Dick Morris quotes and sayings
November 28, 1948
Spontaneous combustion of grassroots politics is the future.
The Darwinian adaptive trait of our time is the ability to figure out when we are being lied to on television.
Every donation received is a potential negative ad. Vetting money is just as important as raising it.
Obama has had two raging successes in his term: He has slashed unemployment by persuading millions to give up hope and leave the labor force; and He has cut illegal immigration by casting the United States into a permanent job shortage. Some achievements!
The most pernicious of his Obama proposals will be the massive Make Work Pay refundable tax credit. Dressed up as a tax cut, it will be a national welfare program, guaranteeing a majority of American households an annual check to 'refund' taxes they never paid. And it will eliminate the need for about 20% of American households to pay income taxes, lifting the proportion that need not do so to a majority of the voting population.
Obama has paid and will continue to pay dearly for betting on his stimulus package. Because of it, the Bush recession is becoming the Obama recession much faster than it would have had he adopted a more gradual approach to solving economic problems. By jumping in immediately, as he did, in order to increase government spending and pass eight years of Democratic dreams in one day, he made the public expect a solution.
In fighting scandal, the key is not to overreact.
A politician can do what he thinks is right, he just has to be sophisticated in how he goes about it. Those who seek a president who 'will disregard the polls and just lead,' ask for the political equivalent of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade.'.
As Bob Dole found out, you can't keep a positive image while being your party's mouthpiece in Congress. That's why no legislative leader since James Madison has ever been elected president.
With a congressional mandate to run the deficit up as high as need be, there is no reason to raise taxes now and risk aggravating the depression. Instead, Obama will follow the opposite of the Reagan strategy. Reagan cut taxes and increased the deficit so that liberals could not increase spending. Obama will raise spending and increase the deficit so that conservatives cannot cut taxes. And, when the economy is restored, he will raise taxes with impunity, since the only people who will have to pay them would be rich Republicans.
The Hispanic population grew by 4.7 percent last year, while blacks expanded by 1.5 percent and whites by a paltry 0.3 percent. Hispanics cast 6 percent of the vote in 1990 and 12 percent in 2000. If their numbers expand at the current pace, they will be up to 18 percent in 2010 and 24 percent in 2020. With one-third of Hispanics voting Republican, they are the jump ball in American politics. As this vote goes, so goes the future.
President Lyndon Johnson's administration was known for his War on Poverty. President Obama's will become notable for his War on Prosperity. We're speaking, of course, of Obama's plans to hike income taxes on the most wealthy 2 or 3 percent of the nation. He's not just raising the top rate to 39.6 percent; he's also disallowing about one-third of top earner's deductions, whether for state and local taxes, charitable contributions or mortgage interest. This is an effective hike in their taxes by an average of about 20 percent.
Rebut the negative, and the opposing campaign has not merely lost a skirmish, it has suffered almost irreparable damage. An effective rebuttal makes it hard for the campaign whose ad is destroyed to be believed about anything ever again.
Now a great debate has been born. The thesis is Democratic Socialism. The antithesis is free-market capitalism. The Obama Democrats have posed the challenge. It is now up to the Republicans to pick it up and fight along these lines.
It is from the center that leaders must lead.
Growth demands investment, and investment demands stability. So the more Obama stirs the pot with his proposals and potential changes, the more he retards exactly the investment he needs to get the economy moving again.
I probably had 150 meetings with Trent Lott. He has said exactly as many racist things to me as Bill Clinton has, which is to say zero.
Democrats are not about to nominate anyone who backs the tax cut, and Americans are not going to elect anyone who favors a tax increase.
How, voters will ask, can we cover 50 million new people without any new doctors or nurses? The answer is to ration health care, with the U.S. government deciding whom will get hip and knee replacements, heart bypass surgery and all manner of medical treatments. And what does rationing mean? It means that the elderly will be denied care, which they can now get whenever they want it.
The Democratic Party opposes tax cuts but it cannot say so publicly. Thus, it is forced to support the idea of lowering the tax burden but using class warfare rhetoric to dispute the allocation of the relief.
Anybody else who's gotten the president of the United States elected, tell me you are better than I am at it.
