Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted April 24, 2000

"There's no such thing as animal rights, you f*****g retards." -- Tony Watkins, a senior finance major at George Washington University, to IMF/World Bank protestors chanting about animal rights

"I believe that it was the right thing to do." -- Bill Clinton on the seizure of Elian Gonzalez by armed agents

web posted April 17, 2000

"If there's going to be a Big Brother in the United States, it's going to be us. It's going to be the FBI." -- the FBI's Paul George. He followed up that comment by saying there are stringent privacy laws limiting what the FBI can and can't do

"There are worse things in your life than not having an absolute right to privacy. You can be murdered. You can be raped." -- FBI's Paul George

"I'm not ashamed of the fact that [Congress] impeached me. That was their decision, not mine, and it was wrong. As a matter of law, Constitution and history, it was wrong. And I'm glad I didn't quit, and I'm glad we fought it, and the American people stuck with me, and I am profoundly grateful. I think we saved the Constitution of the United States. I made a terrible personal mistake. I think I paid for it. I settled [the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit]... that I won. I won that lawsuit, remember.... I settled it anyway, because of the political nature of the people that were reviewing it ... because I wanted to go back to work being president." -- Bill Clinton

"I'm guessing that if congressmen actually 'bore true faith and allegiance' to the Constitution, we wouldn't have a federal budget of $1.7 trillion, not to mention those congressionally mandated 1.6 gallon flush toilets." -- Walter Williams

"Who would have guessed that the shots heard 'round the world 225 years ago would fall on deaf ears in a nation now more sympathetic to the gun-grabbing Redcoat than the gun-bearing rebel?" --Michelle Malkin

"In consigning Elian back to slavery without a hearing, this administration is setting back the cause of freedom -- in this country and in Cuba." -- David Limbaugh

"To send a child to rot in the prison of Cuba for the alleged sake of his own well-being is criminal hypocrisy." -- Leonard Peikoff

"Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy." -- John Derbyshire

"It is a striking example of modern conservatism's emphasis on the moral worth of the individual. ... When I look at the debate over Elian...I have to say that rarely have I been prouder of my fellow conservatives." -- Ramesh Ponnuru

"When liberals clamor for 'diversity,' they don't necessarily mean they are ready to tolerate actual disagreement." -- Joseph Sobran

"Perhaps Americans should recognize that if they want to keep their privacy, they should ask the federal government to do only the things that the Constitution allows." -- Dave Kopel

"I'm on a walk, just like you are. I'm on a walk. And it's a never-ending walk, as far as I'm concerned." -- George W. Bush telling recovering addicts about his history of addiction

"Here is a man attempting to run the U.S. government and now urging its citizens not to comply with the mechanism the government uses to draw up government programs. Is he insane, irresponsible or just plain stupid? In any event, on the basis of that comment alone, he has shown himself to be utterly unfit for my vote." -- Columnist Bonnie Erbe, on Bush's suggestion to citizens not to complete their census forms

"...[I]f Leonardo [DiCaprio] can do just as good a job as Peter Jennings, what do I need Peter Jennings for? ...[T]here's not a dime's worth of difference between what DiCaprio would do and what, say, Barbara Walters would do." -- Jonah Goldberg

"I think having one person in my family in Congress at a time is probably quite enough, although it might be -- I might get to see her more if I did that." -- Bill. Clinton on whether he will run for Senate in Arkansas after leaving the White House

"It would be very, very horrifying to trial lawyers if Bush were elected. To combat that, we want to make sure we have a Democratic president, House and Senate. There is some serious tobacco money being spread around." -- John P. Coale, a trial lawyer on the receiving end of the tobacco litigation, who has given more than $70 000 to the Democrats

"While visiting from Cuba, Elian's father took time to check out the amazing sights here in the U.S., like people with shoes and food."-- Craig Kilborn

"I'm a compassionate conservative. I don't care how we execute them -- let's just execute them." --State Senator Minority Leader Eric Johnson (R-GA), explaining his support for the bill changing the way capital criminals are executed in Georgia. The bill passed.

