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The good and the bad...

web posted November 25, 2002

"Oaths and vows once meant something. When one took an Oath of Allegiance to the country, the armed forces could expect honest and loyal service. When one took a vow of marriage, a spouse could expect love, support, and fidelity. But if one takes an oath merely to mouth the words and go through the motions, then what is the point of the oath?" -- Mark Q. Rhoads

"The biggest Democratic losers of all were Bill and Hillary, the Bonnie and Clod of our times. The party came a cropper nearly everywhere the ex-prez went -- New York, Florida, Minnesota, Georgia, Maryland. He was the Joe Btfsplk of the season, the little man in the comics pages who could never escape the rain cloud hovering close overhead. Election night was particularly ominous for Miss Bonnie. She won't run for president in '04, so bad are her vibes and numbers, and by '08 she probably won't even be a senator, since George Pataki's smashing re-election victory will set up a Pataki-Clinton match for '06." -- Wes Pruden

"None of us wish to go to war, and yet in these terrible times none of us wish to leave such a terrible man [as Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein] in control of such terrible weapons." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"Reasonable people can disagree about the prudential options for addressing the threat of an outlaw state such as Iraq which has weapons of mass destruction, harbors terrorists and seeks a nuclear weapons capability." -- George Weigel

"The production of mustard gas is not like the production of marmalade." -- UN head weapons inspector Hans Blix

"After weeks of negotiation, hesitation and general vacillation, our 'friends' on the UN Security Council -- France and Russia -- have agreed to pretend to crack down on Saddam Hussein. In return, he can pretend to obey." -- Paul Greenberg

"Until this war, like the cold war, is won, all elections will be 9-11 elections -- elections that those who ignore this unhappy truth will continue to lose." -- Charles Krauthammer

"Here is the grim truth: We are only one act of madness away from a social cataclysm unlike anything our country has ever known. After a handful of such acts, who knows what kind of civilizational breakdown might be in store?" -- Brink Lindsey

"Democrats were defeated because the election was dominated by a conservative president espousing conservative principles. Issues like homeland security, the Iraqi threat and lower taxes -- issues many Democrats openly opposed -- were popular with voters." -- Oliver North

"The voices of compromise are always seductive -- and too often over the years the Republicans have heeded those voices." -- Thomas Sowell

"...Democrats have been without new ideas for so long that bankruptcy for their party would be a step up." -- Cal Thomas

"...[N]ever, ever, ever underestimate George W. Bush. It took me two years of being wrong about Bush before I finally got sick of it. The rest of the pundit class had better catch on. He is a leader of the first order." -- David Brooks

"Nancy Pelosi is very effective, very popular, and, as you can see from that picture, very pretty. ...[A] great quote this week...[that] she'd been waiting 200 years for this opportunity to see a woman take a Democratic leadership post." -- Fox News commentator Juan Williams on 62-year-old Nancy Pelosi, to which FNC host Tony Snow joked, "She doesn't look a day over 190."

"The House Democrats elected Nancy Pelosi to be their leader. That occurred one day after the Communist Party of China elected its new leader." -- Rich Galen

"Ms. Pelosi may be a Communist at heart but she is also a smart, shrewd politician who despite her talk of standing shoulder to shoulder with the President is more likely to spend the next two years standing toe to toe with him." -- Lyn Nofziger

"Is it true, Ms. Pelosi, that your hero as a girl was Leon Trotsky? If such a question were asked, she would laugh, and temporize." -- William F. Buckley, Jr.

