Letters to the Editor

Contract failure

The Nov. 9 editorial “Goodbye, Gingrich,” (p. 4) notes that “(Gingrich’s) Contract with America was demonized by Democrats, but many of its points were adopted and became law.”

“Many” parts of the Contract with America did not become law. In fact, only one of the 10 items in the Contract with America became law – the line-item veto – and that was subsequently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Thus, none of the items of the Contract with America became law.

If the Contract with America was Speaker Gingrich’s legislative agenda, then he was a complete failure as a legislative leader.

-Thomas Wolanin
research professor


Not gonna happen

In response to Rich Murphy’s Nov. 9 column “Hippo doesn’t make up for lack of GW tradition,” (basketball preview, p. 2), I couldn’t agree more with the lack of tradition in the Colonials’ No. 1 sport – basketball. Keeping in mind GW was mainly a commuter school up until 15 years ago helps explain why this is so.

But as Murphy said, an intense rivalry can make up for a long history of athletic woes. Murphy’s solution is not as easy as it may seem for one simple reason: Georgetown will never agree to a game against GW. If Georgetown plays GW, it will not only legitimize GW’s basketball program, but the University as well.

Georgetown is viewed as THE university in D.C. Catholic, American and many other schools reside in the District, but lack the national exposure and sports programs to compete with either GW or Georgetown. If GW plays Georgetown, it will be cutting into the draw and marketing of Georgetown as the dominant school in the District. If Georgetown plays the game, it puts itself on the same level as GW. If Georgetown loses the game, it could cause severe damage to its national reputation.

Ask most people what school they think of when they think of Washington, D.C., and their response will most likely be Georgetown. No matter how hard GW works to change that, Georgetown would like it to stay that way.

-Brendan O’Malley
GW alumnus

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