"Monica Lewinsky says that she is going to vote for Hillary Clinton in the New York Senate race. I am sure that Hillary is thrilled about that. She not only has the woman's vote but now she has the other woman's vote." -- Jay Leno

"The culture is much different in Havana, Cuba. The big hit TV show there is "Who Wants to Win a Live Chicken?" .... Everybody is trying to jump in on this thing. Hillary Clinton announced today that she was part Cuban." -- David Letterman

web posted April 10, 2000

"He [Elian Gonzalez] is a possession of the Cuban government. No other entity can remove this." -- Cuban government spokesman Luis Fernandez

"I hope, I expect...that my son will be delivered to me as soon as possible, and I would like to return with him to Cuba immediately." -- Juan Miguel Gonzalez, father of Elian

"...[A] bureaucracy doesn't get personally involved. It doesn't ask why a father, on being told his child has been rescued from a watery grave and given refuge, would not rush here to claim his son, or at least hold the boy's hand after his ordeal. It doesn't ask why a father would just wait for his son to be sent to him, the way you'd expect a package." -- Paul Greenberg

"Conflicts between the values of a democratic republic and a communist tyranny require that one system give way to the other. When a democracy is compelled by force to make such concessions, it is tragic. When it does so voluntarily, it is an inexcusable betrayal. For this reason, I consider the government's treatment of Elian to be the lowest point of the Clinton administration's tenure...." -- Tom DeLay

"We will not lend our respective resources, whether they be in the form of police officers or any other resources, to assist the federal government in any way, shape or form to inappropriately repatriate Elian Gonzalez to Cuba." -- Metro-Dade County mayor Alex Penelas

"Did you ever notice that in Havana there isn't a 'Little Miami' of escaped refugees from the United States? How come? And how come an American mother has never drowned between Miami and Cuba while escaping the United States to take her son to Havana?" --Claremont's Bruce Herschensohn

"One of [the Republicans'] great strengths is [that] they have no guilt and no shame. I mean, they'll say anything." -- Bill Clinton

"Janet Reno ... demonstrated at Waco that sometimes you have to kill children to save them...." --Wesley Pruden

"You can tie it up with a rose-scented ribbon labeled 'parental rights' and it still stinks. The Clinton administration is willing to trade Elian's freedom for Castro's cooperation. The left, which can't conceive of anyone choosing America over a progressive state, would sacrifice Elian on the altar of its ideology." -- Don Feder

"...[S]ocialists are made, not born, and right now we are creating an entire generation of them." --Chuck Baldwin

"Government control of private-sector industry used to be called fascism. Today it is called the Clinton administration." -- Geoff Metcalf

"We are here to protect the freedom of the American people, not to make privacy invasion more efficient." -- Rep. Ron Paul on the U.S. census

"Bill Clinton promised the most ethical administration in history. He's fallen about 41 presidents short." -- George W. Bush

"...[George W.] Bush has not breathed one word about cutting a single existing, failed program. Instead, he has distanced himself from fiscal conservatives. 'I won't close down the Department of Education, but I will reform it,' Bush vows. 'The goal is not to cut the most, but to improve the most.' So much for devolution. Read George W.'s lips: The road to the White House is paved with kinder, bigger spending. When it comes to slashing the insatiable federal education bureaucracy once and for all, mum's the word." -- Michelle Malkin

"That's why Hillary's opponent can raise a double-ton of money, besides being mayor and having a special relation with a lot of those people who have it in New York, and you've got a right-wing venom machine geared up against her again." -- Bill Clinton

"All of this is basically nonsense -- the kind of politicians' talk that gives hypocrisy a bad name even as it has serious policy consequences." -- David Broder on conservative criticism of the unconstitutional census questions

"I love the United Nations." -- Ted Turner on why the UN flag flies at CNN's headquarters in Atlanta and why he banned CNN editors and correspondents from using the word "foreign" in news stories

"The only way Gore can be credible on campaign finance reform is to turn himself in." -- Tony Blankley

"Did you all get your census forms? I have an idea. You know where it says race? Let's all check 'Eskimo' and see what happens." - -Craig Kilborn

"Clinton urging all Americans to honestly fill out their census forms. C'mon. This is the guy who wouldn't answer a question while he was under oath." -- Jay Leno

"How many of you have done your taxes? How many don't plan on doing your taxes? I was looking at the 1040 form and there is a little box you can check if you want to send Hillary back to Arkansas." -- David Letterman

web posted April 3, 2000

"Statistically, more small children drown in mop buckets than die from gun accidents." -- Columnist Holman Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal

"We want as accurate a count as possible, but I can understand why people don't want to give over that information to the government. And if I have the long form, I'm not sure I would, either." -- George W. Bush on the long census form version mailed out to one in six American households

