Re “Tearful Packwood Bows to Pressure, Says He’ll Resign,” Sept. 8:
Some senators feel bad for Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.), as if he is a victim. Packwood is not a victim. No one has victimized him. He has victimized women, for which he has no remorse. In fact he describes his behavior as simply kissing. This is gross understatement and misrepresentation of what he has done.
If Packwood feels bad, it is for the power, prestige and privileges he has lost, not for abusing his position as a U.S. senator nor for sexually taking advantage of women.
* Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and the members of the Senate Ethics Committee may levitate from a sense of having cleansed the Senate of evil, but I wonder if they haven’t indulged in overkill. Packwood’s behavior is indefensible. However, if every legislator with psychological problems were hounded from Congress, would the houses ever achieve a quorum?
A reprimand would have been sufficient. Of course a reprimand would have left the senator in Congress, perhaps to turn on one or more of his judges when they’re caught with their problems.
If Boxer really believes, as quoted, that the committee’s action “sends a message loud and clear that the Senate has zero tolerance for this kind of behavior” (Sept. 8), then she harbors an awesome disrespect for the national intelligence. As one of the constituents who sent Boxer to Washington, I feel now as if I voted for a bumper sticker.
* A sense of common decency seems to have faded away from much of American life these days. And so we can applaud the decent response in the Senate to Packwood’s bizarre sexual actions. And we can applaud the senator’s decent decision to resign quickly. Otherwise, his roving tongue would have controlled the headlines for weeks, just as (former LAPD detective) Mark Fuhrman’s racist tongue has done.
In a larger sense, the Senate committee’s action has established a new path for dealing definitively with an old problem.
HARRY MILES MUHEIM
* Packwood, despite his Republican affiliation, had a voting record as liberal as most Democrats. On women’s issues he consistently voted with the National Organization for Women’s gang. Having supported feminism, he helped make it what it is today.
As the novel “Frankenstein” taught us, if you make a monster, it may destroy you. The monster Packwood helped create is feminism, and it has destroyed him. Let others beware.
KEMP A. RICHARDSON
* If senators can remove Packwood from the Senate for alleged sexual misconduct, how come Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) is still sitting there?
* So Packwood finally says he’ll resign because “it is the honorable thing to do.”
How would he know what the honorable thing to do is?
Certainly no one believes he resigned, rather than being expelled, so he could keep the Senate’s full retirement and health benefits, such as his estimated $89,000 annual pension payment. Or do they?
And, finally, is he the incredibly Misunderstood Man or just another part in causing the problem?
* I love the pious hypocrisy of these scoundrels when they know they’ve finally reached the end of their rope. Packwood is resigning because it is for the good of the country.
If the senator from Oregon cared about the good of the country, he’d have resigned three years ago instead of putting us through the time-consuming hearings into his boorish behavior instead of solving the nation’s problems.
* A suggested epitaph for Packwood, who said he is leaving the Senate “not with malice, but with love:"
“He loved, not too well, but too much.”