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Letters to the Editor: Mitch McConnell will go down in history as another Pontius Pilate

Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is seen at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 29, 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Should politicians vote their conscience, or should they surrender to the demands of the people? For the answer to this question and how our leaders will be remembered, columnist Jonah Goldberg suggests that we may have to wait for history to be written. (“McConnell’s choice is emblematic of the GOP’s rot,” Opinion, Feb. 14)

I suggest that the majority of Senate Republicans who voted to acquit former President Trump (who also happen to be largely associated with the Christian right) reread the biblical account of Pontius Pilate, who reluctantly and infamously handed over Jesus Christ to the angry crowd after being told that he was no friend of Caesar.

His place in history has not been erased, forgotten or forgiven — despite his symbolic hand-washing.

Claire Wynne, Garden Grove

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To the editor: In his closing arguments last week in the impeachment trial, House Manager Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) challenged the senators in front of him to make brave decisions in honor of other historic votes taken in the same chamber.

After referencing votes on the 13th Amendment, the Civil Rights Act and entering World War II, Neguse focused on the Senate’s 1986 override of President Reagan’s veto of the bill to impose sanctions on South Africa during apartheid. Neguse added that a Republican and a Democrat who had both supported that bill were still senators.

Of those two, the Republican was Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Covering that historic vote, the New York Times wrote in 1986 that the first-term senator “was casting his first vote against the president on a foreign policy issue with ‘great reluctance.’” Later, McConnell is quoted as saying about the president, “I think he is ill-advised. I think he is wrong. We have waited long enough for him to come on board.”

I only wish McConnell had shown similar courage to confront a president in his vote more than three decades later.

Jean Collinsworth, Claremont

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To the editor: Goldberg credits the GOP for fidelity to the Constitution, traditional morality, law-and-order economic liberty and fiscal responsibility.

If that was ever the case, it was long ago replaced by cowardice and the desire to win at any cost.

The ravages of economic inequality, bigotry and racism, failure to address threats to the health of our citizens and destruction of our climate are the price we have all paid for the selfishness and greed of the GOP.

James Grissom, Mission Viejo


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