Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted January 23, 2006

"The party of Reagan exists not to expand government, but to protect the American people from government's excesses." -- Rep. John Shadegg

"Conservatives today need to revive Goldwater's argument in the '60s, and Reagan's in the '80s, that liberty not only is compatible with morality, it depends on it. Limited government cannot long coexist with a collapse of moral order; and an unlimited government is usually the consequence of an amoral society." -- Andrew Busch

"Even smear tactics require a certain plausibility. When you damn someone as a big scary mega-troubling racist misogynist homophobe and he seems to any rational observer perfectly non-scary and non-troubling, eventually you make yourself ridiculous. The boy who cried 'Wolf!' at least took the precaution of doing so when there was no alleged predator in view. If he'd stood there crying 'Wolf!' while pointing at a hamster, he'd have been led away for counseling. That's the stage the Senate Democrats are at." -- Mark Steyn

"For years, I've heard Kennedy fans say that it's a cheap shot to dredge up Chappaquiddick. Forgive and forget about Kopechne, they say -- but not the Concerned Alumni of Princeton." -- Debra Saunders

"So many of the talking heads seem to miss the point: the current scandal is less about lobbyists than it is about members of Congress and other people in high government positions. If members all refused to take bribes, there would be no bribery." -- Lynn Woolley

"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country. Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses... It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans -- the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans. This city will be a majority-African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no [sic] other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans." -- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

"Congress is hardly a weak institution. It is composed of the only legitimate federal lawmakers in our system of government, 535 accomplished men and women who also happen to be the most skilled camera-hogging gasbags this side of professional wrestling." -- Mac Johnson

"When Mr. Biden says things like, 'Try to follow me, Judge Alito,' as he goes on one of his long, sterile journeys, I wonder if Judge Alito has to control himself with an act of will. I wonder if he has an inner Regis Philbin, and wants to throw out his arms and say, 'Follow you? If I follow you, we'll both wind up lost!' When Mr. Biden says, 'Now this is a somewhat subtle point,' I wonder if Judge Alito wants to say, 'Joe, if it were a subtle point you wouldn't be making it!"' -- Peggy Noonan

"If Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees are expected to open with Stirring Tales of Humble Upbringings, then we should be honest and move the venue to Oprah's couch. Apparently the citizens who fear that Samuel Alito will repeal the eleventy-second Amendment -- you know, the one with the rights to privacy and prescription drugs from Canada -- are supposed to be mollified by a tale of hardscrabble determination." -- James Lileks

"I would love to ask the nominee if eight consecutive hours of threats, coercion, good-cop/ bad-cop, bad cafeteria food, and more threats constitutes torture under domestic or international law." -- Dahlia Lithwick

"[T]oday's Republican Party stands for life, limited government and national defense. And today's Democrat Party stands for...the right of women to have unprotected sex with men they don't especially like. We're the Blacks-Aren't-Property/Don't-Kill-Babies party. They're the Hook-Up party." -- Ann Coulter

"Ted Kennedy got pretty contentious, after he pointed out that Alito once belonged to a club that didn't allow women, it was discovered that Senator Kennedy also once belonged to a club that wouldn't allow women. Of course, with Kennedy those were club rules in place purely for the safety of women. ... Ted Kennedy questioned Judge Alito's integrity when Alito was at Princeton. As you may know, Kennedy was kicked out of Harvard for cheating. So when it comes to questionable integrity in college he knows what he is talking about." -- Jay Leno

"Obviously, no one can guarantee that we won't be hit again, but it is no accident that we haven't been hit [since 9/11]. We've been protected by sensible policy decisions, by decisive action at home and abroad, and by round-the-clock efforts on the part of people in the armed services, law enforcement, intelligence, and homeland security. The enemy that struck on 9/11 is weakened and fractured, yet still lethal and still determined to hit us again. Either we are serious about fighting this war on terror or we are not, and the enemies of America need to know: We are serious..." -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney

"When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about. It has been run in a way so that nobody with a contrary view has had a chance to present legislation, to make an argument, to be heard." -- Hillary Clinton, who offended even many blacks by using Al Sharpton's MLK Day celebration for this political slander. Apparently, she meant that GOP House leaders were the modern-day equivalent of slavemasters, but she declined to elaborate to reporters afterward

web posted January 16, 2006

"[C]onservatives are not supposed to like big government. It's not our job. We're supposed to like freedom and the rights of the individual." -- Peggy Noonan

