52 Political Quotes of Jacob Weisberg

” People who live in hermit states like North Korea, Burma, and Cuba already suffer from global isolation. Fed on a diet of propaganda, they don’t know what’s happening inside their borders or outside of them. By increasing their seclusion, sanctions make it easier for dictators to blame external enemies for a country’s suffering. “
” All kinds of gambling, from bingo to baccarat, are benign entertainment for most people, dangerously addictive to a few, and capable of breeding unwanted side effects for society. “
” The use of torture on suspected terrorists after Sept. 11 has already earned a place in American history’s hall of shame, alongside the Alien and Sedition Acts, Japanese internment during World War II, and the excesses of the McCarthy era. “
” Trade, tourism, cultural exchange, and participation in international institutions all serve to erode the legitimacy of repressive regimes. “
” The tone of good web writing grows out of email. It’s more direct, personal, colloquial, urgent, witty, efficient. It doesn’t waste your time. It reflects that engagement, responsiveness, and haste of web surfers, as opposed to the more general passivity of print readers. “
” To count as transformative, a president needs to synthesize the moment and mood of the country. “
” Northeastern conservatism is moderate, accepts the modern welfare state, and dislikes mixing religion with politics. Western conservatism is hawkish, hates government, and embraces individual freedom. Southern conservatism is populist, draws on evangelical Christianity, and plays upon racial resentments. “
” For the grifter, ripping people off is seldom the point. The grifter is an artiste who invests in the long con. “
” Both Left and Right take pleasure in mildly persecuting those who fail to meet their civic ideals. “
” To Trump, being a billionaire means plating everything in gold and slapping his name everywhere in huge block letters. It means that he gets to say whatever pops into his head and never has to say he is sorry. “
” The cradle-to-grave welfare state diminishes individual initiative and can breed a pervasive sclerosis. “
” Because conscription appeals to essentially no one, the United States has lived with the All-Volunteer Force since the end of the Vietnam War. “
” Founded in rebellion against colonial tyranny, our country is naturally suspicious of government intrusion, interference, and snooping. European systems, by comparison, grow out of a tradition of the state providing social benefits for workers that stretches back to Bismarck and Germany in the 1880s. “
” Unlike the Japanese internment, water-boarding was ordered and served up in secret. But it, too, was America’s policy, not just Dick Cheney’s. Congress was informed about what was happening and raised no objection. The public knew, too. “
” If there’s one epithet the Right never tires of, it’s ‘elitism.’ “
” Of the alternatives we face in controlling long-term spending growth, moving Medicare to a voucher system seems only mildly unfortunate – and nothing as compared with a debt-driven economic crisis that could stem from inaction. “
” Donald Trump is an archetypal grifter. Using the presidency to promote your golf courses, hotels, and real estate business is grifting. So is getting people to pay a premium for buildings with your name in big, gold letters. Licensing your name is what every grifter dreams about. “
” Abandoning traditions of responsibility and civility won the GOP control of both houses of Congress in 1994. Rejecting any compromise brought Republicans the perks and power of majority control for the first time in 40 years. Thus did the politics of total resistance become their path of least resistance. “
” The first conversation I ever had about the Internet was in 1993 with Robert Wright, who was then a colleague at the ‘New Republic.’ “
” Thanks to Twitter, I learn about the revolutions in the Middle East via Arab activists and writers, not just from American foreign correspondents. “
” In authoritarian societies, cultural institutions tend to become ideological proxies – think of the National Ballet in Cuba or the East German gymnastics team. “
” Academic Marxists were never going to be convinced that anything that happened in the real world could invalidate their belief system. Utopians of the Right, libertarians are just as convinced that their ideas have yet to be tried and that they would work beautifully if we could only just have a do-over of human history. “
” As with the government failures that made 9/11 possible, neglecting to prevent the crash of ’08 was a sin of omission – less the result of deregulation per se than of disbelief in financial regulation as a legitimate mechanism. “
” The best thing you can say about libertarians is that because their views derive from abstract theory, they tend to be highly principled and rigorous in their logic. “
” The worst thing you can say about libertarians is that they are intellectually immature, frozen in the worldview many of them absorbed from reading Ayn Rand novels in high school. Like other ideologues, libertarians react to the world’s failing to conform to their model by asking where the world went wrong. “
