Quote-a-palooza

“[John McCain] should ask Obama to join him in a town meeting on lessons from Russia’s aggression. Both candidates favor NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine, perhaps Vladimir Putin’s next victim. But does Russia’s behavior cause Obama to rethink reliance on ‘soft power’ – dialogue, disapproval, diplomacy, economic carrots and sticks- which Putin considers almost an oxymoron? Does Russia’s resort to military coercion, and its arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles, cause Obama to revise his resistance to missile defense? Obama, unlike McCain, believes Russia belongs in the G-8. Does Obama think Russia should be admitted to the World Trade Organization? Does Obama consider Putin helpful regarding Iran?… McCain must convince voters that Obama’s complacent confidence in the taming abilities of soft power is the effect of liberalism’s scary sentimentalism about a dangerous thing, human nature, and a fiction, ‘the community of nations.’ McCain is hardly the change many people have been eagerly waiting for, but Putin is part of the change we must confront. Until Russian tanks rolled into Georgia, it seemed that not even the Democratic Party could lose this election. But it might if McCain can make it turn on the question of who is ornery enough to give Putin a convincing, deterring telephone call at 3 a.m.” – George Will

“Whatever the political outcome of Russia’s invasion of Georgia, the incident has reminded American voters that in uncertain times it is dangerous to choose a rookie with no foreign policy experience and a juvenile approach to world affairs over one tempered by war who understands that U.N. resolutions might as well be written in disappearing ink. John McCain knows that peace through strength is what defeated the Soviet Union and that it’s peace through strength that will best preserve free nations and advance their interests.” – Cal Thomas

“Our military strength is a prerequisite to peace, but let it be clear we maintain this strength in the hope it will never be used, for the ultimate determinant in the struggle that’s now going on in the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas, a trial of spiritual resolve, the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, the ideals to which we are dedicated.” – Ronald Reagan

“The prevailing wisdom 18 months or so ago was that invading Iraq had been, in retrospect, a disastrous blunder. It had led to appalling sectarian fratricide and an ever-climbing body count. Iraqi democracy was deemed a naive pipe dream. Worst of all, it was said, the fighting in Iraq wasn’t advancing the global struggle against Islamist terrorism; by rallying a new generation of jihadists, it was actually impeding it. Opponents of the war clamored loudly for pulling the plug… But what if we had known then what we know now? We know now that the overhauled counterinsurgency strategy devised by General David Petraeus- the ‘surge’ – would prove spectacularly successful, driving Al Qaeda in Iraq from its strongholds, and killing thousands of its fighters, supporters, and leaders. We know now that US losses in Iraq would plummet to the lowest levels of the war, with just five Americans killed in combat in July 2008, compared with 66 fatalities in the same month a year ago- and with 137 in November 2004. We know now that the sectarian bloodletting would be dramatically reduced, with numerous Sunni tribal leaders abandoning their former Al Qaeda allies, and Shi’ite radical Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army being thoroughly routed by the Iraqi military. We know now that by the summer of 2008, the Iraqi government would meet all but three of the 18 benchmarks set by Congress to demonstrate security, economic progress, and political reconciliation. And we know now that, far from being undermined by the campaign in Iraq, the wider war against Islamist violence would show significant progress, with terrorism outside Iraq’s borders having ‘in fact gone way down over the past five years,’ as Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria noted in May- and with popular support for jihadist organizations plummeting across the Muslim world. So what does hindsight counsel today? That Iraq is a pointless quagmire- or that it is a costly but winnable war, in which patience, tenacity, and smarts have a good chance of succeeding?” – Jeff Jacoby

“The reaction of the American Left to John Edwards’s sex scandal is nothing short of flabbergasting. Since when is sex outside of marriage a disqualifier for merely speaking at a political convention? Since when is having sexual relations with that woman in your office anything wrong? Since when do we judge? The difference here seems to be that Elizabeth Edwards has cancer. So only fatal disease makes the bonds of marriage sacred? Although the last thing I want to look to be doing is making excuses for adultery- what he did was wrong- the John Edwards incident begs Americans to look in the mirror. If we think what John Edwards did with Rielle Hunter is wrong, why do we think it’s wrong? Because marriage is at the foundation of our society and we should do what we can to protect every last one? Or simply because having fun while your wife is fighting a fatal disease is a lousy thing to do? I don’t know how we can condemn John Edwards when Americans have been known to cheer for cheaters in movies, watch celebs do it all the time as a form of perverse entertainment, and even insist we’re not sure what exactly ‘marriage’ means.” – Kathryn Jean Lopez

