Sunday, March 2, 2014

5 More Quotes from US Presidents

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“I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone.”

- Abraham Lincoln 

(1809-1865, President 1861-1865)

1858, Fourth debate with Stephen Douglas for election as an Illinois senator.

The central question was whether slavery should be extended to the territories: Douglas and the Democratic party believed that the territories themselves should decide whether to allow slavery, whereas Lincoln and his new Republican party believed that slavery should be banned from the territories. The Dred Scott case of 1857 said that neither Congress nor a territorial legislature could exclude slavery from a territory and that no African American, slave or free, could be a citizen of the United States.

Whether Lincoln changed his views to more radical ones when he became President, whether he had earlier adopted a less controversial position (above) to enhance his electoral prospects and what his actual position was (at the same time as the Emancipation Proclamation was passed, he implemented steps to resettle African Americans in a central colony outside America) remain matters for conjecture.

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“I don’t want loyalty. I want loyalty. I want him to kiss my ass in Macy’s window at high noon and tell me it smells like roses. I want his pecker in my pocket."

- Lyndon Baines Johnson

(1908-1973, President 1963-1969)

Quoted in David Halberstam ‘The Best and the Brightest’ (1972). Discussing a potential assistant.

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Bill Clinton in college days, with Hillary

"It was a real sort of Southern deal. I had AstroTurf in the back. You don't want to know why, but I did."

- Bill Clinton

(1946 - , President 1993-2001)

On his pimped-out 1970’s van

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I suppose I should be ashamed to say that I take the Western view of the Indian. I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth. The most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian. Turn three hundred low families of New York into New Jersey, support them for fifty years in vicious idleness, and you will have some idea of what the Indians are. Reckless, revengeful, fiendishly cruel, they rob and murder, not the cowboys, who can take care of themselves, but the defenseless, lone settlers on the plains. As for the soldiers, an Indian chief once asked Sheridan for a cannon. "What! Do you want to kill my soldiers with it?" asked the general. "No," replied the chief, "want to kill the cowboy; kill soldier with a club."

Theodore Roosevelt

(1858-1919, President 1901-1909)

speech, January 1886

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"You know what happened to the Greeks! Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo. We all know that. So was Socrates. Do you know what happened to the Romans? The last six Roman emperors were fags....You know what happened to the Popes? It's all right that Popes were laying the nuns, that's been going on for years, centuries, but, when the Popes, when the Catholic Church went to hell, in, I don't know, three or four centuries ago, it was homosexual." 

Richard Nixon

(1913-1994, President 1969-1974)

Fretting to his top aides in 1971 that the Rob Reiner character Michael ‘Meathead’ Stivic on All in the Family was bisexual

Bonus Nixon quote: 

"I urge the Congress to join me in mounting a major new effort to replace the discredited president." 

— President Richard Nixon, in his 1974 State of the Union address at the height of the Watergate scandal, fumbling a line in which he meant to say "replace the discredited present system"

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