Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted November 20, 2000

"The social chaos seen in other countries such as sabotage, guerrilla bands and political assassinations has yet to emerge in our country. Because of that, we Americans have little appreciation and even indifference to the attack on the laws, customs and institutions that create the fabric for a free society. The Clinton/Gore administration has ratcheted up to an unprecedented level the attack on the rule of law and constitutional government; what's worse is that we have applauded and supported the attack." -- Walter Williams

"I want Al Gore to win the election, but more than that, I want somebody to win this election." -- Senator Robert G. Torricelli (D)

"There might come a time when the vice president would be well served to say the country's interest is more important than the interests of one person or political party, and go ahead and concede." -- Former Arkansas Senator Dale Bumpers

"When the votes are counted, that should be it. It is a perilous course to try to delay in the expectation that things will be turned around by lawyers. Unless there is something fraudulent or a flagrant violation of law, this should end on Nov. 17." -- Bill Bradley

"Al Gore's transparent efforts to overturn election results that are unfavorable to him are doing terrible and lasting damage to the nation he has spent most of his adult life hoping to lead. As everybody knows by now, George W. Bush last week won the unofficial recount in Florida. [Tuesday], Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris is scheduled to announce the official ballot results from all 67 counties; by Friday the state will tabulate ballots cast by Floridians overseas. The evidence indicated that last Tuesday's results would be upheld. But as everybody also knows, the Gore campaign began a massive campaign to subvert this outcome, including its most recent effort to insist on a manual recount in four predominantly Democratic counties. .. The end game is clear: to throw sand in the machinery of democracy and destabilize American presidential politics. I hope, and still believe, these efforts will fail. But whether they do or not, Mr. Gore is well on his way to earning the scorn of his countrymen and a harsh verdict from history." -- William Bennett

"Regrettably, and recklessly, during the past 100 hours the Gore campaign has begun to poison the wellspring of American democracy. We are beginning to see the early consequences: street demonstrations, protests, increasing acrimony and bitterness. Things will only get worse, far worse, if they prolong this ordeal. To use a favorite Gore campaign phrase, 'You ain't seen nothing yet'." -- Bill Bennett

"The hallmark of the Clinton administration was contempt for law and morality. Gore has demonstrated before how well he has learned the lessons of political 'total war.' He lied easily and casually about Bill Bradley, about his role in illegal fund raising, and promiscuously about George W. Bush. His history of lying about himself cannot be laid at Clinton's door -- it merely shows how well-matched they were. But in the aftermath of this election, Gore has taken the tactics of spin and win to new lows -- because now what's at stake is the very legitimacy of our electoral process." -- Mona Charen

"...Sen. Joe Lieberman ... knows his Bible. He said that paying prescription drugs for older Americans is obedience to God's law revealed to us by Moses. We must 'Honour thy father and mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.' The only way government can give one American subsidized prescription drugs is to first confiscate the money from some other American. If Rabbi Lieberman just thought about that fact he'd recall another commandment, 'Thou shalt not steal.' Or, maybe Lieberman thinks what that commandment really means: 'Thou shalt not steal unless thou hast a majority vote in Congress'." -- Walter Williams

"The reason we have no 'closure' is that neither George W. Bush nor Albert A. Gore Jr. closed the deal with voters." -- Tony Snow

"American elections are a referendum on indifference. The remarkable dead-heat distribution of the one hundred million votes indicates how difficult it is to distinguish between the two parties." -- Burt Blumert

"Al Gore unleashed a bitter and dangerous campaign to win the presidency at all costs, even if it means undermining the very legitimacy of the electoral system itself. And in the process he has shown himself to be unfit for the high office he seeks." -- Linda Chavez

"The political terms 'will' and 'popular will' have a long track record in Western history going back to Rousseau. That record is profoundly anti-democratic, essentially inviting elites to interpret what the common people believe and want. In litigious modern America, that would be a judicial elite telling us how we meant to vote or should have voted." -- John Leo

