Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted August 21, 2000

"Our national violence problem is really a cultural problem. Our entertainment media have glorified and encouraged the very worst male tendencies -- their urges toward sexual promiscuity, aggression, and irresponsibility. Our schools have responded by trying to force boys to act like girls by sewing quilts, talking about their feelings, and playing games no one wins. It's time for a new approach. That is, it's time to return to what has always worked." -- Mona Charen

"What the nation may not survive is the loss of its fundamental character. When all is said and done, when the debates about taxes, Social Security and bilingualism yield to the subjects of tomorrow, we realize amid the din that the United States, above all, is about freedom." -- Balint Vazsonyi

"The media disclosed that 41% of the Philly delegates earn in excess of $100,000 annually. And you always thought that the parties recruited convention delegates among K-Mart shoppers. ... Of delegates to the last Democratic national convention, 35% had six-figure incomes. Of the six richest United States senators, five are members of the self-styled party of the proletariat, including Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (net worth, $620 million), Herbert Kohl of Wisconsin ($300 million) and West Virginia's Jay Rockefeller ($200 million). ... In March, Democrats broke all records for a single fund-raising event, with an affair at the MCI Center in Washington. Thousands may have paid $50 each for pork ribs with the president. But the bulk of the event's $26.5 million came from 26 co-chairs who gave half a million dollars each, 21 vice chairs who anted up $250,000 apiece and 42 friends, whose esteem took the form of checks for $50,000. ... Democrats rely heavily on money from labor unions, Hollywood and trial lawyers." -- Don Feder

"My message to Hollywood and the entertainment industry has always been...too much of what comes out is too full of violence and sex and instability and it is bad for our children." -- Joe Lieberman, just before he went to a fund-raiser hosted by David Saltzman, former producer of The Jenny Jones Show, where attendees paid up to $25,000 to meet Al Gore. Lieberman also stated that Gore had no obligation to return large contributions to Playboy's Hugh Hefner

"Why are you a Democrat?... Are you a Democrat because you're a union member? Then why, after eight years of Bill Clinton, does some Chinese guy in Guangdong province have your job? ... Are you a Democrat because you're a woman? Then how come you're married to a Republican? Most women are. Face it, you were afraid that a two-Democrat family might cause the kids to grow up to be liberals. ... Are you a Democrat because you're gay? Come on, do you really think Republicans hate gays? You've been to Republican houses. Do they look like they were decorated by Pat Robertson? ... Are you a Democrat because you're part of a minority group? Forget about it. Mexicans, Blacks, Jews, Italians, Irish, Puerto Ricans -- you guys hate each other. Become Republican and at least you'll be allowed to admit it -- after three drinks." -- P.J. O'Rourke

"Where Clinton's lies have been those of self-protection and survival, Gore's have by and large been ones of self-aggrandizement and glorification." -- Al Gore biographer Bill Turque

"But when historians look back, they will date the current expansion from 1982 -- not 1991, when the last, brief recession ended, and certainly not 1993, when Mr. Clinton took office. It was in late 1982 that a sea change occurred in the American economy. ... But in terms of economic performance, government policy and effect on the thinking of professional economists, the 1980s and 1990s form a continuous era radically different from what preceded it." -- Lawrence B. Lindsey, former governor of the Federal Reserve and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

"The paradox of Bill Clinton, and his presidency, is that his compulsive self-inflation left him diminished. Monday's performance...was about, above all, Bill Clinton. Not the presidency, not the Democratic Party, or Al Gore or America's place in the world today. Mainly, it was about him." -- Wall Street Journal

"Clinton's speech was high on symbolism and short on substance. Repeatedly Clinton took credit for things that he and Al Gore had little or nothing to do with." -- Grover Norquist

"The Democrats have proved this week they're still the party of big labor and left-wing advocacy groups -- a fact they can't afford to hide since the polls show Gore has yet to sew up support from the Democratic base." -- Linda Chavez

"The only politicians who call their opponents extremists today are demagogues or extremists themselves." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

"...[D]id anyone else find it ironic ... that hundreds of riot-clad and armed police officers are protecting Democratic convention delegates this week?" -- Jon E. Dougherty

"Bill and I are closing one chapter of our lives and soon will be starting a new one." -- Hillary Clinton

