Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted June 27, 2005

"Those who wrote the Constitution clearly understood that power is dangerous and needs to be limited by being separated -- separated not only into the three branches of the national government but also separated as between the whole national government, on the one hand, and the states and the people on the other." -- Thomas Sowell

"If Terri Schiavo had been dehydrated to death at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Dick Durbin would be reading her autopsy report from the Senate floor. ... Instead, Democrats -- even as they spent part of the week crassly celebrating, with news of Schiavo's autopsy report in hand, the human rights abuse of euthanasia against the disabled -- are in a moral lather over the paucity of air conditioning terrorists receive at Guantanamo Bay." -- George Neumayr

"What's infuriating is that whenever a Democrat luminary goes before the cameras to initiate damage control he ends up sounding hopelessly immature. [Democrat Chairman Howard] Dean blamed the controversy over his uncouth remarks on the Republicans, because its 'exactly what [they] want.' Democrat Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, responding to Mr. Durbin's unfortunate analogy, said, 'The noise machine from the far right never stops. ... This is all a distraction by the White House.' For his part, Mr. Durbin has also blamed the 'right-wing media.' So, the Republicans and the White House are supposedly to blame for what Democrats say. No doubt it's all part of some insidious Karl Rove plot. As for the 'right-wing media,' Democrats apparently think it's incredibly unfair that reporters actually report what a politician has said. Here's some free advice to Democrats: Stop saying stupid things." -- The Washington Times

"I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support." -- Sen. Dick Durbin (D), apologizing for comparing Guantanamo Bay to Nazi death camps and Soviet gulags

"My only explanation for the entire episode is that I was sorely afflicted with tunnel vision -- a jejune and immature outlook -- seeing only what I wanted to see because I thought the Klan could provide an outlet for my talents and ambitions." --Sen. Robert Byrd (D), apologizing for his past membership in the Ku Klux Klan

"I am not questioning Sen. Dick Durbin's patriotism, at least not for the first couple of paragraphs. Instead, I'll begin by questioning his sanity. ... Spot the odd one out: (1) mass starvation, (2) gas chambers, (3) mountains of skulls, (4) lousy infidel pop music at full volume. One of these is not the same as the others, and Mr. Durbin doesn't have the excuse of being some airhead celeb or an Ivy League professor. He's the Senate Judiciary Committee's second-ranking Democrat. Don't they have an insanity clause?" -- Mark Steyn

"Bill Clinton said Sunday it's time to shut down Guantanamo prison or clean it up. He said it's an embarrassment to the United States. His voice carries a lot of weight, because who knows more about embarrassing the United States than Bill Clinton." --Argus Hamilton

"A couple of elections ago Sen. Joe Biden...considered running for president. Then it was revealed that he had plagiarized a speech and so he never ran. But now he says he's going to run in 2008. Apparently all these years he's just been Biden his time. However, a lot of people, including the lady senator from York, think the idea is nothing short of Hillaryous." -- Lyn Nofziger

"We might also consider whether, and to what degree, dependence on essentially permanent government programs serves to create a large number of Americans who are 'united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.' That is the definition of what James Madison in Federalist 10 called a faction, and a majority faction is what the American Founders thought to be the greatest threat to republican government." -- Matthew Spalding

"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. ... I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin towers crumble to the ground, a side of the Pentagon destroyed, and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble. ... Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year? Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals." -- Bush presidential advisor Karl Rove, responding to Dick Durbin's comparison of U.S. soldiers to "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others"

"Dean's real problem may not be his mouth but his mind-set. He and his aides seemed genuinely mystified at the idea that his characterization of the GOP was a political mistake. But by labeling the other party a bastion of Christianity, he implied that his own was something else -- something determinedly secular -- at a time when Dean's stated aim is to win the hearts of middle-class white Southerners, many of whom are evangelicals. In a slide-show presentation at the DNC conference last weekend, polltaker Cornell Belcher focused on why those voters aren't responding to the Democrats' economic message. One reason, he said, is that too many of them see the Democrats as 'anti-religion'." -- Newsweek's Howard Fineman

web posted June 20, 2005

"As Republicans, we will always point out where the other party is misguided and mistaken, but we will never embrace their hateful rhetoric. [Democrat leaders hope] their loud talk and angry rhetoric will hide the fact that they have nothing to say and nothing to offer." -- RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman

"In 1788, [author of our Constitution, James Madison] noted pointedly the 'powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are FEW and DEFINED.' Those of the states, by contrast, 'are numerous and indefinite.' Last week, addressing the same question, the Supreme Court said, 'James who?' ... The court's decision to uphold the federal ban on medical marijuana is a victory for those who think the federal government should be free to poke its snout anywhere it wants." -- Steve Chapman

"Guantanamo will be remembered not as a byword for torture but for self-torture, a Western fetish the jihad's spin-doctors understand all too well." -- Mark Steyn

"The important thing here to understand is that the people that are at Guantanamo are bad people." -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney

"This is an enemy [the Jihadi terrorists] that refuses to observe any conventions, treaties or rules of warfare. They lie, cheat and violate agreements. They slice off heads like raw meat. They murder women and children. They fly airplanes into buildings. But we're the bad guys." -- Oliver North

"[T]he fight over the filibuster was always a fight about the future direction of the Supreme Court, and as long as the device is retained, it will be trotted out against any clearly conservative Bush Supreme Court nominee." -- Steven Calabresi

"The purpose of the Constitution was to create a limited federal government with few defined powers. It was not supposed to be an exhaustive list of the people's rights, but of Washington's lawful claims." -- W. James Antle III

"So we're going after them, we have to destroy their brand." --House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, laying out her strategy to take on the GOP

"The great challenge for Democrats is not to be put into a cultural box. ... We live in a fairly conservative country, and progressives have to adjust the way they present their case." -- Marshall Wittmann of the centrist Democrat Leadership Conference, admitting it's the Left that's out of the political mainstream

"Good afternoon, my fellow white Christians." -- Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman addressing a reception of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"If the liberal media wanted to look like they weren't reporting from inside the DNC press office, they haven't helped their image with a Howard Dean blackout. Instead, they sound more like Pepto-Bismol. They coat, soothe and protect the Democrats from indigestion due to their fiery, gassy leader." -- L. Brent Bozell

"So, Dr. Dean thinks Secretary of State Condeleza Rice, Janice Rogers Brown ... and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales all look like Dick Cheney. Here is a new definition of ideological blinders." -- Don Feder

"'All you need to know about the Democrat Party is we will defend abortion to the death, and the Republicans are mean, nasty people that want to starve old people and poison kids.' That pretty much sums it up. All I can say is the country will continue to be a better place to live if Howard Dean keeps calling us stupid, white, Christian morons who've never held an honest job. It will only ensure that the closest that Democrats get to seats of power is through the Capitol tours." -- Duane Patterson

"[I]f the Democrat Party is supposedly so diverse, why is the Democrat Party leadership apparently homogenously white? I mean the Democrat Party looks like an antebellum plantation from 150 years ago. You got the big, white owner and the white family in the big house, and thousands of black workers in the fields. Where's the Democrats' answer to a figure like Condoleezza Rice?" -- Mark Steyn

"Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has downplayed the idea of closing down the prison at Guantanamo Bay. He said it would raise questions of where to send the prisoners. He's got a point. We can't just leave them there in Cuba -- because in a couple of days they'd all be here." -- Jay Leno

"Unfortunately, in the home, in the church, and with our government...thanks to the societal deconstructionists, we have created an extended womb with an umbilical cord of enormous proportions that can succor and baby men all the way up until their mid-life crises. ...[T]oday's metrosexual man avoids responsibility and accountability and is allowed to blame low blood sugar, his inner child, the environment or the freaky yellow wallpaper on his delivery room wall as the reason why he hasn't 'gotten with it.' ...[I]f concerned conservatives want to improve our nation, then we have got to resist the current culture of man hatred, wherever and whenever we find it." -- Doug Giles

"It takes a particularly noble Democrat to promote marriage and family. The strengthening of these institutions is not in the Democrat Party's self-interest. The more people marry, and especially the more they have children after they marry, the more likely they are to hold conservative values and vote Republican. That is why it is inaccurate to speak of a 'gender gap' in Americans' voting. The gap is between married and unmarried women. Single women, especially single women with children, tend to vote Democrat, while married women, especially married women with children, tend to vote Republican." -- Dennis Prager

web posted June 13, 2005

"[I]n the past year I've found out anew that people still love my dad -- because he loved them. I pray that as America reflects on the passing of my dad, they will remember a man of integrity, conviction and good humor who changed America and the world for the better. He would modestly say the credit goes to others, but I believe the credit is his." -- Michael Reagan

