Quote-a-palooza

“Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country.” –George Washington

“It’s been my responsibility, my duty and very much my honor to serve as Commander in Chief of this nation’s Armed Forces these past eight years. That is the most sacred, most important ask of the Presidency. Since our nation’s founding, the primary obligation of the national government has been the common defense of these United States. But as I have sought to perform this sacred task as best I could, I have done so with the knowledge that my role in this day-to-day-to-day effort, from sunrise to sunrise, every moment of every hour of every day of every year, is a glancing one compared to yours. … But it’s not just your fellow Americans who owe you a debt. No, I believe many more do, for I believe that military service in the Armed Forces of the United States is a profound form of service to all humankind. You stand engaged in an effort to keep America safe at home, to protect our allies and interests abroad, to keep the seas and the skies free of threat. Just as America stands as an example to the world of the inestimable benefits of freedom and democracy, so too an America with the capacity to project her power for the purpose of protecting and expanding freedom and democracy abroad benefits the suffering people of the world.” –Ronald Reagan

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” –Thomas Paine

“To be sure, the American people have handed power over to the Democrats. But today there is a categorical difference between what Republicans stand for and the principles of individual freedom. Parties are all about getting people elected to political office; and the practice of politics too often takes the form of professional juvenile delinquency: short-sighted and self-centered. This was certainly true of the Bush presidency. Too often the policy agenda was determined by short-sighted political considerations and an abiding fear that the public simply would not understand limited government and expanded individual freedoms. How else do we explain ‘compassionate conservatism,’ No Child Left Behind, the Medicare drug benefit and the most dramatic growth in federal spending since LBJ’s Great Society? … Ronald Reagan, for example, held an unshakably positive vision of American capitalism. He didn’t feel a need to qualify the meaning of his conservatism. He understood that big government was cruel and uncaring of individual aspirations. Small government conservatism was, by definition, compassionate — offering every American a way up to self-determination and economic prosperity. Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006 because voters no longer saw Republicans as the party of limited government. They have since rejected virtually every opportunity to recapture this identity. But their failure to do so must not be misconstrued as a rejection of principles of individual liberty by the American people. The evidence suggests we are still a nation of pocketbook conservatives most happy when government has enough respect to leave us alone and to mind its own business. The worrisome question is whether either political party understands this.” –former House Majority Leader Dick Armey

“Conservatism is not in trouble — the Republican Party is. Too many of its leaders at the ballot box or in its conservative journals have lost sight of the blindingly obvious: Ronald Reagan was not just a winning personality whose time has come and gone. He was in fact the living embodiment of a set of timeless principles that are not only the gravity of this political world we live in but its oxygen as well. To borrow his once famous query: If not now, when? If not us, who?” –Jeffrey Lord

“There are 15 cabinet departments, nine of which control various aspects of the U.S. economy. They are the Departments of: Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Energy, Labor, Agriculture, Commerce, and Interior. In addition, there is the alphabet soup cluster of federal agencies such as: the IRS, the FRB and FDIC, the EPA, FDA, SEC, CFTC, NLRB, FTC, FCC, FERC, FEMA, FAA, CAA, INS, OHSA, CPSC, NHTSA, EEOC, BATF, DEA, NIH, and NASA. Here’s my question to you: Can one be sane and at the same time hold that ours is an unregulated laissez-faire economy? Better yet, tell me what a businessman, or for that matter you, can do that does not involve some kind of government regulation. A businessman must seek government approval for the minutest detail of his operation or face the wrath of some government agency, whether it’s at the federal, state or local level. Just about everything we buy or use has some kind of government dictate involved whether it’s package labeling, how many gallons of water to flush toilets or what pharmaceuticals can be prescribed. You say, ‘Williams, there’s a reason for this government control.’ Yes, there’s a reason for everything but that does not change the fact that there is massive government control over our economy.” –Walter E. Williams

“There is no time to lick wounds, point fingers, and wallow in post-election mud. I’m getting a lot of moan-y, sad-face ‘What do we do now, Michelle?’ e-mails. What do we do now? We do what we’ve always done. We stand up for our principles, as we always have — through Democrat administrations and Republican administrations, in bear markets or bull markets, in peacetime and wartime. We stay positive and focused. We keep the faith. We do not apologize for our beliefs. We do not re-brand them, re-form them, or relinquish them. We defend them. We pay respect to the office of the presidency. We count our blessings and recommit ourselves to our constitutional republic. We gird our loins, to borrow a phrase from our Vice President-elect. We lock and load our ideological ammunition. We fight.” –Michelle Malkin

