Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted December 25, 2000

"Democratic partisans are complaining that the presidential election has been settled not by the people but by judges. This is amusing. Who turned this into a lawyers' contest anyway? Within hours of Election Night, the Gore campaign parachuted dozens, ultimately hundreds of lawyers into Florida with one objective: to find judges to undo their loss." -- Charles Krauthammer

"House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle joined Jesse Jackson yesterday in refusing to say that George W. Bush's election was legitimate. In what critics saw as an extraordinary display of partisan rancor beyond anything in recent memory, the Democrats also declined to say that that his presidency, when it commences on Jan. 20, will be legitimate. Republicans said the three leading Democrats thus appeared to put the lie to Democratic leaders' claims that they will strive for comity and bipartisan cooperation with Mr. Bush and the Republican Congress." -- Washington Times

"Partisanship sharpens debate and opens the possibility of grand compromise. Bickering adds spice to life and pungent language to public discourse. And gridlock, much derided by goo-goos who foolishly put unity ahead of diversity, is the glory of tripartite government. Put that in your lockbox and smoke it." -- William Safire

"While Democrats made unexpected gains in the Senate this year, picking up a net four seats, and a slight gain of two seats in the House of Representatives, their overall political strength has significantly weakened over the past eight years under the Clinton administration. When Bill Clinton and Al Gore took office in 1993, Democrats held a 58-42 majority in the Senate, a 262-173 majority in the House, and controlled 30 governorships and a majority of the state legislatures. Although the Democrats have made modest gains in Congress since their debacle in 1994, their majority in Congress has vanished, the Democrats' governorships have shrunk to 19 -- with all of the major statehouses, except California, under Republican control -- and nearly half the state legislatures in Republican hands." -- Donald Lambro

"No wonder Al Gore thinks he is president -- this is a most confusing time. The leading rap singer is white, the world's best golfer is black, and Bill Clinton just got back from Vietnam." -- Paul Harvey

web posted December 18, 2000

"The most successful revolutions aren't those that are celebrated with parades and banners, drums and trumpets, cannons and fireworks. The really successful revolutions are those that occur quietly, unnoticed, uncommemorated. We don't celebrate the day the United States Constitution was destroyed; it didn't happen on a specific date, and most Americans still don't realize it happened at all. We don't say the Constitution has ceased to exist; we merely say that it's a 'living document.' But it amounts to the same thing." -- Joseph Sobran

"Mr. Gore's challenge became detached from its rational moorings sometime in mid-November. He and his supporters are propelled ever onward by the corrosive fuel of a partisan ambition. Is it likely that the Supreme Court will be left unscathed?" -- The Wall Street Journal's Tunku Varadarajan on the likelihood that Albert Gore's "scorched earth" suit for the White House will roast the Supreme Court

"I hope all Americans understand that even if the Supreme Court does what it's threatening to do -- which is to say we're not going to let you look at the ballots; we're going to say George Bush is the winner -- that will not make him the president." -- former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo

"All that we bled for and suffered for the last 25 years is now in the balance here today. This case is up there with the Dred Scott level of case; did the black man have a right the white was bound to respect? If this court rules against counting our vote, it will simply create a civil rights explosion. People will not surrender to this tyranny. We will fight back. ... [These are] nazi tactics! ... We will take to the streets right now, we will delegitimize Bush, discredit him, do whatever it takes, but never accept him." -- Jesse Jackson

"On January 20...the person standing up before the Capitol taking the oath of office...will be sworn in as my president too. I will spare no efforts in saying to people who supported me, 'let's not have any talk about stealing the election, let's not question the legitimacy of the election'." -- Albert Gore

"I'm not impressed by craft or skill." -- David Diao, National Endowment for the Arts panelist and three-time NEA grant recipient.

"To the delight of eco-Luddites, energy shortages in California and the Pacific Northwest are forcing residents to live like 17th-century peasants. ... While demand for electricity has skyrocketed, government officials continued to clamp down on supply. Overzealous air-quality laws, environmental permit applications, and siting paperwork have slowed the construction process to a near-halt. No new major generating plants have been built in over a decade. ... The green NIMBYs' power trip is enough to give you the shivers." -- Michelle Malkin

"We are once again in the midst of a great wave of overheated racial rhetoric. Jesse Jackson, of course, is out in front. Black voters didn't double-vote, mismark ballots or run into any normal election day foul-ups. No, they were victims of 'a systematic plan to disenfranchise black voters' and 'a clear pattern of voter suppression.' Attempting to repair his relationship with Jews, Jackson identified three targets of ballot oppression: Holocaust survivors, Haitian boat people and American descendants of slaves." -- John Leo