"Now whatever you think of the liberal agenda on its merits, until very recently nobody thought the Constitution meant what liberals now say it means." -- Joseph Sobran

"The street theater...by the Gore campaign has all the usual characteristics of this most miserable administration: lawyers, lies, exaggerations, litigation and unctuous sanctimony. ... No one has been denied the right to vote. Voters had their chance. They were just too stupid or too careless to fill out the ballot correctly. The law places that responsibility on them." -- Charley Reese

"Who are we, what are we, that Al Gore and William Daley have no more respect for us than to consider a Putsch?" -- Paul Craig Roberts

"I have a sick, sinking feeling. It's impeachment all over again. But this time it's about the results of a presidential election. Like President Clinton, Al Gore is willing to precipitate a constitutional crisis to hold on to power." -- Ann Coulter

"We are not engaged in a national plebiscite on the Electoral College system. Both of the candidates have sworn to uphold the Constitution, and it decrees how new presidents are to be selected. Those who wish to amend the Constitution are entirely free to do so. See Article V. And set aside a couple of years to get it done." -- Wm. F. Buckley

"What Al Gore has done by unleashing the dogs of political war here is the most irresponsible act of a political leader in my lifetime. What they're doing is delegitimating the next government. Once the traditional order has broken down, it's all against all." -- David Horowitz

"Why am I shocked that Al Gore's calculated effort to divide this nation along racial, ethnic, gender, social and economic lines for political gain has persisted beyond the election?" -- David Limbaugh

"Gore hopes the White House will be the last stop on the 'no controlling legal authority' express. ... There is a certain unavoidable irony in having this spectacle of legal jujitsu created by lawyers for the public official who claimed the defense of no controlling legal authority. It sounded like a strange concept at the time, but it's now clear that Mr. Gore clearly understands its meaning and its uses. Its clear purpose in Florida now is to railroad an outcome." -- Wall Street Journal

"There is no question, or very little question, that Al Gore won the votes cast in the state of Florida. The question is, will he win the votes counted? ... Listen, if this race is counted fairly, Al Gore won more votes in Florida." -- ABC's George Stephanopoulos clearing forgetting about 300 ballots that George Bush received that Al Gore did not

"There aren't many presidential candidates who can't carry their own state. ... By the way, I do think that Al Gore cost me the election, especially in Florida." -- Ralph Nader

"Who is dumber? A person who leaves the voting line because they heard that some network called the state for one candidate? Or, someone who thought you could punch two holes in ballot and it would count?" -- Rich Galen

"...Missouri's Mel Carnahan is the first person ever to be posthumously elected to the Senate. Everywhere, America's deceased are celebrating enfranchisement. Here in Washington, Sen. Strom Thurmond, South Carolina Republican, must be especially happy. With the arrival of Carnahan in the Senate, 98-year-old Sen. Thurmond finally has a colleague on his wavelength. After Campaign 2000 the cemeteries are fields of joy." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

"Hey, we have no President! It's a phenomenon that historians call -- Jimmy Carter! ... Tonight we have 200 people in the studio. By hand count, though, we got 300 people here!" -- Craig Kilborn

"Ralph Nader has a movie coming out. [It's called] 'How the Gorinch Stole the Election.'" -- Jay Leno

"Bush is ahead by four or five hundred votes. I bet he's having no problem with fuzzy math now! .... This is just a big mess. The candidates are in seclusion until this will be resolved. Hey, some good has come out of this!" -- David Letterman

web posted November 13, 2000

"The discrepancy between the blueprints of leaders and the hopes and fears of ordinary people is already dangerous. Those who feel ruled without their consent take to the streets. ...[B]ut visionary ideas have never so far given way to common sense." -- National Review

"The quest to universalize voter participation rests on the assumption that people view voting as a sacred trust and privilege. ...There could be a dead fish here even smellier than the quest to universalize voting. What if politics has plain worn us down after years of hearing politicians invite us to view them as our saviors? ...Smaller, less arrogant government might make the vote seem as important as it once did." -- Bill Murchison