Each morning we sat reading our copy of the New York Times, the Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times and ruminated on their prophecies of doom and quagmire. Then we looked up to see, on television, correspondents actually embedded with our troops, reporting quick advances, one- sided firefights, melting opposition and, finally, welcoming crowds.
The opposing party rarely causes so much angst as does one's own.
No true patriot could be for Ron Paul.
Presidents generally do what they are good at in their first four years, then spend their second term responding to the agendas imposed upon them by events.
the top 10 percent of incomes pay 70 percent of the income taxes and cast about 25 percent of the vote.
Only dramatic cuts in the federal deficit, a rollback of regulations that cripple small and community banks, a cancellation of future tax increase plans, a big reduction in federal spending, repeal of Obamacare, freeing manufacturing from the prospect of carbon taxation and unleashing out domestic energy potential can solve our problems. But Obama is not about to undo his legacy of disaster for the American people.
There is no substitute for a clear vision and a decisive direction.
The dependency on the dole, formerly limited in pre-Clinton days to 14 million women and children on AFDC, will now grow to a clear majority of the U.S. population.
I love Karl Rove. He elected Bush.
is proving that the Internet is a better, cheaper, and faster way to raise money than the old glad-handing of special interests and fat cat donors. He's also about to demonstrate that the Internet is a better place to spend campaign dollars than are TV stations and media time buys. The fact that Internet communications is free makes one-on-one retail politics more effective, more rapid, and less costly than mass communication.
I think that really, when we look at this whole process, we can come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a moderate Democrat, that fundamentally all Democrats are Democrats.
nobody would think of asking the U.N. General Assembly what it thinks because it is dominated by nations with no power and less legitimacy.
I felt that what you should do is really take the best from each party's agenda and come to a solution somewhere above the positions of each party. So from the Left, take the idea that we need day care and food supplements for people on welfare. From the Right, take the idea that they have to work for a living and that there are time limits.
Despite romantic fantasies about caring candidates who learn of America in donut shops, most politicians rely on media to teach them what concerns the average person.
The key to running a campaign on the cheap is to avoid spending money on anything other than projecting a message.
I didn't do what they said I did. I may have done enough so that I don't know if I can prove my innocence.
The problem: Democrats have to drop their stupid class-warfare rhetoric. With 74 million Americans owning stock in one form or another, anything which helps them can't be derided as a sop to the rich.
My mother used to say: 'It's not enough to be Hungarian. You still need a little talent, too.' To paraphrase her, its not enough to be conservative, you still need to have the brainpower to be a Supreme Court justice. And, if Harriet Miers is confirmed, she likely won't be in the same league with her colleagues in terms of gray matter.
When the history of the 20th century is written, there are going to be some pretty obscure people who are entitled to sainthood. And they're not going to be well-known.
The last man to try to run for president advocating a tax increase was Walter Mondale. He lost 49 states in 1984, and the "I'll raise your taxes" reputation haunted him all the way to Minnesota last year, where he lost his 50th state in the Senate election.
Ronald Reagan cut taxes to raise the deficit to stop liberals in future years from increasing spending. Obama will raise spending to raise the deficit to stop conservatives in future years from cutting taxes. As he funds every liberal dream - from alternative energy production to infrastructure renovation to more federal revenue sharing - he will force a massive expansion in the size of government for a decade to come.
Lincoln and Clinton had a lot in common in the way they were elected: In both cases, they were dark horses. In both cases, they were from small states. In both cases, they were not the favorite for their parties' nomination.
Leadership is a dynamic tension between where a politician thinks his country must go and where his voters want it to go.
I think that the reason Clinton chose Gore was that he was an example of what Clinton was like. He was kind of almost like the yellow magic marker that you use to highlight the text so that you can really remember what are the most salient features of it.
Sometimes nationalism can be jingoistic - even fascistic - but it can also be a constructive impetus that helps to unify a nation. Those whose nationalist critique of parties finds resonance with masses of voters can acquire vast power. We can only hope that they know what to do with it.
If you're going to be a sexual predator, be a Democrat.
