Worst Quotes of the Year, Dubya Edition (2001-2004)
To wrap up our list of the Best of NQ's worst quotes of the year, a look now at the more recent winners in the Dubya era. For reasons which shall become obvious (length), we'll go backwards in this post. 2005's Quote of the Year (Mary Mapes on her strange philosophy of journalism) is here.
Dan Rather's Gloom, 2004: "What drives American civilians to risk death in Iraq? In this economy it may be, for some, the only job they can find." — Dan Rather teasing a report on the CBS Evening News on March 31, the day four American civilians were killed and mutilated in Fallujah, Iraq.
Absurdly Pro-Teddy, 2003: "If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age." – Charles Pierce in a January 5 Boston Globe Magazine article. Kopechne drowned while trapped in Kennedy’s submerged car off Chappaquiddick Island in July 1969, an accident Kennedy did not report for several hours.
The "Rapture" Speech from Bill Moyers, 2002: "The entire federal government – the Congress, the executive, the courts – is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate. That agenda includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to surrender control over their own lives. It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich. It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable. And it includes secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine.
"Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you like the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what’s coming. And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture....
"So it’s a heady time in Washington, a heady time for piety, profits and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money. Don’t forget the money....Republicans out-raised Democrats by $184 million and they came up with the big prize: monopoly control of the American government and the power of the state to turn their radical ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price."– Bill Moyers’ commentary at the end of his PBS show Now on November 8, the Friday after Republicans won control of the Senate in midterm elections.
There was no Quote of the Year category in 2001, as 9/11 really changed the whole year dramatically. For a deeper swim in the annual Best of Notable Quotables, there is a handy archive page here.