"Someday I'd like to see a true right-wing court just to demonstrate what 'conservative' judicial activism would really look like. To correspond to the 'living Constitution' wielded by liberal jurists, the court would have to start discovering constitutional clauses invalidating the income tax, prohibiting abortion across the nation, and protecting the right to suck the brains out of Democrats -- all in the penumbras, you understand. It would be a lot of fun for a few months, and then the justices could admit it was just a joke and overrule it all. We could go back to living under a Constitution and not a tyranny of disassociated lunatics. Best of all, we probably wouldn't hear so much about judicial restraint being a partisan issue anymore." -- Ann Coulter

"We're not here to generate controversy. We're here to do what's right... to make sure that the voice of the American people...has been heard fairly." -- Janet Reno on the DOJ involvement in the vote brouhaha in Florida. Coup d'etat by the Clinton administration?

"Gore had all the advantages of an incumbent administration, but he never generated enthusiasm, and many voters cast votes for him out of the least-worst attitude, not out of conviction. ... Gore cost me the election!" -- Ralph Nader

"Al Gore shares the values of America's families." -- DNC chairman Joe Andrew

"Let there be no mistaking what happened Tuesday: Our system of constitutional democracy worked well. It is a system of representation, and it has, with splendid precision, represented the strengths of the parties, and hence the division in the public mind." -- George Will

"Left candidates always resort to class warfare and the politics of envy." -- Don Feder

"The resurrection of liberalism in America has been greatly exaggerated." -- Robert Novak

"You know what will be the most immediately satisfying thing about voting for George W. Bush today? Knowing that I've done everything I can to ruin Rosie O'Donnell's tomorrow." -- Rod Dreher

"Dispensing other people's money, whether in the form of prescription drugs or federally funded (read: controlled) education is the agenda of European socialists, not the philosophy of America's Founders." -- Balint Vazsonyi

"...[T]he American left has always been awed and enamored by 'revolutionary' tyrannies and liberation movements, regardless of their methods and goals." -- David Bar-Ilan

"View and read everything with skepticism. Remember that truth and information are not synonyms. And do learn to think for yourself. There already are more than enough sheep in this world." -- Charley Reese

"A list of congressional violations of the letter and spirit of the Constitution is virtually without end." --Walter Williams

"Personal actions speak louder than political words." -- Michelle Malkin

"The Founding Fathers, of course, designed a system that would be slow and resistant to change. Their purpose was to force advocates to persuade more than a passing majority, but to forge something nearer consensus on important issues. ... The system the Founding Fathers devised reminds us to look beyond today to history. The Electoral College, by allotting each state a vote equal to its Representatives plus its two Senators, gives some weight to geography when the popular vote advantage is marginal." -- Wall Street Journal

"CBS is declaring the state of Florida for Albert Gore." -- Dan Rather

"ABC is now declaring the state of Florida for Albert Gore." -- ABC's Peter Jennings

"CNN is declaring the state of Florida for Albert Gore." -- Judy Woodruff

"NBC is declaring the state of Florida for Albert Gore." --Tom Brokaw

"Here is my Palm Beach plan. Anyone who voted on Tuesday can vote again if, and only if, they first agree to take a driving test. About three people will show up...." -- Rich Galen

"Famous for his reversals on abortion, gays, and guns, Gore is now hoping for the mother of all flip flops." -- National Review Online

"[John Ashcroft] is not running against one opponent, he's running against three: Mel Carnahan, now a legend; Jean Carnahan, the bereaved widow; and the media. You just have to ask -- what can the guy do?" -- University of Missouri political-science professor Rick Hardy

"George W, was up all night long waiting and waiting ... now he knows what a death row inmate feels like!" -- David Letterman

web posted November 6, 2000

"There was a time in this land when family was more important than government, when children honored their parents and when their parents grew old they helped where they could. Sometimes this meant money. Sometimes it meant a place to live. Sometimes it meant just being there to do for their parents what they could no longer do for themselves. Not any more. Today parents and children alike turn their responsibilities over to the federal nanny that extorts taxes from the haves so the haves can avoid their responsibilities to their families and communities." -- Lyn Nofziger

"Actually, I want to win ... so I can show Paula Jones what the correct response was supposed to be." -- Ann Coulter, commenting in the Washington Post on the likelihood that she'll win Playboy.com's "Beltway Babes" poll, which carries the option of appearing in an upcoming issue of the magazine as a reward.