"Two weeks ago, in Philadelphia, the nation was treated to a staged show -- smoke, mirrors, hired acts the Republicans called inclusion. That was the inclusion illusion. In Philadelphia, diversity ended on the stage. They could not mention the words Africa, Appalachia, or AIDS once." -- Jesse Jackson. "Diversity" at the Democratic convention consisted of quotas. As the GOP convention, delegates heard about AIDS from Patricia Funderburk Ware, who devoted her entire speech to the AIDS epidemic. They heard about Africa from Governor Bush's foreign policy adviser Condoleezza Rice

"I enlisted in the Army because I knew if I didn't go, someone else in the small town of Carthage, Tennessee would have to go in my place. I was an Army reporter in Vietnam. When I was there, I didn't do the most, or run the gravest danger. But I was proud to wear my country's uniform." -- Al Gore...who spent a total of 141 days in Vietnam

"Gore has managed to find a vice presidential nominee who is even duller and more sanctimonious than he is." -- Robert Scheer in The Nation

"The only way to get Al Gore to pay attention to veterans and national defense is to tell him that the Navy Seals are on the endangered species list. We need a president who waves the star-spangled banner more proudly than he waves the flag of Greenpeace." -- W.VA. Gov. Cecil Underwood

"[The media covering the DNC] should wear delegate badges rather than press passes. What's not new is that most news people are...liberals. What is new is that newsies no longer try to keep their politics personal." -- Jerry Nachman, executive producer of ABC's "Politically Incorrect"

"Lieberman earned a lifetime 'Liberal Quotient' [from Americans for Democratic Action] of 77, six points more liberal than Dick Gephardt. Question: If Lieberman's a 'conservative,' [as the media has proclaimed,] does that make Gephardt 'far right?' In 1999, Lieberman was assessed 95 percent from ADA, making him one of the Senate's eight most liberal senators. ... If Joseph Lieberman is a conservative, what does that tell you about the ideological compass of the national press?" -- Brent Bozell

"We Support Gay Boy Scouts." -- makeshift signs waved on the front row as Democratic delegates booed a group of uniformed Eagle Scouts taking part in the opening ceremony

"The good news is the Democratic wheel is finally in motion. The bad news: It's a Firestone." --Kenny Noble Cortes

"Loretta Sanchez agreed to move her fund-raiser. It was to be held at the Playboy mansion. Or, as it's been called, the 'Western White House'." -- Argus Hamilton

"The Democrats say their focus at the convention is on real people. What a better place to find real people than in L.A. Yeah look at some of the people at the convention, Barbara Striesand, Jack Nicholson and Hugh Hefner ... all just your regular Joe Six-Pack." -- Jay Leno

"They call Lieberman the "moral conscience" of the Senate. Boy, I bet everyone at Capital Hill are glad he's leaving!" -- David Letterman

"President Clinton met Al Gore in Michigan yesterday in a ceremonial passing of the baton. After receiving the baton Gore boiled it in water, saying, 'I don't want to know where that thing has been!'"" -- Conan O'Brien

web posted August 14, 2000

"I'd have to say flat out, no." -- Tom Gorman, owner of the Scorpio Adult Boutique & Video in Philadelphia, on whether bringing in porn star Nina Hartley to sign autographs succeeded in attracting visiting Republican delegates. Nearby strip clubs also reported a disappointing drop in business despite red, white, and blue bikinis and "Welcome RNC" signs

"Nothing frightens the Democrats more than the possibility that increasing numbers of blacks, Hispanics, and women may defect to George W. Bush this November, which is why this week's GOP convention must be causing heartburn at the Gore campaign headquarters. ... No doubt, the facts won't stop Democrats from spreading disinformation to try and keep women and minorities in line this election, as they have in the past. The difference is, this year, the Republicans under George W. Bush appear ready to set the record straight." -- Linda Chavez

"Our government has not been warring on poverty; it has been creating poverty by attacking every value and every institution on which the generation of wealth depends. And with this, inevitably, it is corroding our liberty."-- William E. Simon

"Based on the assumption that the greatest reductions in fatal violence would be within states that were required to institute waiting periods and background checks, implementation of the Brady Act appears not to have been associated...with reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates." -- a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association which concluded that the Brady law has had no effect on firearm homicide and suicide rates in states that previously had no such handgun control measures