"The history of liberalism in...America has mostly been about giving people what they want and convincing them they are victims and that only government can help them, while the history of conservatism has mostly been about telling people what they need and giving them opportunities to better their lives." -- Cal Thomas

"There are two reasons that cutting taxes makes sense. The first reason is because you and I are over taxed... The second is that tax cuts help create jobs. Like Ronald Reagan, I believe the federal government's problem is not that it taxes too little, but that it spends too much." -- Rep. Sam Graves

"Safe, Legal and What? 'Safe, legal, and rare.' That was Bill Clinton's mantra. Question: If abortion is a fundamental constitutional right, why should it be rare? Can you think of any other basic right that we would want to be rare?" -- Tony Perkins

"It's very hard to fight a terrorist war without intelligence. By definition, you can only win battles against terrorists preemptively -- that's to say, you find out what they're planning to do next Thursday and you stop it cold on Wednesday. Capturing them on Friday while you're still pulling your dead from the rubble is poor consolation." -- Mark Steyn

"The only way to restore this republic our Founders envisioned is to elevate honorable jurists like Samuel Alito." -- Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum

"Conservatives who forget the primacy of the family and private sector are doomed to repeat the liberals' mistakes -- and to replicate their political failures." -- W. James Antle III

"There are no Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, not one, not one single Democrat. Every person named in this scandal is a Republican. Every person under investigation is a Republican. Every person indicted is a Republican. This is a Republican finance scandal." -- Howard Dean, unaware that 40 Democrats took money from Abramoff including Joseph Biden, Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, Byron Dorgan, John Kerry, Pat Leahy, Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer

"It makes it very difficult to quit smoking under this administration." -- actor Sean Penn

"Yes, I'm a liberal, and I'm sick of it being a bad word. I don't know at what time in history liberals have stood on the wrong side of social issues." -- actor George Clooney

"[President George W. Bush is] the greatest tyrant in the world. [He is] the greatest terrorist in the world." -- actor/singer Harry Belafonte

"Hearings opened [Monday] for Justice-designate Samuel Alito, beginning with endless hours of windbaggery from Senate Judiciary Committee members. Poor Alito is forced to sit still for all of it. If Alito were a terrorist, Sen. Dick Durbin would compare himself to a Nazi." -- James Taranto

"No evidence has come to light that the DeLay-Abramoff connection was in any way illegal, but Abramoff is not just radioactive; he is a human Chernobyl. No one wants to be mentioned in the same time zone as Jack Abramoff, much less in the same news story." -- Rich Galen

"Capitol Hill lobbyist and power broker Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty twice to political corruption charges in Washington and Florida courts last week. That's politics. One week you are on the cover of Time and the next week you are doing it." -- Argus Hamilton

"The Democrat Party has decided to express indignation at the idea that an American citizen who happens to be a member of al-Qa'ida is not allowed to have a private conversation with Osama bin Laden. If they run on that in 2008, it could be the first time in history a Republican president takes even the District of Columbia." -- Ann Coulter

"[U]nmoored from reality, wafting happily into fantasyland safe in the hermetically sealed Democrat-media bubble, Sen. Barbara Boxer and her colleagues are apparently considering impeaching the president for eavesdropping on al Qaida calls made to U.S. phone numbers... By the way, I'd love to see the witness list for that trial: Muhammad al-Jihad testifying that a week before he blows up a Bali nightclub he always makes a perfectly innocent call to his cousin in Milwaukee to ask how the kids are; Abu Musad al-Zarqawi testifying that he only called Howard Dean to issue a formal complaint about congressional Democrats stealing his rationalizations. Etc." -- Mark Steyn

"France and Germany warned Iran this week not to pursue their nuclear research program. In fact, France and Germany warned Iran that if they didn't stop their program they would, you know, warn them again." -- Jay Leno

"Judges shouldn't be legislators, they shouldn't be administrators." -- Samuel Alito

