Quotes / American Political System

You vote where you shoot.
—Slogan of the American Civil War

    open/close all folders 

    Film — Live-Action 
American politics. Governors, Senators, Congressmen... No wonder nothing ever gets done.

Rick Davis: Listen, I too wish that the American people would choose the future Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson, but unfortunately, that's not the way it works anymore. Now it takes movie-star charisma to get elected President, and Obama and Palin, that's what they are — they're stars.
Steve Schmidt: Primary difference being Sarah Palin can't name a Supreme Court decision, whereas Barack Obama was a constitutional law professor.
Davis: Fuck you.

    Live-Action TV 
Bob Birch: Don't declare war on Congress, Mr. President.
Frank Underwood: Not on Congress. I'm declaring war on atrophy. [to the audience] But, these days, who could tell the difference?

I've paid approximately million and a half dollars in income tax over the past twenty-five years. If I get sick, they oughta have a nurse come to my house and blow me for free!
Jim Cornette on American health care

This administration doesn't even need an opposition party, do you know that? We do fine by ourselves.
Toby Ziegler, The West Wing

The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons; they couldn't find three wise men and a virgin.
Jay Leno

It was one of the funniest/strangest/most disgusting and confusing things I've ever seen in my life.
Rachel Maddow after the 2012 Republican National Convention

The Tea Party — sort of like UKIP with guns.
Ian Hislop, Have I Got News for You

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has taken a new job at a Wall Street investment bank. Now he can finally have some influence in Congress.

The more I spend time in America, the more I appreciate Africa's simplicity. Because in Africa, they still have the decency to call corruption "corruption".

There is no clearer piece of evidence that our system is broken, no more thoroughly dead canary in the coal mine, than when Donald Trump is making sense.
John Oliver, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, on how Donald Trump got fewer delegates than Ted Cruz during the Louisiana primaries despite the fact that Cruz lost the state in the popular vote.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
We have a two-party system: the Democratic Party, which is a party of no ideas, and the Republican Party, which is a party of bad ideas. And the way it works is — the Republican stands up in Congress and goes, "I got a really bad idea!" And the Democrat says, 'And I can make it shittier!'
Lewis Black, Black on Broadway

You want politics in America? I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking." "Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!"
Bill Hicks, "Rant in E-Minor"

Welcome to Washington, D.C., where the buck stops here! Way to go. And then it's handed out to AIG and many other people.
Robin Williams, Weapons of Self-Destruction

You might have noticed that I never complain about politicians. I leave that to others. And there's no shortage of volunteers; everyone complains about politicians. Everyone says they suck. But where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky; they don't pass through a membrane from a separate reality. They come from American homes, American families, American schools, American churches, and American businesses. And they're elected by American voters. This is what our system produces, folks. This is the best we can do. Let's face it, we have very little to work with. Garbage in, garbage out.
George Carlin, Napalm and Silly Putty

You see, we piddle, twiddle, and resolve
Not one damn thing do we solve
Piddle, twiddle, and resolve
ever solved in
Foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy
John Adams, 1776

"Forward, America! Forward! ...to the hallowed principles of our forefathers! Forward! ...to the sweet tranquility of the status quo! Forward! ...to yesterday!"
Sen. Billboard Rawkins, Finian's Rainbow

    Video Games 
It's all a show. 'Democracy' is just a filler for textbooks! Think about it! Do you actually believe that public opinion influences the government?
President James Johnson, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Alex Shrub: If you read the Constitution, it's a sacred document that should not be changed. Under our constitution, women couldn't vote! But then the liberals come in cryin' crocodile tears... We need to get scare-mongers and non-believers—men like you Chavez—under control! I've got a good mind to get your funding removed.
Maurice Chavez: We don't get any funding.
Alex: Exactly! Uh... Good! Heh, you won't see a penny out of me!
Pressing Issues, GTA Radio

    Web Original 
Every political revolution in America consists now of one party just trying to undo all the shit the other political party did. No actual law has been preserved in this country since, like, 1968.
Drew Magary, Make It Stop

There was a time when calling the president un-American was a beyond-the-pale transgression; now it’s not even news when a news anchor or an elected official does it. [John] Birchian conspiracies once left to fester at the lunatic fringe of our politics have encroached onto center stage.
Elbert Ventura

No one beats up America better than Americans. They openly debate their inequality, conduct rigorous studies about it, argue about economics vs culture as causes. Their universities study it, with a calibre of analysis not found in Britain... And the debate is so fierce that the rest of the world looks on, and joins in lamenting America’s problems. A shame: we’d do better to get a little angrier at our own.

