Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Quotes of the Year, 2005
The great thing about the blogosphere is that it not only picks up and points out the funniest, stupidest, and/or most profound things people say, it also generates a lot of them. Most of the following quotes were cited as a Quote of the Day in some post on this blog during 2005. Here are the 25 most memorable, now that the year is gone:
"I remember when being a Democrat meant something. When it meant saying we can take this family all the way to the homestead and no one ever gets kicked off the wagon."--Daily Kos commenter, January.

"Russ Feingold had a spine before Howard Dean made it cool to be a vertebrate."--another Daily Kos commenter, January.

"When I look around America's barrooms, church suppers, swap meets and strip clubs, I see that 'the American people' like the way things are going. . . . 'The people' don't give a rat's bunghole about social programs or the poor or other races or the planet or animals or anything else. They LIKE cheap gas and making life tough for queers. They LIKE chasing Thanksgiving Day Xmas sales. And when fascism comes, they will like that, too."--Joe Bageant, January.

"In the same way that the helpless, ineffectual [Alan] Colmes is a reassuring image to hardcore conservatives, [Tucker] Carlson puts a soothing face on conservatism for educated East Coast progressives – because even the biggest neo-Marxist wanker from Brown takes one look at Carlson and sees the one man in America he would feel sure of being able to kick the shit out of in a back alley."--Matt Taibbi, January.

"If Crossfire opened every show with 'and look what that crazy bitch said today,' followed by a shot of Paul [Begala] and James [Carville] laughing their asses off, Ann Coulter would be the leggiest assistant corporate attorney in Accounts Recieving right now." --XOverboard, January

"Time is warped. Space is curved. DNA is twisted. But this guy is just plain bent."--Spin Boldak, commenting on the Senate chaplain's claim that Social Security's problems are linked to abortion, January.

"A correspondent, unhappy that I did not simply agree with her fire-and-brimstone forecast for me, wrote 'I showed respect even though I disagreed with you and yet you have the audacity to call me intelligent.' Well, you have me there, Ma'am. My mistake."--Keith Olbermann, January.

"I don't want to hear any lectures about Christian values from the Republican Party. They are the Pharisees and the Sadducees." --Howard Dean, February.

"Terri Schiavo is now a mascot alongside Cassie 'She Said Yes' Bernal and all the other devotional objects cherished by religious zealots who fancy themselves persecuted because the eagle on the National Seal has not yet been replaced with a 3-D image of Jesus Christ."--Steven Hart, March.

"We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture." --Pastor Ray Mummert, intelligent design supporter, Dover, Pennsylvania, March.

"In a country where our jails are filled with poor black people, you've got to admit that it's pretty amazing to see rich, white dudes railing against the judiciary."--Dave Pell, April.

"My problem with this debate [over the Kansas science standards] is that this isn't about being pro-religion or anti-religion or faith-neutral; it's about institutionalizing stupidity as a valid lifestyle choice."--Hunter, Daily Kos, May.

"A large statistical majority of Americans would rather live their whole lives in perpetual fear of the devil than listen to ten minutes of common sense."--Matt Taibbi, June.

"I've written a lot about 'up-is-downism' and 'epistemic relativism' and 'bizarro world' trying to analyse the Republicans' alternate reality, wondering whether it comes from a full absorbtion into the field of public relations, a consciously created competing discourse or simple lying with a straight face. All of that is bullshit. It's a form of mass hysteria ---- along the lines of the Salem Witch trials or the audience at an NSync concert."--Digby, July.

"It's hard to believe, but the leadership of the modern Republican party is now so insane that liberal Democrats can legitimately look back and say that Newt wasn't really all that bad. Yes, you heard that right. Newt. Wasn't. Really. All. That. Bad. I think I'll spend the rest of the day hiding under my bed."--Kevin Drum, August.

"The evacuation of New Orleans in the face of Hurricane Ivan looked sinisterly like Strom Thurmond's version of the Rapture."--Mike Davis, in a 2004 column quoted by Facing South, reporting on hurricane response in New Orleans.

"Jesus Wants a Balanced Court."--sign outside motel in Wisconsin Dells, September.

"The best monument to Flight 93 would be a giant hyperintelligent missile that tracks down terrorists and tells them they believe in a whore's religion right before they die. Preferably with the corpse of Todd Beamer strapped on."--Jesse Taylor, channeling Michelle Malkin, September.

"Reason is a choice. Wishes and whims are not facts, nor are they a means to discovering them. Reason is our only way of grasping reality; it is our basic tool of survival. We are free to evade the effort of thinking, to reject reason, but we are not free to avoid the penalty of the abyss we refuse to see."--Terry Goodkind, quoted in September.

"These are indeed true visions of superior womanhood, so long as your taste runs towards soulless harpies for whom the word 'crank' has multiple meanings."--David Neiwert on the Republican Women Calendar, October.

"The Iraqi people are so full of freedom they could burst. Sometimes an Iraqi will be so full of democracy they'll walk into a crowded area and explode."--Saturday Night Live, quoted at Daily Kos, October.

"Everywhere, in every profession that requires a broad span of actual real-world knowledge, the bogeyman of liberalism exists. Is it because those professions are truly liberal, or is it because knowledge itself is considered, by the right, liberal?"--Hunter, Daily Kos, November.

"We define our zero of wingnuttery as Charles Darwin’s classic 'The Origin of Species', and our zero of wankery as Steve McQueen, the only man to live through the 1960’s without ever having a stupid haircut. Moving upwards from our axis of wingnuttery we pass through lines of increasing wingnuttiness, while moving to the right from our zero-wankery line implies ever higher degrees of wankitude, until, after many, many sheets of graph paper, we find ourselves at the Burning Man festival. With this as our guide, we can objectively plot the wingnut and wanker ratings of any individual, and determine what relationship exists between these two seemingly unrelated characteristics."--The Poor Man on the wanker/wingnut continuum, November.

"'Nigga moments' [when ignorance overwhelms the mind of an otherwise logical African-American man] are the third leading cause of death among black men, behind (2) pork chops and (1) FEMA."--Huey Freeman/Aaron McGruder, The Boondocks, December.
And now, the Quote of the Year. It's a bit of an ringer, given that it was first uttered in 1954, but it remains staggeringly pertinent in the new millennium. It's Edward R. Murrow, portrayed by David Strathairn in the film Good Night, and Good Luck:
"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men -- not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular."
Coming tomorrow: Posts of the Year, 2005, Part One.

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