Well, it seems that the Republicans now have their very own Willie Horton-like albatross hanging around their necks, and his name is Neil Bush!

Perhaps we should tell the Republicans to stop wasting their time and breath professing innocence. They ought to know better than anyone that reality doesn't enter into this situation; only the perception of reality matters.

SALLY R. DZIKIEWICZ Alexandria

Before Congress gets set to persecute Neil Bush, members would do well to read the words of Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel:

"It looks as if there is a tendency always to find someone and push him to the forefront, making out of him a symbolic figure, a sort of representative offering for all our guilt and thereby to rid ourselves of our own bad conscience."

Although said in reference to Austrian President Kurt Waldheim, the passage is relevant wherever guilty consciences abound.

JAMES TERPENING Alexandria

Neil Bush -- we should thank God for this man every day. He's the Rock Hudson of the S&L scandal. If every tragedy needs a celebrity to bring it to the forefront of public awareness then we have our man. And I for one am grateful because we will finally force our illustrious Congress into doing something about this disgusting mess.

And who knows? Maybe while they're at it they can come up with a plan on this budget deficit thing!

RICK COBBAN Springfield