In response to my article on Republicans abandoning President Bush, many of you wrote that Republicans can’t win with me -- I would criticize them whether they sided with President Bush or not.

I’ll respond to that below, but I must say many of you should be glad that I didn’t take you up on any more bets for steak dinners.

Jonathan Mayner writes:

Can Republicans do anything right? Congress backs President Bush = rubber stamp. Congress expresses different point of view = Republicans Abandon President on Sinking Ship

SRE: I see what you mean, but my point was that alliance with the president was forthcoming until it was politically unpopular.

John writes:

They are not abandoning ship. They are refusing to go over the cliff following not just the president but his inept administration. Read Bob Woodward’s "State of Denial."

SRE: Although the book illustrates some reasons why this may not have been so easy, it’s a shame there wasn’t earlier communication about changing our directives in Iraq.

Regarding my column on Rush Limbaugh’s response to Michael J. Fox, many of you wrote me with clarifications of Rush’s point.

Keith Taylor writes:

It’s not about the right to speak. We all have an equal right to speak our opinions. It’s about who’s speaking the truth and who is not and the right of everyone to respond to free speech. That’s called dialogue. Or, should just one side be heard?

SRE: Of course both sides of the debate should be heard. I criticize Rush for attempting to undermine Fox’s points by attacking him personally, rather than simply attacking his points.

Ryan Engelhardt writes:

In response to Rush Limbaugh’s comment that Michael J. Fox was either “off his medication or acting,” I would like to add some validation to his claim. In a recent episode of a television biopic on Michael J. Fox, it mentioned an instance where Fox spoke before Congress or the Supreme Court and deliberately took a sabbatical from his medication in order to show the ravaging effects of Parkinson’s.

Apparently this episode was public knowledge, so it isn’t irrational to assume that Rush used this past situation as a basis for his comments. Also judging by Fox’s regular composure and control, it is not beyond the realm of reasonability that he would forgo medication again in order to evoke a cathartic reaction from Missouri voters.

Rush Limbaugh may not be the patron saint of Tact and Diplomacy, but to infer that his statement was malicious and baseless is unfair. However, seeing as objectivism is an absent member of journalism now, I would probably suggest you go back to mudslinging and “pot calling”, as this makes for more entertaining news and garners more headlines, more viewers and more money.

SRE: No thanks, I’d rather stop the type of political dialogue that criticizes victims rather than their points.

Jim Doerfler writes:

Rush clearly made the point in his monologue that Michael J Fox has every right to state his opinion. Obviously, you weren't listening. Anyway, Rush's position wasn't about whether "to research" or "not to research." It was whether the taxpayers should foot the bill and that the amendment is totally misleading.

SRE: I wasn’t arguing that Rush thought Fox should be pushed out of the debate. And thank you for the latter distinction.

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.