"Mr. Bush won't enjoy the traditional honeymoon granted presidents. Democrats won't wait long to unsheath the long knives." -- John Fund

"You've got to hand it to those Democrats and other liberals. They just never give up. It's like the pit bull that sinks those fangs in, locks 'em down, and won't let go until you beat it to death with a bat." -- Thomas Jipping

"Throughout the presidential election controversy, we have been bombarded with references to our sacred 'democracy.' The problem, of course, is that our country is not a democracy. Our nation was founded as a constitutionally limited republic, as any grammar school child knew just a few decades ago." -- Ron Paul

"Count first, and rule upon legality afterwards, is not a recipe for producing election results that have the public acceptance democratic stability requires." -- Justice Antonin Scalia

"Al Gore's national concession speech was gracious, respectful and conciliatory. And if you have a short memory, you might even have fallen for it...." -- Chuck Muth

"For all the present sensitivity over correctness, we seem to have lost our sense of shame as a society. Nothing seems to embarrass us; nothing shocks us anymore." -- Colin Powell

"The closer George W. Bush comes to winning the presidency, the more apocalyptic and disingenuous the liberal media become." -- Washington Times

"Until now, it was virtually impossible to believe that Vice President Gore could have more cavalierly betrayed the interests of American military men and women than they were by President Clinton, who once discussed on the phone with a senior Republican lawmaker the life-and-death issue of dispatching thousands of American soldiers to the Balkans while he was receiving oral sex from a White House intern. Through his recent actions (trying to throw out military absentee ballots) Mr. Gore has accomplished the unthinkable: He has trumped Bill Clinton in his contempt for the men and women who keep us free." -- Wall Street Journal

"Ground zero for the Counterculture of the '60s was Haight-Ashbury. Ground zero for the Haute-culture of the '00s is Adams-Morgan. Who are the protest singers of this era? Joan Baez and Bob Dylan have been replaced by Britney Spears and...Yanni." -- Rich Galen on the "protests" in Florida

"I heard Al Gore had trouble sleeping last night. So he started to count sheep. And then he had to recount sheep." -- Andrew Wisot

"Florida must now carry on its shoulders the reputation of incompetence, corruption, racial demagoguery, stupidity, arrogance and ignorance of the law. ... Of course, there is one state that isn't so sad to see Florida sink into the depths. Arkansas just became the 49th best place to live in America." -- Kimberly A. Strassel

"They bloody well did not pay the bill. I wouldn't quite say [Clinton] did a runner. I just don't think it occurred to him to pay." -- London pub owner Mike Bell on Clinton's exit from his restaurant without paying the bill

"When I joined the military it was illegal to be homosexual, then it became optional. I'm getting out before it becomes mandatory." -- General J. Wickam, USA (Retired)

"Gore keeps on talking about the will of the people. We need to trust the will of the people. Yeah, that's the same will of the people that made Charlie's Angels the number one movie in the country." -- Jay Leno

"Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president of the United States. I promised him that I wouldn't call him back this time." -- Al Gore

web posted December 11, 2000

"The progressives' campaign against the Scouts is another example of the liberals' extremism. It has been a characteristic of them for several decades. They set out on a good cause -- in this case tolerance -- and become intolerant themselves. They call for diversity and end up demanding conformity. The Scouts' ban on homosexuality does not harm homosexuals. It causes them no material damage and no embarrassment -- unless they are, well, a little too sensitive. They might remember Groucho's old line about not wanting to be a part of any club whose standards were so low as to allow him entry. There is wisdom there." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.

"Al Gore is contesting the Presidential election not from clawing ambition, his spinners tell us, but because he has divined that he really won. Maybe so. A mind that can count a dimpled chad as a vote is capable of believing about anything. Mr. Gore's professed high-mindedness would be easier to credit, though, if it were not washed in the casual attitude toward the truth that we have come to expect from the author of no controlling legal authority, the Buddhist Temple fund-raiser and the iced tea defense." -- Wall Street Journal

"What this country needs is not less federalism but more. This Republic was founded on the principle that remote government is bad government, and that's truer than ever in an age when Hillary, Al, and their chums in the courts want to take us down the path to European-style centralism. One of the reasons I'm a federalist is that I believe that, in a healthy society, if you don't like things the way they are, you shouldn't have to leave the country. That's the genius of America: There's always somewhere to move to." -- Mark Steyn