Think about everything you hear about Washington in the news: The disingenuous, corrupt, racist white jerkoffs bankrupting the country. The gutless fucks who say that there's 'no simple solution' to people with AR-15s shooting up public places... but legislate what gay people can order at Chipotle. The defense lobbyists and 'think tank' fucks who never grew out of playing with toy soldiers, who go home at the end of each day to their house in Reston and jack off thinking about dropping bombs on brown people.

Think about all that, and then imagine the sports franchise they deserve.

Voila. Redskins.

Hmm, come to think of it, maybe The Walking Dead isn't sci-fi. Maybe it's some kind of allegory for America's inevitable future under the false dichotomies that dominate political conversation, the pissing matches between elites carried over from the dorms of Choate and Andover.

American elections are like The Simpsons. They start slow, then they get great, but then they get tedious and, while you know it still exists, you just don't care anymore.

I've always said that we have two party's [sic] in this country, one with no balls and the other with no brains. This election did nothing to dissuade me.
Mentat, Fark, on the 2016 election

Oh look, another edition of "racist people (or people who voted for racism) angry at being called racist."
"He's politically incorrect" and "he says true things that are unpopular" is barely code for "he says racist things and I like it."
But I get it. The important thing is that no one ever feels bad for being racist or enabling racism. That, my friends, is the real racism.
Jamelle Bouie on how people are asked to treat Donald Trump voters.

    Real Life 
Washington, D.C. is Hollywood for ugly people.
Unknown origin

Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, — if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people, if well administered; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.
Benjamin Franklin, speech to the Constitutional Convention (1787)

I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him 'father'.
Will Rogers

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day.

Dan Rather: "Well, here they are. Your candidates for President, every one of them as dumb as a porcupine stuck to a watermelon. These are the types of idiots we produce for public office. Do your duty in November: move away."

The hatred Americans have for their own government is pathological, if understandable. At one level it is simply thwarted greed: since our religion is making a buck, giving a part of that buck to any government is an act against nature.

The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.
Zen Masters: The Wisdom of Frank Zappa

Why am I forced to walk the Earth with this conscience? Maybe, if there's such a thing as reincarnation, I can come back down to Earth and just trample all over people without giving a damn about anyone but myself. That would be awesome. That's it — in my next life, I'm coming back as a conservative.
Mick Foley, The Hardcore Diaries

Hurricane Katrina has just hit New Orleans, what do you do? If you said "privatize public schools", you might just be a conservative.
Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

In Canadian politics, comparing universal medicine to a Nazi plot gets you thrown out of the party. In the United States, it makes you the front-runner.
Jonathan Kay

Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is that, in a democracy, the whores are us.
P. J. O'Rourke

Here's a brilliant thought that nobody had ever had before, as far as I know: let's make elections completely symbolic activities. The population can keep voting, we'll give them all the business, they'll have electoral campaigns, all the hoopla, two candidates, eight candidates—but the people they're voting for will then just be expected to read off a teleprompter and they won't be expected to know anything except what somebody tells then, and sometimes not even that.
Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power

"To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil."
Charles Krauthammer, Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics

"In June, President Barack Obama did an interview with Businessweek, in which he was congratulated for his stewardship of the economy and was asked 'what industries' he might choose to join upon his retirement from the White House. The president replied as follows: 'But what I will say is that—just to bring things full circle about innovation—the conversations I have with Silicon Valley and with venture capital pull together my interests in science and organization in a way I find really satisfying.'