Lingua publica

The good and the bad...

web posted November 21, 2005

"The Constitution itself makes this trial-and-error process possible, a process that has helped safeguard human liberty throughout our history. We can't hope to preserve our precious birthright of freedom and self-government without knowledge." -- Rebecca Hagelin

"The delay in Judge [Samuel] Alito's confirmation hearings gives the Senate Democrats and all the liberal-left interest groups time to orchestrate a fear and smear campaign and raise the money to advertise those fears and smears, both directly and by organized protests that will get much free publicity in the liberal media." -- Thomas Sowell

"When legislation passes in the Senate by an overwhelming 90-9 vote, it is often a sign that it is either meaningless fluff or a bad idea. The McCain 'anti-torture' amendment, which passed by such a wide margin in an initial test of strength and which will be up for debate again soon, is both." -- Rich Lowry

"We can certainly hope that we'll never need to use coercive interrogation methods. But we cannot responsibly remove them as an option and claim to be protecting the nation." -- Andrew McCarthy

"Going up in smoke along with thousands of Peugeots are liberal illusions. Multiculturalism is social poison. Toleration of intolerance isn't sophistication, it's suicide. Work, not welfare, is the key to social integration. Making excuses for violence begets more violence." -- Jack Kelly

"Opponents of President Bush routinely invoke the incantation that he lied about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to take the nation to war... In doing so, they conveniently overlook the fact that if Bush lied, a long list of liberal icons have also been lying for a very long time, some from before the time he arrived in the Oval Office." -- Jonathan Gurwitz

"I don't think I committed bad journalism. I really don't... I did not have it in for George Bush." -- Mary Mapes, formerly a CBS producer, on her hit-job on George W. Bush in the lead-up to the 2004 election

"Mary Mapes complained last week that people were saying mean things about her and the discredited 60 Minutes II segment she produced about President Bush's military service. She felt 'extremely battered' by 'having my head kicked around a soccer stadium by much of the western world.' No apology, though. For unknown reasons, Mapes' new book is titled 'Truth and Duty' rather than 'I Messed Up Big Time and I'm Sorry'." -- John Leo

"Aren't the Democrats, though, trying to have it both ways? They voted for the war -- Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards -- and now, it's not going well. So they're saying, well, the president misled us. They had access to the National Intelligence Estimate, and in that National Intelligence Estimate, there were caveats from the State Department particularly, about the quality of the intelligence. But they still voted for the war." -- Tim Russert

"All politics is a reaction to felt needs. You need to get people to feel the need. Our job is to make sure the right felt need is taken into consideration." -- John Kerry

"[T]hings could return to normal very quickly." -- French National Police Chief Michel Gaudin, though he noted that French youths burn about 100 cars on an average Saturday night

"Last week was known as 'A Really Bad Week for Bush.' That of course followed 'A Week of Uncertainty for Bush,' which was teased by its predecessor, 'Hard Times Looming for Bush.' This week ought to be more of the same, but perhaps it will be 'Republicans in Crisis: Really Bad Uncertain Week of Hard Times and Grave Misfortune for Bush.' Got that?" -- Peter Freire

"If you think that Uncle Sam feeds you while Big Business is trying to milk you dry, you're a Democrat. If you think that God feeds you, with a little help from a job through Big Business, while Uncle Sam is milking you dry, you're a Republican." -- Jay Homnick

"Senator Jon Corzine was elected governor of New Jersey. He made hundreds of millions in the stock market, then got elected senator, then dumped his wife, and now he dates around. Let no one say the Democrats don't have an agenda." -- Argus Hamilton

"Apparently, the only period worse than the [Black Night of Facism] under McCarthy is the current BNOF under President George Bush. This was followed by the usual number of specific examples of civil liberties that had been denied: zero. Liberals churn out hysterical slander daily, but insist on acting like they are the ones under attack... The only people being tortured are those of us forced to endure the egos of Hollywood fantasists who profess left-wing views to prove they are deep thinkers." -- Ann Coulter