In the name of short-term stimulus, he Obama will give every American family a welfare check of $1,000 euphemistically called a refundable tax credit. And he will so sharply cut taxes on the middle class and the poor that the number of Americans who pay no federal income tax will rise from the current one-third of all households to more than half. In the process, he will create a permanent electoral majority that does not pay taxes, but counts on ever-expanding welfare checks from the government.
More and more, the Democrats are not merely inconsistent, wrong and/or misguided - they are the worst of all possible things you can be in Washington: irrelevant.
Spin is overrated. It is strategy, not spin, that wins elections.
Legislative action will never bring genuine campaign-finance reform. Consultants will prove endlessly inventive in gaming whatever system the reformers can devise so as to give their candidate an edge and allow the power of massive money to be felt. But reform laws will become irrelevant and redundant as the Internet replaces the special-interest fat cats as the best way to raise money and takes the place of TV as the most effective way to get votes.
Socialist countries throughout the world love to lower retirement ages to make people prematurely dependent on the government. But we should move in the opposite direction. In the long run, indexing retirement to life expectancy will yield enormous revenues to the system, far more than a one-shot increase in the age in the current legislative cycle.
The most basic decision a modern politician must make is whether to be aggressive or conciliatory.
In Canada the cancer death rate is 16% higher than in the U.S. because of rationing of medical care. It takes an eight week wait to get radiation therapy for cancer.
When Obama's economic advisers - a greater group of schlemiels would be hard to find - warn that failure to raise the limit will trigger default and horrific consequences for the global economy, Republicans should reply that if this is so, tell it to your president and get him to approve the spending cuts along with the debt-limit increase.
It is true that the top quintile is getting richer while the bottom is getting poorer, but the bottom is not the same people. There is, fortunately, a constant churning at the bottom as new immigrants move in and those who used to be on the bottom begin their long, thrilling upward climb to the American dream.
'Yes' is a far more potent word than 'no' in American politics. By adopting the positions which animate the political agenda for the other side, one can disarm them and leave them sputtering with nothing to say.
In the real world, banks hang onto their money for fear of making bad loans, no matter how many bailouts or stimulus packages Washington passes.
Like the battleships of old, omnibus programs present too tempting a target, too easily destroyed by a single attack, to make it through a fight... It is through incremental change after change, step after step, that a statesman of today can vindicate a bold vision.
You cannot cover the 50 million new people Obama seeks to cover without more doctors and nurses. But the administration and even the Blue Dogs in the House have proposed nothing to add to the supply of medical services even as they plan vastly to increase the demand by covering new people.
The reapportionment of 2002 designed congressional districts that favored incumbents of both parties, leaving virtually no room for challengers to be elected. Of 435 members of the House of Representatives, only four incumbents lost to nonincumbents of the other party. In all, 96 percent of incumbents were re-elected.
We in politics are accustomed to seeing reality firsthand and then watching its distant cousin, events as portrayed by the media, unfold on our televisions. We know that what happened in Congress and what is reported to have taken place are two very different things. But that disjuncture, so familiar to politicians, is new to the viewing public. By seeing war and war coverage juxtaposed nightly on their screens, Americans have learned the crucial lesson: not to trust the news anchors.
Any Democrat who squirms on the tax-cut issue in the primaries has no chance ' zero ' to win the nomination. Each will have to take the pledge to oppose the Bush tax cuts. Thus, Bush will have succeeded in creating a situation where anyone who can win the nomination can't win the election. Democrats are not about to nominate anyone who backs the tax cut, and Americans are not going to elect anyone who favors a tax increase.
Fom the out set, the War on Terror was sharply different from other U.S. military actions in the strong support it received from American women. Normally, men back military action by 10 to 20 points more than women do. But, after 9/11, women felt more endangered by terror and backed action against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden as strongly as men did.
The stagnation of the Japanese economy in the past 20 years is eloquent testimony to the fact that government usually gets it wrong. Sometimes it makes the wrong decision because it fails to anticipate the market.
The cost of campaigning has skyrocketed in recent years because of the falloff in TV viewership. With only one-third as many people watching TV as did 20 years ago, politicians have responded by buying three times as many ads, driving the cost of campaigning to levels which only favored candidates can afford.
