Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted October 25, 1999

"Any attack on a person or his property is a crime and punishable as such. Hate-crime laws add an extra penalty because the offense was spurred by malice toward a protected group. The additional punishment is for holding bad ideas. It's a short step from there to punishing pure advocacy." -- Columnist Don Feder

"Haven't you figured out yet if you never vote for what you believe, it can't possibly win? People who give in to that logic are either very stupid or they're insincere. To put not too fine a point on it, that position is stupid." -- Alan Keyes

"Perhaps I could handle two-to-one, or even 10-to-one, but not 80-to-one," -- Elizabeth Dole

"George Bush says that too often his party paints a picture of an America 'slouching toward Gomorrah.' ... The trouble with slouching toward Gomorrah is that when we arrive Bill Clinton will be there to welcome us." -- Lyn Nofziger

"[T]he [nuclear test ban] treaty went down in flames.... It was the first time a treaty signed by a U.S. President had been defeated by the Senate in more than 70 years. It was the worst foreign policy defeat of any President in modern times." -- Paul Weyrich

"The liberal plan is to cause a national plague of irresponsibility and the shirking of duty, in the hope that we will conclude sheepishly that we must hand over control of our lives to the government, and become wards of the state instead of a free people." -- Alan Keyes

"If Congress practiced medicine, they'd be using leeches on their patients and offering bullets for amputee candidates to bite before hacking off irreparable limbs." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"I'm for an increase in the minimum wage. I'm for higher taxes on the wealthy. ... What does it matter what my bank account is if my actions, my words and my heart are in the right place?" - Sam Donaldson on "wealthy liberals."

"The President has appealed to Republicans to put aside politics for the sake of the American people." -- CBS's John Roberts

"He knows what that desk in the Oval Office is for." -- Larry Flynt on Bill Clinton

"There is no reason for us to conduct tests anymore. We can just ask the Chinese how our nukes are doing." -- Rich Galen on the CTB Treaty

"President Clinton may visit Vietnam in the year 2000. I guess he found that draft notice on his desk." -- Jay Leno

web posted October 18, 1999

"Who wants a Republican moderate as president?" -- Rush Limbaugh

"It isn't as if these kids are going home to read Roll Call for issue briefs, or logging on to Project Vote Smart for candidate voting records. No, they likely won’t think again about voting at all until election day. Then they'll vote for the guy Oprah says is best, or they’ll remember Woody Harrelson's video on how industry is choking old growth nature..." -- Radley Balko on the "SPITFIRE" tour, which is bringing celebrities to American colleges to speak on politics

"George W. Bush may be the only chance to hold off the even worse Al Gore and Bill Bradley, but that we are reduced to such a choice merely shows how far we have slouched." -- Robert H. Bork

"George W. Bush has made a serious strategic error. He has just tipped his hand. People will now see him as a moderate and I believe they will begin to move away from him." -- Paul Weyrich

"George Bush has given us another regrettable example of the establishment candidate attacking conservative Republicans instead of liberal Democrats." -- Phyllis Schlafly

"Texas Governor George W. Bush's obsession with triangulation has put House Republicans into a corner from which there may be no escape. Indeed, if the GOP loses control of the House next fall, it may well be because the party's presidential front-runner and his strategists made a conscious decision this fall to sacrifice Congress at the altar of his presidential ambition." -- ACU's David Keene

"The eco-weenies want us to believe the preposterous notion that the world is full-up and can't support any more people. Since mere facts are inconvenient, they simply adjusted their findings and projections. .. [W]hy the deception? Power. If they can convince us there is a crisis, we will more easily accept their intervention. The world is not running out of anything but truth. And that is the real crisis." -- Lionel Waxman

"I'll tell ya, George W. gave a helluva speech. I haven't heard a Republican, you know, raise the hair on the back of my neck that way in admiration in a long time and he really put some, some beef to the whole compassionate issue on the conservative side." -- Geraldo Rivera on Bush's criticism of conservatives

"He comes across as a pretty agreeable, personable, almost charming guy." -- NBC's Katie Couric on Unabomber Ted Kaczynski

"I spent an enormous amount of time trying to help the people in the land of my forbears in Northern Ireland get over 600 years of religious fights. And every time they make an agreement to do it, they're like a couple of drunks walking out of the bar for the last time -- when they get to the swinging door they turn around and go back in and say, I just can't quite get there." -- Bill Clinton speaking to the UN

"The United Nations says that the birth of some baby tomorrow will mark the first time six billion people have been alive on Earth. Or six billion and one, if you count Al Gore." -- Craig Kilborn

"I'm expressing myself creatively." -- Scott LoBaido, who was arrested for hurling horse puckey at the façade of the Brooklyn Museum of "Art" in protest of the museum's dung-decorated "expression" of the Virgin Mary.