"Jewish Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and other people of color have faced glass ceilings on key positions in national service." -- Jesse Jackson, hinting that members of the Jewish faith are now "people of color"

"The Clinton-Gore administration chose to tax marriage. ... The president should not have vetoed it and our opponent Al Gore should have spoken out on it. Instead of standing on the side of families, he stands on the side of big government. Had I been the president of the United States, I would have signed that bill." -- George W. Bush on Bill Clinton's veto of the marriage tax repeal

"Rather than doing what is right for America, Bill Clinton and Al Gore decided to continue to engage in class warfare and veto the bill that would eliminate the marriage penalty for millions of married couples across America. Clearly Clinton and Gore are more concerned about politics than people, especially working families. With a simple stroke of the pen, he cost 25 million taxpayers $89.5 billion." -- Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform

"Lieberman gives Democrats the semblance of moderation and adherence to traditional values -- the appearance, not the substance. When it comes to upholding Judeo-Christian ethics, Lieberman talks the talk then takes a walk. ... He may have folded when it came to upholding the Constitution, but at least he never called Bill Clinton 'one of our greatest presidents'." -- Don Feder

"Lieberman of those politicians who is forever wrestling with his conscience -- and it never seems to win. He's a huge follower of the Pat Moynihan school of intelligent moderation; after much hand wringing, vague comments, and public soliloquy from the Senate floor, Lieberman almost always ends up voting the party line. This especially holds true on key wedge issues like affirmative action, the minimum wage, and partial-birth abortion (for all Lieberman's moralizing, he's ranked as one of the most pro-abortion Democrats in the Senate)." -- Ben Domenech

"When the vice president found himself in hot water over hosting an illegal Buddhist temple fundraiser, Lieberman's famously open mind suddenly slammed shut." -- Paul Sperry

"By choosing Lieberman, Gore seems to have slighted another ethnic constituency whose loyalty to the Democratic Party has been unswerving: African-Americans. Gore passed up a chance to make an even bolder move by choosing a black running mate. And his choice of Lieberman instead could ... stir up a backlash among black American voters, who long ago signed an oath of loyalty to the Democratic Party but have yet to be rewarded with a black American candidate." -- Armstrong Williams

"The news media description [of Lieberman] this week of a centrist, moderate or even conservative misrepresented a party regular who more often than not is a conventional liberal." -- Robert Novak

"Bipartisan [to Democrats] doesn't mean cooperation; it's another word for total acquiescence." -- John Nowacki

"Gore is currently making less effort than Mr. Bush to offer policy substance...taken as a whole, the Bush [Social Security] proposals represent a high-octane contribution for this stage in the campaign. Mr. Gore, by contrast, has offered little." -- Washington Post

"We need to start letting people know, for example, that Houston is a filthy, smoggy, disgusting city." -- Democrat spokeswoman Jennifer Laszlo-Mizrahi attacking Gov. George W. Bush's environmental record...and apparently forgetting Houston's mayor, Lee Brown, is a Democrat

"Jewish voters have been voting Democratic in the last several presidential election cycles and always in high numbers, so that is not going to change much." -- Pollster Steve Mitchell

"What a gutless wonder Al Gore is turning out to be. ... At a time when the vice president could be-and should be--boasting about the record of the Clinton-Gore years, Gore instead has picked someone whose anti-Clinton sound bites, including attacks on the Clinton health plan, not to mention condemning Clinton before the impeachment proceedings in the Senate, could make up the entire ad campaign for George W. Bush. ... It is as a preening moralizer that Lieberman is most obnoxious." -- Democrat Robert Scheer

"This graphic...should not have been included in the telecast and is not consistent with our broadcast standards." -- Formal CBS apology to Texas Gov. George W. Bush for running the phrase "Snipers wanted" across a video of Bush accepting the Republican presidential nomination in Philadelphia on "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn."

