Features

Quotations

National

Issue: "Campaign 2000," July 29, 2000

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." -Political satirist P.J. O'Rourke Or ... put another way two centuries earlier:
"The legislature under this [general welfare clause] may pass any law which they may think proper.... This clause commits to the hands of the general legislature every conceivable source of revenue within the United States, [and will result in numerous laws that] may affect the personal rights of the citizens of the states, expose their property to fines and confiscation, and put their lives in jeopardy." -The New York Journal, December 13, 1787 "My fellow Americans. I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes." -Ronald Reagan, joking before the start of a radio broadcast in 1984 "Certain characters now on the stage, we have reason to venerate, but though this country is now blessed with a Washington, Franklin, Hancock, and Adams, yet posterity may have reason to rue the day when their political welfare depends on the decision of men who may fill the places of these worthies." -[Boston] Independent Chronicle, December 6, 1787 "I will never lie to you." -Jimmy Carter, campaigning for president in 1976 "The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended." -Frederic Bastiat, 1801-1850, French economist "There are a lot of things we do that are irrelevant, but that's what the Senate is for." -Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) "An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry." -George Eliot, 1819-1880, British novelist "Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors." -Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882, American poet and philosopher "Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from a liberal, who wishes to replace them with others." -Ambrose Bierce, 1842-1914, American journalist and satirist "From the first history of government to the present time, if we begin with Nimrod and trace down the rulers of nations to those who are now invested with supreme power, we shall find few, very few, who have made the beneficent governor of the universe the model of their conduct, while many are they who, on the contrary, have imitated the demons of the darkness.... We have no right to expect that our rulers will be more wise, more virtuous, or more perfect than those of other nations have been." -The Maryland Journal, March 28, 1788 "When we got into office, the thing that surprised me most was that things were as bad as we'd been saying they were." -John F. Kennedy "I am 1,000 percent behind him." -George McGovern, running for president in 1972 on his support for running mate Thomas Eagleton. The Missouri senator was dumped the next day after Mr. McGovern found out about Mr. Eagleton's past treatment for depression. "The Supreme Court will be authorized to give the constitution a construction according to its spirit and reason, and not to confine themselves to its letter." -The New York Journal, February 7 and 14, 1788 "Read my lips, no new taxes." -George H.W. Bush, running for president in 1988 "We're not going to blow it this time. Just shut up, gays, women, and environmentalists. Just shut up. You'll get everything you want after the election. But just, for the meantime, shut up so we can win." -Rep. Peter Kostmayer, D-Pa., speaking at the 1988 Democratic National Convention And WORLD's pick for campaign slip of the century: "Sure, I look like a white man. But my heart's as black as anyone's here." -Presidential candidate and Alabama Gov. George Wallace, in a speech to black voters

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