The year 2011 is almost over. The old man with the beard is leaving the scene and will be replaced by the baby in a diaper. That mean’s I am ready for the annual deletion of my notes, a time when I am drawn, once again, to my favorite — and, as such, the most interesting — quotes of the year As always, it doesn’t matter who said them. It’s more important that we think about their significance.
Any one of them can stimulate conversation at your New Year’s party when it slows down. Some of them may even cause a fistfight, so I suggest you evaluate your guests before voicing these nuggets.
Let’s begin with the quote we hear every Dec. 31.
• “The fat lady is about to sing.” Where did this come from? One source says it comes from a boring Wagnerian opera that listeners couldn’t wait to end. It mercifully ends after said woman lets loose her lungs. Hmm, could be.
• “God bless them for their spontaneity. It’s independent, it’s young, it’s spontaneous, and it’s focused. And it’s going to be effective.” Of course, that’s about the Occupiers. But someone else said something I like a little more: “Occupiers DO have civil rights. They do NOT have the right to infringe upon mine.”
• “If Sen. Schumer was half as good for his constituents as he is for the Democrat Party, New York would be a much better place in which to live.” You could write a book of quotes describing Chuck Schumer. This is one of the best, but the best, of course, was this one: “The most dangerous place to stand is between Chuck Schumer and a camera.”
•“Because of more restrictive voting laws, Republicans want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws.” This was said by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the Democratic National Committee. Politifacts, the organization that exposes lies from both sides of the aisle, placed the congresswoman’s statement on the list of the top-10 lies of 2011. That is most interesting since Politifacts is a division of the St. Petersburg Times, a newspaper that leans to the left.
• “Please do not destroy the Pyramids. We will not rebuild.” In early February, during the crisis in Egypt, I was e-mailed a copy of a letter that included these words of advice sent from an Israeli to the Egyptians.
• “Barack Obama has brought more destruction upon this country in three years than any other event in the history of our nation, but it is just the beginning of what he and his comrades are capable of.” It doesn’t matte who said it. What matters is how many Americans will believe it next November — and the number seems to be growing.
• “Every aspect of life in America today is worse than it was when President Obama took over. Unemployment is higher. The only thing that has gone down in America over the last two years is the value of your home. This president has mismanaged this economy.” Ditto the one above it. And please, please do not write to tell me “It’s Bush’s fault. The semi-socialist in the White house has had three years to make some changes and every attempt at positive change has failed. “It’s the Republican’s fault.” Right!
• “If President Obama is not willing to seize the moral high ground and step aside, then the two Democratic leaders in Congress, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, must urge the president not to seek reelection — for the good of the party and, most of all, for the good of the country. And they must present the only clear alternative — Hillary Clinton.” This comes from two very important democrats who are clearly ready to jump ship.
I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net and plastered all over bumper stickers, signs and e-mails shooting all across America is my favorite quote of the year. “If you voted for Obama in 2008 just to prove you’re not racist, you’ll have to vote for the other guy in 2012 to prove that you’re not an idiot!”
No matter which way you lean politically, I wish you a happy, healthy and safe New Year.
Stanley Gershbein's column appears every Monday on BrooklynDaily.com.