"Democrat Senator Jon Corzine won the Governor's race in New Jersey, despite the fact that his ex-wife attacked him in TV ads. He was also accused of having a number of affairs. So at least he's a traditional Democrat." -- Jay Leno

"I strongly supported the war in Iraq. I was privileged to be the Democratic cosponsor, with the senator from Virginia, of the authorizing resolution, which received overwhelming bipartisan support. As I follow the debates about prewar intelligence, I have no regrets about having sponsored and supported that resolution because of all the other reasons we had in our national-security interest to remove Saddam Hussein from power—a brutal, murdering dictator, an aggressive invader of his neighbors, a supporter of terrorism, a hater of the United States of America. He was, for us, a ticking time bomb that, if we did not remove him, I am convinced would have blown up, metaphorically speaking, in America's face... The questions raised about prewar intelligence are not irrelevant, they are not unimportant, but they are nowhere near as important and relevant as how we successfully complete our mission in Iraq and protect the 150,000 men and women in uniform who are fighting for us there." -- Senator Joseph Lieberman on the U.S. Senate floor

"I'm sorry that we couldn't be joined by Senators Harry Reid, John Kerry or Jay Rockefeller. They were unable to attend due to a prior lack of commitment." -- Dick Cheney in a Speech to the Frontiers of Freedom Foundation

Q: "What is the Democratic position on Iraq? Should we withdraw troops now? What do the Democrats stand for?" -- Tim Russert
A: "Right now it's not our job to give out specifics." -- Howard Dean

web posted November 14, 2005

"The continued success and viability of our democratic Republic depends on our fidelity to, and the faithful exposition and interpretation of, this Constitution." -- Edwin Meese III

"The northeast Republicans are often called moderates. They are in fact Democrats, if not in name, certainly in substance." -- Robert Bork

"What the Democrat leadership is asking for is an Instant Replay of all that was discussed and debated before hostilities commenced. But this isn't the NFL, it's war. Unfortunately, the Republican leadership in the Senate doesn't seem to know it either." -- Oliver North

"We do Muslims no favors by excusing attitudes or practices that ought always to be deemed inexcusable." -- Jeff Jacoby

"[T]he Democrats cannot even admit they made a mistake supporting the war -- except in that they believed Bush's 'lies.' But how could Bush have lied? How was he to know the intelligence was wrong? Without knowing that, he could not have lied. But the Democrats will not allow for the possibility that the very same intelligence that prompted Clinton to bomb Iraq also informed Bush's decision to topple Saddam." -- Jonah Goldberg

"Civil rights cannot include everything that is done by government which benefits particular groups, individually or collectively. The whole case for civil rights is that every American is entitled to them. Civil rights are not about doing special things for special groups." -- Thomas Sowell

"'French youths,' huh? You mean Pierre and Jacques and Marcel and Alphonse? Granted that most of the 'youths' are technically citizens of the French Republic, it doesn't take much time in les banlieus of Paris to discover that the rioters do not think of their primary identity as 'French': They're young men from North Africa growing ever more estranged from the broader community with each passing year and wedded ever more intensely to an assertive Muslim identity more implacable than anything you're likely to find in the Middle East. After four somnolent years, it turns out finally that there really is an explosive 'Arab street,' but it's in Clichy-sous-Bois." -- Mark Steyn on the riots in France

"Massachusetts politicians last week rose to new heights of holier-than-thou arrogance. House members on Thursday -- just three days after the 80-page bill was introduced -- voted overwhelmingly to tax businesses that do not provide health insurance for their employees, and to require all residents who can afford it to buy health insurance... No doubt, buying health insurance is a good idea. But so is buying a car with a five-star safety rating, brushing after meals and not running with scissors. And yet government lets people decide whether to do these things... If the state can order people to buy health insurance, then where does that authority stop? Why can't it order people to exercise a half-hour a day, quit smoking, and floss regularly?" -- New Hampshire Union-Leader