"What's next? Barbra Streisand as DNC chairman?" -- Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL)

"If I were a Democrat, I suspect I'd feel a heck of a lot more comfortable in Boston than, say, America." -- House Majority Leader Dick Armey, on the Demos selecting Boston for their 2004 convention locale

"The [U.S. Catholic] bishops are under the illusion that Saddam can be talked out of being Saddam. The Iraqis don't suffer from that illusion." -- Jonah Goldberg

"For the benefit of the UN inspectors, the weapons sites will be clearly labeled in English: 'Nursery School,' 'Synagogue,' 'Petting Zoo,' etc. ...Signs are up at the Baghdad airport: 'Welcome weapons inspectors! What you see is what you get.' ...The Kurds in the north are a superstitious people who believe that Saddam will die on a holiday. To them, any day that Saddam dies will be a holiday." -- Mark Russell

"As I've mentioned before, the only realistic international inspectors for Iraq are the 101st Airborne Division. ...[R]eal inspection can only follow real liberation." -- Ken Adelman

"Once thought dead, but now it is believed Osama bin Laden is still alive. Know what this means -- there's still hope for the Democrats!" -- Jay Leno

"Congress voted 299-121 Wednesday to pass the Homeland Security bill. It will combine the Coast Guard, the INS and Customs, and it will allow airline pilots to carry guns inside the cockpit. Until now they were only allowed to carry tequila shooters." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted November 18, 2002

"One vote can mean freedom at the expense of security; the opposite vote can mean security at the expense of freedom. One vote can be for big government and high taxes; another for small government and lower taxes. To vote without knowing what the person you are voting for stands for is, to say the least, stupid. To vote on an issue without understanding how that issue, were it to become law, would affect you or, indeed, your city, your state or the country is equally stupid." -- Lyn Nofziger

"Well, increasingly I can't help but think that the liberals of Europe and the Leftists of America (there's still hope for our liberals) have lost the energy and the conviction to defend themselves. They cannot grasp that our enemies -- especially those hailing from the Third World -- cannot be reasoned with. It doesn't matter if we wronged them in the past. It doesn't matter if their historical grievances have weight. What matters, as a matter of pure survival and morality, is what they believe today and what they do because of those beliefs." -- Jonah Goldberg

"The policies of the American government, designed by politicians and bureaucrats, are not always synonymous with American ideals. The country is not the same as the government. The spirit of America is hardly something for which government holds a monopoly on defining." -- Ron Paul

"Today's Democrats are little more than a collection of narrow interest groups -- unions, tort lawyers, minorities headed by an ossified leadership. They are clever, tenacious and increasingly nasty in defending their perks, as establishments typically are when they're being displaced by upstarts. So Democrats desperately scratch to hold power by their fingernails." -- Robert Bartley

"We do not need liberal judges or conservative judges. We need judges who follow the laws and the Constitution. And we need to get such judges confirmed by the Senate, without ideological litmus tests based on abortion or any other political issue. This is one of those islands that cannot be by-passed if we want to preserve the right of Americans to govern themselves. Above all, we need to survive, because no other rights mean anything if we don't survive. It is a tragic farce that we are waiting to see what the United Nations has to say about our need to stop Saddam Hussein from developing nuclear weapons. That is another island that has to be taken, regardless of what some free-loading windbags and petty despots say at the UN. The Republicans have just hit a triple. The question is whether they will score or die on third." -- Thomas Sowell

"The Leftists aren't defeated ... they're coiling up and getting ready to strike again." -- Neal Boortz

"We are losing our democracy to groupthink, empowered by guerilla-warfare tactics. So most people are living in fear. Political correctness, when it first came up, was sort of a joke. Now it's anything but. ...[I]t immobilizes so many otherwise decent people." -- Dr. Laura Schlessinger

"Republicans won because they ran as conservatives, and conservatism wins every time." -- Rush Limbaugh

"There should be no thought of compromising to appease left-wing Democrats. What we should do, rather, is learn from them. They are not timid about exercising political power when they come into possession of it. Nor should Republicans be." -- Robert P. George

"The margin of victory is so narrow in so many of these races, and it's just a razor-thin difference in some cases between the parties: Does that give you a responsibility to govern from the middle or, with the majority, do you go all the way to the right?" -- CBS's Harry Smith seeking reassurance from Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott of a continuation of the Republican "strategy" of premature capitulation

"Does the President consider this [election] a mandate to fulfill his agenda? Going to war with Iraq, privatizing Social Security, weakening the Civil Service Commission and so forth?" -- White House press corps member Helen Thomas. "Helen, you sound like a commercial that didn't work." --White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer -- prompting much laughter

"You are leaving the impression that you wouldn't mind if you go to war against Iraq, but you deal with another nation which may have weapons in a different way. But there are two other impressions around. One, that you have an obsession with going after Saddam Hussein at any cost. And also that you covet the oil fields." -- Helen Thomas to George Bush; to which the president responded: "Yes. Well, some people have the right impressions and some people have the wrong impressions."