"...[O]ur culture has moved beyond hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice renders to virtue, but if there's no vice or virtue, and no absolutes, then how can there be hypocrisy? And that seems to be the reasoning. The candidates are able to do this without fear. Deconstruction and postmodernism have led to the point where there is no truth and no principles worth defending. Americans can hold two utterly conflicting thoughts in our mind at the same time with no tension whatsoever. We have repealed the law of non-contradiction." -- Charles Colson

"Thinking that mankind's activities can have significant effects on the environment is the height of arrogance. If you really believe mankind's activity can change the Earth's temperature, you probably also think that if all of us jumped up and down we'd change the earth's orbit, or if we all got out our paddles we could change the direction of the tides." -- Walter Williams

"Without a doubt, the only thing standing between tyranny and us is the widespread possession of privately owned firearms. If the American people want to retain their liberties, they will fight to the death for the right to keep and bear arms. If they have any hopes that their children will grow up in a land of freedom, they will fight to the death for the right to keep and bear arms. If they expect the Clintons of tomorrow to submit to their role as servant of the people and not to become their masters, they will fight to the death for the right to keep and bear arms." -- Chuck Baldwin

"As Henny Youngman would say, take campaign finance reform, please. .. Republicans have no choice but to outspend the Democrats, because Democrats get a lot of their message out through the media, free of charge, simply because the people in the media believe so much of that message themselves. Restricting spending does not mean a public better informed about both sides of issues. It means a public far less likely to hear both sides of issues. The media love campaign finance reform -- and they love Sen. John McCain, who has become their favorite Republican by pushing this liberal nostrum in Congress and on the campaign trail. But is throwing your party to the wolves, in order to boost your own candidacy, a high principle?" -- Thomas Sowell

"In Washington, 'do-nothingism' is defined as refusing to pass the Democratic legislative wish list. ...A strong case can be made that the greatest virtue of the Republican Congress over the past six years has been its judicious inaction on Bill Clinton's most economically destructive ideas -- notwithstanding the unsightly election-eve spending spree that funded many of Bill Clinton's budgetary priorities." -- Stephen Moore

"The 'Desperation Index,' a reliable election indicator, shows the Gore campaign rocketing up the desperation charts. Only [Sunday], Joe Lieberman -- after renewing his offer of respects to America's most virulent anti-Semite -- found nothing wrong with a TV spot paid for by the NAACP that associates George W. Bush with dragging a black man to death. While Republicans condemn such below-the-belt ads by extremist supporters, desperate Democrats accept all the racist or senior-scaring help they can get. ... Nowhere is Democratic desperation more evident than in the liberals' savaging of Ralph Nader. The same crowd that stood on principle for Pat Buchanan's right to draw votes from Bush now frantically accuses Nader of hypocrisy, egomania and unforgivable spoilerism for daring to offer voters a chance to voice their protest." -- William Safire

"Unlike [the Republicans], I've apologized to the American people for what I did wrong, and most Americans think I paid a pretty high price ..They never apologized to the country for impeachment. They've never apologized for all the things they've done." -- Bill Clinton in an Esquire magazine interview, on the Republican need for atonement

"Actually there are five Republican senators who should apologize -- for not voting to find him guilty." -- Lyn Nofziger in response

