March 11, 2004

"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an expl

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mekong Delta) visited Chicago
sheet metal workers yesterday. After his speech, JFK
hung with the crew for awhile. His still turned-on
microphone caught a snippet of candid conversation
between the new leader of the Democratic Party and
some of the AFL-CIO brethern...The Los Angeles Times
(3/10/04) reports, "Tell it like it is," a man at the
Hill Mechanical Group told him. "Keep smiling." "Oh
yeah, don't worry, man," the senator from
Massachusetts responded. "We're going to keep
pounding, let me tell you. We're just beginning to
fight here. These guys are the most crooked, you know,
lying group I've ever seen," Kerry added. "It's
scary." Perhaps the most important aspect of this
delightful little story is that JFK did not offer an
apology or even attempt to explain away the
remark...Indeed, the Kerry campaign even insisted that
he knew the mike was on...Bravo...At last, the "vast
reich conspiracy," the Bush cabal and the chickenhawk
coup are facing someone who is not blink or turn the
other cheek or try to make nice...Here thanks to
William Rivers Pitts ( and Bruce
Miller and Diana Maio (authors of "Take Them At Their
Words") are some of the many comments available from
the public record that document what JFK expressed in
candor to that sheet metal worker in Chicago...

George W. Bush, _resident of the US: "I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

Restore the Timeline, Show Up for Democracy in 2004:
Defeat Bush (again!)

Fish. Barrel. Boom.
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Thursday 11 March 2004

"I'm a firm believer in feeding people their own words
back to them, when it's appropriate."
Trent Lott
As we hurtle headlong into the silly season, a
high colonic for the mind is in order. There is going
to be a lot of back-and-forth between the candidates
regarding who said what and when. Feast, in that
context, upon this small collection:

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important
for the President to explain to us what the exit
strategy is."

- George W. Bush, discussing Kosovo, Houston
Chronicle, 04-09-99

"I said on my program, if, if the Americans go in
and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has
nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will
not trust the Bush administration again."

- Bill O'Reilly, on ABC's Good Morning America,

"I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave
enough so we can have two on every campus - living
fossils - so we will never forget what these people
stood for."

- Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the
right to consensual gay sex within your home, then you
have the right to bigamy, you have the right to
polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the
right to adultery. You have the right to anything. All
of those things are antithetical to a healthy, stable,
traditional family and that's sort of where we are in
today's world, unfortunately. It all comes from, I
would argue, the right to privacy that doesn't exist,
in my opinion, in the United States Constitution."

- Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Associated Press,

"I would warn Orlando that you're right in the
way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd
be waving those flags in God's face if I were you.
This is not a message of hate; this is a message of
redemption. But a condition like this will bring about
the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about
terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes
and possibly a meteor."

- Pat Robertson, speaking of organizers putting
rainbow flags up around Orlando to support sexual
diversity, Washington Post, 06-10-98. For the record,
Orlando remains undestroyed by meteors.

"Environmentalists are a socialist group of
individuals that are the tool of the Democrat Party.
I'm proud to say that they are my enemy. They are not
Americans, never have been Americans, never will be

- Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Alaska Public Radio,

"When you strip it all away, Jerry Garcia
destroyed his life on drugs. And yet he's being
honored, like some godlike figure. Our priorities are
out of whack, folks."

- Rush (currently under investigation for drug
use) Limbaugh, on the death of Jerry Garcia, 08-20-95.

"I don't understand how poor people think."

- George W. Bush, confiding in the Rev. Jim
Wallis, New York Times, 08-26-03

"Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him,
assassinate him."

- Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about
President Clinton, as reported by journalist Steve
Miner of KSUB radio who overheard his conversation,

"We're going to keep building the party until
we're hunting Democrats with dogs."

- Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did
not go to the New York Times building."

- Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02

"Homosexuals want to come into churches and
disrupt church services and throw blood all around and
try to give people AIDS and spit in the face of

- Pat Robertson again, The 700 Club, 01-18-95

"And there is, I am certain, among the Iraqi
people a respect for the care and the precision that
went into the bombing campaign."

- Donald Rumsfeld,, 04-09-03

"Emotional appeals about working families trying
to get by on $4.25 an hour are hard to resist.
Fortunately, such families do not exist."

- Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), House Majority Whip,
during a debate on increasing the minimum wage,
Congressional Record, H3706, 04-23-96

"Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and
though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature
the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms
of the past - I'm not arguing for despotism as a
principle, but they sure knew how to deal with
potential trouble - recognized that the families of
objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In
Stalin's penal code it was a crime to be the wife or
child of an 'enemy of the people.' The Nazis used the
same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, 'clan
liability.' In Imperial China, enemies of the state
were punished 'to the ninth degree': that is, everyone
in the offender's own generation would be killed and
everyone related via four generations up, to the
great-great-grandparents, and four generations down,
to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be

- John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01

"I know this is painful for the ladies to hear,
but if you get married, you have accepted the headship
of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the
household and the husband is the head of the wife, and
that's the way it is, period."

- Pat Robertson again, The 700 Club, 01-08-92

"Probably nothing."

- Jeb Bush, during his losing 1994 bid for
Florida Governor, when asked what he would do for
black people, quoted by Salon on 10-05-02

"The homosexual blitzkrieg has been better
planned and executed than Hitler's."

- Rep. William Dannemeyer (R-CA), The New
Republic, 08-01-94

"When lawlessness is abroad in the land, the same
thing will happen here that happened in Nazi Germany.
Many of those people involved in Adolph Hitler were
Satanists. Many of them were homosexuals. The two
things seem to go together."

- Pat Robertson again, The 700 Club, 01-21-93

"Why is this man in the White House? The majority
of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there?
And I tell you this morning that he's in the White
House because God put him there for a time such as

- Lt. General William G. Boykin, Deputy
Undersecretary of Defense, New York Times, 10-17-03

"We need to execute people like John Walker in
order to physically intimidate liberals, by making
them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise,
they will turn out to be outright traitors."

- Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political
Action Conference, 02-26-02

"I don't want to abolish government. I simply
want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into
the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."

- Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax
Reform, NPR Morning Edition, 05-25-01

"I don't agree that you need an enormous number
of American troops. Saddam's army is down to one-third
than it was before, and I think it would be a

- Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board, to Wolf
Blitzer on CNN, 12-06-01

"The fact of the matter is that this (increased
American casualties) is a sign of the success of our
operation, not its failure."

- Ralph Reed, GOP strategist, on MSNBC's program
'Hardball,' 10-28-03

"There are some who feel that, you know, the
conditions are such that they can attack us there. My
answer is, bring 'em on. We have the force necessary
to deal with the situation."

- George W. Bush, Chicago Tribune, 07-03-03

"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to
do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on
the one issue that everyone could agree on, which was
weapons of mass destruction as the core reason."

- Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by Tim Russert on 'Meet
The Press, NBC, 06-01-03

"Quit looking at the symbols. Get out and get a
job. Quit shooting each other. Quit having
illegitimate babies."

- State Rep. John Graham Altman (R-SC),
addressing African-American concerns about the
'symbol' of the Confederate Flag, New York Times,

"Two things made this country great: White men &
Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is
in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the
nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be
directly traced back to our departure from God's Law
and the disenfranchisement of White men."

- State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every
member of the North Carolina House and Senate,
reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01

"NOW is saying that in order to be a woman,
you've got to be a lesbian."

- Pat Robertson again, The 700 Club, 12-03-97

"My biggest fear is going to be going to the
funeral of some young Iowa man or woman who dies in
this conflict and having their mother or father come
up to me and ask whether or not their son or daughter
died for America, or died to save Bill Clinton's
presidency. I don't know what I would say to those
grieving parents. For that reason I believe the
President must resign immediately."

- Rep. Jim Nussle (R-IA), Congressional Record,
H11963, 12-18-98

"Why should we hear about body bags and deaths
and how many, what day it's gonna happen? It's not
relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on
something like that?"

- Barbara Bush, said on 'Good Morning America'
the day before the Iraq war started, New York Times,

"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain
- I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the
interesting thing about being the President. Maybe
somebody needs to explain to me why they say
something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an

- George W. Bush, Washington Post, 11-19-02

These quotes, and about a thousand others equally
as preposterous, can be found in a new book by Bruce
Miller and Diana Maio titled 'Take Them At Their
Words.' The next time our valiant conservative
leadership bemoans the "corruption and fall of the
nation," remember that, by and large, these bemoaners
are the clowns who have been running the circus for
the last several years.

A few are also up for re-election in 2004. Bear
that in mind.


William Rivers Pitt is the senior editor and lead
writer for truthout. He is a New York Times and
international bestselling author of two books - 'War
on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and
'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'

Posted by richard at March 11, 2004 04:14 PM