“Senator Obama has also said many times that he is against ‘special interests.’ But, like most politicians who say that, he means that he is against other politicians’ special interests. His own special interests are never called special interests. Neither are the environmental extremists who support the Democrats called special interests. But the green zealots who have for decades blocked the country from using oil within our own borders- more oil than in Saudi Arabia, by the way- are also among the special interests with a big voice in the Democratic Party. They are also a major factor in shutting down the democratic voting process- in this case, in the House of Representatives, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to allow a vote on drilling for oil in places where the green zealots don’t want drilling. The Congressional Democrats could of course vote to continue forbidding drilling in those places. But voters paying $4 a gallon for gas are not likely to agree with the green zealots- and recent polls show that they do not. Rather than lose votes in the November elections by voting with the green zealots, or lose the money that the green zealots contribute to the Democratic Party coffers, Nancy Pelosi simply shut down the House of Representatives, so that there could be no votes, and turned off the lights so that C-SPAN could not broadcast Republicans’ speeches protesting what happened. After all, what is democracy compared to support from the green zealots?” – Thomas Sowell

“I must confess that I am spending an awful lot of time thinking about Barack Obama. I hasten to add that it’s not, as is the case with Chris Matthews, because the Senator sends shivers up my leg. Rather, it’s because I simply can’t figure out how he’s managed to convince so many people that he should be the President of the United States… To be perfectly honest, I invariably feel that way about the candidates the Democrats try to foist off on us. But, as a rule, guys like Dukakis, Gore and Kerry are just typical party hacks. But at least none of them attended a racist church, they didn’t associate with known terrorists and they usually didn’t display their contempt for national symbols and the U.S. military quite so blatantly. Liberals have tried to convince me that Obama is brilliant. I find that odd because he has said that there are 57 states, that JFK got the Russians to remove their missiles from Cuba by sitting down and chatting with Khrushchev, and that Iran doesn’t really constitute an actual threat because they don’t spend as much money on weaponry as we do. Funny, but ‘brilliant’ isn’t the first word that comes to mind. But what do liberals know? They were also convinced that Jimmy Carter was intelligent.” – Burt Prelutsky

“Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters.” – Samuel Adams

“The principle of government control over information is inseparable from the principle of government control over people’s lives.” – James Bovard

“Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise.” – Sir Francis Bacon

“When asked what America’s greatest moral failing was, theological Obama said it was our collective failure to ‘abide by that basic precept in [the Book of] Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.’ For Obama the politician, such scriptural quotations often serve as an all-inclusive writ to impose his religious views on others when it comes to fighting poverty, global warming, racism, etc. But when the question turns to abortion, political Obama insists on a policy of moral agnosticism and political laissez-faire.” – Jonah Goldberg

“Obama is the only elected official on record to ever vote in favor of denying life-saving medical care to children who had been born but that were struggling for life. Is that a decision too confusing so as to be ‘above the pay grade’ as well?” – Kevin McCullough

“It is now clear why Barack Obama has refused John McCain’s offer of joint town hall appearances during the fall campaign. McCain is obviously better at them.” – Michael Gerson

“Candidly talking about racial issues doesn’t make you a racist any more than being aware of gender differences makes you a sexist.” – Terry Paulson

“The overwhelming votes for Obama in some virtually all-white states show that many Americans are ready to move beyond race. But Obama himself wants to have it both ways, by attributing racist notions to the McCain camp that has never made race an issue. The problem with clever people is that they don’t know when to stop being clever- and Senator Obama is a very clever man, perhaps ‘too clever by half’ as the British say.” – Thomas Sowell

“Police in Denver are getting ready for the Democratic Convention. They’re ordering the stun guns, the barbed wire, the plastic handcuffs… and that’s just for Bill Clinton’s room.” – Craig Ferguson

