Lingua publicus

The good and the bad...

web posted August 23, 1999

"Somebody floats a rumor and it causes you to ask a question, and that's the game in American politics, and I refuse to play it. You just fell for the trap. I refuse to play." -- George W. Bush on rumours of cocaine use

"It was an unguarded moment to a writer who was doing a story for Esquire. What I said was entirely deserved -- make no mistake." -- Democrat Sen. Bob Kerry when asked about oft-cited comment, "Clinton is an unusually good liar."

"Mr. President, there is no honest reason to veto this [$792 billion] commonsense tax relief legislation," House Speaker Denny Hastert, and Senate Majority Leader Chester Lott, in a letter to Clinton. "You have implied that we ignore Social Security and Medicare, yet our plan reserves $2.2 trillion for Social Security and Medicare reform over the next decade. You have said that the (budget) surplus should be used to pay down the national debt, yet our plan reduces the national debt by $2 trillion in the next 10 years -- even more than your plan."

" ...[S]adly, when I challenge folks to sacrifice for their children, I usually get the telephonic version of a blank stare. That's where we are. And that's why our children are out of control. They learned it from us." -- Dr. Laura Schlessinger

"This is no time for a third party. The Republican Party still deserves conservative support, and will get the vast majority of it." -- William Rusher

"Yes, the ABA's guest list offers all kinds of exciting possibilities. Good taste may have its limits, but bad is boundless. And to think, the American Bar Association was once concerned about preserving the reputation of lawyers." --Paul Greenberg on Bill Clinton lecturing the ABA on "Constitutional Law."

"How can people who want credit for honoring the Contract With America be taken seriously when they violate a contract with their wives?" -- Cal Thomas on Newt Gingrich's "mistress problem."

"It is the monopoly of guns by people with evil intentions that is dangerous. Some of the most dangerous places in America are places where strict gun-control laws provide assurance to violent criminals that their victims will not be able to defend themselves." -- Thomas Sowell

"When it comes to values though, I mean Al Gore is pretty squeaky clean, wouldn't you say?" -- Katie Couric. If you igore that fundraising and covering for Bill Clinton thing

"After all the painful gun violence we have seen in America, I say to all those who would seek to lead this nation: Stop trying to pass special protections for the gun manufacturers." -- Al Gore

"I think this is a time when it's possible to raise too much money." -- Bill Bradley. In the 1990 N.J. Senate race, Bradley's challenger suggested they cap their Senate campaign spending at $3 million; Bradley refused.

"This is not the time to approve a big tax cut and forget about our obligations to all of our children. These are not somebody else's children. These are all our children." -- Hillary Clinton

"No to cocaine. No to marijuana. And a question mark over Jack Daniels." -- Pat Buchanan

"It looks like they were reinventing accounting rules." -- Rep. Dan Burton on Al Gore's "reinventing government" claim of $21.8 billion in savings, disputed by the General Accounting Office

"The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that under Democrats, man exploits man. Under Republicans, it's just the reverse." -- Idaho Republican Liberty Caucus newsletter

"On my way to Indianola to attend a Bush event Friday night, I passed a highway sign, an arrow pointing straight ahead, reading: 'Church of Compassion.' This Bush staff DOES have Iowa organized." -- Rich Galen

"Bill Bradley is so boring, his Secret Service code name is Al Gore." --Jay Leno

web posted August 16, 1999

"I urged him to bomb; I supported him. ... What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?" -- Hilary Clinton on bombing Kosovo

[The GOP tax plan] imperils the prosperity that has brought real benefits to American families." -- Bill Clinton, claiming that leaving more of our money in our pockets "imperils prosperity."