"Something's very wrong when a so-called national party [Democrats] cannot send its national chairman, or its titular head, or its Senate leader, into a third of this country because it would do more harm than good by being there." -- Democrat Sen. Zell Miller

"I didn't vote. I got my absentee ballot and I tore it up. That was my vote." -- Richard Dreyfuss

"The Bush administration on Monday threw out the Clinton administration's ban on snowmobiles in Yellowstone. These vehicles scare the animals, burn up gasoline and infuriate the Sierra Club. It's Dick Cheney's idea of hitting the Trifecta." -- Argus Hamilton

"Who would have ever thought that democratic Iraqis would seek our military's help, while agents of Saddam Hussein would line up to find solidarity with those [antiwar Leftists] now marching? Face it: Slobodan Milosevic, Mullah Omar, Yasser Arafat, and Saddam Hussein -- not the ghosts of the thousands of their innocent dead -- all prefer Ramsey Clark to George Bush. We are seeing nothing less than quite literally the end of an era -- witnessed by the intellectual suicide of an entire generation, who in their last gasps are proving they have been not very moral people all along." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"Is it enough for Republicans to smartly manage an unaccountable, ever growing bureaucracy? Is it sufficient to do that which the federal government is supposed to do anyway -- to defend our shores from attack? What happens when victory is achieved? Do we then go back to our steady march toward Socialism, or is there more to being a conservative Republican than fighting and winning a war?" -- Gary Aldrich

"We lost seats in the House and the Senate. Even so, America is still clearly evenly split. ... That means we need to work even harder to stop the Republicans' extremist right-wing agenda. ... With your help, the Democratic Party will continue to work to strengthen the economy, fully fund our schools, protect Social Security, provide a real Medicare prescription drug plan, protect the environment, safeguard a woman's right to choose, and keep our homeland strong and secure." -- Terry McAuliffe

"I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter. Now I wake up and ask myself, 'Who do I hate today?' ... Bush's policy of preemptive war is immoral -- such a policy would legitimize Pearl Harbor. Where is the outrage? Bush has held only six press conferences, the only forum in our society where a president can be questioned. I'm on the phone to [press secretary] Ari Fleischer every day, asking will he ever hold another one? The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." -- Helen Thomas

web posted November 11, 2002

"If the UN Security Council fails to adopt a resolution holding Iraq 'in material breach' of its many disarmament agreements, that refusal will have consequences for the United Nations and several of its member nations. ...[S]hould the United Nations deny the fact of Saddam's repeated and sustained defiance of its irresolute resolutions, the world body will henceforth play only in a little league of nations." -- William Safire

"When politicians promise to give you something, just remember that the only money they have is what they take from the people. If you want someone to pick your pockets and then give you a handout, there are plenty of politicians around who will do that for you. In fact, a lot of politicians have been around a long time just by using such tactics. Above all, never assume that political phrases actually mean what they say or imply. Rent control does not control rents, gun control does not control guns, and the Indian Child Welfare Act disregards the welfare of Indian children with unbelievable callousness." -- Thomas Sowell

"I do not understand how our Democrat colleagues can continue to stand up and to moan and groan and cry about deficits as if they come from heaven. Deficits don't come from heaven; they're created right here on the floor of the United States Senate." -- Texas Sen. Phil Gramm (R) blasting Daschle and Company for not holding down federal spending

"This is still the Democratic Party that Bill Clinton built and that Al Gore wants to wrest away from him -- and that Hillary is trying to prevent Gore from wresting away." -- Rich Galen

"Abuse of law, cynicism, a win-at-any-cost approach, and lying are not healthy for a democratic politics, or a democratic polity." -- William J. Bennett

