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This is in response to your recent article about retired Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson's ruminations about the demise of the fortunes of the Republican Party.

Simpson believes that public opinion started turning against Republicans after Congress and President Bush made a valiant attempt to save the life of Terri Schiavo, a disabled Florida woman who was not dying but who received sustenance through a feeding tube and was able to communicate with her loving family.

They did not want her to die; she did not want to die. I am absolutely convinced that when voters went to the polls, the last thing on their minds was this tragedy.

Simpson says that the Republican Party values privacy. I have read the party platform and do not recall seeing this statement. What the party does value is human life. Simpson then goes on to describe Barack Obama as a "healer." When asked which Senate vote he had most regretted since being seated in Congress, Obama answered that he most regretted having supported the vote to keep Terri Schiavo alive. Had he not done so, he would have stood alone. Well, I'm surprised he didn't just vote "present."

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Consequently, I must beg to disagree with Simpson on the reasons for the decline in the Republican Party's success and the defeat of John McCain. The party must now do some soul-searching and stand firm in its beliefs, not least its confirmation of the dignity of human life.

Sheila Leach

Cody, Wyo.

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