"People are tired, things are tough for them, and they expect better things from me. But, of course, miracles don't occur." -- new Russian president Vladimir Putin

"This is purely a political maneuver, designed to enhance Mr. Gore's appeal in Florida, a crucial state in November," -- New York Times on Al Gore's sudden support for Elian Gonzalez staying in the United States

"Suddenly, he favors permanent resident status not only for Elian but also for 'his father, stepmother, half-brother, grandmothers and grandfather.' For some reason, and unlike Mr. Castro, [Gore] left out he kindergarten teacher, at least for now." -- Washington Post

"There has been a pattern...every time the attorney general wants to cover something up, she internalizes an investigation.... I think she's done that for years. That's a pattern. It's a modus operandi of this Justice Department...." -- Speaker Dennis Hastert

"We are seeing behavior on the part of Smith & Wesson's competitors that raises the specter of illegal antitrust activity.... This is serious stuff." -- New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, fulfilling an ESR prediction that anti-trust would be used against any business that found itself in the sights of government

"If we are forced by ill-conceived legislation to depart Kosovo or to slash our commitment of resources, others will mimic our weakness, and the flames of renewed conflict will surely and quickly ignite. With Mr. [Slobodan] Milosevic still present, the region remains a tinderbox. If we check out, wide-scale bloodshed will almost surely check back in." -- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. So much for American troops not being there permanently

"The gun-control movement is driven by raw emotion. Facts are irrelevant. Logic is spurned. Utter nonsense is solemnly intoned. It's little wonder that our most emotive president has made gun control his signature domestic issue." -- Don Feder

"Whenever there's a tragedy involving gun use, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, the gun-control lobby and the news media seize it as another opportunity to exploit the emotions of uninformed American people for political gain. Unfortunately, most Americans don't have the foggiest notion of why the Framers of the Constitution, through the Second Amendment, guaranteed our right to keep and bear arms." -- Walter Williams

"Smith & Wesson would have been wise to follow the lead of their competitors by listening to their clientele rather than believing the promises made by a snake." -- Lisa Dean

"As I have stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I've realized that firearms are not the only issue. No, it's much, much bigger than that. I've come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain acceptable thoughts and speech are mandated." -- Charlton Heston

"[Bill Clinton] cannot be trusted to argue in good faith on any subject at any time. His dishonesty is profound, it is defining, and it is deeply corrupt. It's the lies." -- Mona Charen

"...[T]he public good is promoted best by people pursuing their own private interests. This bothers some people because they're more concerned with motives than with results." -- Walter E. Williams

"As the American people are learning and will learn, he is a good man. He has been tested -- I tried to test him -- and he emerged the stronger for it." -- Steve Forbes endorsing George W. Bush

"The Clinton/Gore campaign methods are, at a technical level, a marvel to behold. The pace, breadth and rhythmof their assault; the exquisite integration of the different available media; their marshaling of a broad range of advocates -- all enhanced by an unscrupulous willingness to straight out lie about any topic -- gives them an arrogant confidence that the voters exist only as fodder for their mind-bending fusillades." -- Tony Blankley

"I've gone from a Barry Goldwater Republican to a New Democrat, but I think my underlying values have remained pretty constant." -- Hillary Rodham-Clinton

"But in this inflamed climate, on this inflamed subject, we thought it best not to broadcast the exact words of a 6-year-old boy." -- Diane Sawyer, who thought it best to interview Elian Gonzalez but then thought it best not to broadcast the part of the interview when little Elian told her he wants to stay in America

"Gore seen more likely to favor finance reform." -- a headline from a Reuters report of a new CBS poll showing George W. Bush leading Al Gore by seven percentage points: 49-42

"As a parent, no matter how passionate you are about public schools, in the final analysis you're going to do what's best for your children." -- California Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa on why he may send his children to a private school

"We want to be sure that by the time the Republican television ads start this summer, every union member knows that this guy [Bush] is not on their side and that a vote for him is a vote against workers and against unions." -- Steve Rosenthal, political director of the AFL-CIO

"Motown, Motown, that's my era. Those are my people." -- Hillary Rodham-Clinton

"People, political pundits are saying now that if Hillary is elected as Senator, she will then run for president. That's all we need, Bill Clinton back in the White House with even more free time on his hands." -- David Letterman

web posted March 27, 2000

"We will never be a second Hong Kong or a second Macao.... This is indisputable." -- Taiwan's president-elect Chen Shui-bian

"What [he] said about the president I don't think is right." -- George W. Bush on the NRA's Wayne LaPierre who recently asserted Bill Clinton "is willing to accept a certain level of killing to further his political agenda."