"Cheney comes from Wyoming, where Matthew Shepard was murdered...." -- Andrew Sullivan in the New Republic

"There's definitely a great relationship between the entertainment community and the Democratic party." -- Ann Edelberg, director of talent relations for the Democratic convention

"The heat wave that has hit L.A. is causing a drain on electrical systems. And this hot air is nothing compared to what's expected when the Democrats meet." -- Ira Lawson

"Bush had a 17-point lead the other day. Now, after Gore picked Lieberman, his lead is down to 2 points! This marks the first time a Jew has knocked off 80 percent!" -- Bill Maher

"The interesting thing about Joe Lieberman ... there's no interesting thing about Joe Lieberman." -- David Letterman

"On Sunday Al Gore spoke at a rally for janitors who were on strike. He also gave a bilingual address. He spoke in English and Spanish. This marks the first time Gore has been simultaneously ignored in two languages!" -- Conan O'Brien

web posted August 7, 2000

"If he were the president, I would have to take it under serious consideration. ...I've had conversations with President Clinton like this." -- Colin Powell on whether he would take a cabinet position if Al Gore were elected president

"Now, all the big publicity is about, in the last few days, an amazing vote cast by their vice presidential nominee when he was in Congress against letting Nelson Mandela out of jail. That takes your breath away." -- Bill Clinton on Dick Cheney, one day before praising Bill Nelson, the Democratic candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in Florida. Nelson was one of 32 Democrats in Congress who voted with Cheney against the Mandela resolution

"[The GOP]: It's like the Democrats in that planners are showcasing minorities, women, gays and people with disabilities -- but different, because the press never questions the Demo party's sincerity for doing the same. ... It's like the Dems in that the nominee is in his 50s -- but different, in that he acts it. ... It's like the Dems in that speakers talked about how the party could help people -- but different, because the help would be to let people keep more of their money, instead of giving them other people's money." -- Debra Saunders

"It's time for conservatives to...get behind [Bush]. He wasn't my first, second or third choice for the GOP nomination. ... Still, there is this inescapable reality: On Jan. 20 of next year, one of only two men will place his right hand on the Bible and take the oath of office as our 43rd president -- Gov. Bush or Vice President Al Gore." -- Don Feder

"The brain trust of the Republican Party never fails to disappoint me. ... You can't have a party walking around talking about family values while they feature a star from the most offensive program on television. ... Here you've got the Rock making comments about poontang pies, and he's going to open the Republican convention. Someone's on drugs over there." -- Brent Bozell

"As a social conservative ... let me say with all candor and proper respect, lighten up. This is a convention. It's supposed to be fun." -- Rep. J.D. Hayworth

"Republicans who support affirmative action (there are those who do) must love Adam Clayton -- Oops! -- Colin Powell. Those who don't must be glad he's slated to be, if George Bush becomes President, secretary of state, a position from which he will find it difficult to inflict his version of Rockefeller Republicanism on his party or his country. ...Perhaps the good general should sign up for a refresher course in civics before he signs on as secretary of state." -- Lyn Nofziger

"Bill Clinton is in fat-guy heaven, splashing around in the political pool. Poor Al Gore may end up getting soaked." -- Wall Street Journal

"And we acknowledge together this remarkable truth: the future belongs to liberty -- fueled by markets and trade, protected by the rule of law and propelled by the fundamental rights of the individual. Information and knowledge can no longer be bottled up by the state. Prosperity flows to those who can tap the genius of their people." -- Condoleeza Rice

"I say to all Americans, Republican, Democrat or Independent, if you believe America deserves leaders with a purpose more ennobling than expediency and opportunism, then vote for Governor Bush. If you believe patriotism is more than a soundbite and public service should be more than a photo-op then vote for Governor Bush." -- Sen. John McCain

"When I look at the administration now in Washington, I am dismayed by opportunities squandered. Saddened by what might have been, but never was. These have been years of prosperity in our land, but little purpose in the White House. Bill Clinton vowed not long ago to hold onto power "until the last hour of the last day." That is his right. But, my friends, that last hour is coming. That last day is near. The wheel has turned ... and it is is time for them to go." -- Dick Cheney

"The last time taxes were this high as a percentage of our economy, there was a good reason ... We were fighting World War II. Today, our high taxes fund a surplus. Some say that growing federal surplus means Washington has more money to spend. But they've got it backwards. The surplus is not the government's money. The surplus is the people's money." -- George W. Bush

"[Gore] now leads the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But the only thing he has to offer is fear itself. That outlook is typical of many in Washington -- always seeing the tunnel at the end of the light." -- George W. Bush

"Was [Cheney's speech] too strongly negative? ... I thought this was the convention of sweetness and light. What happened to that?" -- MSNBC's Jim Miklaszewski

"[Laura Bush's convention speech was] terrific, no ifs, ands or buts about it. I don't recall a spouse of a presidential candidate making a better convention appearance than she made. She seemed so natural, and she connected. I said to myself while she was speaking, 'We should be carrying it'." --CBS anchor Dan Rather with comment on CBS's "coverage" of the Republican Convention.

