimed to be of a higher moral order), he came back to civilian life, chose to become a Republican (like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King) and became president. He even created the interstate highway system (perhaps the greatest infrastructure project of all time). So, back then, it was okay to "Like Ike!" even though he was a Republican.
Well, years passed and the old general died and eventually there was another Republican president, named Nixon. Now, he created the EPA and OSHA, and public radio and television, and funding for Planned Parenthood and even proposed universal health care. But, this was not enough because he was not a heroic kindly grandfather, rather a political operative named Tricky Dick! And we know what happened to him: Watergate, all Republican's original sin. Yes, forever after, every Republican's word or deed would be linked to an evil intention, as illustrated by your “In My View” comments.
But, this is where the lesson part comes in. I had finished a (failed) screenplay and noticed in the newspapers that George Bush's Florida Recount lawyer was a Democrat! And that became the genesis of a book: Make a staunch liberal lawyer's client be the Republican devil himself – Richard Nixon. So, my fingers hunted and pecked, the plot thickened and there was angst and twists and turns, and everything necessary for good historical fiction until I asked a 3-year-old's question: Who did Nixon actually bug? You see, if you actually research the Watergate crime (not the cover-up), you will find that no police officer or FBI agent or intrepid reporter ever found an operable Watergate bug. There were no bugs … a cold hard fact the Washington Post saw fit to omit!