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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for Jan. 9, 2022

Biden right; missed one crucial thing

President Biden gave a historic speech, likely his best so far.

But he MISSED one thing. He should have pointed out the vicious lie Trump told right to the faces of the crowd he gathered on Jan. 6, and how he PROVED to them moments later he was a coward and a fraud. The president should have spoken directly to them and said, “That man stood before you that day and told you he would march with you, that he would walk down Pennsylvania Avenue with you to the Capitol. You heard that promise. Twice. Many of you told reporters that day you heard him promise to walk with you. Where was he instead? Hiding. He faked you out! What more proof do you need of his cowardice and lies?”

Or words to that effect.

Let us hope all Americans, whether leaning left or right, take Biden’s words to heart and swear to work together to keep our nation in balance and moving forward.

Bill Sweigert


The goat herder from Edwall

Sue Lani Madsen again proves she is just about as smart as Donald Trump (“One year later … what’s in a name?” Jan. 6).

A largely peaceful demonstration? Where on earth did she watch this violent insurrection? It’s way past time to send her off to La La Land to join with the rest of the remains of the Republican party.

Pat O’Leary


Insurrection article appreciation

I enjoyed Orion Donavan-Smith’s well-written, balanced article, “Insurrection One Year Later,” in Thursday’s Spokesman-Review.

It’s refreshing to read a true journalistic article with obvious time spent on gathering the content and efforts to get informative rather than inflammatory statements from all sides. While I guess I would classify myself as a centrist Democrat, I seek to understand why some of my otherwise intelligent Republican friends can have such tunnel vision; concentrating on blame games instead of how to work on governance, social and infrastructure issues. To some extent, it’s been that way throughout history. But in this modern age of technology the competitive headline grabbing of the mainstream and social media, exacerbating or creating the current culture of immediacy, seems to have decreased the number of people who can practice critical thinking.

I take time to listen or follow media and posts from “both sides of the current divide” in an effort to understand venomous (in my opinion) outpourings of some. I’ll admit to not being able to listen or read to the end of many diatribes as the concentration so frequently is, as the article quoted Cornell Clayton, (people) “defining themselves less by what they are for than by whom they are against.”

And I completely agree with the quote: “What happens in that kind of polarization is, not only do we form our identities by demonizing the other side,” Clayton said, “but we also become more fanatical and more extreme internally.”

Sad, but true.

Karen Robertson

Harrington, Washington

Perpetuating lies concerning Jan. 6

How dare The Spokesman-Review print an op-ed piece by Sue Lani Madsen whitewashing the events of Jan. 6 as well as the front-page article describing the violent coup attempt a “protest of the election of Biden.”

The actions of the insurrectionists on that day was an attempt to overthrow the government of the United States orchestrated by Donald Trump in order to install a fascist government with himself as the authoritarian leader. The subsequent turnabout of Republican representatives who on that day had called their leader (Trump) begging for their lives to now cow-towing to and ring-kissing Trump is appalling and indicative of the moral vacuum that party has fallen to.

The Spokesman-Review and Madsen joining in on this revisionist attempt to further the aims of treason is equally appalling. Madsen writes “the 99% of the lawfully gathered crowd held mostly peaceful protest and went home.” WHAT? Video evidence clearly illustrates that this is not true.

Shame on The Spokesman-Review and its editors. This paper has fallen to the level of Fox non-news by perpetuating lies. This type of irresponsible journalism is feeding into the likelihood that the next election may have even more violent and damaging actions that could very well end democracy in this country.

David Randall


Not confused at all

Sue Lani Madsen’s attempt to knit a fig leaf from the broken glass of the Capitol windows to cover the violent attempt at insurrection by Trump loyalists who beat police officers with flag poles flying the stars and stripes or Confederate or Gadsden flags is tragic. Madsen’s apologist reinterpretation of the facts is a clear example of a stunned, old-school GOP conservative trying to rationalize the irrational, traitorous behavior of the new Republican base.

This attempt to minimize the Jan. 6 insurrection as some kind of minor peripheral violence on the edges of a peaceful demonstration is ludicrous. It’s like a mugger punching you in the face, picking up the broken shards of your eyeglasses, holding them up in front of your eyes, and saying, “See, if you look through this shard, you can see that it was just your face bumping into my fist. You weren’t attacked by me. You just bumped into my flying fist. Obviously, we can’t call that assault.” Right, how could I not see that?

More than a thousand insurrectionists hid caches of weapons on the outskirts of the Capitol, and then joined the edges of the demonstration waiting for their cue to begin their assault. They were there to implement a carefully planned attack on the Capitol building specifically to stop the certification of electoral votes. They tried for 186 minutes but failed. There is no difficulty deciding what to call their violent attack. It was an attempted insurrection. Period. Full stop.

Jim Wavada


Newspaper must lead the way

In reading your article recalling the incident on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, I found factual information and I agree that those who did damage and made threats should be held accountable.

I am grateful that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers chose to certify the results as was the right thing to do. Vice President Mike Pence provided needed leadership in this matter.

However, you did not provide any context for the actions of those who did no wrong in attending a rally to voice their concerns about election integrity. We are within our rights to do so without regard to the “accuracy” of those concerns.

Additionally, for two years we were told that we need to accept violence at similar incidents when it had to do with others’ concerns. That we have to look past the violence and see the problem.

Whenever we accept violence as a valid political tool, we open the door to silencing opposing views. And we cause division. And it seems to me that there is a lot of inflammatory rhetoric on all sides and that all leaders should be held to the same standard and be condemned for inflammatory rhetoric whether you agree with their politics or no. And you should lead the way as this community’s newspaper.

Virginia Powers


Remember what happened on Jan. 6

As we mark the one-year anniversary of Jan. 6, 2021, I know I cannot sleep until I write this letter.

Those that attacked the United States Capitol that day were not patriots. They were thugs that refused to accept the election results. They carried baseball bats, hammers, pitchforks, scaffolding and spears. They used filthy language. They were so proud of themselves, posing for their selfies all through the halls of the Capitol, while destroying parts of it in the process.

These weren’t law-abiding citizens. They had no respect for the law at all. They wounded well over 100 law enforcement officers and their actions resulted in the death of one of those officers and later the suicide deaths of four others.

I’ll never forget the tears I cried that day for my America. That mob was almost robotic after Donald Trump told them to march to the Capitol.

People need to remember, the senators, congressmen and congresswomen there that day were all elected to their positions by American citizens. They were there to perform their duty to all of us. These were human beings afraid for their lives, not knowing what the outcome would be. The hurt, the fear, and the death that resounded that day can never be forgotten, nor should it be.

I can’t imagine anyone being OK with what happened that day.

Laura Hegel



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