The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Power of Insult

In my post below about Joy Behar, I gave her the business for being little more than a Don Rickles on estrogen. What I don't like about political repartee today is that the insult has simply been reduced to name-calling, which diminishes what was once an elegant art form.

John Randolph on Edward Livingstone:
"He was a man of splendid abilities, but utterly corrupt. Like rotten mackerel by moonlight, he shines and stinks."

John Adams on Alexander Hamilton:
The bastard brat of a Scotch pedlar.

Ralph Waldo Emerson on Daniel Webster
The word liberty in the mouth of Mr. Webster sounds like the word love in the mouth of a courtesan.

The Chicago Times on Lincoln's Gettysburg Address offensive exhibition of boorishness and vulgarity...We did not conceive it possible that even Mr. Lincoln would produce a paper so slipshod, so loose-joined, so puerile, not alone in literary construction, but in its ideas, its sentiments, its grasp. He has outdon himeslf. He has literally come ouot of the little end of his own horn. By the side of it, mediocrity is superb.

Abraham Lincoln on slavery
What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.

Lincoln on Stephen Douglas
He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met.

Theadore Roosevelt on William McKinley
McKinley has a chocolate-eclair backbone.

Harold Ickes on Huey Long
suffering from halitosis of the intellect. That's presuming Emperor Long has an intellect.

Harold Ickes on Thomas Dewey
Dewey has thrown his diaper into the ring.

Reginald Paget on Anthony Eden overripe banana, yellow outside, squishy in.

Jeremy Thorpe on Harold Macmillan
Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his friends for his life.

1 comment:

Taunia Adams said...

"A conservative is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run." Editor, Publisher and Writer, Elbert Hubbard.


"You are drunk, Sir Winston, disgustingly drunk."

"Yes, Mrs. Braddock, I am drunk. But you, Mrs. Braddock, are ugly and disgustingly fat. But, tomorrow morning, I, Winston Churchill will be sober." Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.


This is fun...

And yes, it is a lost form of art, insults are.