” Nearly everyone who chooses to work for Donald Trump is disreputable in one way or another; Ali Baba didn’t find 40 wise men in the cave. But to label everyone in Trumpworld a grifter misses important subtleties. It conflates grifters and grafters, and it ignores the crucial distinction between the two. “
” Nearly everyone who chooses to work for Donald Trump is disreputable in one way or another; Ali Baba didn’t find 40 wise men in the cave. But to label everyone in Trumpworld a grifter misses important subtleties. It conflates grifters and grafters, and it ignores the crucial distinction between the two. “
” Where the grifter is shameless, the grafter shrinks from exposure, which could only endanger the racket. He is greedy but not creatively ambitious. He toils in mundane self-dealing, insider trading, bribe taking, witness tampering, and other forms of workaday corruption. “
” While ‘The Wire’ feels startlingly lifelike, it is not, in fact, a naturalistic depiction of ghetto life. That kind of realism better describes an earlier miniseries of Simon’s, ‘The Corner,’ which was based on the book of the same title that he and Ed Burns wrote, set in the same Baltimore ghetto. “
” What ultimately makes ‘The Wire’ uplifting amid the heartbreak it conveys is its embodiment of a spirit that Barack Obama calls ‘the audacity of hope.’ It is filled with characters who should quit but don’t, not only the boys themselves but teachers, cops, ex-cops, and ex-cons who lose their hearts to them. “
” Israel never meant to take over the West Bank and Gaza – it got stuck with them after the 1967 war. “
” American liberals are an external part of Israel’s conscience, and when it disdains them, it becomes a harder and more isolated place. The support that Israel has gained from millenarian American conservatives is no substitute, in part because such allies aren’t persuasive global advocates for Israel. “
” Objecting to someone because of his religious beliefs is not the same thing as prejudice based on religious heritage, race, or gender. “
” As far apart as they are theologically, Mormons and evangelical Christians may have more in common with each other anthropologically than they do with secular Americans watching ‘Big Love’ on HBO. “
” Not applying a religious test for public office means that people of all faiths are allowed to run – not that views about God, creation, and the moral order are inadmissible for political debate. “
” In George W. Bush’s case, the public paid far too little attention to the role of religion in his thinking. Many voters failed to appreciate that while Bush’s religious beliefs may be moderate Methodist ones, he was someone who relied on his faith immoderately, as an alternative to rational understanding of complex issues. “
” Paradoxically, I think working at an Internet magazine intensifies the attraction of beautiful printed objects. “
” I hope my children will grow up to love literature, but I expect they will absorb it as readily via a screen or pod as from glued quires of printed pages. “
” The book has had a good run. For 550 years, it was the most practical way to deliver writing to multiple readers. “
” Political assumptions can remain constant for long periods and then change very quickly. “
” Obama is the rare Democrat who talks easily about faith and values and who does so without upsetting those offended by the mixture of religion and politics. “
” Closely allied to the assumption that Democrats can’t win because they’re too secular is the view that they can’t win if they’re too liberal. This assumption has steered Hillary Clinton toward the center, following her husband. I tend to share this view myself. “
” Where Reagan channeled disenchantment with overweening government, Obama symbolized America’s transformation into a multiracial country. “
” Like other forms of gambling, wagering on the Internet isn’t illegal because it’s bad. It’s bad because we’ve chosen to make it illegal. “
” The conservative position that all spending is evil obliterates any distinction between investment and consumption, between the long-term and the short-term. “
” Book collectors are thrill-seekers. It is a vegetarian hunt to be sure, without much exertion or risk, but the endorphin rush of the chase and the adrenaline high of the capture are much the same with first editions as I imagine they must be in the pursuit of 10-point stags, largemouth bass, or 20-foot waves at Maverick’s. “
” Despite all the Internet has done to make prices transparent and bibliographic information universal, you can still find – at book sales and thrift shops, auctions and even fancy dealers – unrecognized or underpriced rarities. Getting something valuable for cheap is the basic, greedy thrill of book collecting. “
” Book collecting is a largely solitary, mostly male, and completely absorbing activity. “
” Raised in a house filled with old books, I’m drawn to them: the dust jackets that call out a historical moment, the marbled boards, the words pressed into the page with movable type. “
” By 2003, if you didn’t understand that the United States was inflicting torture on those deemed enemy combatants, you weren’t paying much attention. “
” The leader who loves books that tell him he is great and right may be worse than the leader who does not love books at all. “
” It’s tempting to dismiss the debate about the National Security Agency spying on Americans as a technical conflict about procedural rights. “