Let's compare scandals:Bob Taft vs. Bill Clinton
Presently, Gov. Bob Taft is the last guy I'm willing to defend. Besides his ineffective leadership over a wide range of issues, I will always regard him as a weasel for raising cigarette taxes three times.
However, I've grown weary of the Democrats' outrage of the governor's "golf outing scandal." Listening to local talk radio, you'd think the guy committed a rape or exposed himself to an unsuspecting subordinate. "Dey should trow 'em outta dare," I heard one say. "He oughta resign," another muttered. I've even heard a few suggest that Bob Taft "disgraced" the great state of Ohio. Gee, that sounds serious.
But there were two little words that Taft uttered which were plastered across The Vindicator the other day. "I'm sorry." Now isn't that refreshing? The guy said he was sorry for his ethical lapse. Upon deep reflection, I don't recall hearing those two little words from a certain political animal several years ago after dragging the good name of the United States through the mud.
Bill Clinton lied, stonewalled, obstructed and denied for seven long months during the Lewinsky investigation. The only reason he admitted to an "inappropriate relationship" was the matter of a stain on a blue cocktail dress. On August 17, 1998, Bill Clinton once again committed perjury during his grand jury testimony that afternoon and by evening, he was again trying to find wiggle room but never once apologizing for his "ethical lapse" to the nation. Check the records and you'll see that Bill Clinton has NEVER taken full responsibility for that particular scandal, or any other for that matter. It's always someone else's fault or it's that mean ol' Ken Starr and the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy." To this day he regards his impeachment as nothing too serious, just the Republicans abusing their power.
At the time there was overwhelming consensus that Clinton resign. When referring to Richard Nixon in 1974, Clinton said: "I think it's plain that the president should resign and spare the country the agony of this impeachment and removal proceeding. I think the country could be spared a lot of agony and the government could worry about inflation and a lot of other problems if he'd go and resign. [There is] no question that an admission of making false statements to government officials and interfering with the FBI and the CIA is an impeachable offense."
Some folks suggest Bob Taft was "influenced" by those golf outings. If $5,800 could influence a governor, imagine what several hundred thousand dollars from the communist Chinese might do for a sitting president. Perhaps it got them some high-tech missile technology. Heck, I believe it was around $5,000 that Al Gore accepted from some Buddhist monks in 1996. Personally, if there's any "influence" being bought, I prefer it be bought by Americans.
Always remember that no matter what Republican "scandal" the Democrats seek to capitalize on and exploit for political gain, there's an even BIGGER Democrat scandal lurking in the woodpile. After the tumultuous Clinton years, there's not a word of criticism most Democrats can say with any credibility, or a straight face.
JOHN P. MORELL
Better care closer to home
The first week in February 2005, I was diagnosed with lung cancer and we immediately made appointments at the Cleveland Clinic to be treated. Thirty-one days of radiation and chemotherapy were recommended followed by surgical removal of the tumor about a month later.
Unfortunately, the surgery date was delayed for some reason and the tumor spread to my brain, which made surgery not possible. Further radiation was suggested, which I agreed to and asked if we could do it in Youngstown and was told this was not recommended. We later found that the local treatment is a very viable alternative, as everything else is equivalent, except a three hour ride to and from Cleveland and only 10 minutes to Forum Health.
I am now finishing my radiation at Forum where the staff is considerate and attuned to the patient's needs. I regret having gone to Cleveland, which unfortunately many of us in Youngstown seem to feel is the only thing to do!
GEORGE C. RUMBERG Jr.