"To me, [the tax cut] is a no-brainer. It increases Americans' income by $800 billion. The president's always saying he wants to increase people's income. Well, here's his chance. He's not interested in this. He wants to spend it. ... To suggest we can't afford to cut income taxes when we are running a $3 trillion surplus is ludicrous." -- Democrat Sen. Robert Kerrey

"One of the things the Clinton administration has done is to renew my capacity for being shocked. In my opinion, the misconduct of President Clinton and his White House is more egregious by far than the misconduct of the Nixon White House with respect to the misuse of the IRS. We found that in fact there was some misuse of the IRS [by Nixon], but it was not part of an overall systematic plan, as has been the case with the Clinton White House. ... For the IRS thing alone, it seems to me that the leaders of my party as well as the rank-and-file Democratic members of Congress are hypocrites in their shameless defense of Clinton." -- Jerome Zeifman, who headed the Democratic drafting team for the articles of impeachment of Richard Nixon

"You know, I counted up actually the number of days left in the Clinton administration. Just count them...just 597 days from now we may not have to put up with this garbage anymore." -- Morton Kondracke

"Welcome to your presidency, America, now it's getting close to gross. ... [Hillary Clinton's explanation of Mr. Clinton's behavior is] a disingenuous attempt to create excuses, a First Lady who is cynical and smug and with her husband calculating, trying to run for Senate and spin an ending to a gross chapter in the history of the White House." -- MSNBC's Brian Williams

"The Marxist ideal is at last reached. We live, finally, in a classless society: No one has any class at all." -- Michael Kelly on "a culture...impossible to offend."

"The vocabulary has changed so that tax cuts now look like irresponsible spending and spending on investments and education and Medicare looks like the responsible thing to do...." -- Time's Margaret Carlson, on her vocabulary

"I've known Al Gore since the day he was born and he's never done anything bad in his life. He's been the best boy." -- ABC's Cokie Roberts

"The president has said he will pay the fine, and his lawyers have said that he will pay the fine. ... The president has said that he will pay the fine that she's imposed, and I don't have anything to add to that. ... Well, he's going to pay the fine." -- White House chief of staff John Podesta, when asked repeatedly by NBC's Tim Russert, "In this era of accepting responsibility...does the president accept the judge's decision that he lied under oath?"

"I don't think anybody's going to be saying, 'Oh, she's such a nice Jewish girl'." -- Democractic consultant Jeffrey Plaut, on the revelation that Hillary Clinton's grandmother's second husband was Jewish

"How's Pat Buchanan going to build a 2 000-mile wall along the Mexican border without Mexican labor?" -- Comedian Will Durst

web posted August 9, 1999

"I just don't want my daughter's death to come down to gun-control. He didn't kill my daughter with a firearm. He killed my daughter with a hammer." -- Joe Vandiver, father of the slain second wife of Atlanta's recent mass killer.

"Clinton is a man who will disappoint everyone in his life except his pollster." -- Dick Armey

"The self-righteous unnecessary lie, the implausible explanation, the irrelevant argument -- all pure Clinton." -- Michael Barone on allegations that Clinton was abused as a child

"The debate here is not between reducing the debt and cutting taxes. The debate is between taxpayers spending money and Washington spending money." -- Sen. Phil Gramm

"The great Republican tax cut of '99 would reduce the Niagara of taxes now flooding the Treasury from about 21% of GDP to 20%. This hardly tears up the tax code." -- Charles Krauthammer

"Liberals who have been waiting for Lefty can reasonably read Gore's [candidacy] speech as an announcement that their long wait is over." -- George Will

"I haven't made any excuses for what was inexcusable and neither has she -- believe me." -- Bill Clinton

"The only thing that could explain this love of tax cuts is a lowered IQ." -- Time magazine's Margaret Carlson

"Tax cutters [are] mostly Republican ideologues like Bill Archer and Dick Armey, whose primary interest is in giving tax breaks to affluent Americans." -- Barry Bluestone in the The New Republic.

