MR. Bykofsky:

I understand your frustration with the so-called "Hard Left" reaction to President Obama's compromise on extending the Bush tax cuts. However, I do take issue with your definition of "Hard Left."

For a variety of reasons, one of which is corporate influence, America has lurched further to the right in the last few decades. Americans in the middle class and working class, not to mention the poor, have suffered because of this rightward tilt. Personally, I think this tilt stems from media manipulation and lobbying efforts of corporate America. From the New Dealers to the socialist movements around 1900, anyone with even fleeting interest in U.S. history, especially history of U.S. labor movements, knows about the potential for left-wing movements in the United States.

So please, let's not call our Democratic leaders "Hard Left." Most of them are not. With the exception of Alan Grayson and Bernie Sanders (who isn't even a Democrat, but let's include him anyway because Sanders is one of the very few American politicians willing to call himself a socialist), most Democrats are center-left at their most extreme. We cannot deem them "Hard Left" simply because our system is inching closer to the far right, thus making any centrist seem more and more like a "Marxist." That's Glenn Beck logic, and the day you, Byko, become a Beck-wannabe is the day I throw the Daily News in the garbage.

Democrats these days aren't leftists. They are just less rightward than most Republicans. So, I beg you, can we be realistic when defining the ideological positions of our weak-tea "leftists" in modern America? Because America was home to, among others, Eugene Debs, Big Bill Haywood, the IWW, FDR, and Helen Keller, all of whom were game-changers and most definitely part of the "Hard Left."

Joe Quigley, Philadelphia