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GOP Quotes of the Week, Happy Endings Edition

May 20, 2007

The past week was a bittersweet time of garbled goodbyes and failed farewells for President Bush and his amen corner on the right. In Washington, Paul Wolfowitz resigned in disgrace, Tony Blair bid adieu to both President and his own legacy, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales faced new charges of malpractice over his Ashcroft bedside manner. Meanwhile, as President Bush dug in his heels over his fiasco in Iraq, the Teletubby terrorist Jerry Falwell shuffled off this mortal coil. Together, these unhappy endings produced yet another rhetorical gaffefest for the GOP.
Here, then, are the GOP Quotes of the Week:
Bedtime for Gonzo
"I'd rather trade places with Jose Padilla."
Viet Dinh, former senior Justice official under then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, about replacing Paul McNulty as Alberto Gonzales' deputy attorney general, May 19, 2007.
"Being able to go and having a very candid conversation and telling the president: 'Mr. President, this cannot be done. You can't do this,' - I think you want that."
Alberto Gonzales, May 19, 2007.
"No."
Alberto Gonzales, asked to share an example of a time he told President Bush "you can't do this," May 19, 2007.
"I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man."
James Comey, on then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales' browbeating the hospitalized John Ashcroft on March 10, 2004 to approve illegal NSA domestic spying, May 16, 2007.
"There's a lot of speculation about what happened and what didn't happen. I'm not going to talk about it."
President Bush, asked if he sent Gonzales to coerce the bed-ridden John Ashcroft in 2004, May 17, 2007.
"Trying to take advantage of a sick man. Because he had an appendectomy, his brain didn't work?"
Tony Snow, on Comey's assertion that Alberto Gonzales tried to coerce John Ashcroft, then bed-ridden with a pancreatic condition following gall bladder surgery, May 16, 2007.
"I wouldn't characterize those as top aides."
Alberto Gonzales, regarding chief-of-staff Kyle Sampson and White House liaison Monica Goodling, May 15, 2007.
"At the end of the day, the recommendations reflected the views of the deputy attorney general. He signed off on the names."
Alberto Gonzales, following the resignation of Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, May 15, 2007.
"The one person I would care about would be the views of the deputy attorney general, because the deputy attorney general is the direct supervisor of the United States attorneys."
Alberto Gonzales, following the resignation of Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, May 15, 2007.
"Looking back, things that I would have done differently? I think I would have had the deputy attorney general more involved, directly involved."
Alberto Gonzales, testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, April 19, 2007.
"People are now asking, if you're a good U.S. attorney, why aren't you getting fired?"
Fired Seattle U.S. prosecutor John McKay, May 9, 2007.
"[Y]ou're asking me a question I hadn't really thought about."
Alberto Gonzales, asked if any U.S. citizens were being denied their habeas corpus rights, May 10, 2007.
"There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution."
Alberto Gonzales, January 19, 2007.
Between Iraq and a Hard Place
"Could be."
President Bush, on whether he is responsible for Tony Blair's downfall, May 17, 2007.
"You have to undercut the perception of occupation in Iraq. It's very difficult to do that when you have 150,000-plus, largely western, foreign troops occupying the country."
Bush "War Czar" Lt. General Douglas Lute, August 24, 2005.
"Well, people know we're still in Germany and in South Korea."
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), asked whether the American people will support U.S. troops remaining in Iraq for 10 more years, May 16, 2007.
"No one knows how to define progress in such a mixed-up situation. We're having trouble measuring it. Imagine building a house without a ruler. It would be like the Dow Jones. Nobody accuses the Dow Jones of being biased. It would be good information for all of us. And then you could say who's winning and losing."
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), on creating benchmarks for Iraq, May 13, 2007.
"We tend to not deal with them very often. We have our own mission, and we do our own thing."
Paul Brinkley, undersecretary of defense, on working with the State Department officials at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, May 14, 2007.
"If they vote to ask us to leave, we'll be glad to comply."
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), on the Iraqi government, May 13, 2007.
"As far as the Iraqi parliament is concerned, the Iraqi government obviously doesn't feel that way."
John McCain, on the majority vote of the Iraqi parliament calling for the U.S. to withdraw, May 13, 2007.
