The top 10 quotations from the “00’s”

Before our country can move forward, we need to know how we got here in the first place. Here are a few clues

By David Sirota

While I’m loath to write a top-10 list, if only for fear of falling short of Dave Letterman’s legendary bit, I’m making an exception in this first week of 2010 — a moment when we get to not only make New Year’s resolutions, but resolutions for the new decade. As we make those prospective pledges, let’s take a moment to look back at the top 10 quotations from the last 10 years — the ones telling us some painful truths about our country, society and worldview; the ones that might inform us of what we need to do as we move forward.

10. “They frankly own the place.” — Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., in 2009 admitting the taboo about banks’ influence in Congress.

9. “Haven’t we already given money to rich people … Shouldn’t we be giving money to the middle?” — President George W. Bush in November 2002, acknowledging to advisors that he knew his tax cuts were giveaways to the super-wealthy.

8. “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.” — Anti-healthcare protester at an August 2009 congressional town hall meeting in South Carolina — the single most succinct sign that our country has become an idiocracy.

7. “We did this for the show.” — Falcon Heene on Oct. 15, 2009, telling CNN that the Balloon Boy chase was a hoax. The declaration demonstrated that the media‘s 24-7 knee-jerk sensationalism is irresponsible and proved that America’s culture of celebrity aspiration is completely out of control.

6. “As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know they’re some things we do not know. But there’re also unknown unknowns; the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” — Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Feb. 12, 2002, effectively telling us that the government had no idea what it was doing by invading Iraq.

5. “Bring ’em on.” — President George Bush on July 2, 2003, daring al-Qaida to attack U.S. troops — yet more proof that the elite defines “toughness” as politicians flippantly sacrificing young American lives for Washington’s hubristic ideologies.

4. “The investment community feels very put-upon. They feel there is no reason why they shouldn’t earn $1 million to $200 million a year, and they don’t want to be held responsible for the global financial meltdown.” — Daniel Fass, chairman of Obama’s financial-industry fundraising party on Oct. 19, 2009, insisting that despite wrecking the economy and then being handed trillions of bailout dollars, Wall Street is a victim.

3. “$500,000 is not a lot of money, particularly if there is no bonus.” — Wall Street compensation consultant James Reda on Feb. 3, 2009, giving the New York Times a good example of just how totally out of touch the super-rich really are.

2. “I didn’t campaign on the public option.” — President Obama on Dec. 22, 2009, expecting the public to forget that his presidential campaign platform explicitly promised to pass healthcare legislation giving all Americans “the opportunity to enroll in (a) new public plan.”

1. “It doesn’t matter.” — Vice President Dick Cheney on Nov. 5, 2006, referring to polls repeatedly showing the majority of Americans oppose the Iraq war — a sign the ruling class truly does not care about the demands of the public.

These epigrams expose a nation that has internalized and accepted the forces of avarice, corruption, dishonesty, incompetence and insensitivity. Some of them are darkly funny, some of them are gut-wrenchingly sad — but all of them are warnings. Whether we listen to them or not will be the difference between repeating the last decade’s folly or learning from it.

Here’s to resolutions for the new decade that finally choose the latter.


Have any quotes for the list? Here are a couple of ours:

George Bush May 1, 2003:

“In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”

Sarah Palin: (2008) with Charlie Gibson: “Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?”
Blink, blink. “In what respect, Charlie?”



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21 responses to “The top 10 quotations from the “00’s”

  1. audiegrl

    “You’re being inappropriate Larry”~Carrie Prejean on Larry King LIVE 2009

  2. betsmeier

    Absolutely ag, that was a good one.

  3. George Bush:

    “Now watch this drive”

  4. GW Bush: May 1, 2003,

  5. audiegrl

    Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’m [going to] let you finish — but…~~Kenye West @ MTV Video Music Awards

  6. audiegrl

    “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.” —Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

    Never rely on the facts Michele…the 1976 Swine Flu outbreak that happened when Gerald Ford was president 😉

  7. audiegrl

    “We need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets.” —Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele

    Discussing the GOP’s need for a hip-hop makeover, Feb 19, 2009

  8. audiegrl

    “I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night’s light – but hey, that would be going into sexual details…” —South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, writing a love email to his Argentine mistress, Maria Shapur

  9. audiegrl

    “She wears little eye-patch underwear. So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And so, we had made love Wednesday–a lot! And so she’ll, she’s all, ‘I am going up and down the stairs, and you’re dripping out of me!’ So messy!” —State Rep. Mike Duvall (R-Calif.), caught on a live mic boasting to a colleague about an affair with a lobbyist, Sept. 9, 2009. Duvall resigned when the tape was made public.

    Told ya’ll those Republicans were freaky-deaky 😉

  10. audiegrl

    “Obama’s got a health care logo that’s right out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook … Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate.” —Rush Limbaugh, Aug. 6, 2009

    • audiegrl

      Rush is getting a head start on the stupid in 2010…

      “Based on what happened here to me, I don’t think there’s one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy.”~Rush Limbaugh after being hospitalized in Hawaii January 2010

  11. audiegrl

    “O-L-I-G-A-R-H-Y.” —Glenn Beck, misspelling “oligarchy” on his chalk board while claiming he had deciphered a secret code that he said was proof Obama was trying to create an “Oligarhy,” Aug. 27, 2009, FOX News Channel’s “Glenn Beck Show”

  12. audiegrl

    “It may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: ‘Sit down and shut up,’ but that’s the worthless, easy path; that’s a quitter’s way out.” —Sarah Palin, quitting her job as governor, July 3, 2009

  13. audiegrl

    “This president I think has exposed himself over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture….I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people, I’m saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.” —Glenn Beck, on Obama, sparking an advertiser exodus from his FOX News show in both the US and the UK, July 28, 2009

  14. audiegrl

    “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel.'”—Sarah Palin, in a message posted on Facebook about Obama’s health care reform plan, Aug. 7, 2009

  15. audiegrl

    Bonus Quote:

    During some playful banter between legendary New York broadcaster Ernie Anastos and weatherman Nick Gregory on FOX 8, the following exchange occurred:

    Anastos: “It takes a tough man to make a tender forecast.”
    Gregory, looking confused: “I guess that’s me.”
    Anastos: “Keep f***ing that chicken.”
    Co-anchor Dari Alexander: [eyes bug out of head]

  16. how could we forget?

    “Don’t taze me bro”

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