Dispatches > Quotables


Issue: "Supreme arrogance," July 8, 2000

There was a perception in the country that I was some sort of aloof, remote federal judge who was arrogating a great deal of power to himself.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, in an interview with USA Today, defending his unusual candor with financial and legal journalists concerning his views on defendant Microsoft in the antitrust case over which he presided. For example, Judge Jackson, a Reagan appointee, told The Wall Street Journal that the software giant deserved no more hearings on his breakup plan: "Were the Japanese allowed to propose the terms of their surrender?"

It's okay. I'm special.

Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, quoted in The Washington Post explaining-as he autographed a fan's $20 bill during a recent party-why it's alright for him to autograph paper money. The Post's Reliable Source columnist reported the autograph seeker had expressed mild concern: "Isn't it illegal to deface U.S. currency?" Mr. Summers's legal signature on legal tender appears on 7.7 billion bills in circulation.

You ought to be man enough to say it yourself.

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Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), challenging Al Gore's alpha-manhood, in demanding the vice president either make his insults personally or apologize for those made on his behalf by campaign surrogates. Sen. Specter made news when he disclosed that the head of the Justice Department's campaign-finance task force recommended that a special counsel be appointed to investigate Mr. Gore for possible illegal fundraising for the 1996 campaign. Gore spokesman Chris Lehane described the disclosure as a "McCarthyite tactic." Mr. Gore told reporters that he stood behind Mr. Lehane: "I'll let Chris Lehane speak for himself."

We don't need to debate anymore if children are better off growing up with two happily married parents.

Maggie Gallagher of the Institute for American Values, on the release last week of a 35-page pro-marriage manifesto signed by 100-plus authorities on the family. The document calls for a variety of public-policy changes to strengthen the institution of marriage, including the rollback of "no-fault" divorce laws.


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