"We have lost over 2,000 of our best and bravest. Over 15,000 have been seriously wounded. We are spending more than $6 billion a month, with no end in sight. And this Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee refuses to even ask the hard questions about the misinformation and disinformation given to the American people, and the efforts made by the...administration to cover it up." -- Dick Durbin, who earlier this year compared American soldiers to Nazis

"What a difference a week makes! Last week, liberals were expecting big things. They were counting on special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and the White House to do their work for them. On Friday, Fitzgerald was supposed to indict Karl Rove. Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were going to be named unindicted co-conspirators. Maybe Condoleezza Rice, too. Who knew -- maybe even Clarence Thomas... It was going to be Fitzmas Day!... But Friday came, and...[i]nstead of GI Joe and Mr. Machine, all Democrats got was a lousy cardigan sweater." -- Ann Coulter

"Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito's confirmation, it was reported Tuesday, would give the court its fifth Catholic justice alongside two Jewish justices. That's such progress. Who would have thought as recently as twenty years ago that an Anglo-Saxon Protestant would be a diversity pick?" -- Argus Hamilton

"Oh, sorry. Mentioned 9/11. That's not permitted. Iraq has nothing to do with 9/11. Iraq is about Halliburton and oil, just as the invasion of Sicily in World War II was about cannoli and Chianti. According to some, Bush just threw a dart at a map in 2002; it hit Iraq, and off we went. According to others, he came into office determined to invade Iraq -- sure, the Clinton administration had made regime change the official U.S. policy, but at least it wasn't foolish enough to do anything about it." -- James Lileks

"Because as I look around the state of this nation and see all of the weak little pampered candy-@$$es that are whining about this or protesting that, I'd be afraid to leave the fate of this nation entirely up to them." -- First Lt. Bruce Bishop explaining why he's re-enlisting in the Utah National Guard

"President Bush outlined the U.S. government's plan to fight a 'bird flu outbreak.' Apparently the plan is to attack the flu over there in Iraq, before it attacks us here. In fact, you know what he is calling his bird flu attack [plan]? 'Flock and awe.' ... Here's the good news, yesterday President Bush announced his plan to fight the bird flu. The bad news? There's only enough doses for the Red States." -- Jay Leno

"I can't deny I'm a better ex-president than I was a president." -- Jimmy Carter

web posted November 7, 2005

"President Bush has made an outstanding choice in nominating Judge Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court." -- Edwin Meese III

"What is a 'moderate' judge? One who gives opinions half way between what the Constitution actually says and what they'd like it to say? Talking about 'moderate' judges makes no sense, but talking about moderate politics does." -- Justice Antonin Scalia

"Any judicial nominee who has said that the Constitution means what it says, not what judges would like it to mean, is going to be called an 'extremist.' That person will be said to be 'out of the mainstream.' But the mainstream is itself the problem." -- Thomas Sowell

"[T]he fact that the abortion debate so controls the debate over judicial philosophy is unfortunate. There are more important issues out there, such as federalism and private property rights, the cornerstones of our liberty." -- Edward Crane

"In the last two weeks, the Administration began to talk tough on border security, the President suggested across-the-board spending cuts, and now we have a mainstream conservative nominee to the high court. That's a perfect recipe for a second term political turnaround." -- Rep. Tom Tancredo

"One way to honor the troops is to stop spreading the idea that they died for a mistake or that they were 'wrongly sent to Iraq.'... The loss of every life in Iraq is heartbreaking. But the number 2,000 is not, as Lt. Col. Steve Boylan said, 'a milestone.' Frustrated by the media's anticipation of the 2,000th casualty and the planning of anti-war protests to commemorate it, Boylan called it what it is -- an 'artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives.' What is truly worth noting is the number of young men and women who are willing to serve their country in an age of such cynicism." -- Oliver North