"Indeed, there is no excuse for the [Democrat] party's descent to new depths of coarseness with the Wellstone political memorial. But this party and its honchos are so intoxicated with their own sense of indispensability that it probably never occurs to them how appalling their behavior is. It's truly a shame." -- David Limbaugh

"What is so terrible about 'negative advertising' during political campaigns? If a candidate is lying, why shouldn't those lies be exposed? And why shouldn't a bad record be an issue?" -- Thomas Sowell

"And isn't every campaign a test of character? It tells us how much simple, human dignity each campaigner is willing to sacrifice for success. If you really want to know somebody, watch him run for public office. It's almost as good a test as sharing an inheritance with him." -- Paul Greenberg

"As government grows bigger, expectations concerning its performance grow smaller." -- Bill Murchison

"'Loyalty' is misplaced when it causes harm to the president and real damage to the country 'public servants' are supposed to be serving." -- Cal Thomas

"Is this the Bushification of America?" ---- CBS anchor Dan Rather

"Candidates win elections because they are good candidates, not because they happen to have the president as a friend, or a foe for that matter. I really don't put this in personal terms. I know people in Washington like to do that...that's the way they do it here, zero-sum in Washington. And I know that. But if you're really interested in what I think, I think the fact that [Minnesota's] Norm Coleman ran a very difficult race in difficult circumstances and won speaks volumes about Norm Coleman." -- George W. Bush

"Together the President and the Republican leadership in the Congress now have a rare opportunity to make permanent the tax cuts passed in 2001, to name conservative judges and otherwise to leave a conservative mark on this country that even Ronald Reagan, who never had Republicans in control of both houses of Congress, wasn't able to do. The Republicans have a two-year window of opportunity ahead of them. They had better take advantage of it while they have it because there are no assurances -- there never are -- that they can keep either the Congress or the White House in the next elections." -- Lyn Nofziger

"What will it take for Beltway Republicans to stop their Clintonesque pandering to Hollywood soccer moms and start representing us gun-owning mammas...?" -- Michelle Malkin

"Even before they had separated and identified the remains in the plane crash that took Paul Wellstone's life, you had Republicans running polls and attacking Walter Mondale, who was believed to be the Democratic candidate even in those early hours." -- CBS political reporter Bob Schieffer, failing to acknowledge the Democrats had to have floated Mondale's name in the candidacy substitution before the Republicans could run with it

"What now? ...[President Bush] has yet to prove that he can handle this responsibility.... Now he will have to produce. No more blame game. ...The Bush era of responsibility starts today." --Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who himself may be out of a job very soon

"I find myself at exactly the right place for a reporter tonight. I'm annoyed at both political parties. And you can't be more fair and balanced than that." -- CNN's Aaron Brown

"Let me remind you that the Republicans who are now in power attacked me for what I did. They said he [Osama bin Laden] wasn't a threat at all. ...I told them he was the number one threat in the world. They ridiculed me. Now they're saying I should have done more, when they said I should have done what I did do." -- Bill Clinton...who just won't go away...

"The syllable 'ex-' before 'President Clinton' is one of the sweetest things in the English language." -- Jay Nordlinger

"I am Al Gore. I used to be the next president of America." -- Al Gore

web posted November 4, 2002

"Step by step, American liberty is disappearing. Americans are being ruled, regulated, restricted, licensed, registered, directed, checked, inspected, measured, numbered, counted, rated, stamped, censured, authorized, admonished, refused, prevented, drilled, indoctrinated, monopolized, extorted, robbed, hoaxed, fined, harassed, disarmed, dishonored, fleeced, exploited, assessed, and taxed to the point of suffocation and desperation." -- Tom DeWeese

"Here is a virtually non-functioning Senate, like nothing I have seen in 45 years of covering Washington. It does not confirm nominees, does not pass major legislation and does not approve budget limits. What really makes this Senate unique is the absence of the chamber's traditional collegiality. Many of these Senators really don't like each other, and it sours their work product." -- Robert Novak

