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Selective memory? 

Normal Mehl’s rebuttal (“Don’t be a sore loser,� Letters, Feb. 3-10) to the commentary regarding the Bush inauguration is redolent of the self-righteous contempt and the selective memory that people of his political ilk continue to spew.

If Clinton is the only president to induce shame in Mr. Mehl, he must have not paid much attention during the early 1970s, when President Nixon shamed the nation by lying, breaking numerous laws, obstructing justice, and generally betraying the trust of his constituents. Nixon’s disgrace reached its apex when he became the only president to resign, then got away with his crimes when his crony Gerald Ford pardoned him. How is this, barely a generation ago, not more shameful?

Mr. Mehl has a similar problem with his recollection of historical facts. He states that “no president has had to deal with a major attack on U.S. soil since the Revolution.� In the War of 1812 the British, with whom we were at war, sailed up the Potomac and rampaged through Washington, burning the White House and the Capitol building, and sending the government fleeing. I would call this a pretty major attack, in fact, for its time, as serious and more damaging to the national psyche than the Sept. 11th attacks were a few years ago.

Tom Agostino

San Luis Obispo

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