Quote-a-palooza

“This is hardly the first presidential campaign to pit an antiabortion Republican ticket against pro-choice Democrats. Never before, however, has the difference been so stark. Obama advocates abortion rights even more sweeping than those enacted under Roe v. Wade. ‘The first thing I’d do as president,’ he assured the Planned Parenthood Action Fund last year, ‘is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.’ The measure would not only codify Roe, it would eliminate even restrictions on abortion that the Supreme Court has allowed—the federal ban on government funding of abortion, for example, or the law prohibiting partial-birth abortion. During last month’s forum at the Saddleback Church, Obama was asked when ‘a baby gets human rights.’ He fudged: ‘Answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.’ But there is nothing hesitant about Obama’s abortion stance. As an Illinois lawmaker, he opposed a bill making it clear that premature babies born alive after surviving a failed abortion must be protected and cannot be killed or simply left to die. Even after virtually identical legislation—the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002—passed unanimously in the U.S. House and Senate, Obama continued to oppose the state version. On abortion, no presidential candidate has ever been so extreme. And when has a Republican ticket ever been so unabashedly antiabortion?” —Jeff Jacoby

“Let me say of myself and almost everyone I know in the press, all the chattering classes and political strategists and inside dopesters of the Amtrak Acela Line: We live in a bubble and have around us bubble people. We are Bubbleheads… And when you forget you’re a Bubblehead you get in trouble, you misjudge things. For one thing, you assume evangelical Christians will be appalled and left agitated by the circumstances of Mrs. Palin’s daughter. But modern American evangelicals are among the last people who’d judge her harshly. It is the left that is about to go crazy with Puritan judgments; it is the right that is about to show what mellow looks like. Religious conservatives know something’s wrong with us, that man’s a mess. They are not left dazed by the latest applications of this fact. ‘This just in—there’s a lot of sinning going on out there’ is not a headline they’d understand to be news. So the media’s going to wait for the Christian right to rise up and condemn Mrs. Palin, and they’re not going to do it because it’s not their way, and in any case her problems are their problems. Christians lived through the second half of the 20th century, and the first years of the 21st. They weren’t immune from the culture, they just eventually broke from it, or came to hold themselves in some ways apart from it. I think the media will explain the lack of condemnation as ‘Republican loyalty’ and ‘talking points.’ But that’s not what it will be. Another Bubblehead blind spot. I’m bumping into a lot of critics who do not buy the legitimacy of small town mayorship… and executive as opposed to legislative experience. But executives, even of small towns, run something. There are 262 cities in this country with a population of 100,000 or more. But there are close to a hundred thousand small towns with ten thousand people or less. ‘You do the math,’ the conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway told me. ‘We are a nation of Wasillas, not Chicagos’.” —Peggy Noonan

“[Sarah Palin is]… the object of the cultural disdain of a left that loves the working class in theory, but is mystified or offended by its lifestyle and conservative values in reality. If there’s ever been an exemplar of the rural America that, in Barack Obama’s telling, ‘bitterly’ clings to its guns and religion, it’s Sarah Palin. It’s her misfortune to be a pioneer with the wrong ideology. So much bile was directed at Clarence Thomas because he was the ‘wrong’ kind of black man. Pro-life, pro-gun and a down-the-line, if populist, conservative, Palin is a traitor to her gender and thus encounters the sort of fury always directed at apostates… A lot of Palin-hatred is couched in terms of her lack of experience. Fair enough, but there’s a tone of contemptuous dismissiveness about the experience that she does have—fueled no doubt by her career in ‘fly-over country’ so remote no one really flies over it. The Obama campaign is loath to admit that she’s governor of Alaska, pretending instead she’s still mayor of tiny Wasilla, and the outraged commentary in the press makes it sound like the vice presidency is an office of such import that it would be better if the newcomer were at the top of the ticket and the wizened pro at the bottom—just like the Democrats.” —Rich Lowry

“In our administration, our mission has been to appoint the best qualified people we could find, to fill substantial jobs with substantial individuals. And the result of this merit-based approach, not surprisingly, is that more women have served in top-level policy positions in our administration than in any previous one. And they’ve served with distinction, earning promotions and reappointments at a very high rate. We can be proud of what you and the other women have accomplished…I’m very happy about everything that American women are doing, yes, because it is good for women, but also because it’s good for America.” —Ronald Reagan

“Beginning in the 1950s, conservatives forged a political philosophy and, over the next several decades, built an intellectual infrastructure to popularize their principles and apply them to policy problems. And they found political leaders who could implement those solutions. In short, conservatism advanced because conservatives refused to get in tune with the times. They possessed the moral vision and intellectual courage to compose a better tune. They offered leadership, and they accepted the responsibilities that go with it. But too many Republicans have spent the last several years demonstrating that they can’t be trusted to lead… If they want to regain power, Republicans would be wise to re-embrace conservative principles. Liberalism is a bankrupt philosophy that has been tried and found wanting in one major policy issue after another, from national defense to social welfare, from education to the national economic policy. That’s why candidates run away from liberal ideas when it’s time for a general election. Republicans must run toward conservative policies if they want the tides of history to sweep them back into power.” —Ed Feulner

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