“[M]any of the indices for the GOP are dreadful, especially that they lost the vote of two-thirds of those aged 18 to 29. They lost a generation! If that continues in coming years, it will be a rolling wave of doom.” –Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan

“Still, the Republican Party retains a remarkably strong pulse, considering that McCain’s often chaotic campaign earned 46 percent of the popular vote while tacking into terrible winds.” –Washington Post columnist George Will

“Obama will try to convert those temporary moderate and conservative votes of his into permanent liberal and moderate voters — just as Reagan did in reverse between 1980 and 1984. If we conservatives can make our case, the election of 2008 will be a blip, just a kick-the-bums-out election. If Obama makes his case, he may have moved the center of political gravity to the left for a generation. Every conservative man and woman, to battle stations.” –columnist Tony Blankley

“History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Government price-fixing, once started, has alike no justice and no end. It is an economic folly from which this country has every right to be spared.” –Calvin Coolidge

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” –William F. Buckley Jr.

“As Congress gears up to pass another spending ‘stimulus’ bill, there’s one political silver lining: Democrats are being forced to abandon the pretense of fiscal conservatism known as ‘pay as you go’ budgeting. Late last week the leader of the House Blue Dog Coalition, Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper, announced that with Barack Obama about to enter the White House, ‘I’m not sure the old rules are relevant anymore.’ Why not? Because, Mr. Cooper said, ‘It would be unfair to the new President to put him in a budget straitjacket.’ Democrats ran on ‘paygo’ in 2006, promising to offset any new spending increases or tax cuts with comparable tax increases or spending cuts. Once in charge on Capitol Hill they quickly made exceptions, waiving paygo no fewer than 12 times to accommodate some $398 billion in new deficit spending — not that the press corps bothered to notice. That didn’t stop Majority Leader Steny Hoyer from announcing in May that ‘We’re absolutely committed to paygo. Speaker [Nancy Pelosi] is committed to paygo. I’m very committed to paygo. Our caucus is committed to paygo.’ Yet now Mr. Cooper is delivering official last rites, as the Washington spending machinery powers up in earnest. Paygo was always a big con designed not to reduce spending but to stop tax cuts. It was invented to stop the GOP Congress and then a Republican President, but it is inconvenient when Democrats run the show. With the recession available as an excuse for just about anything, get ready for the first $1 trillion federal budget deficit. And don’t expect any howling from the Blue Dogs.” –The Wall Street Journal

“[I]t wasn’t that limited-government conservatism was a bad product; it was that Bush and congressional Republicans operated it wrong. A Rolls Royce is, obviously, a great product. But if you’re driving down the highway at 70 miles per house and suddenly shift from ‘Drive’ to ‘Park,’ you’re in for a world of hurt. Of course, it wouldn’t be because the product was bad; it would be because you tried to get it to do something it wasn’t intended to do. That, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly the problem with ‘big government conservatism’.” –political consultant Chuck Muth

“Joe Biden was assigned the code name Celtic by the White House Secret Service detail Monday. It’s critically important that he’s protected. God gave America Joe Biden so that comedians would have something to do for the next [four] years.” –comedian Argus Hamilton

“Of course, lots of sour news about the economy. The federal government has announced that due to the bad economy, it is going to have to lay off 40,000 postal workers. Yeah, 40,000 disgruntled postal workers. What could possibly go wrong?” –comedian Conan O’Brien

Jay Leno: President Bush and Barack Obama had their big meeting [Monday] at the White House. And they found that with all their differences, they have one thing in common: Neither trusts the Clintons. … There’s a new rumor that Hillary Clinton may end up being secretary of state. Which means she would have to spend the next four years traveling all around the world. To which Bill said, “Yes!” … In the Senate, 90-year-old Robert Byrd will step down as Appropriations Committee chair. He’ll be replaced by Hawaiian Sen. Daniel Inouye, who is 84. Finally, we’re getting some young blood in there. … As you know, President-elect Obama promised his daughters a puppy if they moved to the White House. He’s already getting advice on what the best breed of dog to get. For example, Bill Clinton told him that the Oval Office is a great place for a husky female.