"At 448 pages, the proposed EU constitution is longer than the telephone directories in most big cities. It is more of a Socialist manifesto than a constitution. ... But the French voted against the EU constitution because it wasn't socialist enough. They feared the free-market ideas prevalent in Eastern Europe could threaten their 35-hour workweeks, six weeks of annual vacation, and heavy subsidies for agriculture and inefficient industries. ... It isn't often we owe the French a round of applause. They deserve a big hand now, even though they did the right thing for the wrong reasons." -- Jack Kelly

"When the federal assault-weapons ban expired last September, its fans claimed that gun crimes and police killings would surge. Sarah Brady, one of the nation's leading gun-control advocates, warned, 'Our streets are going to be filled with AK-47s and Uzis.' Well, over eight months have gone by, and the only casualty has been gun-controllers' credibility. Letting the law expire only showed its uselessness." -- John Lott, Jr.

"For Kerry, Gore, and Clinton, even a few conservative outlets are too many. They grew up in the era before cable TV, talk radio, and the Internet -- the age when liberal dominance was unquestioned. Now Democrats have to compete in the marketplace of ideas, and voters don't seem to be buying what they're selling. Is it any wonder so many are grumpy?" -- Jeff Jacoby

"D-Day, June 6, 1944, came only two years and six months after December 7, 1941. But it was two years and six months of total war. We are three years and nine months into the war the terrorists and the terrorist nations began on 9/11, and its end is so far off, it's hard to even envision what it will be like." -- Jed Babbin

"Headline in yesterday's New York Times: 'U.S. Challenged to Increase Aid to Africa' which topped a piece by reporter Celia Dugger. The article states that the European Union has 'agreed almost double assistance to poor countries over the next five years. Japan this week reaffirmed its pledge to double aid to Africa in just three years.' All this in the run-up to British Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to Washington this week at which he 'hopes to shake loose more American aid for Africa.' Way, way, WAY down in the ninth paragraph we read that the 'United States has tripled aid to Africa to $3.2 billion since Mr. Bush took office.' [Emphasis mine]." -- Rich Galen

"'Democrat National Chairman Howard Dean further burnished his shoot-from-the-lip reputation Thursday' by suggesting that President Bush won re-election because Republicans are lazy, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. ... It's a strange complaint coming from the head of a party whose most recent presidential nominee was a man who married another man's fortune." -- James Taranto

"Let's understand what mishandling means. Under the rules the Pentagon later instituted at Guantanamo, proper handling of the Koran means using two hands and wearing gloves when touching it. Which means that if any guard held the Koran with one hand or had neglected to put on gloves, this would be considered mishandling. On the scale of human crimes, where, say, 10 is the killing of 2,973 innocent people in one day and 0 is jaywalking, this ranks as perhaps a 0.01." -- Charles Krauthammer

"Whenever neo-libs seek to distribute condoms on campus, to show porn movies, to encourage sodomy, or to encourage 'reproductive choice,' they assert that college students are adults. But when it comes to gun ownership, they portray college students as children. And these children must be kept away from firearms, just as they must be shielded from any speech that might make them feel uncomfortable or wound their inner child." -- Mike Adams

"After 35 years of secrecy, John Kerry's college transcript from Yale was finally released today. Here's the amazing thing: he had worse grades than George Bush. Kerry got four "D"s his freshman year; his four-year grade point average was lower than President Bush's. Can you believe it? Bush is the smart one! How embarrassing is that?" -- Jay Leno

"This is an incredible thicket. If someone else doesn't take action, for instance in Congress, we're running a real possibility of serious Internet regulation. It's going to be bizarre. ...[B]logging could also get us into issues about online journals and non-online journals. Why should CNET get an exemption but not an informal blog? Why should Salon or Slate get an exemption? Should and get an exemption but not online sites, just because the newspapers have a print edition as well?" -- FEC Commissioner Bradley Smith

"To permit an entire class of political communications to be completely unregulated irrespective of the level of coordination between the communication's publisher and a political party or federal candidate, would permit an evasion of campaign finance laws." -- U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruling on the regulation of the Internet, ordering the FEC to revise its rules

"Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people. ... They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party." -- DNC chair Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, which is 96.8 percent white

web posted June 6, 2005

"Getting illegal immigration under control is a key mission in the war against terror. After all, a country that doesn't control its borders won't be a country for long. Sadly, the government's plans to protect us don't inspire much confidence." -- Rich Tucker

"Abuse at Abu Ghraib prison -- where no one was killed or even hurt -- was given massive attention; Saddam's mass graves precious little. The news media's double standard is clear." -- Jack Kelly

"All people are equal, but that does not mean that all values are equal. The statement, 'All people are equal,' is itself a value, one which holds that human equality is superior to any value that demeans or denies the intrinsic worth of other human beings." -- Dennis Prager

"Democrats consistently rely on judges to impose legislation that they can't get through the normal democratic process because majorities don't want it. As a result, our politics and our courts have been deformed. A contempt for majorities keeps growing on the left, and contempt for the courts keeps rising on the right." -- John Leo

"The media's love of compromise is the moral hazard that comes from always seeking both sides of an issue. The press should seek both sides, of course, but it shouldn't conclude that simply because each side has good arguments that both are right, or that splitting the difference is enlightened. The media sees such blurring as wisdom, when really it's cynicism." -- Jonah Goldberg

"I am focused on winning re-election. That is what I work on every single day, just as I have worked my heart out for the last four years. ... I'm not even, you know, remotely considering [a 2008 presidential candidacy]. ... I'm focused on '06." -- Hillary Clinton

"Military metaphors are rarely exact, but sending Republicans against Democrats when the issue hangs in the balance is nearly always as futile as sending George B. McClellan against Robert E. Lee, the Italians against Marshal Montgomery's desert rats or an Arab armored division against an Israeli rifle company. The copy desk can write the headline before the battle begins and take the rest of the night off." -- Wesley Pruden

"Democrats, that herd of independent minds, will or will not, as a bloc, filibuster a nominee whose only discernible disqualification is his or her deviation from the prevailing consensus in the faculty lounges of the Yale, Harvard, Michigan, Chicago, Stanford and Columbia law schools." -- George Will

"It's a mistake to call the seven Republican senators who joined with the Democrats to preserve their 'right' to filibuster judicial appointees 'squishes.' Only six are squishes. The seventh, John McCain, ain't nobody's squish." -- Lyn Nofziger

"Some Democrats think dumping the donkey for a new symbol might help. The New York Daily News reports three ad agencies have been commissioned to come up with a new emblem. Might I suggest the chicken, to reflect Democratic foreign policy? Or the ostrich, to indicate the Democrats' refusal to recognize the world has changed since the 1960s? Or perhaps the vulture, in view of the Democrats' lust for bad news in Iraq?" -- Jack Kelly

"A new study shows that the child population in San Francisco is dwindling and in fact San Francisco has the smallest share of children of any major city in the United States. That's odd, huh? For some reason couples in San Francisco don't seem to be reproducing as much as couples in other cities. Gee, I wonder what the problem is there? You think it might be something in the Rice-A-Roni?" -- Jay Leno

"We know that obligatory homosexuals are caught up in unconscious adaptations to early childhood abuse and neglect and that, with insight into their earliest beginnings, they can change. ... But, when homosexuality takes on all the aspects of a political movement, it, too, becomes a war, the kind of war in which the first casualty is truth, and the spoils turn out to be our own children. ... In a Washington March for Gay Pride, they chanted, 'We're here. We're queer. And we're coming after your children.' What more do we need to know?" -- Charles Socarides, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

"Was Mr. Felt a hero? No one wants to be hard on an ailing 91-year-old man. Mr. Felt no doubt operated in some perceived jeopardy and judged himself brave. He had every right to disapprove of and wish to stop what he saw as new moves to politicize the FBI. But a hero would have come forward, resigned his position, declared his reasons, and exposed himself to public scrutiny. He would have taken the blows and the kudos. (Knowing both Nixon and the media, there would have been plenty of both.) Heroes pay the price. Mr. Felt simply leaked information gained from his position in government to damage those who were doing what he didn't want done. Then he retired with a government pension. This does not appear to have been heroism, and he appears to have known it. Thus, perhaps, the great silence." -- Peggy Noonan

web posted May 30, 2005

"The desire of millions of Americans to restore balance to our federal courts has been thwarted behind closed doors by 14 senators." -- Gary Bauer, president of American Values

