Lingua publicus

The last month in quotes...the good and the bad

"I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God." -- 100 oaths sworn on January 6, 1999

"I love Clinton. I voted for him in '92. I voted for him in '96." -- Hustler publisher Larry Flynt

"History will tell posterity what Clinton is; censure will also tell posterity what the rest of us are. He is a man who has plumbed the very depths of dishonor; we are a people who are willing to be governed by such a man." -- Joseph Sobran

"Although Bill Clinton has made a slum of the presidency, many people are maneuvering for the opportunity to gentrify it." -- George Will

"It takes Olympian shamelessness to send private detectives after your enemies, use the artifice of law to hoodwink your friends, sew seeds of hatred everywhere -- and then beg, as Bill Clinton did on December 18, to "stop the politics of personal destruction ... (and) get rid of the poisonous venom of excessive partisanship, obsessive animosity and uncontrolled anger. ..." -- Tony Snow

"When Francois Mitterand died, he was publicly mourned by wife and mistress alike. In America, such a man (or woman) would be denounced as immoral, maybe sick." -- Richard Cohen on the culturally advanced French.

"[Y]ou have conservative Republicans who just want to torture the President for as long as they humanly can." -- ABC's Cokie Roberts

"I told him, because you know how I feel about this, I said 'Mr. President, stay strong.' And he looked me right in the eye and he said 'I think we're going to be okay'." -- CNBC's Geraldo Rivera

"...I'm supposed to be the impartial journalist." -- Tom Brokaw

"I'm doing my best to...redouble my efforts to be a good president." -- Mr. Clinton

"No comment." -- White House Mouth, Joe Lockhart after being asked at a press conference, "Do you agree that remaining faithful to your spouse is now unattainable in the United States?"

"[Hillary] is so terrific. It's lucky for America we have a woman with the strength to lead the nation right now. And everybody understands she is one of the leaders of the nation right now, as much as the President." -- Rep. Dennis Kucinich

"I am offering one dollar to anyone who has had sex with Alan Dershowitz or James Carville to come forward with the details." -- Andrew Levinson

"One thing I don't believe in is a fine. It would just mean an added tax on Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg." -- Senator John McCain

"When a man is defended by James Carville, Geraldo Rivera, Alan Dershowitz and Larry Flynt, it seems almost superfluous to convict him." -- Joseph Sobran

"I plan to spend as little time as possible thinking about it. I trust that the right thing will be done." -- Bill Clinton on the Senate impeachment trial

"Lying corrupts, and an absolute liar corrupts absolutely, and the corruption spread by the lies of the absolutely mendacious Clinton is becoming frightening to behold." -- Michael Kelly

"House Democrats repeatedly accused Republicans of being 'out of sync with the American people' and 'opposed to the popular will,' thus expressing group dudgeon that Republicans failed to follow the polls in voting to impeach the president. This sudden respect for majoritarian politics is surprising for a party that for two generations has depended so heavily on litigation, creative judges and the constant invention of new 'rights' to circumvent majorities." -- John Leo

"If people know you are lying and still somehow accept what you are saying, it is corrupting to them. That's why Clinton's shameless lying is corrupting to the whole body politic and to the whole society." -- William Kristol

"Clinton is the undisputed master of practicing everything he condemns, whether it be the glib abuse of power in Iraq or the reduction of women to carnal playthings." -- Tony Snow

"Inevitably [Mr. Clinton's scandal] is going to, I think, diminish our ability to lead in the world, diminish our ability to deal with crisis." -- Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf

"John McCain.... More right than left in his politics.... Senator McConnell of Kentucky, very determined conservative member of the Republican Party. Rick Santorum, Republican, very determined conservative member of the Senate. ... Mr. Smith of New Hampshire, also another very, very conservative Republican..." -- Peter Jennings with labels for Republicans but not one mention of "liberal" when introducing Daschle, Mikulski, Torricelli, or Schumer.

"Indeed, the impeachment managers are strikingly alike. All 13 are white, all 13 males, all 13 Christians...." -- CBS Evening News reporter Phil Jones, on white male Christians.