“I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty.” –Thomas Jefferson
“Consider that in 1980, when Ronald Reagan won his first presidential election, the public was self-identified as 46 percent moderate, 28 percent conservative and 17 percent liberal. But by the 1984 Reagan re-election, the public had shifted to 42 percent moderate, 33 percent conservative and 16 percent liberal — a statistically significant shift to the right. In those four years, Reagan had persuaded 5 percent of the electorate to move largely from moderate to conservative. And that 5 percent has stayed conservative for 24 years, right through the 2008 election. It is that 5 percent that has made America a center-right country rather than a centrist country — allowing a fairly conservative Republican Party to win congressional and presidential elections most of the time. That is why it is so vital for both the Republican Party and a newly aroused conservative movement to work feverishly to make the case to the broadest possible public for our right-of-center views during the next four years.” –columnist Tony Blankley

“As one liberal academic administrator said in justifying his Draconian action in suppressing a Christian viewpoint, ‘We cannot tolerate the intolerable.’ This self-blinding, superior mindset explains how liberals can accuse conservatives of racism for their legitimate political differences with Barack Obama while demeaning, with racist epithets, Condoleezza Rice or Clarence Thomas. It’s how they can mock conservatives for being close-minded while unilaterally declaring the end to the debate on global warming because of a mythical consensus they have decreed. It’s how they can demand every vote count and exclude military ballots. It’s how they can glamorize Jimmy Carter for gallivanting to foreign countries to supervise ‘fair elections’ and pooh-pooh ACORN’s serial voter fraud in their own country. It’s how they can threaten the tax-exempt status of evangelical churches for preaching on values, even when the churches don’t endorse candidates, but fully support a liberal church’s direct electioneering for specific candidates. … It’s how they can oppose the death penalty for the guilty but protect the death penalty for the innocent unborn. … If you believe the left is tolerant, open-minded and democratic, you’re in for a rude awakening.” –columnist David Limbaugh

“Barack and Michelle Obama are poised to commit a classic act of limousine-liberal hypocrisy — in this case, turning their backs on tens of thousands of inner-city kids in Washington, D.C. Public schools, it seems, are good enough for poor and middle-class families, but not for rich families like the Obamas. In July, when he addressed the NAACP’s annual convention, Sen. Barack Obama expressed his devotion to American public schools, vowing he would not ‘walk away from them’ by supporting school-choice programs like Sen. John McCain did. … There were 59,616 students enrolled in the D.C. public schools in 2006, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. If McCain’s plan to increase by 2,000 the number of vouchers available in the District were enacted, taxpayers would still be spending $15,798 per student per year to send more than 55,000 kids through a school system where about nine out of 10 students do not learn to read or do math at grade-level proficiency by the time they ‘graduate’ from elementary school. What is Obama’s plan to deal with this? Spend $18 billion more in federal tax dollars on public education (as he promised in his campaign) — and send his own kids to extremely expensive private schools. Currently, Obama’s two daughters (ages 7 and 10) attend the University of Chicago Lab School, where tuition is $18,492 for grades 1-4 and $20,286 for grades 5-8. When Michelle Obama visited Washington this week, she toured only two prospective schools for her daughters: Sidwell Friends, where lower-school tuition is $28,442; and Georgetown Day, where tuition is $27,445 for grades 1-5.” –columnist Terence Jeffrey

“There are a great many God-fearing, dedicated, noble men and women in public life, present company included. And yes, we need your help to keep us ever-mindful of the ideas and the principles that brought us into the public arena in the first place. The basis of those ideals and principles is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted. The American experiment in democracy rests on this insight. Its discovery was the great triumph of our Founding Fathers, voiced by William Penn when he said: ‘If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants’.” –Ronald Reagan

“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.” –John Adams

“If an American is to amount to anything he must rely upon himself, and not upon the State; he must take pride in his own work, instead of sitting idle to envy the luck of others. He must face life with resolute courage, win victory if he can, and accept defeat if he must, without seeking to place on his fellow man a responsibility which is not theirs.” –Theodore Roosevelt

“If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too.” –W. Somerset Maugham

“He is a man of sense who does not grieve for what he has not, but rejoices in what he has.” –Epictetus

“Now that distrust of markets is high, Americans are supposed to believe that the institution they trust least — Congress — will pony up $1 trillion and then passively recede, never putting its 10 thumbs, like a manic Jack Horner, into the pie? Surely Congress will direct the executive branch to show compassion for this, that and the other industry. And it will mandate ‘socially responsible’ spending — an infinitely elastic term — by the favored companies.” –columnist George Will

