"Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread." --Thomas Jefferson
"What has [Scott] Brown done for us? He just administered a stunning 'Tea Party Republican' thrashing to the 'Kennedy Liberal Democrats' in Massachusetts -- with Obamacare front and center as the core issue at hand. That's what. Forget any other spin you hear -- that is what just happened. That Brown did not stress the party or the term 'tea party' does not matter. His issues were right off of the tea parties' posters and out of the official GOP platform manual. Sure, Martha Coakley ran a horrible campaign. But Democrats win safe seats with horrible campaigns all the time. Brown ran a great campaign, but good candidates lose uphill battles all the time in places like Massachusetts. And no, MS-NBC, this was not a Tip O'Neil 'all politics are local' referendum on potholes and such. Thanks to big government liberals, no politics are local anymore. Not even an obscure congressional district known as NY-23. Every single seat may now hold the key to Washington's ability to reach into the homes and wallets and lives of every American for any reason they deem necessary. And that's what this was about, with health care as the key issue but only one of many concerns about intrusive government." --columnist C. Edmund Wright
"On December 16, 1773, several dozen colonists in Boston, angered by King George's financially ruinous tea tax, took action into their own hands. Dressed as Mohawk Indians, they snuck onto 3 British tea ships and dumped over 300 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. That revolt was said to have sparked the American Revolution. Last [Tuesday] night, the state of Massachusetts was the site of yet another revolt, only this time it was Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democratic Party, and President Obama, health care and health care reform that were thrown into the drink, following the stunning election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate. Yet on the eve of the election, the White House suggested ... that they would not moderate the president's policies, but in a fit of madness akin to King George's, would double down and strike a more combative tone. I have a feeling that over the next few days, the White House will want to ... amend their remarks. ... In response to the tea party protest, King George passed the 'Coercive Acts,' which was every bit as punishing as it sounds. Will King Barack respond to the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts with moderation and scrap health care or with madness and shove a coercive bill down America's collective throats?" --columnist Brian Doherty
"The stunning upset in Massachusetts should send shock waves through the Democratic Party nationwide. The people have spoken, yet again, with the election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate and as such, have soundly rejected the leadership of the president and the Democratically-controlled Congress. The elections in Virginia and New Jersey this past November should have been a wake-up call for Democrats. Democratic candidates were defeated because the people thought the candidates, like the leadership of the Democratic Party, were out of touch with the needs of the citizenry. While Republicans focused on the economy, job creation, deficit reduction and responsibility, Democrats were bogged down -- almost exclusively -- on health care, blaming Bush and defending their failed economic policies. ... The Democrats set forth an agenda that was 180 degrees opposite of what needed to be done and what the American people wanted to see done. The Democrats manufactured a 'crisis' on health care, when we have an honest to goodness economic crisis and recession -- the worst since the Great Depression. ... The American people are more than disappointed with the 'change' they got this past year and are worried about their future and the condition of the economy. But it's not over, the people will continue to let their frustration be known this coming November in the midterm elections." --Georgetown University professor Bradley Blakeman
Opinion in Brief
"The Democrats have no natural majority because they have no fundamental principles -- at least none that they are willing to state out loud. They are like a drunken vagrant who emerges from the alley to cause havoc every few years. They are the perpetual toothache of American politics. To be sure, the fact that 52 percent of Massachusetts voters are racist, sexist tea-baggers -- i.e., voted for a Republican -- means only that the Democrats just went from having the largest congressional majority in a generation to the second largest. But this was 'Teddy Kennedy's seat.' And it was in Massachusetts. Now, no Democrat is safe. But the country just got a lot safer." --columnist Ann Coulter
Re: The Left
"Americans have been sick and tired of dishonest and destructive policies emanating from the Feds of both R and D varieties for longer than [Barack Obama's] single year of fiddling, and, in fact, longer than George W. Bush's eight years. For several decades, at least, Americans have been spitting mad about the state of their federal government. So, what is our current Politician-in-Chief going to do about it? ... What the president will do, in the age-old tradition of Washington, is to change the subject. He's already found new areas of the economy to attack and demonize. First up are the banks. ... Further, bad-mouthing Wall Street and slapping banks with a new fee, after handing them sacks of taxpayer cash, seems a weak alternative to not handing them sacks of taxpayer cash in the first place. Consider the failed $787 billion stimulus spending bill. Obama acknowledges it hasn't much helped Main Street. So, in his State of the Union address this Wednesday, the president will take the bold step of calling for another 'economic recovery package,' i.e. doing the same thing again. If borrowing hundreds of billions to spend stimulating an economy crippled by too much borrowing doesn't work, thank goodness there is always the option of borrowing hundreds of billions (if not trillions) more. Feeling better yet?" --columnist Paul Jacob
"The [U.S.] Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals... It does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government... It is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection against the government." --philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
"Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, 'What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power.' But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector." --Ronald Reagan