" to say that 'Violence never solved anything.' But what solved Hitler? Was it a team of social workers? Was it putting daisies into the gun barrels of Nazi Panzer divisions? Was it a commission that tried to understand what made Hitler so angry? No. What solved Hitler was violence." -- Michael Medved

"It occurred to me...that 'illegal immigration' is an oxymoron. If it's immigration, it is not illegal, and if they are here illegally they are not immigrants, are they? Maybe it's time that a more accurate term be coined to describe these people. I'll start the process -- how about 'foreign trespassers?'" -- Ron Olliff

"Don't the Democrats allege to be the party looking out for the interests of the common folks? How in the world does this claim wash with Democrat opposition to [Janice Rogers] Brown's nomination to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia? The answer is that Democrats are not for folks of humble origins making it in America if those folks happen to turn out to be conservatives, as Brown is." -- Star Parker

"Afghan rioters who were whipped into a frenzy of hatred against America by their Islamist imams were nurtured on violence long before the publication of the Newsweek article and their leaders exploited the Newsweek item for their own cynical purposes." -- Suzanne Fields

"Our Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen rescue wounded comrades; weep openly over loss; pass out candy, teddy bears and soccer balls; and share their food, water, hugs, smiles, and dreams for a better future for all God's children. They are the best ambassadors we have, and they are doing yeoman's work in assuring a brighter future here in this dusty, unforgiving land." -- Oliver North

"The arithmetic tells the story. The Democrats won the battle over who gets to shape the federal judiciary. In both tone and substance of their rhetoric, the Democrats believe they won, and who can argue with them? The Republican leadership is subdued, as befits a losers' locker room. The Republicans will pay dearly for the events of Monday night, when seven Democratic and seven Republican senators took over the leadership of the Senate, for a long time to come. Since the Republicans occupy the White House and command what ought to be a solid Senate majority of 55 members, this should have been no contest. But for the sixth and seventh Republican defections, the GOP would have had a rare, even historic, opportunity under the Constitution to nominate and approve, in up-or-down votes, highly qualified judges for the nation's highest courts. Because John McCain, John Warner, Lincoln Chafee, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Mike DeWine abandoned their leaders in the Senate and snubbed the president, that historic opportunity was lost." -- The Washington Times

"[There seems to be] a rather obvious misreading of what happened, doesn't it? True, seven Republicans broke from their party in agreeing to abjure the 'nuclear option,' but seven Democrats also broke from theirs to allow votes on at least three nominees whom fellow Dems had spent years smearing as 'extremist' and 'out of the mainstream.' Since the Senate has fewer Democrats than Republicans, the Democrats are actually the more divided party: 15.6% of Dems joined the compromise, vs. just 12.7% of Republicans." -- James Taranto

"I don't hate Republicans as individuals. But I hate what the Republicans are doing to this country. I really do." -- Howard Dean, clearing up earlier a statement earlier this year that "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for" and that "this is a struggle between good and evil, and we are the good!"

"The nice thing about not being president anymore is that...with no responsibility of office I can say whatever I believe. Of course, the bad thing is nobody pays any attention to what I say." -- Bill Clinton

"The consent judgment is repeatedly violated by these individuals because they do not believe anything will happen to them. Their refusal to comply with the consent decree should and must result in their removal from society." -- The ACLU on why it has requested that praying elementary school teachers in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana be sent to jail

"Bill Clinton, while in Rome Friday, stopped by Vatican City for a meeting with Roman Catholic cardinals there. He met with the clergy for about an hour. It must have been just a social visit because that's not near enough time for his confession." -- Argus Hamilton

"In a way, both the U.S. media and those wacky rioters in the Afghan-Pakistani hinterlands are very similar, two highly parochial and monumentally self-absorbed tribes living in isolation from the rest of the world and prone to fanatical irrational indestructible beliefs -- not least the notion that you can flush a 950-page book down one of Al Gore's eco-crazed federally mandated low-flush toilets, a claim no editorial bigfoot thought to test for himself in Newsweek's executive washroom." -- Mark Steyn

"There is an old saying in this town -- I just made it up -- that when the going gets tough the Democrats can always count on a few Republicans to switch sides." -- Lyn Nofziger

"The New York Times has had fake stories. CBS has had fake stories. And now Newsweek had a fake story. You realize the only one that hasn't had to print a retraction is the National Inquirer." -- Jay Leno



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