"The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Republican William Rehnquist, was sworn in to preside at the Senate trial...." -- "Sociocrat" Dan Rather

"Larry Flynt is...a publisher of some dimension, of some repute." -- CNN's Frank Sesno

"[Impeachment] does a great disservice to a man I believe will be regarded in the history books as one of our greatest presidents." -- Al Gore

"I have ordered my staff to never -- ever -- utter the words 'compassionate conservative'!" -- Dan Quayle...will his staff ever utter the words "President Quayle?"

"If he had the moral sense to resign, he would not be in the position to need to." -- George Will

"To conservatives, they may be the dream team. Thirteen lawyers, all white, all male, all conservative with varying degrees of legal talent." -- NBC's Lisa Myers on "dream teams."

"Finally the House prosecutors laid out the case for removing the President. They made a compelling
argument. Still, their argument did not quite do it for me." -- CBS's Bob Schieffer

"I can never recall...any person, child, teacher, employer, subordinate, boss, salesman, huckster, fortune teller, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, thief, sociopath, psychopath, infomercial or sweepstakes entry with so little integrity that has ever promised and at the same time decreed so much to so many. God help us all for having to be a national 'halfway-house' for a president who is delusional, dishonest, arrogant and thinks us all his fools...." -- Allen Kelly, an electronics engineer quoted in the Washington Times

"The White House categorically denied this report that Clinton is using the IRS to silence former Miss America, Elizabeth Ward Gracen. ... Why would he want to keep her quiet? I mean after being linked to Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, why would you hush up Miss America? That's the one you want to brag about." -- Jay Leno

"...Republicans are lousy politicians. They get involved because some piece of government excess annoys them and, truth be told, would rather not be in politics in the first place. They want to be able to live their own lives without having to worry about idiot regulations or school curricula that teaches their kids to hate their country or explore new lifestyles. Their goals are often modest and they have no over-arching vision. They already have a faith and have very little reason to replace it with Big Brother." -- Jeremy Lott, Real Mensch, January 25-31, 1999

"Clinton's (State of the Union) speech lasted 77 minutes which is the longest the president has ever gone without sex." -- Jay Leno

"I have tried to stay out of all the Washington mess, but I must confess I have been deeply concerned by what appears to be a lack of respect for the office I was so very proud to hold." -- George Bush

"...[O]nly in the U.S. Senate could 45 Democrats comprise a majority." -- Wesley Pruden

"I wouldn't call it fascism exactly, but a political system nominally controlled by an irresponsible, dumbed down electorate who are manipulated by dishonest, cynical, controlled mass media that dispense the propaganda of a corrupt political establishment can hardly be described as democracy either." -- Edward Zehr

"Senator Byrd, like others, professes to believe that dismissal would 'promptly end this sad and sorry time for our country' and begin a 'process of healing.' What planet have such people been living on these past six years? This is not a matter of a President happening to fall for a 21- year-old temptress, but an ingrained habit of lying. Bill Clinton conducts politics at the level he does because it has never occurred to him to do otherwise-- lying to Colonel Holmes to launch his career and lying to the American people to save it. His entire Presidency has been bent to obstructing justice, from barring Justice lawyers from Vincent Foster's office after his death to resisting, as droves of witnesses flee the country or hide behind the Fifth Amendment, an independent counsel on using illegal Chinese money to win the last Presidential election." -- Wall Street Journal

"His mental state at that point was, 'I'm really incredibly virtuous ... All I had was oral sex.' ... His voice carried the conviction and the sense of victimization of somebody who honestly believed he was telling the truth. I characterized it as delusional..." -- Former Clinton advisor Dick Morris

"Bill Clinton is the sexiest man in the universe. I would bring my own cigars. ... I thought he was sexy, anyway, but now ... my God!" -- Sinead O'Connor

"I was watching 'Thin Red Line' Sunday night...and I thought...would you want to be in a foxhole with [Bill Clinton]? And the bottom line is, not me." -- Hollywood Democrat, James Woods, who says Mr. Clinton is a "sociopath.




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