Pundit Wire

February 2011

February 1, 2011

“The greatest threat to the security and prosperity of the United States is our debt. We are much closer to the Greece, Ireland, Spain precipice than I think any of us would like to believe.”

- Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), The New York Times, Jan. 20, 2011

February 2, 2011

“If they quote you, make damn sure they heard you.”

- Former First Lady Barbara Bush’s advice to Hillary Clinton on the news media, Newsweek, Nov. 30, 1992

February 3, 2011

“On the right, the word “exceptional” – or “exceptionalism” – lately has become a litmus test for patriotism. It’s the new flag lapel pin, the one-word pocket edition of the U.S. Constitution.”

- Columnist and pundit Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post, Jan. 30, 2011

February 4, 2011

“Obama for the first two years has tried to forge a consensus in Washington. He needs to take a page from Reagan and forge a consensus in America. Let his aides worry about the back and forth in D.C. He needs to be communicating with the American people.”

- Ken Duberstein, Reagan chief of staff, Time, Feb. 7, 2011 issue

February 5, 2011

“When a congresswoman can be shot in a parking lot and a professor who falls short of Glenn Beck’s standards of political correctness can be, however anonymously, targeted for execution, we have moved well beyond democracy – to a tyranny of the heavily armed.”

- Barbara Ehrenreich, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 26, 2011

February 6, 2011

“I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation – from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I’ll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.”

- Ronald Reagan, Farewell address to the nation, Jan. 11, 1989

February 7, 2011

“Politicians like stability. Bankers like stability. But the “stability” we have so long embraced in the Arab world wasn’t really stability. It was repression.”

- Columnist Anne Applebaum, The Washington Post, Jan. 31, 2011

February 8, 2011

“Do we still believe that our country is best served when the press remembers that it is supposed to be a watchdog—not a lap dog, not an attack dog, but a watch dog, a dog that barks when there’s something suspicious going on? Do we believe—do we understand—that there’s a price to be paid, sometimes a grievous price, when this watchdog falls asleep on the job?”

– Dan Rather, Atlanta Press Club Annual Gala, Keynote Address, May 3, 2007

February 9, 2011

“The presidency has a funny way of making a person feel the need to pray.”

- President Barack Obama, National Prayer Breakfast speech, as reported in USA Today, Feb. 3, 2011

February 10, 2011

“Revolutions usually start with enthusiasm and end in tears.”

- George Soros, The Washington Post, Feb. 3, 2011

February 11, 2011

“Congress meets a lot, but it rarely comes together.”

- Representative Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO), on the need for Congress to recognize the importance of cohesion for the betterment of the nation, Meet the Press, Jan. 9, 2011

February 12, 2011

“Today’s conventional wisdom isn’t complacent. Its hair is on fire.”

- Stephen Sestanovich, professor at Columbia University’s School of International Affairs and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Policy Magazine, Jan/Feb 2011

February 13, 2011

“Partisanship is the new racism. We love to criticize it, and we love to claim we’ve transcended it. We recognize it in our enemies but not in ourselves. We use it to discriminate against others. And increasingly, we find sophisticated ways to mask it in a veneer of open-mindedness.”

- Shankar Vedantam, Slate.com, Jan. 24, 2011

February 14, 2011

“The advance of freedom is the great story of our time.”

- President George W. Bush, in a SOTU address, Jan. 31, 2006

February 15, 2011

“It has been our fate as a nation not to have ideologies but to be one.”

- Historian Richard Hofstadter, The Nation, Feb. 20, 1989

February 16, 2011

“We tie ourselves in knots when we act as if democracy is good for the United States and Israel but not for the Arab world. For far too long, we’ve treated the Arab world as just an oil field.”

- Columnist Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2011

February 17, 2011

“People don’t have faith in government. They have faith in their neighbors.”

- Maria Del Socorro Velazquez Vargas, a sociologist, on families who have chosen to stay in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, despite widespread violence, New York Times, Feb. 9, 2011

February 18, 2011

“I think the effect of Fox News on American public life has been to create a level of cynicism about the news in general. It has contributed to the sense that they are all just out there with a political agenda, but Fox is just more overt about it. And I think that’s unhealthy.”

- Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, interviewed at the National Press Club, Jan. 31, 2011

February 19, 2011

“If the Egyptian people can create a democracy in the heart of the Arab world, it will be a more significant contribution to civilization than the great pyramids.”

- Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC), State of the Union, CNN, Feb. 13, 2011

February 20, 2011

“What Americans don’t care much about is the piffle we put on TV these days, what they don’t care about is boring, irrelevant, badly told stories, and what they really hate is the presumption that they’re too stupid to know the difference.”

- Christiane Amanpour, on the current state of journalism, keynote speech at the Edward R. Murrow Awards Ceremony, Sept. 13, 2000

February 21, 2011

“There are policies, and there is persona, and a lot can be told by persona.”

- Douglas Brinkley, presidential historian, on the importance of personality in political leaders, Time, Feb. 7, 2011

February 22, 2011

“I hate this damn job.”

- Sarah Palin, quoted by the Anchorage Daily News, in an email sent to a staffer before she resigned as governor.

February 23, 2011

“We stand for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it.”

- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on internet freedom, reported in The Washington Post, Feb. 6, 2011

February 24, 2011

“Our morbidly obese federal government needs not just behavior modification but bariatric surgery.”

– Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, speech at the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, Feb. 11, 2011

February 25, 2011

“Ideally, I’d be an idealist, but reality keeps getting in the way.”

- William Falk, Editor-in-Chief, The Week, Feb. 18, 2011

February 26, 2011

“The media’s modern panopticon has an awful way of reducing us all to the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

– Journalist Michelle Goldberg, The Daily Beast, Feb. 17, 2011

February 27, 2011

“Americans become polarized less over the substance of their beliefs than over how seriously to take those beliefs.”

– Samuel P. Huntington, American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony, 1981

February 28, 2011

“Gov. Scott Walker, a Tea Party-tinged Republican, is the advance guard of a new GOP push to dismantle public-sector unions as an electoral force.”

- Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post, Feb. 26, 2011