"I made a mistake going to that Buddhist temple; I made a mistake in making telephone calls from my office. And I have learned from those mistakes. I have a passion for campaign finance reform that is fueled in part because of the pain of those mistakes... Like John McCain, I bring the passion that comes from personal experience to the battle for campaign finance reform." -- Al Gore, attempting to limit the debate to just two "mistakes."

"We should cease the lunacy of seeking Russian permission to defend ourselves and allies against missile attack. Finally, in the wake of China's recent saber-rattling, we should put them on notice that the United States will come to the military assistance of Taiwan." -- Walter E. Williams

"...[W]e are arming China. Clinton and Gore are Lenin's dream come true: capitalists selling communists the rope with which to hang us. Some legacy." -- Michael Ledeen

"People often wonder why most feminists don't 'get' the Second Amendment. They haven't made it past the First one yet." -- Wendy McElroy

"In a contest of who has more integrity and credibility -- the National Rifle Association or President Bill Clinton -- there is no contest. The NRA wins by a landslide. No president in the 20th century has abused the office, the Constitution and the truth more than William Jefferson Clinton, who is certainly a sociopath." -- Charley Reese

"During his seventh year in office, Clinton was too busy refusing to respond to Juanita Broaddrick's claim that he had raped her to promote any more Violence Against Women laws." -- Ann Coulter

"As power overwhelms principle, life in these United States will continue to get worse." -- Thomas L. Jipping

"Mr. Clinton's eagerness to find somebody else's sin to apologize for only demonstrates how much easier it is to apologize for a grandfather's sin than for one of your own. If Mr. Clinton, for example, really wants to indulge the warm and fuzzy feelings that come with a good apology you might think he has ample reserves of his own sins to apologize for." -- Wesley Pruden

"I want to say a word to the supporters of Senator John McCain in the Republican primaries. To any who can hear the sound of my voice, whatever party you're in...I'd like to ask for your support." -- Al Gore

"[T]he very idea that Gore, of all money-grubbing pols, would dare to proclaim himself a champion of campaign finance reform is no less absurd than, say, O.J. Simpson declaring himself a crusader on behalf of battered women." -- Joseph Perkins

"Al Gore's announcement that he'll make campaign-finance reform his central issue this fall recalls the fellow who kills his parents, and then pleads for mercy on the grounds that he's an orphan." -- New York Post

"For the First Lady, New York has become a kind of Panderer's Box: the minute you open it all kinds of competing identity groups fly out demanding you kiss up to them and you can never get the lid back on again." -- Mark Steyn

"[John McCain and George W. Bush] are about as far right as you could get without dropping off the edge." -- UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas

"I'm, like, in awe of the fact that I get to carry on this legacy." -- Patrick Kennedy on his family name

"I feel your pain, but you've got the wrong guy." --Kennedy nephew Michael Skakel, to the mother of victim Martha Moxley after being arraigned in her 1975 murder

"Guns are a virus that must be eradicated." -- Katherine Kaufer Christoffel, founder of the Handgun Epidemic Lowering Plan (HELP) Network

"I am not comfortable about Brits telling us how to deal with our Bill of Rights. I think we settled that in 1776, didn't we?" -- the NRA's Charlton Heston, responding to British-owned Smith & Wesson's decision to fold in the legal gambit with the Clinton Administration

"It's tough taking sides in an argument between Charlton Heston and Bill Clinton. On one side you have a classic actor trained to fake emotion for the camera, trained to win you over with a well rehearsed script and then on the other side you have Charlton Heston." -- Allyson Smith

"Well, then, how come he didn't win?" -- George W. Bush when reminded that his challenger John McCain produced record voter turnout in the primaries

"[Clinton's] smart to the end. Just his ability to convince his wife to run for Senate in a state that is not community property in divorce settlements just proves to me that he is a genius all the way to the end." -- comedian Dennis Miller

"In this File-gate thing, President Clinton said that the White House getting FBI files on Republicans was a completely honest mistake. Wouldn't you know it. The first completely honest thing Clinton has done and it was a mistake. What are the odds of that?" -- Jay Leno

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