"Yesterday, [the Clintons] celebrated their 24th anniversary. 24 years is a long time for a guy to be cheating on his wife. ... Hillary Clinton spent the weekend in Iceland. Isn't that redundant?" -- Jay Leno

"Congratulations to Bill and Hillary, celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary. Call me a romantic, but I still think it's great that after 24 years, they can still fake a relationship" -- David Letterman

web posted October 11, 1999

"How can the federal government be prevented from usurping powers that the Constitution doesn't grant to it? It's an alarming fact that few Americans ask this question anymore. Our ultimate defense against the federal government is the right of secession." -- Joseph Sobran

"Talk about an abstract exercise: The independent counsel investigating the secretary of labor, Alexis Herman, went to the White House the other day to take sworn testimony from this president. To what end? Who would believe him under oath?" -- Paul Greenberg

"In 1863, we became the third federation in the world." -- Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, forgetting that Canada became a federation in 1867

"I think the Republican right's being too hard on Gov. Bush. I mean, you know, I don't understand why they're being so mean to him about this." -- Bill Clinton

"This is a very powerful moment in this campaign, powerful because of what home means. Home is not only a place, it's an idea. Home is where we start from; home is where we learn our values. It's where we return to remember ourselves in the best sense." -- Al Gore on the move of his campaign headquarters to Tennessee. Gore actually spent much of his time in three suites on the top floor of the posh Embassy Row Ritz-Carlton, which was owned by his family

"It is fascinating to me that racism often is defined, not by your skin color, but by your ideology. It's OK to [racially degrade] black Republicans, black conservatives. But don't do it to a black Democrat." -- Rep. J.C. Watts

"The more [George W. Bush] speaks the more troubled I am becoming about his candidacy. ... What Bush is doing with this attack on the conservative Congress, and conservatives in undermining conservatives. And in the Republican Party my friends it is not the conservatives who are the problem. The conservatives in this party are the savior." -- Rush Limbaugh

"The people are told by arrogant judges that moral discernment is equivalent to bigotry. They are advised that the Constitution does not grant people the right to establish the rules of civility and set the standards of decency by which they wish to live." -- Linda Bowles

"During the Kosovo war, Bill Clinton and Al Gore were attending fund-raisers every 72 hours. During the Gulf War, George Bush and Dan Quayle went to only one -- around the corner from the White House and for only 45 minutes." -- Rising Tide magazine

"The problem with the income tax is that it's there." -- Alan Keyes

"...[I]t seems fair now to say that Reagan was the author of the 1980s...while Clinton was at best merely a product of the 1990s." -- Jonah Goldberg

"If President Reagan could be an actor and become president, maybe I could become an actor. I've got a good pension. I can work for cheap." -- Bill Clinton

"If you asked me at any point in my life if I'd be at Harvard talking politics, I would have laughed at you." -- Gov. Jesse Ventura

"You think Clinton Fatigue is bad. What about those of us already suffering from Morris fatigue?" -- Lyn Nofziger on Edmund Morris, author of the controversial Reagan biography Dutch

"What's wonderful about Steve Forbes is that he will never be alone with a woman. Period." --Charles Jarvis, explaining his defection to Forbes from Gary Bauer's GOP presidential campaign.