"Hey, if I wasn't in Philadelphia, I'd probably be watching Andy Griffith." -- Oklahoma Rep. J. C. Watts, acknowledging the limited audience for coverage of the Republican National Convention

"Clinton was in Chicago this week speaking to the Trial Lawyers of America, which may have been the only time Clinton was ever the most honest guy in the room." -- Jay Leno

web posted July 31, 2000

"The Republican ticket is now exquisitely balanced: A man of the center who doesn't alienate the right has now chosen a man of the right who doesn't alienate the center." -- the National Review on the selection of Dick Cheney as George W. Bush's running mate

"[Cheney's] probably as far right as anybody in the Republican Party today. It really represents the extreme side of the party." -- Tom Daschle

"No doubt the nuts who run around with the Constitution or the Bible in their vehicles are the most dangerous of all. You probably need to shoot them on sight." -- Sam Francis ridiculing an article, "Vehicle Stops Involving Extremist Group Members," in the most recent issue of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, identifying "dangerous extremists" as those with anti-government or pro-gun bumper stickers

"Communications and information are two vastly overrated commodities. Both require modifiers -- essential communication and useful or entertaining information." -- Charley Reese

"Who will guard America and lead our kids in the next shootout if we lose top war leaders ... and all the sergeants and captains who are now walking?" -- David Hackworth

"Universities have become the enemy of a free society." -- Harvey A. Silverglate and Alan Charles Kors

"Alas, today explicatives are about all that it is safe to utter. Anything else can be misconstrued as sexism, racism, homophobia or a form of hate crime." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"George W. Bush's selection of Dick Cheney as his running mate fits what we see as an encouraging pattern: The expected GOP nominee is fixing his gaze as much on a successful Presidency as on a successful campaign. This is of course the opposite of what America has witnessed during the past eight years, when even vacation destinations have been matters of political calculation." -- Wall Street Journal

"I'm handling the process differently than the Bush campaign has handled theirs. I'll keep it private and I hope dignified out of respect for the men and women who are under consideration." -- Al Gore on the media coverage of George W. Bush's selection of a running mate

"I throw one hell of a party. The Playboy mansion gives you permission to fulfill a lot of fantasies that wouldn't be acceptable elsewhere." -- Hugh Hefner on news that Rep. Loretta Sanchez -- vice chair of the Democratic National Committee -- is moving ahead with her plans for a major fund-raising party at the Playboy Mansion

"If you guys vote for Al Gore, you're out of your minds." -- Bruce Willis

"Jerry Springer just donated $10,000 to Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate campaign. That's very odd. Why would a guy who hosts a show featuring cheating husbands and foul-mouthed wives have any interest in the Clintons?" -- Argus Hamilton

"Your convention's coming up. Scared?" -- ABC's Cokie Roberts to George W. Bush

"I made a terrible mistake.... I gave in to the people in the Justice Department who were pleading to go in early, and I felt personally responsible for what had happened, and I still do." -- From the transcript of Bill Clinton's comments to congressional investigators looking into events leading to the deaths at Waco

"...[E]ven Castro recognizes the right to smoke and doesn't attempt to regulate the size of your toilet tank." -- Lew Rockwell

"Clinton will veto [legislation eliminating the marriage tax penalty] because he says it would encourage people to get married for purely financial reasons. And we all know that people should only get married for purely political reasons." -- Bill Maher

"New results in polls have Gore faring better with women voters. Come on, this is giving the Gore camp something they haven't had in a while -- a false sense of hope!" -- David Letterman

"Experts are saying that in order for Bush to win the election he must give a great speech at next weeks Republican National Convention. They also say in order for Gore to win, he should never speak again!" -- Conan O'Brien

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