Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Who said that?

“Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with the right or left instead of right and wrong;” Richard Armour said that. He was a poet who obviously understood American politics just fine. An unknown pundit noted that, “Politicians are like diapers; they both need changing regularly and for the same reason; whomever that was, they were wise indeed…

Alexis de Toqueville noted that, “There are many men of principle in both parties in American, but there is on party of principle;” too right you were and are, Al.

The venerable Albert Einstein said, “All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field;” oy vey ist mere – too right!

Claire Sargeant, who McCain trounced in the ’92 Arizona senatorial campaign, said, “I think it's about time we voted for senators with breasts. After all, we've been voting for boobs long enough;” she was dead on, however she had not apparently anticipated Sarah Palin…

Is all that tripe about being doomed to repeat the past correct? Well, according to Plato, “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber;” AKA, apparently so.

Are we in the US the only ones who have these issues? “Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where they is no river;” Nikita Khrushchev said that, so apparently not.

Clarence Darrow, the famous jurist, noted that, “When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it;” with McCain old and infirm and his good friend Sarah as running mate, that’s very, very true…

Is there any great voice not soured by politics? “An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry;” T. S. Eliot says no.

And good ol’ MO Udall, whom I liked very much actually, hit GWB right on the nail head: “We have, I fear, confused power with greatness.” Or if you prefer the thought fleshed out, look to John Kenneth Galbraith; “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness,” ouch, the truth hurts, doesn’t it?

One of my all time faves comes from John Quinton, “Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel;” bingo, bango, bongo, popcorn!

Another comes from P. J. O’Rourke, who happens to be, by the way, a conservative, “The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.”

And for a final thought, I return to Galbraith for what I hope is in the hearts and minds of voters, given the alternatives before us this time around; “Liberalism is, I think, resurgent. One reason is that more and more people are so painfully aware of the alternative.”

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em and watch yer top knot...

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