"Pew polling shows Bush leading Gore by 16 points with two candidates, and by 15 points with Buchanan in the race. The Gore people can finally see a strategy to win this thing: Have an election with 18 candidates in the race." -- Rich Galen

"The John F. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Tax Cut." -- Rush Limbaugh on a name Republicans could give their tax cut plan that would ensure Bill Clinton's signature

"Guess who's running for president now? Warren Beatty. I think that this is a huge mistake. This country will never elect a womanizer." -- David Letterman

"This marks the first time ever that both New York teams have been in the playoffs in the same year, which is very exciting. It's actually causing a problem for Hillary Clinton 'cause she's not sure which team to pretend to be a fan of." -- Conan O'Brien

web posted October 4, 1999

"I think it was on the fourth day [after being shot down] that two guards came in, instead of one. One of them pulled back the blanket to show the other guard my injury. I looked at my knee. It was about the size of a football ... when I saw it, I said to the guard, 'O.K., get the officer' ... an officer came in after a few minutes. It was the man that we came to know very well as 'The Bug.' He was a psychotic torturer, one of the worst fiends that we had to deal with. I said, 'O.K., I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital.'" -- 'War hero' and GOP candidate John McCain, quoted in US News and World Report, May 14, 1973

"I don't have any intention of trying to come up with some artificial political design aimed at separating myself from the president. This has been a Clinton-Gore administration from day one." -- U.S. Vice President Al Gore

"It used to be in 1996, Bill Clinton triangulated himself with other Democrats. Now, every Democrat is triangulating himself against Bill Clinton, including his own wife and the vice president of the United States, who's trying to free himself from the 1,000 pound ball and chain that is in some ways the Clinton ethical legacy." -- Paul Gigot, Wall Street Journal

"The Army has become a 'social experiment,' geared towards promoting diversity and celebrating individual successes vs. instilling the sense of unity behind the values of our Constitution, the flag and our distinguished unit colors. The end result we see today is clearly diminished combat readiness and a lower willingness by our young people to serve a higher cause." --Lt. Col. Ralph Zimmermann in a retirement preparation memo.

"Despite all the talk about 'new Democrats,' it is still the party's most liberal elite that fuels the Democratic Party's fund-raising power... Hillary Clinton is their golden girl with a brain, a liberal pin-up perfect on the silk-lined walls of Manhattan co-ops or poolside in Beverly Hills." -- Former RNC Chair Rich Bond

"Tyrants never take away liberties all at once." -- Walter Williams

"One thing I do know is that the real Pat Buchanan has disappeared. In his place, they've left an android with a bad sense of history -- and a bleeding heart for all the wrong things." -- Linda Chavez

"Buchanan threatens to bolt the Republican Party. Republicans, hold the door open for that man, grease the skids and give him a helpful boot down the steep, swift road to sure and deserved oblivion." -- Michael Kelly

"...[C]onservatives are wasting their time, energy and votes if they stay in the Republican Party. No more than the Democrats do the Republicans honor the Constitution. They merely violate it at a slower pace." -- Joseph Sobran, who is suspending his syndicated column to run as vice presidential nominee for the Constitution Party

"In Bush and Dole, the Republican Party will have candidates who are either not focused on our issues, or will be nothing but pale copies of the Democratic nominee. Without a message rooted in conservative principles, the Republican Party fails time and again." -- Paul Weyrich

"The biggest hypocrites on gun control are those who live in upscale developments with armed security guards -- and who want to keep other people from having guns to defend themselves. But what about lower-income people living in high-crime, inner city neighborhoods? Should such people be kept unarmed and helpless, so that limousine liberals can 'make a statement' by adding to the thousands of gun laws already on the books?" -- Thomas Sowell

"Make this election year about assuming responsibility instead of ducking it." -- U.S. President Bill Clinton, who should know himself

"I'm a socialist at heart." -- media mogul Ted Turner

"The House and Senate Appropriations Committees -- for about the 20th straight year, under Republican control and Democratic -- have again forgotten that the fiscal year ends on September 30. It is a little like computer companies forgetting that the year 2000 would arrive in ... 2000." -- Rich Galen

"No, sir. Neither did the Soviets." -- William J. Bennett, when asked if he ever perceived Ronald Reagan to be a "spaced-out old man" as described in Edmund Morris's new book, "Dutch."

"President Clinton is in fine shape after his annual physical at Bethesda Naval Hospital. It was one of those whole, thorough exam things. They were looking for an honest bone in his body and it came back negative. ... Oh, today President Clinton vetoed a massive Republician tax cut.... However, he did approve a tax cut for anyone buying a home in the New York area to establish residency to run for the Senate." -- Jay Leno

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