“Yes, letting GM go into bankruptcy would be scary. But a GM bailout merely kicks GM’s problems down the road while spreading the fear about where Uncle Sam’s big feet will land next. Besides, bankruptcy isn’t the end of the world. It’s the means by which bad companies restructure to fix themselves. Bailouts are the means by which governments subsidize bad companies.” –National Review editor Jonah Goldberg

“As usual, government’s stumbling, bureaucratic ‘solutions’ exacerbate problems that free people, allowed to pursue their own self-interest, would address on their own. We’d still suffer some tough times — it’s painful when bubbles pop — but recovery comes sooner when businesses must quickly fix their own mistakes — or die.” –John Stossel, co-anchor of ABC News’ “20/20”

“Part of the problem is that we have enjoyed such unparalleled freedoms and prosperity that we have been lulled into the false notion that they will continue in perpetuity, even as we betray, to ever-greater extremes, our founding principles. But traditionalists understand that there is a tipping point beyond which this incessant socialist piggybacking on our capitalistic economic system and these ever-deepening encroachments on our scheme of government (for example, through judicial activism) will finally bring us to our knees.” –columnist David Limbaugh

“Detroit is in nose dive, no doubt about that. So is a $50 billion government bailout the answer? President-elect Barack Obama thinks so, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi points in the same direction with her call for extending ’emergency and limited financial assistance’ under the $700 billion bailout plan enacted last month. Democrats clearly want something big and something soon for the Big Three. We agree that the automakers can’t go on much longer burning cash and piling up an Everest of debt. They’re close to the breaking point. But there’s a system in place for dealing with crises such as this, even at the scale of massive corporations. It’s called bankruptcy, and it should not be written off as unthinkable. Filing for Chapter 11 protection under bankruptcy law is the normal way a company stays in business when facing an unmanageable financial situation. It keeps creditors at bay while the company reorganizes under court supervision and settles its debts. In recent years it has served as a refuge for major airlines (Delta and United) which, you may notice, continued to fly while in Chapter 11 and, post-bankruptcy, fly today. Bankruptcy protection also frees companies from union contracts. Could this be why it seems to have been taken off the table as an option, at least among Democrats? We can only surmise, but it’s clear that a bankruptcy process would be rough going for the United Auto Workers.” –Investor’s Business Daily

“Statesmen … may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand… The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now, They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. … Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all government and in all the combinations of human society.” –John Adams

“The original $700 billion bailout is TARP, for Troubled Asset Recovery Program. We should call the handout frenzy the Capital Assets Recovery Program. CRAP, for short.” –Wesley Pruden, editor emeritus of The Washington Times

“The United Auto Workers said Saturday they won’t make any concessions on wages or benefits to help the Big Three. First things first. Investors are just starting to realize that General Motors is a health care provider that makes cars on the side.” –comedian Argus Hamilton

“We’ve managed to pick 42 Presidents before (43 if you count Grover Cleveland twice) without declaring any holidays before they even took office. Let’s calm down.” –columnist Michael Graham

“Barack Obama said that since he won the election he has slept in his own bed every night. After hearing this, Bill Clinton said, ‘Man, this guy has a lot to learn’.” –comedian Conan O’Brien

“Every time that we try to lift a problem from our own shoulders, and shift that problem to the hands of the government, to the same extent we are sacrificing the liberties of our people.” –John F. Kennedy

“One of the main reasons there’s all of this ‘money on the sidelines’ out there among private investors is that Wall Street doesn’t know what the government will do next. Will it bail out the auto industry? The insurance companies? Which taxes will go up? How far will interest rates go down? How long will the federal government own stakes in the banks? Will more stimulus checks go out? If so, how big will the deficit get? Interventionists, bailout czars and ‘bold experimenters’ in all parties claim to be like firefighters; they can’t stop what they’re doing until the fire is out. But this analogy only works if you understand the nature of the fire. If it’s a credit crisis, that’s one thing. If it’s uncertainty, it’s quite another. And if the problem right now is uncertainty, then these aren’t firefighters, they’re arsonists. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Congress he’d spend his kitty of tax dollars on bad mortgage-backed securities. Instead, in the spirit of bold experimentation, he’s spent much of it to date buying banks. Obama insisted he had a specific plan for the economy — but his plan seems to be to ‘project confidence.’ The problem with this ‘In Obama We Trust’ approach is that it makes private-sector decision-making very difficult. If your boss says he will lay off half his employees next month, but he doesn’t know who yet, will you buy a new house this month? In a time of stability and growth, government can afford bold, persistent experimentation. But in a time of uncertainty, the last thing it needs is more uncertainty.” –National Review Editor Jonah Goldberg