"I don't ever want to see another era of big government. I'm opposed to big government... I'm for a smaller, smarter government.... I don't believe there's a government solution to every problem. I don't believe any government program can replace the responsibility of parents, the hard work of families, or the innovation of industry." -- Al Gore

"I believe Al Gore is a habitual liar, yes. It's not easy to say, but the record says it. It's not just people like me who are supporting George Bush who believe it. His own Democrat Party spokesmen have said it a number of times." -- Bill Bennett

"Mr. Gore is egalitarian in his lies, whether they are about creating the Internet, discovering the Love Canal, serving as the basis for the novel, 'Love Story,' authoring the Earned Income Tax Credit, a story about a particular crowded Florida class room, an old lady collecting tin cans, a Buddhist temple, or listening to songs that were not written until after he said he heard them -- to name a few examples. Ordinarily in such a case you would not send a man to the White House -- you would send him to the nut house. The voting public should not have to become psychoanalysts to figure out Mr. Gore's complexes and the insecurities that might cause him to lie." -- Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder

"I no longer admire the VP, no longer trust his character or integrity. Al, I mistook your ambition for leadership. Your struggle with the truth is depressing." --Henderson Hillin, longtime Gore supporter and author of his 1988 biography, "Al Gore Jr.: Born to Lead."

"For some time now, the astonishing -- and growing -- size of the federal budget surplus has been reverberating around Washington. ...Budget surplus? Such a phenomenon could have occurred only if the Internal Revenue Service collected more in taxes than was necessary to fund the items agreed to between the Congress and the President of the United States. Anyone who has ever filed a Form 1040 knows the proper designation for such a state of affairs. It is called overpayment." -- Balint Vazsonyi

"Any campaign that practices this kind of demagoguery on a fundamental institution in our society should be ashamed of themselves," -- U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue about Gore's "disgusting" business-bashing rhetoric, while at the same time, taking credit for the strong economy to boost his campaign

"Fortunately for America, George W. Bush understands...the ultimate government 'safety net' is a straitjacket." -- Linda Bowles

"If Al Gore -- or any member of the adversary press now sneering at George Bush's service with the Air National Guard -- ever took off in [his] F-102, they wouldn't be able to relieve themselves for two weeks." -- Ann Coulter

"He offers an alternative and potentially powerful vision for black America, one that rejects pandering, paternalism and what Mr. Bush calls the 'soft bigotry of low expectations.' ... [As a result], Mr. Bush may lose the black vote on Nov. 7, but for black Americans much more is at stake." -- Jason L. Riley

"Eight years of Clinton Gore have created, both in attitude and deed, an executive branch that is becoming independent of law. After another term or two of Clinton Gore, law would issue from the mouth of the executive." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"I ask you: Is this the American trend that you want for your children and grandchildren one where there's rule by men, not rule of law?" -- Walter Williams

"Culturally, the present age is a vast stony desert. We are living on the glories of the past." -- John Derbyshire

"The most important Cabinet post to be filled in 2001 is the secretary of defense. For America's sake, let's hope we choose a new president with the savvy to make the right pick." -- David Hackworth

"Nobody would put as little thought and effort into buying an automobile as they put into deciding who to elect as President of the United States." -- Thomas Sowell

"Vote freedom first. Everything else is a distant and forgettable second place. Instead of fighting redcoats, we are now fighting blue blood elitists." -- NRA's Charlton Heston

"If Gore wins, he will owe victory to extraordinary turnout by black and labor voters and to the apparent weaknesses of his opponent. But the myths the Democrats carried into the year are exploded already." -- Michael Kelly

"America needs a fresh start, and Gov. George W. Bush is more likely to provide that than Vice President Al Gore." -- The Hartford Courant, the largest paper in Joe Lieberman's home state of Connecticut, endorsing Mr. Bush. The Courant endorsed Clinton-Gore in 1992 and 1996, and is taking heavy fire for this endorsement

"He has done an outstanding job as governor. Here's a man who I have never heard anybody criticize once for improper conduct as governor, for the improper taking of funds, for payoffs, for improprieties in the governor's mansion. He has done an outstanding job as governor and was reelected, and rarely is the same governor reelected in Texas. I think he is clearly the better of the two men.'' -- Ross Perot endorsing George W. Bush on November 2

"I remember, and many of you remember, another governor of a big state that the Democrats said wasn't experienced enough -- Ronald Reagan." -- Senator John McCain on the last-ditch effort to portray Mr. Bush as "lacking experience."