"President Bush will please his conservative base with this pick. Samuel Alito is certain to be opposed by many Democrats, but no one will accuse him of being unqualified. Samuel Alito is a federal judge in New Jersey with established conservative credentials... Alito is considered a law and order conservative, and many Democrats believe he would oppose abortion rights because he supported a law that required women to notify their husbands before having an abortion." -- ABC's Jessica Yellen

"More Democrats should have complained that Miers was unqualified. But they didn't, apparently fearing an alternative nominee, and their silence speaks volumes about the timidity and intellectual cowardice of their party's current leadership." -- Los Angeles Times editorial

"Sen. Ted Stevens, Alaska Republican, threatened to resign if money for his state's 'bridge to nowhere' is taken away. That is the best idea I've heard since the term limits movement of some years ago. The president might offer to attend his going-away party." -- Cal Thomas

"Conservatives are pleased with the president's selection of Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court. For them Alito bit goes a long way." -- Lyn Nofziger

"The 'Ding Dong, the Bush Is Dead' fever rages on, disappointments notwithstanding. Hurricane Katrina was, politically, a wash. And say what you like about Harriet Miers, but at least the disaffected right wrapped the whole thing up in a month. Meanwhile, the left's still panting orgasmically about Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into what Scooter Libby said to Judith Miller about what Valerie Plame knew about what Joseph C. Wilson IV said... zzzz... fingers growing heavy... losing the will to type." -- Mark Steyn

"Al Pacino was honored for his career at a banquet in Beverly Hills Friday. He's played a mobster, a mayor, a revolutionary, a cokehead, a sex addict and the devil. For thirty years the Democrat nomination for president has been his for the asking." -- Argus Hamilton

"Anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan said that she would tie herself up at the White House to get President Bush's attention. Right idea, wrong president. I think that was more Bill's kind of thing." -- Jay Leno

"A judicial conservative is not necessarily politically conservative, but believes in sticking to the actual Constitution as it was understood by those who made it law rather than amending the Constitution from the bench... I don't think the question is whether the candidate is like a politician who can bring the country together. The question is whether a candidate respects the actual Constitution. A candidate who does that is not a right-wing extremist." -- Robert Bork

"The Washington Post's Dana Milbank denounces Justice-designate Samuel Alito as a 'nerd': 'Alito, bespectacled, hair askew, suit rumpled and ill-fitting, walked into Sen. Tim Johnson's office this week to pay a courtesy call on the South Dakota Democrat. Sitting in an armchair in the senator's office, Alito forgot to unbutton his suit jacket, causing his tie to stick out and his jacket to bunch up. The judge's pant leg hiked up as he sat, revealing an untied shoelace...' Well, to paraphrase Roman Hruska, even if he is dorky, there are a lot of dorky judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they?" -- James Taranto, for the nerd-wing of the Republican Party

web posted October 31, 2005

"There's no reason why money spent on natural-disaster relief should not compete with spending in other areas of government. If the relief spending is truly more necessary than other programs in the budget, then those less essential programs should be pared back to make room for it." -- Stephen Slivinski

"All Americans must tell blacks the truth. It was blacks' moral poverty -- not their material poverty -- that cost them dearly in New Orleans. Farrakhan, Jackson and other race hustlers are to be repudiated -- they will only perpetuate the problem by stirring up hatred and applauding moral corruption." -- Jesse Lee Peterson

"People who think that they don't owe anything to anybody should read David McCullough's outstanding new book '1776,' to see what hell other people went through to create the freedom that we enjoy and abuse today." -- Thomas Sowell

"The American people expect their elected officials to make sacrifices in a time of war, rising deficits, and disaster recovery. Unfortunately, many members of Congress are more committed to protecting a system that allows them to fund extravagant projects at the expense of the common good. Our refusal to prioritize spending and exercise restraint has created a rumble among the American people." -- Sen. Tom Coburn

"Protecting privacy only seems to matter to liberals when it comes to 14-year-old girls seeking abortions behind their parents' backs, illegal aliens seeking sanctuary from the police, and registered sex offenders objecting to community registration requirements." -- Michelle Malkin