“I was always taught when growing up that when you reward bad behavior all you get is more bad behavior. From the mortgage meltdown to the automaker debacle to cities and states going under, it’s all bad behavior. It should not be rewarded. The problem here is that our culture of debt — both personal and corporate — has created a culture of dependency. Everyone is calling out to our central government to give them money. And horrors of horrors, many are willing to let the federal government take ownership stakes in these entities and have a hand in their management. That is the road to socialism. The first step to ending the culture of dependency is to tell these corporations, cities and states they need to start taking responsibility for their actions by dealing with the consequences they have created for themselves. If not, then we could accumulate a national debt that even our grandchildren will never pay off.” –columnist and former Mayor of Cincinnati Ken Blackwell

“Evil acts can be given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution or caring for the less fortunate. Let’s think about socialism. Imagine there’s an elderly widow down the street from you. She has neither the strength to mow her lawn nor enough money to hire someone to do it. Here’s my question to you that I’m almost afraid for the answer: Would you support a government mandate that forces one of your neighbors to mow the lady’s lawn each week? If he failed to follow the government orders, would you approve of some kind of punishment ranging from house arrest and fines to imprisonment? I’m hoping that the average American would condemn such a government mandate because it would be a form of slavery, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another. Would there be the same condemnation if instead of the government forcing your neighbor to physically mow the widow’s lawn, the government forced him to give the lady $40 of his weekly earnings? That way the widow could hire someone to mow her lawn. I’d say that there is little difference between the mandates. While the mandate’s mechanism differs, it is nonetheless the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another. Probably most Americans would have a clearer conscience if all the neighbors were forced to put money in a government pot and a government agency would send the widow a weekly sum of $40 to hire someone to mow her lawn. This mechanism makes the particular victim invisible but it still boils down to one person being forcibly used to serve the purposes of another. Putting the money into a government pot makes palatable acts that would otherwise be deemed morally offensive. This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, coercion or taking the property of one person, to accomplish good ends, helping one’s fellow man.” –George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams

“My fellow Americans: Over 350 years ago, a small band of Pilgrims, after gathering in their first harvest at Plymouth Colony, invited their friends and neighbors, who were Indians, to join them in a feast of thanksgiving. Together they sat around their bountiful table and bowed their heads in gratitude to the Lord for all that He had bestowed upon them. This week, so many years later, we, too, will gather with family and friends and, after saying grace, carve up a turkey, pass around the cranberries and dressing, and later share slices of pumpkin pie. We Americans have so much for which to be thankful. … We will give thanks for these and one thing more: our freedom. Yes, in America, freedom seems like the air around us: It’s there; it’s sweet, though we rarely give it a thought. Yet as the air fills our lungs, freedom fills our souls. It gives breath to our laughter and joy. It gives voice to our songs. It gives us strength as we race for our dreams. … Yes, as we gather together this Thanksgiving to ask the Lord’s blessings, as we of whatever faith we are give praises to His name, let us thank Him for our peace, prosperity, and freedom. Happy Thanksgiving!” –Ronald Reagan

“It’s not just Americans and Iraqis and Afghans who owe a debt of thanks to the U.S. soldier but all the Europeans grown plump and prosperous in a globalized economy guaranteed by the most benign hegemon in history. That said, Thanksgiving isn’t about the big geopolitical picture, but about the blessings closer to home. Last week, the state of Oklahoma celebrated its centennial, accompanied by rousing performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s eponymous anthem: ‘We know we belong to the land/And the land we belong to is grand!’ Which isn’t a bad theme song for the first Thanksgiving, either. Three hundred and eighty-six years ago, the Pilgrims thanked God because there was a place for them in this land, and it was indeed grand. The land is grander today, and that, too, is remarkable: France has lurched from Second Empires to Fifth Republics struggling to devise a lasting constitutional settlement for the same smallish chunk of real estate, but the principles that united a baker’s dozen of East Coast colonies were resilient enough to expand across a continent and halfway around the globe to Hawaii. Americans should, as always, be thankful this Thanksgiving, but they should also understand just how rare in human history their blessings are.” –columnist Mark Steyn

Advertisements