"It's interesting, too, that Democrats say the same thing of Bush they said of Ronald Reagan -- that he's not a detail guy and works short hours. News flash. A detail guy is the last thing you want as a president, and long hours equals inefficient. We're electing a decision-maker not a clerk." -- Charley Reese

"George W. Bush has to throw himself on the mercy of the court of public opinion. He has to stop being offended and wary of the press. He has to stop being the ghost of Bob Dole and get out there. The governor has a great personality, a decent record in Texas, and some good ideas about how the federal government should be run. That's enough to win the election, if he campaigns as a real person because Al Gore has trouble doing that." -- Bill O'Reilly

"You may choose not to vote on November 7 because you are repelled by the political process and what it produces. ... Well, that's your privilege.... But if you're a gun owner, and you wake up on November 8 and see that Al Gore is our new president, there is one thing you should do: Open up your gun cabinet and gaze at your firearms for a good long while -- so you'll remember what they looked like." -- Field & Stream Executive Editor David E. Petzall

"If you want to know what happens when people don't turn out, all you need to do is look at Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, Dick Armey, Tom DeLay -- because this is the crowd that gets elected when working people don't show up. This is the right-wing crowd that does get elected. If you're a student of history, as I am, you study history. The fact of the matter is, we've always battled the right wing. There's always been a fascist kind of crowd in every society...." -- Patrick Kennedy on "fascist crowds."

"Only Al Gore can beat Al Gore. And he's been doing a pretty good job of that." -- Ralph Nader

"[Nader's third party candidacy] is a very real danger to the Gore campaign. ... The country deserves a clear up-or-down vote between Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore, who have waged a hard, substantive, and clean campaign. ... [Nader] calls his wrecking-ball candidacy a matter of principle, but it looks form here like ego run amok." -- New York Times, a newspaper that apparently doesn't have a problem with a Pat Buchanan candidacy

"Whenever I hear a campaign talk about a need to energize the base, that's a campaign that's going down the toilet. It's a pretty good indication that they're not eating up any territory, they can't get anybody in the center to support them, they're getting shelled back into their own bunker." -- Democractic strategist James Carville

"Another Gore Whopper: In one of the most preposterous claims of the political season, Vice-President Al Gore this week declared himself the candidate of smaller government and pledged not to add a single worker to the federal payroll if elected president." -- Detroit News

"The politics of personal destruction, the character assassinations, the intimidation and political persecutions unleashed from the White House against those who exercised constitutional rights, and the unprecedented degrading and ridiculing of women have left a trail of lies and deceit inseparable from her campaign." -- Marie-Jose Ragab, president of the NOW's Dulles Chapter, on Ms. Rodham-Clinton

"Rock the Vote, a nonpartisan, non-profit voter registration organization with close ties to Democrats...." -- New York Times reporter Eric Schmitt on the meaning of nonpartisan

"You think if you get elected, Gore will try to take credit for it?" -- Jay Leno to George W. Bush

"Hillary Clinton is very confident about her race with Rick Lazio. She is so confident that she no longer pretends to like New York." -- David Letterman

web posted October 30, 2000

"In days gone by, character protected everyone. It protected children, who could play outside unsupervised, and who could go to school, ball games and Saturday afternoon movies by foot or bike without supervision and return safely. Character protected men from false accusations. It protected women from abuse, and families from dissolution. Character protected people from themselves. Emotions were kept in check. Even when character failed and people were murdered for love, hate or money, no one fired indiscriminately upon strangers. Character protected people from crime and gratuitous acts of violence. Even criminals had enough character to feel remorse. Today government has undertaken to do what character once did. But government has no more character than the people in government who, in turn, have no more character than the people who elect them." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"Gun-control has always been an elitist method of controlling the common folk. ...Nevertheless, if the urban insane wish to be prey for predators, that's their privilege. But no one has the right to tell someone else that he or she cannot possess the tools necessary to defend his or her life and the lives of loved ones." -- Charley Reese