"I may not have been the greatest president, but I've had the most fun eight years." -- Bill Clinton

"Conventional wisdom holds that the bitterness and rancor left over from Florida guarantees the Texas governor will be a one-term lame duck. Mr. Bush can turn conventional wisdom on its head by moving strongly and boldly." -- Steve Forbes

"Since 1968 a pattern has emerged. When there is a visible ideological difference between the two parties, the Republicans win. When the Democratic candidate manages to create the impression that he isn't much more liberal than his opponent, the Democrats win." -- Joseph Sobran

"To hell with bipartisanship; this is war. ... At this point, the only reason to reach across the aisle is to land a solid sock on the jaw. Consorting with criminals is corrupting." -- Don Feder

"But one thing is for sure: If [Gore's] view prevails, you can count on a society where lawyers rule as kings -- and the rest of us will have to duck for cover." -- Tony Snow

"If the government of the United States is going to be run like the mafia or a Third World despotism, what does our freedom amount to?" -- Thomas Sowell

"After election night, will the media take a long hard look at itself? Absolutely: just like Narcissus." -- Ramesh Ponnuru

"We shouldn't confuse our own fatigue with the actual state of the struggle." -- Alan Keyes

"The country is already paying a price for Al Gore's unprecedented war for the White House. The price can be measured in cynicism." -- Mona Charen

"Mr. Gore should not win by subtracting votes legitimately cast for his opponent. His refusal to forcefully call on his local supporters to drop the [Seminole County] suit, or to rule out benefiting from its outcome, represents a failure of statesmanship on his part." -- New York Times

"From my perspective as a professor of humanities and media studies, the covert power presently wielded by partisan liberal journalists has become positively alarming.... The Internet, via its numerous political news-link sites, is enormously liberating...." -- Camille Paglia

"They did the same thing to Linda Tripp. If you can't find anything on a woman, make fun of the way she looks. If that doesn't stick, start a phony sex rumor, because it's like fog. You can't make it go away." -- Lucianne Goldberg, on reports that journalists are scrambling to create a Katherine Harris scandal

"This is boring!... Now I know what people went through Bronco was going up the freeway." -- O. J. Simpson on the presidential contest

" 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' [has grossed] $172 million in 17 days! Wow, you would have thought that the Grinch was a political attorney in Florida." -- Jerry Perisho

"I'm starting to think the strategy of Al Gore is just to annoy us into letting him win. I have a solution -- let's just let Gore be president of Florida." -- Jay Leno

"Al Gore is very desperate. He really wants to win. The whole deal with Gore is this, you see, he's spent the last eight years around the White House and now he just wants to be able to walk into the Oval Office without knocking and yelling, 'Are you decent?!'" -- David Letterman

"President Clinton said that the Florida votes should be recounted or 'America will be embarrassed in front of the world.' [He] went on to say, 'Remember...embarrassing America in front of the world is my job!'" -- Conan O'Brien

web posted December 4, 2000

"Lovers of liberty everywhere should cheer this development. We're looking at a possible rebirth of 19th century style political wrangling and gridlock. ...With an evenly divided electorate, there is no mandate. There is no clear vision of 'greatness' and there is no consensus." -- Ryan McMaken

"Although this newspaper endorsed Mr. Gore, it is clear that he and his backers are continuing to demagogue an issue long after the horse has left the barn. Now is the time to give up and to go home and to let Mr. Bush run the country for the next four years. Now is the time to stop the charade and the demagoguery and the constant filings in court." -- Tallahassee News

"We recommended Al Gore and Joe Lieberman and continue to believe they would perform ably. But the candidate who prevails in Florida, and thus gains the White House, must have won it fairly and must be seen as having done so in a fair way by both sides. ... As Gov. George W. Bush forcefully noted yesterday, the Supreme Court has changed the rules after the election." -- Miami Herald

"Does Mr. Gore truly want to become President on the basis of some cards that maybe, sort of, suggest what is delicately called 'voter intent'?" -- Wall Street Journal

"A few people were able to cast two votes for Al Gore in this election. They are the justices of the Florida Supreme Court, who were able to vote for Gore on Nov. 7 and again last night." -- National Review