"I think it would be a mistake to make the military a 'first responder' in natural disasters, but FEMA should be reorganized along military lines. And the head of FEMA should always be either a National Guard general or a Coast Guard admiral. There are some jobs which require adult supervision. Too many of these are held by political hacks." -- Jack Kelly

"[M]any Iraqis are eager to see [Saddam] in the docks, finally held accountable for atrocities committed by his regime. But already, human rights groups are worried about the fairness of the trial." -- ABC's Elizabeth Vargas, ignoring the human rights of the hundreds of thousands that Saddam butchered

"If the Senator from Oklahoma [Dr. Tom Coburn] wants to look for a culprit for the fiscal situation in this country, he should look into the billions and billions of dollars in tax cuts that have been granted to multimillionaires in this country, and he should look at additional tax cuts his party wants to implement in future years if he wants to find incredible savings." -- Sen. Patty Murray in a snit because Coburn suggested cutting funds for a Washington state "sculpture park" to offset hurricane relief

"They're painting illegal day workers as criminals, making generalizations about a group of people." -- Tom Wilson, co-executive director of the Canal Alliance, objecting to a U-Haul company sign about not hiring illegal aliens

"Conservatives have tolerated a lot from this White House -- not least the sort of spending we normally associate with Saudi royal concubines at the mall." -- Jonah Goldberg

"Sports are the reason I am out of shape. I watch them all on TV." -- Thomas Sowell

"There is no one in the White House who has the nerve to tell the president that he should be worried when Democrat Sen. Harry Reid is more enthusiastic about his nominee than the editors of National Review." -- Linda Chavez

"[T]he president's personal nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court was Robert Bork -- which is like a conservative president's Supreme Court nominee being dissed by, well, Robert Bork." -- Daniel Henninger

"Chinese democracy, to slightly paraphrase Winston Churchill, is a wonton wrapped in an egg roll inside a moo shi pancake. According to the [Financial Times], the Red Chinese patiently explained to the ignorant West that: 'Democratic government is the Chinese Communist party governing on behalf of the people...while upholding and perfecting the people's democratic dictatorship.' For most of us...the notion of a 'democratic dictatorship' is an oxymoron. Like Senatorial Humility." -- Rich Galen

"Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers admitted Tuesday she was suspended from the Washington DC bar association for failure to pay her monthly dues. She was [also] suspended by the Texas bar for failure to pay her dues. If she believed in paying her dues, she never would have accepted the nomination for the Supreme Court." -- Argus Hamilton

"I am not guilty." -- Saddam Hussein in court

"They say Saddam is delusional. He still thinks he's president and gives speeches standing next to his bed at night. No, wait, that's Al Gore." -- Jay Leno

"With so many things going wrong at once -- from declining poll numbers, to declining support for the Iraq war effort, to various scenarios involving indictments of his top officials -- the president can begin to win back public confidence with several steps, beginning with Miss Miers' replacement. His next selection for the court should address all of the concerns that led to the demise of his choice of Miss Miers... [Her] withdrawal offers an opportunity for the president to re-charge his base -- which had stuck with him, despite numerous disappointments -- until he chose Miss Miers. He says he's a real conservative. Real conservatives would like to see him start acting like one. If he does, his second term turnaround could be immediate and dramatic." -- Cal Thomas

"The president is perilously close to duplicating the estrangement his father experienced from his congressional allies when G.H.W. Bush raised taxes in 1990. Just a year out from congressional elections, Republican congressmen and senators are in the process of making the practical judgment whether to distance themselves from the president to save their skins. I don't blame them. If they decide in the affirmative, their constituents will hear criticisms rather than support of the president for the next 12 months. The most dangerous time for any politician is not when his opponents say rude things about him, but when his own partymen do." -- Washington Times editor Tony Blankley



Site Map

Email ESR

Musings - ESR's blog


1996-2018, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.

You've seen the banner, now order the gear!
Visit ESR's anti-gun control gear web site for T-shirts, mugs and mousepads!