About Dana Parsons' column I would make two points:
When an elected official carves out an area of expertise near and dear to the liberals--environment, homelessness, education--he is called "compassionate," "an expert" or a "humanitarian." But let it be a conservative issue, particularly traditional family values, and people like Bill Dannemeyer are called "fringe," "mean-spirited," "Stone Age" politicians. The double standard is really galling.
It is an all-too-familiar theme of the Orange County Establishment press to portray Congressman Dannemeyer as "unrelenting," "dogmatic" and "obsessive" in his effort to restore family issues to their traditional prominence in American society. The implication being (even frequently directly stated by the press) that Congressman Dannemeyer has no other congressional agenda. He does. They just won't cover it.
I have personally observed many press conferences (most recently at the state GOP convention in Sacramento) where Mr. Dannemeyer has attempted to move reporters on to other issues. The press will have none of it. Instead, they badger Mr. Dannemeyer with morality issue questions, then attack him as one-dimensional after he answers them.
Congressman Dannemeyer is actually only a straw man in all of this. They hold him up for outrageously demeaning ridicule only as a steppingstone to then launch into promoting their own liberal, anti-family, pro-homosexual agenda.
That's why one-third of Mr. Parsons' column is devoted to Bill Dannemeyer but two-thirds is really devoted to advocating AB 101, spousal rights for homosexual couples, and the election of more supposedly tolerant politicians.
So, you see, if they didn't have someone like Bill Dannemeyer who fights back, they would have to invent him.
If Mr. Parsons really wants to "cut Dannemeyer some slack" then report about all of his congressional record. Until then, it's plain to see who really is "unrelenting," "dogmatic" and "obsessive."
BRIAN O'LEARY BENNETT, Garden Grove