"With the demise of Soviet communism, world crises seem to lack the sense of mortal danger necessary to grab the interest and attention of sea-to-shining-sea Americans. This may turn out to be a serious flaw in the American national character. Just as our day-to-day lives are surely to be affected more directly by events and policies beyond our contented shores; just as even our nation's sovereignty will find itself diminished by the power of world economic forces; just as the capacity of small bands of terrorists to inflict unspeakable wounds into our very flesh just now Americans are choosing to avert their gaze from the world in favor of deceptively placid self-reflections. There will be a price to pay for such indifference." -- Tony Blankley

"Government is on the side of the little guy, protecting him from the rich and powerful. That's what many people believe -- after all, that's the sermon preached in our schools and colleges, and parroted by politicians, particularly those of the leftist Democratic persuasion." -- Walter Williams

"When Al Gore chose Joe Lieberman to be his running mate, Democrats praised the Connecticut senator's bipartisanship. And then they rushed to suppress its every manifestation. On school vouchers in particular, Lieberman, facing a barrage of friendly fire, has beaten a hasty retreat. 'If you ask me personally, I'm still for a test of vouchers,' Lieberman confessed. 'But I understand how this works when you are vice president.' We understand, too -- when the presidential candidate says, 'Our administration will be opposed to private school vouchers,' the vice presidential candidate keeps his mouth shut. Too bad. Because, in this case, the presidential candidate is wrong and the vice presidential candidate is right." -- New Republic

"No group votes more solidly for the Democrats than blacks -- and no group suffers more as a result than blacks. Political spin makes Democrats the best friends of blacks, the party of civil rights laws, the party of affirmative action and the party of social programs to help the poor in general and blacks in particular. But spin and facts are very different things. The fact is that a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. ... Democrats can claim credit -- if that's the word -- for all the government social programs that have played such a role in the disintegration of families. These programs have done little to reduce poverty. Blacks did more to reduce their own poverty than the government ever has. Between 1940 and 1960, the poverty rate among black families fell from 87% to 47%. Yet there was no major federal civil rights legislation or welfare state programs created during that period. ... As for the first decade of [the Great Society and] affirmative action -- the 1970s -- the poverty rate among blacks fell by only one percentage point...." -- Thomas Sowell

"If the homicide rate is falling, if the fatalities from firearms accidents are the lowest they've been since 1902, why do you suppose some people are so fiendishly insistent on more gun control? ...Why do they clamor for safer guns when firearm accidents account for only [a small percentage] of the 90,000 accidental deaths annually in the United States? Well, I personally think that their motive has nothing to do with fighting crime or with safety. After all, firearms are dead last as a cause of accidental fatalities among both children and adults. Doctors, we now know, kill three times as many Americans annually from mistakes than firearms kill, counting homicides, suicides and accidents. I think that the answer is both old and simple. Gun-control laws have always been elitist and racist. Elitists have always wanted to disarm the common folks while, of course, retaining the privileges of arms for themselves. And the right to keep and bear arms has always been a populist cause." -- Charley Reese

"My plan will not increase the size of government by even one position." -- Albert Gore

"The enmities of the Middle East are ancient. They cannot be wished away. ...[A]nother of my long-held beliefs: Playboys make incompetent diplomats." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell

"When the fundamental law of the land becomes the malleable instrument of a peculiar ideology, the rule of law is dead -- as surely as if a single tyrant bent the law to serve his own appetites. Law becomes, in fact, a raw power to command -- a lawless power under the forms of law." -- Joseph Sobran

