Speaker Mike Johnson’s Rise: ‘The Republicans Have Elevated an Extremist’

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  • Baseball on the Clock
  • Iron Deficiency
  • Governors, Join Together to Solve the Immigration Crisis

Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “G.O.P. Elects Speaker, Ending Bitter Feud” (front page, Oct. 26):

Our nation flails on the brink of disaster now that the Republicans have elevated an extremist to the honorable position of House speaker. A Times online newsletter article says all we need to know about Mike Johnson: “His elevation now places a socially conservative lawyer who opposes abortion rights and same-sex marriage, and who played a leading role in the efforts to overturn the 2020 election, second in line to the presidency.”

Citizens of this great nation should fear this election-denying, rights-resisting, bigotry-promoting zealot. This turn of events underscores the importance of getting out the vote.

May the universe and all things holy protect our republic from doom.

M. Corinne Corley
Isleton, Calif.

To the Editor:

Republicans have elected a speaker of the people’s House who attempted to subvert the people’s will in the last election by leading a bogus effort to overturn the election that Joe Biden clearly and convincingly won, an effort that if it had succeeded could well have ended our democracy — a man who won the position as leader because Donald Trump, twice impeached and indicted on many felony charges, approved of him.

America is full of second acts, but they begin with contrition.

Mike Johnson, the new speaker, can get a fresh look from me if he admits he was wrong about the 2020 election, apologizes to Mr. Biden and the country, says clearly that Mr. Biden won, and commits to operate the people’s House for all of us, independently of Mr. Trump!

John E. Colbert
Arroyo Seco, N.M.

To the Editor:

When all is said and done, what did the Democrats achieve? By voting to oust Kevin McCarthy, they exchanged the frying pan for what Matt Gaetz and his circus barkers wanted all along: the fire.

Sabin Willett

To the Editor:

There can be no clearer evidence of the stranglehold that Donald Trump continues to have on subservient members of the Republican Party than the seemingly endless House speaker vote fiasco just played out in Congress.

The former president was openly intimidating House speaker candidates whose credentials, in Mr. Trump’s view, were disqualifying if they included rejection of his claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

Astoundingly, even as the walls of justice close in on the beleaguered former president and as a growing list of his administration cronies cooperates with prosecutors, a large and entrenched component of congressional Republicans remains complicit in abetting Mr. Trump’s obsession with a stolen election.

Roger Hirschberg
South Burlington, Vt.

To the Editor:

Unfortunately I am shocked and beyond despair. It appears that the G.O.P. is set on self-destruct. I cannot imagine anything good coming out of this speaker selection. Congress is now slated to be all but gridlocked until the next election.

It would appear that the party of gerrymandered districts is dead set on destroying our country and doesn’t care what most Americans want or think.

Rob Wheeler
Summertown, Tenn.

To the Editor:

The “squishes” got squashed. Moderate Republicans once more prostrated themselves before their far-right overlords. As a result we have a new speaker of the House who was a leader of the effort to overthrow the government of the United States by overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election, and who ironically now stands second in the line of succession to the presidency. Squishy indeed.

Steve Nelson
Williamstown, Mass.

Baseball on the Clock

Credit…Melanie Lambrick

To the Editor:

“Baseball Has Lost Its Poetry,” by Jesse Nathan (Opinion guest essay, Oct. 21), is an excellent piece of baseball writing. Baseball, however, is not played on the page. It’s played on the field.

Mr. Nathan could not be more wrong about the pitch clock, which he opposes.

As an author of baseball books, articles, essays, reviews and short stories, I have an appreciation for good writing, and include Mr. Nathan’s piece in this category. As a fan since 1957, an attendee at 50 opening days at Fenway Park and an inveterate TV watcher, I love the game.

Starting about 10 years ago, the game became unwatchable. Each batter had his ritual of stepping out of the batter’s box, adjusting batting gloves, touching body parts, to reset focus and interrupt the pitcher’s rhythm. This happened on virtually every pitch.

Pitchers, for their part, could hold the ball, throw to first with a man on base unlimited times, stare, even walk behind the mound, to reset and interrupt the batter’s timing. This could happen on every pitch. It was not a timeless escape from modern life. It was not poetry. It was a waste of time.

If Mr. Nathan desires the timeless, I suggest Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Luke Salisbury
Chelsea, Mass.
The writer is the author of “The Answer Is Baseball.”

Iron Deficiency

Credit…Marta Monteiro

To the Editor:

Two online articles on Oct. 17, “More Than a Third of Women Under 50 Are Iron-Deficient” and “How to Know if You’re Iron-Deficient, and What to Do About It,” call attention to a significant condition that affects millions of women worldwide.

As noted in these articles, heavy menstrual bleeding is a major driver of iron deficiency. Hormonal contraceptives, including pills and certain IUDs, are important tools for managing heavy bleeding because they often reduce or completely pause menstrual periods.

While research on this “side benefit” of contraceptives is continuing, the potential for contraceptives to complement other treatments for iron deficiency should be part of the conversations all providers have with patients to enable a fully informed choice.

Contraception and menstruation are topics that hold significant stigma, which is why the connection between nutrition and contraception has lacked appropriate attention and traction. We call on our fellow health care providers and researchers across both disciplines to engage in this conversation now.

By breaking the silos between these fields, we can bring these issues out of the shadows and help individuals manage heavy menstrual bleeding and iron deficiency while also improving the reproductive health care they desire and deserve.

Laneta Dorflinger
Andrée Sosler
Emily Hoppes
The writers work on contraceptive technology innovation at FHI 360, an organization that aims to promote equity, health and well-being worldwide.

Governors, Join Together to Solve the Immigration Crisis

A bus full of migrants who turned themselves in to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in El Paso in May.Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Busing 50,000 People North, Texas Reframes Debate on Immigration” (news article, Oct. 19):

Where are the nation’s 50 governors in trying to solve the immigration crisis? Despite the clear, purposeful and odious vengefulness of Texas Republicans in busing immigrants to Democratic cities and states, they have a point.

Isn’t it in fact the responsibility of all states and all communities to share the burden that just a few states must now shoulder because of their proximity to the border? If so, shouldn’t the governors, through the National Governors Association, come up with a plan for them to do so?

That they haven’t — that all states haven’t stepped up to assume responsibility for meeting and solving this crisis — just adds to, and illustrates, the grievous state of American governance.

James M. Banner, Jr.

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