This Week In Quotes: 6/15-6/21

Your premise is that comity exists now. It may not be entirely accurate. It used to be you had real friends on the other side of the aisle. It’s not like that anymore. Society has changed. The public is to blame as well. I think the people have gotten dumber. I don’t know that I would’ve said that out loud pre-my announcement that I was going to be leaving. [Laughter] But I think that’s true. I mean everything has changed. The media has changed. We now give broadcast licenses to philosophies instead of people. People get confused and think there is no difference between news and entertainment. People who project themselves as journalists on television don’t know the first thing about journalism. They are just there stirring up a hockey game. — Retiring Democratic congressman Gary Ackerman

For years, Democrats have had an Alinsky-driven “anything goes” mindset. The Activist Left stages violent protests, demonstrations at private homes, vandalism, voter intimidation, and now SWATing… and the Institutional Left runs interference. This is how Brett Kimberlin is out of jail, why Bill Ayers has tenure, and how the New Black Panther Party got their charges dropped.

Republicans, at least the Old Guard, responded by saying that “we’re better than that”. And you know what? Being better than that has not only helped the Left immensely over the years, it’s legitimized those tactics. Part of what makes these ethical lines work is a kind of Mutually Assured Destruction. Hitting below the belt doesn’t help if the other immediately responds in kind. It’s a zero-sum escalation, so you just don’t go there. It’s only when you know you can cross the line with impunity that you get tempted.

What we see with the new generation is a willingness to imitate the most effective tactics of the Left. Many of us are former lefties who learned from the pros and then switched sides. The rest of use are young and don’t see the point of playing Charlie Brown and the football. What made Andrew Breitbart so terrifying to the Left isn’t that he did anything new, it’s that they’d never been on the receiving end of it before. On one hand, it’s horrible that our politics includes tactics like these at all. On the other hand, if they’re going to be used anyway by the lefties, we might as well fight fire with fire. The gripping hand is that responding in kind robs these tactics of long-term effectiveness and in the long run helps to re-establish ethical norms. — Anonymous reader at Instapundit

A ‘photographer’ almost hit me in the face with his camera this morning. #allpaparazzishouldbewaterboarded,” he wrote, adding, “I suppose if the offending paparazzi was wearing a hoodie and I shot him, it would all blow over. — Alec Baldwin

In America, we elect presidents, not caesars,” Brooks said. “The only way to change America’s immigration law is as our Constitution demands, through Congress not by imperial decree. — Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)

Happy father’s day – or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law’s day. — Ronan Farrow, the 24-year-old son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen

That’s a clown question, bro. — Bryce Harper

I have spoken to at least three people who say they have talked to the FBI about what is, supposedly, an ongoing investigation of (SWATting/Brett Kimberlin). These people tell me to be patient, and assure me that the FBI is doing their best. — Robert Stacy McCain

“That cocaine snorting, and what he ate, Fido? Rufus? I think it’s funny that the cocktail circus gives me a hard time for eating Elk and Moose, but c’mon, anybody here have a pet moose? There’s a difference.” — Sarah Palin

He doesn’t like the constitutional process for lawmaking because it just gets in his way, so he acts like an emperor instead of a president. It’s time for the former constitutional professor to read the Constitution. — Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas)

(I)n 2008, Mr. Obama won partly because he outspent Sen. John McCain by $325 million between June and November ($850 million to $525 million). This was especially important in historically Republican states like Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia, where Mr. Obama outspent Mr. McCain on television by ratios of up to 7 to 1. — Karl Rove

Before John Dean left the reservation, he called upon William Sullivan, a retired former aide to J. Edgar Hoover, for a little historical perspective – in other words, to provide Nixon with some defense for his “national-security” wiretaps.

Sullivan wrote a memo for Dean outlining FBI activities on behalf of earlier presidents. I obtained the memo, and my staff interviewed Sullivan and other top former Hoover aides who had personal knowledge of the subject. It seems that FDR used the FBI to look into the background of those who opposed his Lend-Lease legislation, including a telephone tap on one person. He and Mrs. Roosevelt pressed for limitations on certain investigations of their friends, as well as for monitoring the activities of his political opponents.

President Johnson had the FBI place a physical surveillance on a prominent friend of Nixon’s in 1968 for reasons of “national security.” Members of Goldwater’s staff were similarly kept under surveillance in 1964. Johnson also requested that the FBI check all outgoing telephone calls made by vice-presidential candidate Spiro Agnew on November 2, 1968, while he was in Albuquerque.

The FBI was asked to provide “special assistance” during the 1964 Democratic Convention in Atlantic City and report back to Walter Jenkins, a top Johnson aide. There was going to be a problem about credentials with regard to Alabama and Mississippi between the predominantly black Freedom Democratic Party and George Wallace’s slate, which was threatening a walkout. According to the agent in charge of the electronic surveillance at the convention, he and his colleagues bugged the rooms of Martin Luther King and James Farmer at the Claridge Hotel. Cartha “Deke” DeLoach, who immediately preceded Sullivan as Hoover’s assistant, told us that this was done under the authority of Attorney General Robert Kennedy. — Fred Thompson

What country did we wake up in on Friday? It just causes people to ask, where are we? You know, the last time we had this was with King George III, and we didn’t like it too much. And I think that you’re seeing the resurrection of an imperial presidency, and the arrogance thereof. To think that you can come out and basically tell the American people that this is what we’re going to do … and don’t question me. — Allen West

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