"Mr. Bush has shown himself to be a serious practitioner of the art of statecraft. The future of his presidency and the outcome of the war on terror may hinge, however, on whether he is now engaging in necessary and controllable stratagems or simply succumbing to the machinations of subordinates who may or may not share his goals, but whose gambits will surely foreclose their realization." -- Frank Gaffney

"[Weapons] Inspection is impossible without the eager help of the dictatorships, a ridiculous fancy. . . . During a war, self-delusion is a form of suicide." -- A.M. Rosenthal

"The great divide in American foreign policy thinking is between those who believe in paper and those who believe in power." -- Charles Krauthammer

"This is the authority of America -- the will of her united people exercised through individual liberties." -- Paul M. Rodriguez

"If there is one civil right more precious than all the rest, it is the right to vote." -- James Kilpatrick

"When politicians rush to fix things, it's a sure sign that either the intended patient is dead or fully healed." -- Tony Snow

"When the politicians are gone, Washington loses its chief source of amusement and most of its sources of white-collar crime, even an occasional violent criminal." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell

"We have got to live with the historical implications of our preeminence in world affairs. ... If it is the consolidated judgment of democratically elected U.S. leadership that Saddam Hussein must be tamed, it is irrelevant what the Security Council of the United Nations does. ... We would benefit more in the long term if the French (or Russians) did veto the desired resolution, so that by proceeding against Iraq, we would simultaneously destroy the aggressive power of Saddam and the passive power of the UN." -- William F. Buckley, Jr.

"Democrats raise taxes. It's their way of paying for programs that buy votes from people who don't pay high taxes." -- Pete Waldmeir

"In the late 1980s, Walter Mondale said, 'One of the things I'm most proud of is that not once in my public career did I ever lose an election in Minnesota.' He may be about to put that record to the test." -- Ramesh Ponnuru

"Can you imagine if a profiler had tried to get on, even Fox News, let alone the other networks, and said, 'You know what, I suspect it's a Nation of Islam member and an illegal alien who are doing this killing.' They never would have let them on TV." -- Bill Kristol

"I have never in my life seen a faster and bigger 180 on the death penalty than among white liberals in Virginia, Maryland, and the D.C. area." -- Rush Limbaugh

"I have been reading and rereading what [Mr. Belafonte] said and I am trying to find where there is something inaccurate about what he said, and I can't find it. Do I agree with the [slavery] analogy? Yes, completely." -- Rep. John Conyers (D)

"These days I can't read The New York Times' strong opinions without shaking my head sadly. Then I turn to its editorials." -- Paul Greenberg

"Late last week, Democratic leaders told us just what they will do if the voters are wise enough to give them legislative control next month. The plan is simple: They will take money away from people who are unlikely to vote for Democrats and give that money to people who are more likely to vote for Democrats. Pure brilliance!" -- Neal Boortz

"Between Walter Mondale and Frank Lautenberg, the up-and-comers in the Democrat Party are now averaging 76 years of age. A legitimate question: 'Where's the Democrats' bench?' The answer: 'In the owner's box'." -- Rich Galen

"Iraq may not be President Bush's biggest problem anymore. It was announced the other day that North Korea has nuclear weapons. Bush's solution -- start a war between North Korea and Iraq." -- Jay Leno

"Fox News asked the UN for permission to allow Fox News camera crews to follow UN weapons inspectors all over Iraq as they search suspected weapons sites. This should make great television. If they throw open the doors and there's nothing inside, Geraldo Rivera will be 0 for 2." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted October 28, 2002

"In this era of nonjudgmental mush, too many Americans have become incapable of facing the brutal reality of unprovoked hatred, based on envy, resentment and ultimately on a vicious urge to lash out against others for the pain of one's own insignificance. That has been a common thread in things as disparate as ghetto riots, two world wars, and now Islamic terrorism." -- Thomas Sowell