"H.L. Mencken quipped in the 1920s that the name 'Justice Department' was an oxymoron. Attorney General Janet Reno has vindicated Mencken and given solace to cynics across the land." -- James Bovard

"Despite whatever image Mr. Gore tries to project -- and he has spent a lot of time and a lot of money on consultants to shape his image -- Mr. Gore is a man of pop science, pop psychology and pop profundity. ... Do we need a sanctimonious and sophomoric president?" -- Thomas Sowell

"Since Vice President Al Gore is constantly making things up, it should come as no surprise that he wants Supreme Court justices who will do the same. As Gore put it, he will appoint judges who view the Constitution as a 'document that grows'." -- Ann Coulter

"They won their freedom with bullets so that we could defend our freedom with ballots. That is the holy war [we must] wage and win. But instead of fighting the Redcoats, we're fighting the blue-blood elitists." -- NRA's Charlton Heston

"Now I take a back seat to no one in my detestation of Bill Clinton, who would, in a well-ordered society, long ago have been hung upside down in a dungeon." -- Robert H. Bork

"...Hollywood will never adopt absolute standards -- in their moral code, there are no standards -- and they wouldn't even know where to begin." -- Charles Colson

"Vouchers would reduce stratification, they would build competition, they would restore control to the people most competent to decide on children's education: their parents." -- Milton Friedman

"What's outrageous is the unwillingness of my 'colleagues' in the press to scrutinize an appallingly incoherent national security process. No wonder the polls show Americans don't care about foreign policy. We don't have one -- and they don't know it." -- Oliver North

"The real problem with the GOP is that they don't fight because they don't understand what they are fighting for." -- Matthew Robinson

"[Gore's advisors] feel the only way they can block Nader is to go extra negative against George Bush, scare people, scare Democrats, scare those Nader voters back into the Democratic camp." -- George Stephanopolous

"Mr. Gore's oil pander reminds many Democrats of what it is that bothers them about the vice president. Many Democrats really are not wild about him, yet they know they have to vote for him over Mr. Bush. But when you hear Mr. Gore bleating that 'I will work for the day when we are free forever of the dominance of big oil and foreign oil' -- without leveling with Americans that the only way to do that is by us consuming less and drilling more -- you just want to cover your ears. Surely Mr. Gore is better than that. Surely Gore supporters are entitled to expect more from him. I guess all they can hope for now is that he will show more spine and intellectual honesty as a president than he has as a candidate. You really start to wonder, though." -- Thomas L. Friedman

"I think contributing to the Democratic Party is a contribution to the country in my view." -- Hillary Clinton

"Hillary Clinton is a congenital liar and a relentless character assassin. Any man or woman who dares to criticize or challenge the iconic status of Saint Hillary will be added to this gallery of brutish haters." -- Brent Bozell

"Whatever happened to the notion that the New York media would eat Hillary alive? The reality is that -- with a handful of exceptions -- they have more closely resembled the Iraqi news service." -- Jonah Goldberg

"Wait until they find out that the New York fat cats have spent more nights in the White House than Hillary Clinton has spent there." -- NBC's Andrea Mitchell

"For Gore, there's zero tolerance for anything but the literal truth." -- Time's Margaret Carlson

"I can't remember a man so qualified to run for office. I can't understand why this race is so close." -- Christie Brinkley on Al Gore

"This is an impressive crowd -- the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite. I call you my base." -- George W. Bush with Al Gore during the Archdiocese of New York's annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

"Al Gore has come under fire the last couple of weeks. He used to be pro-life. Now he's pro-choice. He used to be against gun control. Now he's for gun control. They say to win, Gore needs to appeal to the undecided voter. But it sounds to me like Al Gore is the undecided voter." -- Jay Leno

"If you watched the debate the other night you saw Al Gore get real close to Bush, kind of invaded his space. I hear George W. was so nervous about this because he thought Gore was going to kiss him." -- David Letterman

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