1. “We, The People is more than a statement of purpose. It is an acknowledgement of an obligation to each other.”
— Charlie Pierce
2. “One of the great changes wrought by the increased public awareness of Alzheimers – and thank you, Nancy Reagan, you wonderful tough old dame, you – is that people in the early stages of the disease are now speaking out while they still have the capacity to do so.”
3. “The Republicans find their faith imperiled by Barney Frank’s marriage. There is always a shadow on the wall, a monster in the closet, a mysterious rustling in the teeming underbrush of the conservative Id.”
4. “If you ever become a mother, can I have one of the puppies?”
5. “It’s better to be black than gay because when you’re black you don’t have to tell your mother.”
6. “Ronald Reagan was a dim hack who did horrible damage to almost everything he touched.”
7. “According to the people who dearly would love to throw him out of office, Barack Obama was elected to be ‘above politics.’ He wasn’t elected to be president, after all. He was elected as an avatar of American tolerance. His attempts to get himself reelected imply a certain, well, ingratitude.”
8. “The man is the Piltdown Man of modern politics.”
9. “The idea that America elected a black man to be its president forty years after it declined to allow Martin Luther King Jr. to stand on a balcony without getting shot still maintains its power to awe and inspire.”
10. “It is the doctrine of the oligarchy that there is nothing that we hold in common, that the commonwealth is a myth, that it is even a sign of softheadedness and weakness. The oligarchical power feeds on the sense that we are all individuals, struggling on our own, and ennobled by the effort.”
11. “For all the huffing and blowing we get about rugged individualism, the American spirit and the American experiment always have had at their heart the notion that the government is all of us and that, therefore, the government may keep things in trust for all of us.”
12. “As a writer, I have to admit, there is something darkly compelling about Alzheimer’s because it attacks the two things most central to a writer’s craft – language and memory, which together make up an individual’s identity. Alzheimer’s makes a new character out of a familiar person.”
13. “There is a barbarism in the American soul, and we must protect some of it by law. To root it out is to endanger our lives on the one hand, and our liberty on the other.”
14. “If religion comes into the public square, it is as vulnerable as any other human institution to be pelted with produce. Ignorance does not become wisdom just because you gussy it up with the Gospels.”
15. “We have a revolutionary history to honor and uphold. Which was what Nelson Mandela did. He reminded us of that which we need to be reminded, over and over again, about our own best selves.”
16. “Bill Clinton was not a symbol. People did not invest in him their idea of what America should be or, worse, their pride in what they thought America had become. There was no great moral self-congratulation in having elected a president from Arkansas.”
17. “We create our own government. We are responsible for its beauty and for its ugliness. We are responsible for its glories and for its failures and, most important, we are responsible for amending those failures no matter who are their most immediate architects.”
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