Point counterpoint

Voice Card  -  Volume 21  -  Stuart Card Number 2  -  Thu, Jul 11, 1991 9:34 PM

This is ONE OF 2 responses to VC 20 Paul 4 ("Pres. Quayle")...

My response to your card, Paul, is a good example of the give and take that Archipelago can provide its participants.

As I read your card, I thought to myself, "My, but Paul makes a pretty good point; Vice-Presidents are usually the butt of jokes by the Jay Lennos of the world." Then I read John's response to your card, and I thought, "I agree with John - Quayle is more alarming than the rest of the V.P.'s that I can remember (with the exception of Agnew)."

That led me to reexamine your proposition that all vice presidents have been the butt of jokes. Let's see: of the V.P.'s that I can seriously remember in my lifetime. . . . There's of course George Bush. He had that famous resume, which helped to insulate him from charges from inexperience. Yes, he was a yes-man to Reagan, but I don't remember him being the subject of ridicule to the extent that Quayle is.

And Mondale, to my recollection was not ridiculed at all. On the contrary, I remember him as being very well respected as someone who could lead the country well, if need be. I'm sorry that he didn't get to be President in 1984.

Then there was Agnew. OK, Paul, you got me there. But Humphrey and Johnson were not, as I recall, ridiculed as incompetents. They had their other "fun features" to ridicule, mainly having to do with their looks, the regional way they talked and their personality, but their ability to lead the nation if need be was not seriously challenged.

No, Paul, I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on this one. Quayle as President is a scary thought to consider.

But it could be worse: What if Quayle was President and Agnew was Vice President!