Jordan Candler / January 25, 2022

Tuesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Mike Pompeo, Joni Ernst, Raphael Warnock, and more.

Insight

“For it is a habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not fancy.” —Thucydides (c.455-c.400 BC)

Re: Ukraine

An uproarious trip down memory lane: “Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be President. He doesn’t want me to be our nominee. If you’re wondering why — it’s because I’m the only person in this field who’s ever gone toe-to-toe with him.” —Joe Biden, February 21, 2020

“Vladimir Putin knows that the Ukraine is not going to attack Russia. To suggest somehow that there is a threat from NATO or from the Ukraine is just propaganda, an excuse for Vladimir Putin to do what he ultimately wants, which is to extend his influence, his authority, his power, his control into the former Warsaw Pact countries.” —former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

“The real hard work of deterrence would have happened a long time ago, a year ago, when President Putin demanded that we give him a new START treaty extension. We gave it to him for nothing. When they had Russian cyberattacks and they shut down the Colonial Pipeline, we told them you can only attack certain sectors, but 16 are off-limits. When we left Afghanistan in the way we did — those were the places where the administration had a chance to establish deterrence. Putin saw this. … I think they don’t see President Biden as credible.” —Mike Pompeo

“We need to be very aggressive in pushing back against President Putin, whether that’s in the form of sanctions, expulsion from the Swiss banking system certainly, sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. All of these actions need to be put into place, as well as continuing to equip our Ukrainian friends with not only defensive capabilities but also offensive weapons. … So far, with this administration, we have seen a doctrine of appeasement. And that certainly is not going to deter President Putin and Russia from invading Ukraine. … We know that if he’s able to go into Ukraine, and there’s very little pushback from the United States or from NATO, it allows him to move into other countries in eastern Europe. … We need to make sure that democracy is prevailing around the globe and that socialism, communism, the old Soviet Union is not regaining territory.” —Senator Joni Ernst

“People saying we shouldn’t ‘go to war’ [with] Russia over Ukraine are missing the point. We should never have gotten to the point where Russia thought it was a good time to invade again.” —Rebeccah Heinrichs

“Is it possible the Russian psy-ops has been on the American press corps? The national press, generally, was strangely silent when Russia advance[d] on Europe during the Obama years, obsessed with Trump-Russia when Trump was more aggressive on Russia than Obama, now this business.” —Erick Erickson

“Hunter Biden picked up bags of Ukrainian cash and all Ukraine got was another Russian invasion.” —Ben Shapiro

“Weird how the media & the left told us Trump was a stooge of Putin, yet Putin was afraid of Trump. Putin is not afraid of Biden.” —Lisa Boothe

Demagogues

“You have 50 Republicans who don’t want to do anything except criticize the president. You have, sadly enough, two Democrats who choose to work with the Republicans rather than the president and who have sabotaged the president’s efforts to address the needs of working families in this country. Is it frustrating? It sure is.” —Senator Bernie Sanders

“You have 19 states in this country undermining the foundations of American democracy, trying to make it harder for people of color, young people, people with disabilities to vote, coming up with extreme gerrymandering, taking action against independent election officials, and it is so important that we protect American democracy.” —Bernie Sanders

“I have received an eye-popping amount of DMs from foreigners expressing concern about democracy failing in America. We may not all follow their politics but they follow ours. They can connect the dots that instability here means instability everywhere. #VotingRightsActNow.” —Congressman Eric Swalwell

Non Sequitur

“As a pro-choice pastor, I’ve always believed that a patient’s room is way too small for a woman, her doctor, and the United States government.” —Senator Raphael Warnock (“There’s no such thing as a ‘pastor’ whose politics matter more to him than the clear teaching of Scripture. Warnock may very well refer to himself as a ‘pro-choice politician,’ but a ‘pro-choice pastor’ he is not. No true pastor endorses the murder of God’s unborn image-bearers.” —Darrell B. Harrison)

Grand Delusions

“The media is stuck in ‘Biden is a failure’ mode, but Biden certainly is moving on, with successes on the economy, covid-19, infrastructure and the American Rescue Plan in hand.” —The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin

“A lot of the fearmongering is about the things that are not actually mortal threats and then there is ignoring the things that are mortal threats. You know, ‘COVID isn’t real’ and ‘climate change isn’t real.’ I would argue that, to me anyway, those things are a little scarier or have been scarier at various points in the past couple years. Instead it’s about the immigrant hoards and a senile president and Critical Race Theory brainwashing your kids, things that are, if not just exaggerated, are invented out of whole cloth.” —CNN commentator Catherine Rampell 

Credit Where It’s Due

“President Biden’s news conference on Wednesday was designed to kick off a second-year reset of his presidency, recapture his political identity, if you will, but our new NBC News poll suggests Mr. Biden does need a reset, because he’s lost his identity a bit. He’s no longer seen as competent and effective, no longer seen as a good commander-in-chief or — perhaps most damaging — as easy going and likable. In fact, just five percent of adults say Mr. Biden has performed better than expected as president. … Two of our three most important indexes [are] sitting in shellacking territory right now for the Democrats. This is a dangerous place for the party and the president to be at the one-year mark of this presidency.” —NBC’s Chuck Todd

“The [International Olympic Committee] deserves all of the disdain and disgust that comes their way for going back to China yet again. They were in Beijing in 2008; they go to Sochi in 2014. They’re shameless about this stuff.” —sportscaster Bob Costas

And Last…

“There’s an alarming trend developing in which people are paying less attention to celebrities who are telling them how to live. Please, folks, we have been chosen to be celebrities for a reason. Ignore our experience and our wisdom at your own peril.” —Pat Sajak

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