January 10, 2006
An Early Contender For Best Quote of the Year - Update and Bump
UPDATED -- see below.
I know, I know; some of you may think January 3rd is a smidge too early to be nominating anyone for Best Quote of the Year -- particularly for a quotation from two days ago, on New Year's Day! But I cannot resist... especially as the candidate is one of my three favorite bloggers on my favorite blog, Power Line (the title refers to a different Power Line post).
In the course of a post on President Bush's defense of the NSA intercept program, John Hinderaker typed the pithiest summing-up I've yet read of all the arguments in favor of the program from a policy perspective, which also happens to be the most unanswerable argument on this subject from anyone, in the blogosphere or in the government itself. The Bush administration is nuts if they don't work this line into every speech by the president over the next eleven months:
When asked what Bush has to say to those who are concerned about their civil liberties, he responded along the lines of, "If al Qaeda is calling you, we want to know why. I think that's reasonable."
Modest John will likely argue that he was only quoting Bush; but his own words show that not to be true. He wrote that Bush said something "along the lines of" that quote. I would have to say that the brilliance of the quotation belongs to John, not to the president.
So keep this one in mind, folks, in case someone braces you a year from now to ask for recommendations for some Webbie-like award, in the category Pithiest Pronouncement.
UPDATE January 10th, 2006: Thanks to Bill Faith in the comments of a different post, we now have the Bush original... and as I remembered, John's version is pithier and sharper.
Here is George Bush's actual quotation "from a Q&A session after he visited Brook Army Medical
Center on January 1st," according to Mr. Faith: "Ed, I can say that if somebody from al Qaeda is calling you, we'd like to know why."
And now John's version: "If al Qaeda is calling you, we want to know why."
So the honor is still to Mr. Hinderaker.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 10, 2006, at the time of 11:01 PM
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The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist
If al Qaeda is calling you, we want to know why.
That gets my Vote, if W gets the credit for making it...simple as that.
The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist at January 4, 2006 5:24 PM
The following hissed in response by: RBMN
Speaking of calls from Iraq, I think Evan Thomas (on the Charlie Rose Show) tipped the media's hand a bit on their deep interest in the eavesdropping story. The press is concerned that THEY may have been listened to from the war zone, talking to their editors back in the US. (probably plotting and scheming about the type of anti-Bush slant they're going to put on their war coverage.)
The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith
Any chance of getting John Hinderaker to run in '08? Could the country handle having a leader that smart? -- OK, so I'm not serious about trying to get him to run for national office but I do seriously think he's smarter than a huge percentage of the Washington crowd, including W.
The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith at January 11, 2006 1:13 PM
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
I do seriously think he's smarter than a huge percentage of the Washington crowd, including W.
But is intelligence the primary qualification for leadership?
I'm not being sarcastic; I'm absolutely serious. Intelligence is a plus... but there are an extraordinary number of highly intelligent people who would make absolutely dreadful, even deadly leaders, including Lenin, Einstein, Tarantino, Sagan, and ab Hugh.
I prefer somebody who is morally grounded, has the ability to lead, has courage, has empathy, and oh yes, is also intelligent.
Now, I know Hindrocket has all of those capabilities as well as the IQ; what he lacks is any interest in giving up his family life to live in the fishbowl of D.C. politics.
But I just wanted to opine about the overprivileging of intelligence in too many areas, including politics.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at January 11, 2006 1:46 PM
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