"In 1950, the tax burden on the typical American family was about 5 percent of their annual income. Today, the government burden on families is about 40 per cent. Translation: If taxes had stayed at the 1950 level, millions of mothers could return to the full-time care of their homes and children with little or no reduction in family income. And according to a series of recent studies and surveys, that's where most of them have decided they would prefer to be: at home, raising their children. Those institutions -- marriage, family, religion, schools -- that historically have preserved our social learning curves and served as bulwarks against moral degeneration, are under broad attack, and crumbling. It is not a priority of liberals to stop this assault." -- Linda Bowles

"I'm a liberal Democrat. I started in Florida politics. I worked for George McGovern. I worked for Jimmy Carter. I've worked for Ted Kennedy, Mario Cuomo. Nobody can question, I think, my credentials and my convictions. But I have to tell you, at this point it's hard to believe that my party, the party I've belonged to since my great, great grandfather of my family, has become no longer the party of principles, but has been hijacked by a confederacy of gangsters who need to take power by whatever means and whatever canards they can say." -- Democrat pollster Pat Caddell

"I deplore the designation of Joe Lieberman. He's a selfish man.... If Gore wins, Lieberman should resign his vice presidency.... Lieberman is protected by his faith. If a Southern Baptist had acted like he's acted, as if he were appointed by God, the press would have been merciless." -- liberal history Arthur Schlesinger, Jr

"Republican lawyers are researching federal civil rights law to determine if they can require Attorney General Janet Reno to charge Florida Democrats for conspiring to block the counting of absentee voting ballots sent in by the military. One in three enlisted persons are minorities." -- Paul Bedard

"This battle will be won or lost by public opinion. As of today, I have not heard a peep out of your [Defense Secretary William Cohen's] office. Why? I would have expected you personally to be on the national networks using your 'bully pulpit' to get those votes counted. Your allegiance to the soldiers, sailors and airmen that you oversee should take precedence over politics. I urge you to make yourself visible to the nation in support of your troops." -- Rear Adm. Riley Mixon, former director of naval air warfare, on Al Gore's moves to have military votes thrown out

"The Florida Supreme Court must be severely punished for participating in vote fraud. Impeachment is too good for the Gang of Seven. Arrest, indictment and trial are the best response...." -- Paul Craig Roberts

"So why shouldn't the Democrats steal this election? They've stolen everything else." -- Joseph Sobran

"Old Republican hands Bob Dole and John Engler thought they had seen it all in politics, but that was before they watched votes being 'counted' in south Florida." -- Robert Novak

"In truth, the issue is democracy with federalism (the Electoral College) versus democracy without federalism (a national popular vote)." -- Charles R. Kesler

"This election opera ain't over till the fat lady sings, and the fat lady whose aria we await after Sunday night's certification wears nine black robes." -- William Safire

"Elections in a stable democracy can be exciting, contentious and even nasty, but they should never become uncertain. One senses that the Democratic Party, in its ferocious power hunger, has lost sight of every competing virtue. To put it charitably, one hopes that Al Gore does not really understand that he is playing with fire." -- Mona Charen

"It does the nation little good to continue to argue a point that has become obvious to everyone but Al Gore. The point is this: George W. Bush is the next president of the United States. He won the election. Al Gore did not." -- Rep. J.C. Watts

"The Washington establishment, legal experts and the media all feel comfortable with rule by judges because the judicial class, like themselves, is more liberal than the voters." -- John O'Sullivan

"The rule of law [does not mean] litigate to death." -- Bill Bennett

"[Gore] has already had many bites at the apple. ... He has had three weeks to overtake his rival and [has] been unable to do so. ... [Dimpled ballots] ought not to be the basis for deciding the presidency -- and Mr. Gore ought not want them to be. " -- Washington Post

"Enough is enough, For nation's welfare, Gore should accept loss." -- San Diego Union-Tribune

"The time for worrying and weeping about the republic is long gone. If nothing else, the American people are getting an up close look at a country run by trial lawyers and judges; it's a hell-hole that average citizens and businesses disappear into every day of the week. As to the unseemly procedures in Florida, Al Gore made this bed, and the American people are going to have to lie in it for awhile." -- Wall Street Journal

"Winning by intimidation: A Republican riot squad in Miami shows GOP will try to win at all cost." -- MSNBC headline

"These were brownshirt tactics -- shouting, screaming, threatening. This went well beyond dirty tricks." -- Miami-Dade County Democratic Party chairman Joe Gellar, comparing Republican demonstrators to Hitlerian youth

" I don't know what is causing more problems for Gore, the state of Florida or the state of denial." -- Jay Leno

"All the big shot lawyers are in Florida. Now if we had a hurricane.... God forbid -- this still could have a happy ending." -- David Letterman

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