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Monday, February 20, 2006

On George Washington:

"His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man." —Thomas Jefferson on George Washington

"His example is now complete, and it will teach wisdom and virtue to magistrates, citizens, and men, not only in the present age, but in future generations, as long as our history shall be read." —John Adams, Message to the U.S. Senate, 19 December 1799

"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in humble and enduring scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding; his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting... Correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence and virtue always felt his fostering hand. The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues... Such was the man for whom our nation mourns." —Official eulogy of Washington, written by John Marshall and delivered by Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III, 26 December 1799

"Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw a doubt, but when once decided, going through with his purpose, whatever obstacles opposed. His integrity was pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man." —Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Walter Jones, 2 January 1814
"In the wrangles over gay marriage, some conservatives are proposing a simple solution: Have the government just get out of the marriage business. Small-government conservatives are saying, Why not just let people have any marital relationship they want? What business does the government have regulating marriage? Christian conservatives are saying, Let the secular world throw out or redefine marriage if it wants, we'll keep marriage as a distinctly Christian institution... The problem with privatizing marriage is that marriage is not private. Nor is marriage a 'legal fiction' constructed by the government. Nor is marriage the creation of the church. Marriage is a function of God's creation... A private romantic or sexual preference cannot overthrow God's design. Marriage itself, as God built it into His creation, cannot be revised." —Gene Edward Veith

"In free societies, government exists for the sake of the people, not the other way around. Government is not directed by the whims of any dictator or the mandate of any clique but by the good sense of the people through a democratic vote. In free societies, people do not live in fear. They never worry that criticizing the government will lead to a late knock on the door, an arrest by some goon squad. When people are free, their rights to speak and to pray are protected by law. And the goons are not running the jails; they're in the jails." —Ronald Reagan

"I am convinced that forcing hundreds or, if necessary, thousands of votes to strike individual earmarks is the only way to produce meaningful results for American taxpayers. Bringing the Senate to a standstill for as long as it takes would be a small price to pay for shutting down what Jack Abramoff described as Congress's 'earmark favor factory.' The battle against pork is crucial. Pork is the root cause of the unholy relationship between some members of Congress, lobbyists and donors. Inside Congress, the pork process is effectively a black market economy: Thousands of instances exist where appropriations are leveraged for fundraising dollars or political capital. It is delusional to claim Congress can redeem its relationship with K Street without eliminating earmarks. The problem is not lobbyists. The problem is us." —Sen. Tom Coburn

"[T]he truth is that George Bush's presidency has suffered precisely because he has failed to listen to the small-government guys... Earmarks have mushroomed during the Bush presidency from 6,333 to 13,999—and Republicans are taking the heat because of them. Education spending at the federal level has doubled, with the political payoff extremely hard to detect. The largest expansion of Medicare in four decades has occurred with Bush leading the charge. And Bush is heading toward an historic first: the only president in over 120 years never to have vetoed a single bill." —Allan Ryskind

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