To the editor: Jonathan Rauch's idea that a system of favors and rewards helps get things done in a democratic republic reaches its apotheosis in the mafia. As Don Corleone said, for those who wouldn't cooperate, "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse" — which could include a horse's head in his bed. ("Chris Christie's political 'machine' — it's not such a bad thing," op-ed, May 5)
According to Rauch, the actions of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's aides were "laughably boneheaded, a Keystone Kops version of machine politics" — unless, of course, you were the woman who died after an ambulance took an unusually long time to arrive because of the traffic.
John Gallogly, Los Angeles
To the editor: I hope Rauch's opinion piece was meant to be satirical.
If not, then what he needs to understand is that the lane closures that hurt thousands of people going about their daily lives were not a laughable consequence of a good political model but allegedly a crime.
Dale Cutler, Simi Valley