"A company well-named Neocutis now offers a skin cream made from human fetal tissue. To quote the company's Web site: 'Inspired by fetal skin's unique properties, Neocutis's proprietary technology uses cultured fetal skin cells to obtain an optimal, naturally balanced mixture of skin nutrients.' This outfit, it may not surprise Gentle Reader to learn, is based in San Francisco, and says its product can 'turn back time to create flawless baby-skin again.' What good news for those suffering from dry skin -- and who doesn't this time of year? ... But there's sure to be some reactionary who objects to progress, and a niggling objection did indeed surface here and there to this latest advance in the commodification of the unborn. In its defense, Neocutis issued a statement to all concerned: 'Our view -- which is shared by most medical professionals and patients -- is that the limited, prudent and responsible use of donated fetal skin tissue can continue to ease suffering, speed healing, save lives and improve the well-being of many patients around the globe.' And improve the company's balance sheet, too. Call it another benefit from the ever-growing abortion industry. And another triumph of supply-side economics! Create the supply and demand will follow. It does make one wonder why, if the use of human fetuses for such purposes is so unalloyed a good, the company feels the need to assure us that the practice is 'limited, prudent and responsible.' Is that a faint echo of some vestigial conscience?" --Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editor Paul Greenberg
For the Record
"Some expect Haiti's 7.0 earthquake death toll to reach over 200,000 lives. Why the high death toll? Northern California's 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake was more violent, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, resulting in 63 deaths and 3,757 injuries. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, about eight times more violent than Haiti's, and cost 3,000 lives. As tragic as the Haitian calamity is, it is merely symptomatic of a far deeper tragedy that's completely ignored, namely self-inflicted poverty. The reason why natural disasters take fewer lives in our country is because we have greater wealth. It's our wealth that permits us to build stronger homes and office buildings. When a natural disaster hits us, our wealth provides the emergency personnel, heavy machinery and medical services to reduce the death toll and suffering. Haitians cannot afford the life-saving tools that we Americans take for granted. President Barack Obama called the quake 'especially cruel and incomprehensible.' He would be closer to the truth if he had said that the Haitian political and economic climate that make Haitians helpless in the face of natural disasters are 'especially cruel and incomprehensible.' The biggest reason for Haiti being one of the world's poorest countries is its restrictions on economic liberty. ... Private property rights are vital to economic growth. ... Haiti's disaster demands immediate Western assistance, but it's only the Haitian people who can relieve themselves of the deeper tragedy of self-inflicted poverty." --economist Walter E. Williams
"I think it would be fun and also a good exercise for those of us who are going to listen to Mr. Obama's State of The Union Address on January 27th to print off this list and keep count of how many times he says the following phrases, which I lifted from Mark Alexander's essay, State of Disunion:
- "let me be clear"
- "make no mistake"
- "back from the brink"
- "signs of recovery"
- "restored our reputation"
- "fiscal restraint"
- "greed on Wall Street"
- "affordable health care"
- "relief for working families"
- "job creation"
- "inherited" as in "I inherited this mess"
And some I'd be interested hearing him say:
- "Founding Fathers"
- "Individual liberty"
I'm sure many of you could more. In any event, keeping score might be a good way to vector in on this man's next moves." --Fred
"[Mark Alexander's essay, 'Lincoln's Legacy at 200,' was very difficult for me to read because of my affection for President Lincoln. After reading it, however, so much makes sense and so many questions I had were answered. There were so many things that didn't add up in my head about the war and this period of time and why things are the way they are today. I knew that Lincoln had done things that violated the Constitution, so I chalked it up to ... 'Well, it was war.' I knew he had uttered words that showed he was racist. I never understood how someone of the caliber of Robert E. Lee could have fallen to the side of slavery even under the banner of states' rights. Now I do. I am not one who's beliefs can not be challenged by truth. No matter how devastating to my very soul, I would rather every foundational belief I stood on crumble to the ground than remain ignorantly proud on a pedestal of lies believed. Thank you for being truthful about one of my undeserved heroes." --bondroid
"Regarding the Jan. 20 Chronicle, actor John Ratzenberger is not in the Village Idiot camp. He is a Patriot who has studied the inventions and greatness of our capitalist wealth generating machine known as manufacturing and what the dismantling of that wealth generator has done to this nation. I watched him on Huckabee last fall and I promise he is not a Village Idiot." --Mark, Valley Station, KY
Editor's Reply: Several readers complained about our placement of Ratzenberger's quote in the Chronicle, however, there was a tag line before the quote that should have put it in perspective: "Sometimes Hollywood gets it right." Those tag lines are often critical -- please read them. Juxtaposed with the Meryl Streep quote right after it, the quote from Ratzenberger fit by way of saying that not all Hollywood celebrities are Village Idiots. We regret the confusion.
The Last Word
"Democratic cocooners will tell themselves that [Martha] Coakley was a terrible candidate who even managed to diss Curt Schilling. True, Brown had Schilling. But Coakley had Obama. When the bloody sock beats the presidential seal -- of a man who had them swooning only a year ago -- something is going on beyond personality. That something is substance -- political ideas and legislative agendas. Democrats, if they wish, can write off their Massachusetts humiliation to high unemployment, to Coakley or, the current favorite among sophisticates, to generalized anger. That implies an inchoate, unthinking lashing-out at whoever happens to be in power -- even at your liberal betters who are forcing on you an agenda that you can't even see is in your own interest. Democrats must so rationalize, otherwise they must take democracy seriously, and ask themselves: If the people really don't want it, could they possibly have a point? 'If you lose Massachusetts and that's not a wake-up call,' said moderate -- and sentient -- Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, 'there's no hope of waking up.' I say: Let them sleep." --columnist Charles Krauthammer