“Nancy Pelosi threatened to strip Joe Lieberman of his Homeland Security chairmanship if he doesn’t stop criticizing Barack Obama. She’s in the House and he’s in the Senate. The only power Nancy Pelosi has to strip Joe Lieberman is if she decides to moonlight as an airport screener and he comes through her checkpoint.” – Argus Hamilton

“I could care less about the color of Barack Obama’s skin, but the thinness of it is starting to wear on me.” – Dennis Miller

“Mr. Obama has a deep, rich voice. Coming from his mouth, nonsense sounds good. But it’s still nonsense.” – Jack Kelly

“Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party generally.” – George Washington

“There are two other issues with which Mr. Obama must grapple, and far from helping with any of these, Mr. Biden actually makes Mr. Obama’s path more difficult. The first is that Mr. Obama’s other big challenge is convincing moderate Americans he shares their values. He is already seen by many as a liberal, big-city politician who says people cling to guns and religion out of bitterness, associates with radicals, and attended a church with a radical theology. Mr. Biden is a fierce foe of gun rights, ardently opposes restrictions on abortion that have widespread support and promotes gay rights. He supports higher taxes, bigger government and socialized healthcare. That doesn’t exactly help Mr. Obama with blue-collar voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. The second is Mr. Biden’s lack of executive experience. Not only has he never been a governor or a cabinet secretary, he has never been a mayor, an agency head, or served in any other executive role, not even prosecutor or military officer. Given that Mr. Obama also lacks that experience, having two career legislators heading the executive branch of our government might create doubts. … More broadly, it cuts against Mr. Obama’s central campaign theme of change. His message is Washington is broken, and the old establishment needs to be swept away in favor of new blood and a new vision. How does picking someone who has been in Washington a decade longer than Mr. McCain jive with Mr. Obama’s contention that Mr. McCain has been in Washington too long to change it?” – Ken Blackwell

“Alas, the abandonment of babies to suffer and die on the modern equivalent of a Spartan cliff did not require confronting evil when Obama saw it. Indeed, Obama turned a blind eye, leading the battle to defeat Illinois’ version of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which would have treated babies living, albeit briefly, outside the womb as, well, babies. He opposed the bill in 2003 (as he had a similar one in 2001), saying it would undermine Roe v. Wade. But even after Roe-neutral language was included- wording good enough that it won support for the federal version of the bill from abortion-rights stalwart Sen. Barbara Boxer- Obama remained unmoved. Until this week, Obama denied that he ever took such a position. His campaign now admits that he was, in effect, lying when he said pro-lifers were lying about his record. But simultaneously, Obama defends a position that comes dismayingly close to the layman’s understanding of infanticide while claiming any other position would require him to play God.” – Jonah Goldberg

“I still think a one-term pledge could win it for [John McCain], because it would allow America to punt. It would make the 2008 choice seem less fateful. People don’t mind the chance to defer a choice when they’re not at all sure about the product… More, it would allow Mr. McCain to say he means to face the tough problems ahead with a uniquely bipartisan attitude and without having to care a fig for re-election. That itself would give him a new power, one that would make up for the lost juice of lame duckdom. It would also serve to separate him from the hyperpolitical operating styles of the Clinton-Bush years, from the constant campaign. And Mr. McCain would still have what he always wanted, the presidency, perhaps a serious and respectable one that accrued special respect because it involved some sacrifice on his part. A move that would help him win doubtful voters, win disaffected Democrats, allow some Republicans to not have to get drunk to vote for him, and that could possibly yield real results for his country. This seems to me such a potentially electrifying idea that he’d likely walk out of his convention as the future president. Mr. McCain told Politico on Wednesday that he’s not considering a one-term pledge. Why would he not? Such modesty of intent is at odds with the political personality. The thing that makes them want to rule America is the thing that stops them from thinking of prudent limits. This mindset crosses all political categories.” – Peggy Noonan

“We, the members of the New Republican Party, believe that the preservation and enhancement of the values that strengthen and protect individual freedom, family life, communities and neighborhoods and the liberty of our beloved nation should be at the heart of any legislative or political program presented to the American people.” – Ronald Reagan

