“It is not the function of the government to relieve individuals of their responsibilities to their neighbors, or to relieve private institutions of their responsibilities to the public.”
— Republican President Herbert Hoover in the depths of the Great Depression.
“We insist that labor is entitled to as much respect as property. But our workers with hand and brain deserve more than respect for their labor. They deserve practical protection in the opportunity to use their labor at a return adequate to support them at a decent and constantly rising standard of living, and to accumulate a margin of security against the inevitable vicissitudes of life. ”
— President Franklin D. Roosevelt, fireside chat, 1936.
“The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life.”
— Arthur Godfrey, the TV host, of all people.
“I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.”
— Benjamin Harrison, a Republican president.
“The whole art of war consists in a well-reasoned and extremely circumspect defensive, followed by rapid and audacious attack.”
— Karl Rove in 1986, quoting Napoleon Bonaparte in a strategy memo to his political client, William J. Clements Jr. Clements went on to win the race for Texas governor.
“‘Hello,’ he lied.”
— Don Carpenter, on the sincerity of Hollywood agents.
“Washington is filled with people making other people’s arguments for money. Anyone trying to do anything of good purpose is in a constant struggle to keep from drowning in the river of steaming bullshit served up by lobbyists and politicians and pundits and PR firms. They bend statistics, they do impressions of people who believe what they say, and all the while the country burns. And it is the height of arrogance to decry what’s happened to our politics when you are a bonded practitioner of what’s happened to our politics.
“You want to be a pitchman for warlords? You want to carry the Devil’s water in Washington? Go for it. But just don’t tell me how to fucking talk.”
— Jon Lovett, former Obama speechwriter, referring to a reprimand from lobbyist Lanny Davis, from The Atlantic.