The greater informational levels of the voters, their decreasing inhibitions in expressing disagreement, and their greater preference for Jeffersonian direct involvement, all make the need for a 'permanent campaign' to sell a president's policies all the more crucial.
The macro of any negotiation is that the only time you can cut a deal is when both sides are hurting. If either side is - is well and feeling happy, you can't get a deal. Then they go for victory. You need - if they're willing to settle for things the other side can live with, it's because they're hurting a little bit.
The Iraq War marked the beginning of the end of network news coverage. Viewers saw the juxtaposition of the embedded correspondents reporting the war as it was actually unfolding and the jaundiced, biased, negative coverage of these same events in the network newsrooms.
Bill and Hillary Clinton have one central idea in their uncluttered, ambitious minds: Hillary in 2008. Let Bush get re-elected, use the '04 primaries and general election to clean out the underbrush of competing Democratic candidates, and proceed unimpeded to the '08 nomination.
There is a no-man's land in our politics: on the one hand, bounded by what we know to be true, and on the other hand, bounded by what the media says is politically correct. And that's where Donald Trump lives. And it's our failure to admit what we all know to be true in the guise of political correctness that fuels the Trump candidacy.
The beauty of our court system is that anybody can enter the court and sue. Uh, you have to be appointed to be in the Executive Branch. You have to be elected to be in the Legislative Branch, but anybody can go into court.
The harm Clinton AG Reno did to American national security in the fight against terror was incalculable.
We will shortly become like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, or Sweden - a socialist democracy in which the government dominates the economy, determines private-sector priorities and offers a vastly expanded range of services to many more people at much higher taxes.
The typical presidential staff resents the vice-president even more than they do the first lady.
Obama's perverse view of fairness threatens to create reverse incentives, militating against growth, jobs, expansion and upward mobility.
The old rules and the old methods of winning are gone.
President Obama's recommended reduction in the tax deduction for charitable giving reflects his fundamental belief that only the government can or should help the poor. He wants to keep the impoverished directly dependent on the government - and the Democratic Party - for their daily bread.
The financial interdependence of the world's banks is like the interlocking alliances that predated World War I.
Public-opinion polls show that Americans split about evenly on civil unions. But when the words 'gay marriage' are presented, they break 3-to-1 against it.
Nothing works on the campaign trail like attacks on candidates for bad attendance. It alienates people on both sides of every issue and reflects a callous disregard of the work of the people. The feeble argument that "I'm running for president" isn't much of a rebuttal: George W. Bush finds time to be president, and he's running too.
I will not subject my wife, family or friends to the sadistic vitriol of yellow journalism. I will not dignify such journalism with a reply or an answer. I never will.
Often GOP political strategy seems like the human wave theory of the Chinese military translated to politics. Where Beijing uses masses of soldiers to overwhelm their adversaries, the GOP uses huge campaign budgets as a substitute for strategy, thought or issues.
Bill Clinton's incredibly bold idea was to change the grant to a transaction: we'll give you something, but we demand something back; the way he would phrase it is, 'We'll give you opportunity, but you have to take responsibility.'.
Idealism that makes no distinction between areas where our national interest lies and those from which it is remote does no good for America. The weariness of the post-Versailles, post-Korea, post-Vietnam eras is never far from the national mood.
Those crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the UN's going to take over' - well, they're beginning to have a case.
Obama does not believe in individual upward mobility. He would penalize it, tax it, regulate it, inveigh against it and disincentivize it. We will be like salmon swimming upstream to mate. We will overcome the currents, the waterfall, the rocks and the predators, and will grapple our way up the stream. Then, at the top of the waterfall will stand Obama the Bear, waiting to scoop us up and have us for dinner. The taxman cometh.
Americans will gladly support their president when he attacks nations that sponsor or harbor terrorists. We will even back him in a preemptive war against a country that might attack us. But when we start sending troops around the world to stabilize nations that, if left to disintegrate, might become breeding grounds for terror, it's a step too far for most Americans.
Henry David Thoreau
C. S. Lewis
J. K. Rowling
George R. R. Martin
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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