“The 110th Congress, whose term officially ends in January, hasn’t… attacked high gasoline prices. But it has used its powers to celebrate watermelons and to decree the origins of the word ‘baseball.’ Barring a burst of legislative activity after Labor Day, this group of 535 men and women will have accomplished a rare feat. In two decades of record keeping, no sitting Congress has passed fewer public laws at this point in the session- 294 so far- than this one. That’s not to say they’ve been idle. On the flip side, no Congress in the same 20 years has been so prolific when it comes to proposing resolutions- more than 1,900, according to a tally by the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense. With the mostly symbolic measures, Congress has saluted such milestones as the Idaho Potato Commission’s 70th anniversary and recognized soil as an ‘essential natural resource.’ As legislation on gasoline prices, tax fixes and predatory lending languish, Congress has designated May 5-9 as National Substitute Teacher Recognition Week, and set July 28 as the Day of the American Cowboy. The resolutions, which generally don’t carry the force of law, can originate in either the House or Senate. However, some types of resolutions establish the federal budget, authorize the president to go to war, or condemn actions such as the genocide in Darfur. Even among the 294 laws passed thus far, many were symbolic in nature. Many of the post offices named by this Congress honor servicemen and -women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the 435-member House, fully one-quarter of the workweek is typically devoted to debating and passing symbolic measures.” – Elizabeth Williamson

“The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man.” – James Madison

“In selecting Sen. Joseph Biden as his running mate, Barack Obama gains some needed foreign policy expertise, but loses some credibility. If Washington is as bad as these two say it is, was Biden a contributor or an enabler during his six Senate terms? If 36 years in the Senate doesn’t make you an ‘insider’ and part of the problem, what does?” – Cal Thomas

“When Obama, the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, according to the 2007 vote scoring done by National Journal, picks the third-most-liberal senator, does that count as reaching across the aisle?” – Jonah Goldberg

“Joe Biden wasn’t even on Barack Obama’s short list until August 7, when Russia suddenly invaded the neighboring country of Georgia. That’s the word from key Democrats meeting here in Denver who say the Obama campaign’s need to shore up its foreign policy bona fides helped push the Delaware senator to the top of the pack. ‘We didn’t pick our nominee. Vladimir Putin did,’ is how one Democrat, who professes to be pleased with the Biden choice, put it.” – John Fund

“Just what changes the old Democratic order when you have Bill Clinton speaking one night and Hillary Clinton the next night? Is Mayor Daley, Obama’s strongest backer and the boss of the corrupt Chicago Democratic machine, a symbol of change? You look at this… convention and you have to ask yourself, ‘Have I not seen this show before?”‘ – Michael Reagan

“[W]hat does one call a lawmaker who would condemn to death the child survivor of a botched abortion by permitting doctors to refuse that child, once born alive, potentially life-saving medical treatment and nutrition? A number of things come to mind. Mr. President isn’t one of them.” – Matt Barber

“You know why they call it birth control? Because it’s meant to stop a birth from happening nine months later. We know when life begins. Everyone who ever bought a pack of condom knows when life begins. To put it another way, with conception something begins. What do you think it is? A car? A 1948 Buick?” – Peggy Noonan

“The timid, civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life.” – Henry David Thoreau

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell

“It takes the highest courage to utter unpopular truths.” – Herbert Spencer

“A sure sign of a genius is that all of the dunces are in a confederacy against him.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“I would like to take you seriously, but to do so would affront your intelligence.” – William F. Buckley Jr.

“Senator Joseph Biden has been anointed by the Chosen One to be his running mate for Vice President. That locks down the important swing state of Delaware and puts the combined fatuous egotism of the ticket into overload territory.” – Roger Fraley

“Barack Obama is finally ready for the dreaded 3 a.m. telephone call. Now he can answer it and hand the phone to Joe Biden… Joe starts talking and figures he’ll eventually think of something to say. Sometimes he does, and often wishes he hadn’t.” – Wesley Pruden

“Obama wanted to gave himself a boost riding into Denver. But his shot in the arm only put a bullet in his foot. Obama-Biden? These guys are gonna be more laughs than Tom and Jerry.” – Martin Sieff

“Barack Obama has made his economic thinking excruciatingly clear, so it also is clear that his running mate should have been not Joe Biden, but Rumpelstiltskin. He spun straw into gold, a skill an Obama administration will need to fulfill its fairy-tale promises.” – George Will

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