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Publius / January 20, 2016

Wednesday Short Cuts

Insight: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” —H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

Upright: “In truth, we should never be comfortable with our politicians. We should never trust them. Star worship of Ronald Reagan on the right leads establishment Republicans to idolize even his worst failures, like amnesty; star worship of Bill Clinton on the left leads Democrats to pooh-pooh his brutal treatment of women, and his wife’s enabling of that behavior. Our celebrities have become royals, and our politicians have become celebrities. That means we crown ourselves a king or queen every four years. And America needs no kings and queens. We need unimportant, decent people who focus on how to make themselves unimportant in our lives.” —Ben Shapiro

Bad fortune-telling: “[Republicans are] dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas. I’ll save you the suspense: Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling. … You know that’s not a plan. … It’s a bumper sticker. It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. … [Y]ou know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices.” —Barack Obama in 2012 (Now, of course, gas is well below $2 in many parts of the country — no thanks to him.)

Race bait: “[Hollywood is] an industry that’s so white and so male. … Literally I can go to L.A. for two or three days. … [A]nd three days later, i’ve [sic] not encountered a single African-American in any position of any decision making power or authority. It is stunning how segregated the town is, how the industry is.” —Michael Moore

Cognitive dissonance: “I talked to a senior DNC person today. They tell me [there’s a] tremendous amount of regret in the high ranks of the DNC that there aren’t more debates at better times.” —Mother Jones’ David Corn

Getting it right: “[I]t seems to be that there is a kind of creeping totalitarianism in terms of what kind of ideas are acceptable and are debatable on college campuses. And I think that’s hugely unfortunate. I think the answer to bad speech is different speech. The answer to bad speech is not shutting down speech.” —former Harvard president (and ardent liberal) Lawrence Summers

And last… “It’s starting to sound like Hillary should have used a much more abrasive cloth when she wiped that server.” —Jonah Goldberg

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