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Your Mail: Bi-partisan Blame Game, Madonna and Child

In my article on the ‘Blame Clinton’ response of Republicans to the Foley scandal, you wrote that Democrats would do no better, but instead, would ‘Blame Bush.’

The polls say this isn’t just the sentiments of FOX News readers, it’s the sentiment of the American people.

Rodney Stuart of San Diego, Calif., writes:

Come on! Get real Susan. The Republicans do not blame Clinton any more then the Democrats blame Bush for every problem in the world. Do you know how well the war in Iraq could be going if the president had just a little support from the Democrat Party? How many lives could have been saved if there was unity in Washington? Too much rhetoric and politics to regain power is costing too much life.

SRE: I agree about the too much rhetoric point, and Democrats might not be any different if faced with scandal. But there is, of course, a difference between pointing fingers at a former president in response to a political scandal, and criticizing the policies of the incumbent president.

Another reader writes:

I would agree that Republicans have not handled the Foley situation as well as they probably could have; but there is also the reality that Democrats probably wouldn’t have handled it any better. Your editorial conveniently overlooks that Democrats care just as much "about protecting their political rear ends" as the Republicans... (age aside) does the name Lewinsky ring a bell?

SRE: Thanks for your thoughts, I concede that point.

Karl Baumgarten of Lincoln, Ne., writes:

I see you're still protecting your fellow Democrats. At least the Republicans throw out their members who commit disgusting acts. The Democrats keep their members who have committed similar acts in office. Maybe you don't notice the difference, but I do.

SRE: It seems the Republicans should have thrown out one of their members a little more quickly.

Mary Fertitta Budke writes:

I would like to know why Madonna didn't just bring the father of this child to England or America and help them with a fresh start. It's not as if she couldn't have easily afforded it. That would have made her reputation better, not worse. The young child will undoubtedly have a more comfortable life with Madonna and her family. I certainly don't begrudge him that opportunity. But there are so many children in foster care and orphanages here in this country and abroad.....why take this child even with the father's consent?

SRE: Thanks Mary, I see what you mean and agree that she simply intended to help. I think that adopting the whole family would run into immigration blocks and might be seen as a paternalistic or unsustainable way of giving aid. The Malawi infrastructure certainly needs aid, and as you point out, so does the U.S. orphanage system.

Elliott Atkinson writes:

I agree with you about this adoption. The point that these groups seem to miss is that this child was saved. Yet these people wanted Madonna to wait 18 months...in Malawi? They should be focusing their efforts in trying to do away with this unreasonable law. There are over one million orphans in Malawi. Its infant mortality rate ranks fifteenth out of 226 in the world.

Yet, instead of having a reasonable set of adoption requirements for potential parents, it is actually trying to discourage foreign adoption. Isn't the government of Malawi concerned at all about these orphans? What is their concern about foreign adoptions? If the child can go to a good home with loving parents, as opposed to dying alone of malaria on a dirt floor and being forgotten, why would they try to prevent that?

SRE: I agree, there are many ways to show love and commitment toward a child besides a residency requirement. Thanks for the stats as well.

Mark J. of Redford, Mich., writes:

Ms. Estrich, no one is more surprised than myself that I agree with you in your article. Although some are portraying that this child is "bought," it still wouldn't be any different here in the U.S. It costs thousands of dollars to adopt here. I don't believe Madonna is a great example of motherhood, not in any sense. But it still would be better, for the child, to have a chance such as he never had even a dream of having before. And let’s not forget the charitable donation. How wonderful for those folks on the receiving end of that donation may now have funds they never dreamed of, to take care of those poor children.

SRE: I agree, thank you for your thoughts.

Susan Estrich is currently the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California and a member of the Board of Contributors of USA Today. She writes the "Portia" column for American Lawyer Media and is a contributing editor of The Los Angeles Times. She was appointed by the president to serve on the National Holocaust Council and by the mayor of the City of Los Angeles to serve on that city's Ethics Commission. A woman of firsts, she was the first woman president of the Harvard Law Review and the first woman to head a national presidential campaign (Dukakis). Estrich is committed to paving the way for women to assume positions of leadership. Books by Estrich include "Real Rape," "Getting Away with Murder: How Politics is Destroying the Criminal Justice System" and "Dealing with Dangerous Offenders." Her book "Making the Case for Yourself: A Diet Book for Smart Women," is a departure from her other works, encouraging women to take care of themselves by engaging the mind to fight for a healthy body. Her latest book, The Los Angeles Times bestseller, "Sex & Power," takes an impassioned look at the division of power between men and women in the American workforce, proving that the idea of gender equality is still just an idea.