Pundit Wire

March 2011

March 1, 2011

“The international community cannot stand by and watch the massacre of Libyan protesters. In Rwanda we watched. In Kosovo we acted.”

- Former State Department Policy Planning Chief Anne-Marie Slaughter, on Libya, tweeting Feb. 24, 2011

March 2, 2011

“Americans believe in shared sacrifice. When finances are tight, public employees should be asked for concessions – and so should those who are doing well. But the latest assaults aren’t about necessary sacrifice, they’re about asserting power and these employees know it. That’s why they’re demonstrating: They’re mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it any more.”

- Linda Kaboolian is a lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Febuary 19, 2011.

March 3, 2011

“We have to recognize that there is a strong, fresh wind blowing, powered by these new information technologies. It will be increasingly difficult for dictators to impose their will through sheer brutality.”

– Senator John Kerry, on the democratic potential of social media, Time, Feb. 21, 2011

March 4, 2011

“While the budget is all over the news, we’re not having a real debate; it’s all sound, fury, and posturing.”

- Columnist Paul Krugman, The New York Times, Feb. 18, 2011

March 5, 2011

“Real change isn’t so easy. It’s a word that rolls off one’s lips … but any time you have real change there’s some pain, there’s tension, there’s adjustment, there’s some wrenching going on.”

- California’s Former Governor and Gov.-Elect Jerry Brown, circa 1989, as quoted on NPR’s All Things Considered, Nov. 18, 2010

March 6, 2011

“We do not have the God-given right to shape every nation in our image or as we choose.”

- Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, 1995

March 7, 2011

“When more people in more countries are free to rise, to invent, to communicate, to dissent, it’s not the doom of U.S. leadership. It is the triumph of the American way.”

- Journalist David Von Drehle, Time, Mar. 3, 2011

March 8, 2011

“No one wants to climb way out on a limb, only to have the White House saw it off.”

– A prominent Democratic strategist, on Congressional initiatives of risky legislation, National Journal, March 5, 2011

March 9, 2011

“It is not merely a mathematical exercise. It’s really a cultural decision over who we are and what kind of country we want to be.”

– Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on creating the national budget, American Enterprise Institute, July 1, 2010, National Journal, Feb. 19, 2011

March 10, 2011

“The states are the ultimate laboratories of democracy.”

- Phil Musser, former executive director of the RGA, Politico, Feb. 25, 2011

March 11, 2011

“Even at its most frustrating, politics brings certain pleasures: the opportunity for fellowship, the excitement of competition, the spectacle of rituals.”

- Melissa Harris-Perry, columnist, The Nation, Jan. 27, 2011

March 12, 2011

“The Tea Party is synonymous with anger. Anger defined it. Anger fueled it. Anger marred it. Anger became its face and its heart. But anger is too exhausting an emotion to sustain.”

- Columnist Charles M. Blow, New York Times, Mar. 5, 2011

March 13, 2011

“It’s a cliché, but it’s true: The creation of original information and arguments is tremendously important to both the functioning of democracy and the existence of a decent, reflective culture.”

– Zina Saunders, contributor, The New Republic, March 24, 2011

March 14, 2011

“One bill cuts too little, the other has too much hate.”

- Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), on the dueling budget bills in Congress, The New York Times, Mar. 10, 2011

March 15, 2011

“Any incumbent president is a formidable challenge. This is a lot harder than it looks.It’s like going from eight-grade basketball to the NBA finals.”

- Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), CNN’s State of the Union, March 6, 2011

March 16, 2011

“Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and—as it did here—inflict great pain.”

– Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. in the majority opinion in the Snyder v. Phelps case that extends First Amendment protection for anti-gay protests at military funerals, NPR, March 2, 2011

March 17, 2011

“We need to be the example of government functioning properly. How can we tell
somebody else to do something right, and we don’t do it right?”

- Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Politico, Dec. 30, 2010

March 18, 2011

“Health care is only one of the large and difficult problems America needs to deal with, ranging from infrastructure to climate change, all of which demand that we engage in a lot of hard thinking. Yet what we have instead is a political culture in which one side sneers at knowledge and exalts ignorance, while the other side hunkers down and pretends to halfway agree.”

- Columnist Paul Krugman, The New York Times, Mar. 11, 2011

March 19, 2011

“There are those who say Muslims are barbarians who lock up their women. There are others who say the West is decadent, obscene and vulgar. In every society there is an extreme.”

- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, speaking at the Centre for World Dialogue in Cyprus, Oct. 30, 1997

March 20, 2011

“The nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.”

- Columnist George F. Will, on the 2012 Republican presidential nomination process, Washington Post, Mar. 6, 2011

March 21, 2011

“When it comes to foreign policy, it is important to remember that politics stops at the water’s edge.”

– Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to reporters in Papua New Guinea, as reported in Politico, Nov. 3, 2010.

March 22, 2011

“There’s more power in being Oprah Winfrey than in being Barack Obama.”

- Conservative media magnate Andrew Breitbart, GQ, Apr. 2011 issue

March 23, 2011

“A legislative entrepreneur…doesn’t just believe the right things. He’s out there trying to make a good idea legislatively viable.”

– Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks, The Washington Post, Feb. 5, 2011

March 24, 2011

“This isn’t a craps table in Atlantic City or Las Vegas, where you throw out a number and have to hit it.”

- Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), on budget cuts, National Journal Daily, March 7, 2011

March 25, 2011

“When all is said and done, the idea of human rights has a life and force of its own which governments can nurture or oppose but which they can never extinguish.”

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

March 26, 2011

“If you have high favorability ratings, it’s like having a thousand Facebook friends and thinking they’re a thousand actual friends.”

- Political analyst Bill Curry, The New York Times, Jan. 20, 2011

March 27, 2011

“It is easy to get used to the morning news, habituated. But don’t. The morning news is yours to alter.”

- Samantha Power, in a commencement address at Santa Clara University, May 20, 2006

March 28, 2011

“Every time a woman runs, women win.”

- First female Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro, circa October 2008, quoted in the New York Times Magazine, Nov. 21, 2010

March 29, 2011

“Since ‘94, whoever was in the majority was always a heartbeat or one election away from going into the minority and so the tensions, the political tensions, became highly elevated, but we’ve never seen the level of good-humored collegiality that we had prior to ‘94.”

- Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Politico, Jan. 20, 2011

March 30, 2011

“For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region, here in the Middle East, and we achieved neither.”

- Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice, in a speech at the American University in Cairo, Jun. 21, 2005

March 31, 2011

“There is no business model in the modern media that promotes comity. If we worried too much about criticism, we wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.”

- White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, Politico, Mar. 21, 2011