"I had an armed escort because, because that's what General Petraeus thought we ought to have...I didn't call for the kind of, quote, protection that was around me. I'll be glad to go back to that market...with or without military protection and humvees, etc."
John McCain, on repeating his April trip to a Baghdad market, May 13, 2007.
"Let's don't declare this war lost because you're telling all these soldiers and Petraeus that they're losers."
Lindsay Graham (R-SC), to Senator Barbara Boxer, May 13, 2007.
"Keep your mouth shut."
Governor Sonny Perdue (R-GA), to Iraq war critics, May 11, 2007.
"Obviously, the President bears the major part of the burden."
Vice President Cheney, asked if he considered himself a "cold-blooded warmonger" who doesn't care about U.S. war casualties, May 10, 2007.
Republican Family Values
"The president's proposal provides a good quality of life for service members and their families."
White House statement on President Bush rejection of 3.5% pay increase for U.S. military servicemen and women, May 16, 2007.
"If they f**k with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to f**k them, too"
Paul Wolfowitz, on his opponents at the World Bank, May 15, 2007.
"F**k you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room."
John McCain, speaking to fellow Republican Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) about immigration bill, May 17, 2007.
"Falwell was a perfected Christian. He exuded Christian love for all men."
Ann Coulter, May 16, 2007.
"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen."
Jerry Falwell, on blame for 9/11, September 13, 2001.
"He could come back without arms, legs or eyeballs, and you're (whining)? You're not dodging bullets, so I don't want to hear any whining."
Laura Schlesinger, speaking to military wives, May 14, 2007.
"We've told people they can air those trailers out."
FEMA Director David Paulison, on high levels of formaldehyde in FEMA trailers used by Katrina victims, May 16, 2007.
"Here in the womb is a child that we're talking about doing this to."
Senator Sam Brownback, pointing to his abdomen, May 15, 2007.
"He's no more racist than any white male."
Rice University professor Bob Stein, on Ted Poe (R-TX) who approvingly quoted Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest, May 12, 2007.
"Let other federal agencies, as more than a dozen already do, cover the 'bugs and bunnies.' But let our spies be spies."
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), regarding CIA analysis of impact of global warming, May 10, 2007.
"You compare Bill Clinton's peccadilloes for which he was impeached to George Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors or Dick Cheney's high crimes and misdemeanors, and I think they pale in significance."
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former aide to Colin Powell, May 10, 2007.
"I am not happy with the Republican Party today."
Chuck Hagel(R-NE), May 13, 2007.
God's Own Party
"I cannot, and will not, vote for Rudy Giuliani in 2008. My conscience and my moral convictions will allow me to do nothing else."
James Dobson, May 18, 2007.
"As conservative Christians who take the Bible seriously, we have probably irreconcilable differences on life and family and that kind of thing...I couldn't support him for president."
Jerry Falwell, on Rudy Giuliani, April 17, 2006.
"If you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for Satan!"
Bill Keller, host of the Florida-based Live Prayer TV, May 11, 2007.
"Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right."
John McCain, on Jerry Falwell, February 28, 2000.
"I join the students, faculty, and staff of Liberty University and Americans of all faiths in mourning the loss of Reverend Jerry Falwell. Dr. Falwell was a man of distinguished accomplishment who devoted his life to serving his faith and country."
John McCain, May 16, 2007.
Following in Reagan's Footsteps
"I haven't changed my position in even-numbered years or...because of the different offices that I may be running for."
John McCain, regarding Mitt Romney, May 16, 2007.
"We're not hostile to the administration. We just want it to be over."
Unnamed Republican Congressman, to Robert Novak, May 16, 2007.
"I'm looking for Jack Bauer."
Tom Tancredo (R-CO), supporting waterboarding and other detainee interrogation techniques, May 15, 2007.
"I would say every method they could think of."
Rudy Giuliani, supporting waterboarding and other detainee interrogation techniques, May 15, 2007.
"My view is, we ought to double Guantanamo."
Mitt Romney, May 15, 2007.
"This is fundamental blocking and tackling. This is your line in football. If you don't have a line, how many passes can Peyton Manning complete? Greatest quarterback, maybe, in NFL history."
Sam Brownback, speaking about families in Wisconsin, home of Green Bay Packers and legendary quarterback Brett Favre, May 12, 2007.
For the archives of conservative ditties past, visit here.


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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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