Pundit Wire

January 2012

January 1, 2012

“Sometimes it can seem that history is turning in a wide arc, toward an unknown shore. Yet the destination of history is determined by human action, and every great movement of history comes to a point of choosing.”

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

January 2, 2012

“As we embrace new technology that does everything but kiss us on the mouth, we risk cutting ourselves off from human interaction.”

- Martin Lindstrom, New York Times, Sep. 30, 2011

January 3, 2012

“Credible and successful candidates for president are those who are able to marry their hyperinflated images of themselves to a vision of what the country needs.”

- Columnist Michael Tomasky, Newsweek, Dec. 12, 2011

January 4, 2012

“Anyone’s beatable in American politics.”

- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Meet the Press, NBC, May 1, 2011

January 5, 2012

“Leadership is tested not by one’s capacity to survive politically but by the ability to make tough decisions in trying times.”

- Ehud Olmert, in regards to the conflict between Israel and the Palestine, New York Times, Sep. 21, 2011

January 6, 2012

“I’m less upset with politicians than [with] the media. I feel like politicians — the way I explain it, is when you go to a zoo and a monkey throws feces, it’s a monkey. But when the zookeeper is standing right there and he doesn’t say, ‘Bad monkey’ — somebody’s gotta be the zookeeper.”

- Jon Stewart, Fresh Air on NPR, Oct. 4, 2010

January 7, 2012

“The currency of politics should be ideas, not dollars. It is time for us to start putting the currency back into circulation.”

- Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), in a Senate floor speech on the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, Mar. 20, 2002

January 8, 2012

“What’s wrong in America right now is not going to be cured by a little cup of gasoline on the fire.”

- Mitt Romney, Huffington Post, Sep. 14, 2011

January 9, 2012

“The crossroads where government meets enterprise can be an exciting crossroads. It can also be a corrupt crossroads. It requires moral rectitude to separate public service from private gain.”

- Columnist David Brooks, The New York Times, Dec. 8, 2011

January 10, 2012

“The intellectual can produce a finished product, while the work of a politician is a never-ending process which must constantly adapt to the changing needs of society.”

- Vaclav Havel, first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia, as quoted by NPR, circa 1993

January 11, 2012

“Technology is a bit like clothing. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, a single item of clothing (a well-tailored pelt or loincloth) would probably suffice. Clothing did one thing, provide cover. Tech has become no different. Tens of years ago, a PC was our primary, if not sole, piece of “technology.” But now we have smartphones, and tablets, and e-book readers, and Internet TV boxes and gaming consoles.”

- Sam Grombart, The New York Times, Dec. 6, 2011

January 12, 2012

“It’s the squeakiest political wheels that get the most money grease. The system today is designed to reward outrageous and uncivil behavior.”

– Republican consultant Mark McKinnon, on campaign fundraising tactics, Politico, Oct. 21, 2010

January 13, 2012

“We have to stop snuggling up to nostalgia, acknowledge that we have allowed a mighty country to be brought low and set a course to restitution.”

- Columnist Charles M. Blow, New York Times, Nov. 19, 2011

January 14, 2012

“The voter will choose no government over a government that works for someone else. But they will choose a government that helps them over no government every time.”

- Sen. Chuck Schumer, The Washington Post, Nov. 7, 2010

January 15, 2012

“We give our elected leaders iconic stature almost to have things to tear down, to work out all sorts of our own psychological problems and needs and venomous feelings.”

- Actress Meryl Streep, Newsweek, Dec. 26, 2011/Jan. 2, 2012

January 16, 2012

“We forget now, but during his life, Dr. King wasn’t always considered a unifying figure. Even after rising to prominence, even after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King was vilified by many, denounced as a rabble rouser and an agitator, a communist and a radical. He was even attacked by his own people, by those who felt he was going too fast or those who felt he was going too slow; by those who felt he shouldn’t meddle in issues like the Vietnam War or the rights of union workers.”

- Barack Obama at the dedication of the MLK Jr. memorial in Washington DC, Oct. 16, 2011

January 17, 2012

“Government doesn’t ask for sacrifice, government tells people to sacrifice.”

- Stephen Carter, Yale law professor, on tax compromise, Meet the Press, Jan. 2, 2011

January 18, 2012

“Democracy needs support and the best support for democracy comes from other democracies.”

- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in a Harvard commencement address, Jun. 8, 1989

January 19, 2012

“Everytime I look at the economy I think President Obama can’t win. And everytime I look at the Republican field I think he can’t lose.”

- Columnist Paul Begala, Newsweek, Dec. 12, 2011

January 20, 2012

“When you start to feel sorry for yourself, just look at Lincoln.”

- Former President George W. Bush giving advice to future presidents, State of the Union, CNN, Nov. 14, 2010

January 21, 2012

“We cannot depend on dumb luck, incompetent terrorists and alert citizens to keep our families safe.”

- Former Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), in a Senate Intelligence Committee Report, May 18, 2010, as reported in Time, Feb. 21, 2011

January 22, 2012

“We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.”

— Christopher Hitchens, on himself and his co-believers, from God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (p. 5)

January 23, 2012

“Inequality provokes a generalized anger that finds targets where it can—immigrants, foreign countries, American elites, government in all forms—and it rewards demagogues while discrediting reformers.”  

- George Packer, staff writer for The New Yorker, in an essay published by Foreign Affairs, Nov./Dec. 2011

January 24, 2012

“When the government is telling me to do things I don’t want to do, it is too powerful. But when Katrina hits or terrorists attack, I want government to be powerful.”

- Darry Sragow, National Journal, Mar. 26, 2011

January 25, 2012

“In their effort to destroy each other, are the Republican and Democratic parties on the verge of destroying the category politics, the whole political system?…But the looming and larger question now is just how much damage has all this done to the system itself and can it be repaired before the whole thing blows apart.”

- Bob Schieffer, CBS’ Face the Nation, Dec. 4, 2011

January 26, 2012

“If America ever had a real Establishment, it crumbled under the weight of Vietnam, Watergate and the cultural revolts and counter-revolts of the 1960s and 1970s.”

- Peter Schrag, LA Times Op-Ed, Dec. 22, 2011

January 27, 2012

“Every time we have come to the end of a conflict, somehow we have persuaded ourselves that the nature of mankind and the nature of the world have changed on an enduring basis and so we have dismantle our military and intelligence capabilities. My hope is that as we wind down in Iraq and whatever the level of our commitment in Afghanistan, that we not forget the basic nature of humankind has not changed.”

– Sec. of Defense Robert Gates, in a speech at the Navy War College, Apr. 17, 2009, reported in the National Journal, Jan. 22, 2011

January 28, 2012

“You can’t be what you can’t see.”

– Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund, on the lack of positive female role models represented in the media, Miss Representation documentary, 2011

January 29, 2012

“Just as our power is limited, so is our wisdom. We must avoid certitude and its unattractive partner, self-righteousness.”

- Former Sec. of State Warren Christopher, Los Angeles Times, circa 1977

January 30, 2012

“The Founding Fathers didn’t intend this to be a smooth, easy process. They intended it to be a clash of ideas, and that’s what it is.”

– Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), on the legislative process, The Hill, Aug. 3, 2011

January 31, 2012

“There’s always a danger in politics of assuming past is prologue.”

- Bush campaign strategist Mark McKinnon, Politico, Feb. 25, 2011