"There is a sort of an unwritten code in Washington, among the underworld and the hustlers and these other guys, that I am their friend... I was a little hurt that this betrayal did happen." -- Marion Barry, former Washington, D.C. mayor complaining after he was robbed at gun point by crackheads

web posted January 9, 2006

"[Thomas] Jefferson believed that 'no man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session,' so he wisely insisted that the capital be built in malarial swampland. Consequently, the seat of the government remained empty for nearly half the year. Today, thanks in part to the unintended consequences of air-conditioning, we have permanent government of career politicians, a thing the founders never intended and which sees no natural boundary to its authority." -- Jonah Goldberg

"The robust American economy is the great under appreciated story of 2005. Like the purloined letter in Edgar Allan Poe's story, our superb economy is hidden in plain view, mostly ignored by a media that prefer to accentuate the negative and a Democrat Party that, for understandable partisan reasons, is loath to admit that anything could possibly be right in George Bush's America." -- Rich Lowry

"If we allow a guest-worker program to pass, it will be 1986 all over again -- amnesty first, enforcement never, and an unending wave of illegal immigration. Strict enforcement is the only way to stop illegal immigration. Sadly, that won't happen until the White House and congressional leaders stop seeing illegal immigration as a political problem to be finessed rather than an invasion to be stopped." -- Rep. J.D. Hayworth

"The American creed is the keystone of American national identity; but it requires a culture to sustain it. The republican task is to recognize the creed's primacy, the culture's indispensability, and the challenge, which political wisdom alone can answer, to shape a people that can live up to its principles." -- Charles Kesler

"As I've often observed, the U.S. Constitution poses no serious threat to our form of government... And liberals aim to keep it that way." -- Joseph Sobran

"More than once...I've turned to Howard Dean in desperation, looking for material. On a slow news day, when the usual sources of outrage and farce are tapped dry, Dean is always there: a bottomless well of almost unbelievable quotes. He's as reliable as taxes, and far more amusing. The average 10-minute Howard Dean interview contains more headlines than a month of the Congressional Record. For a journalist on deadline, Howard Dean is like Santa." -- Tucker Carlson

"American liberals don't hate Christmas. They live it... American liberals live in a place where it is always Christmas Eve but never the end of the month. They sit, waiting for the gifts of joy and peace to appear beneath their tree, utterly clueless that someone, somewhere has to pay the bill." -- Michael Graham

"Variety reported a disappointing Christmas box office Tuesday. Hollywood can only blame itself. When the plot lines include girl meets ape, two gay cowboys, and a singing and dancing Hitler, the Red States are just grateful to have football." -- Argus Hamilton

"The privilege of debating our constitutional rights requires first that we be alive. If federal agents want to listen in on suspected terrorists as they plot their next mass murder, please allow me to turn up the volume. Meanwhile, unless I start placing calls to Peshawar using phrases such as 'I want my 72 virgins now,' then I figure I'm safe to make my next hair appointment without fear of exposure." -- Kathleen Parker

"Bulgaria announced they're pulling all their troops from Iraq, both of them. No, they said they'll replace their troops with a non-combat force. That would be the French army." -- Jay Leno

"As President, I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I have no greater responsibility than to protect our people, our freedom and our way of life. ... We're fighting these enemies across the world. Yet...one of the most critical battlefronts is the home front, and since September the 11th, 2001, we've been on the offensive against the terrorists plotting within our borders. ... There is still an enemy that would like to strike the United States of America, and they're very dangerous...and the discussion about how we try to find them will enable them to adjust." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"President Bush's post-Sept. 11, 2001, authorization to the National Security Agency to carry out electronic surveillance into private phone calls and e-mails is consistent with court decisions and with the positions of the Justice Department under prior presidents...I do not believe the Constitution allows Congress to take away from the president the inherent authority to act in response to a foreign attack. That inherent power is reason to be careful about who we elect as president..." -- Former Clinton associate Attorney General John Schmidt

"As we enter another year of extreme international danger, the one threat that solely is within America's power to reduce or eliminate is our lack of national unity... As the President and other national politicians have failed to make that case, it is time for convinced members of the public (including prominent figures) to organize at a much higher level than exists a broad-based, well-financed operation to try to move the better part of the American public to a unity of purpose in the face of the present danger. Any takers?" -- Tony Blankley

 

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