"Name, in the past hundred years, a single important triumph for peace and for liberal democracy that was purchased by the jaw-jawing the Nobellians so admire. No rush, take your time. Now, look at what American war-war (and the threat of American war-war) won: the defeat of the fascist attempt to rule the world; the defeat of the Communist attempt to rule the world; the consequent rebuilding of a Europe protected by American arms into a democratic and peaceful continent for the first time in history; the rebuilding of an American-protected Japan into a democratic and peaceful nation for the first time in history; the emergence of a world in which, for the first time in history, the peaceful values of liberal democracy are the ascendant norm. No, no, it remains unthinkable. To imagine American force was a force for good, one would have to imagine America was a force for good. And this, the Bourbons of Oslo will never, never do." -- Michael Kelly

"Liberals believe they are best qualified in war and peace and forced busing because they aren't going to suffer the consequences. Thus, they can act freely for 'humanity.' If it turns sour, like their adventure in Vietnam, they can always drop it and pin the blame on others." -- Ann Coulter

"The debate on the Iraq war resolution and the controversy over the replacement of Sen. Robert Torricelli on the New Jersey ballot presented an interesting contrast. Many of the same people who said that the words of New Jersey law should be brushed aside, as they were by the New Jersey Supreme Court, were saying a week later that the United States should be bound by every jot and tittle of international law. Rules don't apply at home, but the United States should be restricted by rules abroad. ... The cost of disobeying rules like the New Jersey election law is probably not too high: a marginal gain for one side in a few political campaigns. The cost of tying down the United States by requiring it to be bound by wispy international rules or the vote of the Security Council would have been much higher. We who thought we were safe under the umbrella of the United States learned otherwise on September 11. This is not the time to indulge an adolescent mistrust of our own country." -- Michael Barone

"In geopolitical terms, peace on Earth does not come from diplomatic goodwill toward tyrannical men. It usually follows a war in which profound differences are settled on the battlefield, and the evil regime is vanquished." -- Cal Thomas

"Much of Europe has developed a political culture that tends to see talk as the answer to every problem, because talking is the only option readily available to them. A threat of force from Belgium, for instance, conjures the image of a pasty bureaucrat reaching for an empty holster." -- Jonah Goldberg

"...[T]he United States has a fundamental choice to make in confronting rogue states, dictators developing weapons of mass destruction, and global terrorism: Either we act aggressively to shape the world and change regimes where necessary, or we accept living in a world in which our very existence is contingent on the whims of unstable tyrants." -- William Kristol and Gary Schmitt

"Appeasement wins applause for its ethical posturing and non-belligerency; and even when the corpses later pile up it rarely earns the disgust it deserves for getting thousands killed. ...Like communism and socialism, the rhetoric of appeasement focuses on the pretense of human kindness and brotherhood, never on the calculus of the dead to come." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"September 11 sliced a big chunk from our positive assumptions. It showed us that the layer of human behavior which provides our understanding of civilization is very thin, indeed." -- Rich Galen

"Is it conceivable the Clinton foreign policy team really believed North Korea could be bribed into decency?" -- Mona Charen

"In Iraq they don't have hanging chads, they just have hangings." -- Colin Powell

"What exactly does French nonacceptance mean now? A cheese embargo?" -- Charles Krauthammer

"Given their many official, if futile, attempts to cobble together a working definition of terrorism that excludes explosive-strapped humans bent on self-detonating in crowds of people, Hezbollah-supporting-Iranians and other Islamics are hardly the people to resolve whether Mohammed was a terrorist." -- Diana West

"This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. There were Russian nuclear missiles in Cuba, which ironically were aimed at another Cuban city 90 miles away -- Miami. Our spies tipped us off about the missiles. That was back in the good old days when the CIA noticed things that were suspicious." -- Mark Russell

"Iraq may not be President Bush's biggest problem anymore. It was announced the other day that North Korea has nuclear weapons. Bush's solution -- start a war between North Korea and Iraq." -- Jay Leno

"George Tenet predicted al-Qa'ida attacks Thursday as North Korea boasted they have nukes. Tony Blair told the IRA to disband. Sixty thousand people in Maryland went to a football game that night to bask in the relative safety of a sniper scare." -- Argus Hamilton

"Are there as many anti-Communists among Western elites now as there were Resistance fighters in France -- after 1945?" -- Jay Nordlinger



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