"There is another word for the way they are behaving. They are behaving like whores." -- Nina Totenberg on tax cutters

"I know more about barbecue than I do about politics." -- Al Gore, who knows as much about government pork as any politico

"I do not think that his contributions to American culture and what he has brought before the nation typifies the Democratic Party." -- Demo Sen. Robert Torricelli on a potential Jerry Springer Senate run

"I'll be damned if I am going to let a bunch of supply-side extremists destroy our middle class to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy." -- Dick Gephardt

"You know, we did have a very good stretch ... Years and years of nothing." -- Hillary Clinton on her marriage

"The secret is out, and somebody told Hillary: President Clinton's granny was a member of the vast right-wing conspiracy." -- National Review Online

"Hillary apparently plans to continue to be America's Wounded-Woman-in-Chief, forever. She is, single-handedly, moving the nation from CFS -- Clinton Fatigue Syndrome, to CES -- Clinton Exhaustion Syndrome." -- Rich Galen

"The only thing missing from Hillary Rodham Clinton's big production number in New York is Bert Parks...singing '...there she is...Miss America'." -- Suzanne Fields

web posted August 2, 1999

"Mr. President, we say, 'What's wrong in letting American taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned money?' We trust them to spend it right, and we think you should, too." -- Speaker Denny Hastert

"...[M]ost victims of government greed are...hard-working individuals who just want to be left alone. They have neither the wealth, nor the stomach, to fight the very government that was created expressly for the purpose of protecting, not taking, their property." -- Henry Lamb

"Today, Congress doesn't even bother arguing its authority to enact this or that law. It assumes a limitless power to do as it pleases -- on gun control, tobacco, 'a patient's bill of rights' and such entitlements as Social Security and Medicare." -- Joseph Sobran


What the media reported:
"My first priority, if I were given such a priority, is to let the surpluses run." -- Alan Greenspan
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman." -- Democrat Rep. John LaFalce

What Greenspan went on to say:
"As I've said before, my second priority is if you find that as a consequence of those surpluses they tend to be spent, then I would be more in the camp of cutting taxes, because the least desirable is using those surpluses for expanding outlays."

"[If] the surplus is going to become a lightning rod for major increases in outlays...That's the worst of all possible worlds, from a fiscal policy point of view, and that, under all conditions, should be avoided. I have great sympathy for those who wish to cut taxes now to pre-empt that process, and indeed, if it turns out that they are right, then I would say moving on the tax front makes a good deal of sense to me."


"[Ted Kennedy] is one of the towering figures in [the Senate] in the whole second half of this century." -- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter

"Senator Kennedy has emerged, contrary to sort of the Republican mythology of this ideological liberal, as a very flexible, pragmatic person." -- USNWR's Steve Roberts. Except when it comes to reporting things...

"It's the ideological extreme that wants to do away with it and they will seize on this as an excuse to start up their crusade again to get rid of public broadcasting, but they will not succeed because the American people support it." -- U.S. Vice President Al Gore

"Johnson came in and finally completed the American Revolution and made this country a democracy for the first time in history." -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in a tribute to federal Judge Frank Johnson. The United States is not a democracy, it is a republic

"Much of [Bill Gates's and his fellow foundation builders'] donated wealth would end up in public treasuries if the tax laws didn't permit its diversion for privately controlled philanthropic purposes. That makes a strong argument for transparency in foundations' operations: The public has a right to know how, why, by whom, and with what effect the money that might have belonged to it is being spent." -- Johns Hopkins's Daniel S. Greenberg on the "public's money."

"It strikes me as another Clinton moment." -- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Clinton's claim to have been John Kennedy's first White House host since the death of his father.

"If [you needed] mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, who would volunteer?" -- Sen. Don Nickles getting in the last word with Ted Kennedy in an angry debate over health care.

"All measures were exhausted. And that's when the decision to use nuclear weapons was made." -- Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, on the reason for Russia's simulated nuclear strikes in a recent exercise.

"The Clinton administration has told Russia to quit sending so many spies over here. It must be that they're crowding out the Chinese." -- Lyn Nofziger

"You know, I think he's making a lot of promises to these Indians he can't really keep. In fact he told them, if Hillary gets elected senator, she'll try to get them Manhattan back." -- Jay Leno on Clinton's "poverty tour" stop at an Indian reservation.

"Honey, I was around for Y1K." -- Sen. Strom Thurmond to a young woman at a year-2000 enrollment ceremony.

Current Issue

Archive Main | 1999

E-mail ESR



1996-2020, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.