Q: How do you know that a politician is lying?
A: He opens his mouth.
Democracy: Noun. Informal. A form of government in which people, faced with the prospect of self-rule, cast the job into an exclusive mire of unskilled panderers.
— Thorax, 9 Chickweed Lane
Maurice Chavez: Mr. Shrub got elected because he has great hair and says things that make you nod your head. His campaign appealed to the wealthy because he set all of us at ease by confirming, "It's okay to be rich, as long as you say you care about the children." Mr. Shrub, welcome.
Congressman Alex Shrub: That's not entirely true, Maurice. My campaign also appealed to the poor— who were too stupid to understand what I'm saying, so I held up pretty pictures and then gave out candy bars to appeal to their most base instincts.
—Pressing Issues, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Peculiar to any campaign for office is the practice among candidates of hurling dread accusations at their opponents. The practice has achieved such a degree of ordinariness , that the exercise of mudslinging is expected. It's a kind of etiquette, like good manners.
Each candidate, according to the other's advertised assertions, possesses not only the mendacity of Baron Munchausen and a concern for one's fellow citizens normally ascribed to Dracula; he is unrivaled in moral turpitude, avarice, misanthropy, corruption, criminality, cheating, stealing, child-starving, puppy-stomping, kitten-drowning and, on a grand scale, just plain old down-and-dirty psychopathy. Fundamentally, each candidate recognizes in his opponent a depravity of personal and professional conduct that not only would make him unfit for public office, but, in the real world, unsuited for anything better than maximum security—the very worst example of human sludge ever to have flushed from his sewer with the sinister desire to uphold, protect and defend the laws of the land.
In other words, there is no dungeon suited to confine such noisome evil. So we, naturally, vote for them. It's a reflex, just good manners.
—A Demon's Nest of Sentiments, Pibgorn
A nurse comes in to check if Kiyomi has died, but she hasn't and the nurse looks visibly disappointed. She doesn't comment on my rule breaking either, so that's proof that the civilised world has laws for the masses and laws for me. I ask her for today's papers, which she brings quickly, bowing like she has a spinal problem which won't allow her to stand straight.
“In public affairs men are often better pleased that the truth, though known to everybody, should be wrapped up under a decent cover than if it were exposed in open daylight to the eyes of all the world.”
—David Hume, The History of England 1
"Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.”
“Well, I don't believe he'd steal a red hot stove."
—Thaddeus Stevens, when asked as to whether Secretary of War Simon Cameron was honest
"The fact is New York politics were always dishonest—long before my time. There never was a time you couldn't buy the Board of Aldermen... A politician coming forward takes things as they are."
—William M. "Boss" Tweed
“Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.”
— Henry Kissinger
"Basically, we're all rascals."
"Nothing I have ever done has been tinged with legality."
—New York City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses
“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”
"Politics and war are remarkably similar situations."
—U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."
—George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y. 5.24.05
“A good debater is not necessarily an effective vote-getter: you can find a hole in your opponent's argument through which you could drive a coach and four ringing jingle bells all the way...which, however, may warm only you and your muse, while the smiling paralogist has in the meantime made votes by the tens of thousands.”
—William F. Buckley Jr.
"I was a university student and lecturer once, so I know universities stand for truth, honesty, and the pursuit of knowledge. When I became a politician I had to abandon all of that."
"Nixon has never been interested in issues or ideas, only in self-promotion. His congressional career was a perfect blank — nothing accomplished, no one represented ... More to the point, since he is interested only in self-promotion, he is not about to jeopardize The Career by taking a strong position on any issue. The ghettos will be 'solved,' he tells us, by giving tax cuts to private industry for doing business with the blacks. Well, it doesn’t take a profound student of the human heart to know that the tax cuts will be accepted gladly and that the ghettos will be no better off. It is a proof of his banality not only that he thinks we don’t know how inadequate what he proposes is but that the very way he puts his 'solution' shows that to him the ghetto is something incurable..."
—Gore Vidal, Playboy 1969
"What fascinates me is: people watching her on television — can they not see that she's basically learned certain speeches? She does them very well, she's got a very good memory, but it's like a nice-looking parrot."
"Even John Boehner Can't Believe What a Dick John Boehner Has to Be Now"
"During the first few months of his administration, [Orval] Faubus desegregated public transportation in Arkansas and investigated the possibility of integrating public schools, which was quite a courageous endeavor for a man of his time (and place). His progressive approach to civil rights reform would prove to be short-lived, however. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public schools had to be integrated. White Arkansans were not amused. In a stunning display of political douchebaggery, Faubus (envious of the success his opponents were having using segregationist rhetoric to stir up white voters) decided that the wisest course of action would be to deploy the Arkansas National Guard to Little Rock Central High School at the beginning of the 1957-58 school year in order to block nine colored black students from entering."
—Rational Wiki on the Little Rock Nine
"Today, probable 2016 Republican Presidential hopeful Rand Paul told a crowd in Iowa that 'Nobody here' was trying to ban birth control. Either Rand Paul has a terrible memory, or he has such low self esteem that he considers himself 'nobody,' because just last year, Rand Paul cosponsored a bill that would have banned certain forms of birth control...stuff like this and his cartoonishly cowardly dodge from an undocumented immigrant yesterday only further proves that Rand Paul is to the 2016 Presidential Election what non-Bowsers are to Super Mario Brothers. A formidable sub-villain, sure, but far from the Main Boss."
—Erin Gloria Ryan, "'Nobody' Is Trying to Ban Birth Control, Says Guy Who Tried to Ban It"
Yahtzee: It's hard to believe this government isn't just a government that wants to fuck with people like in Transmetropolitan. They've gone back on all their campaign promises! You can't just do that! I mean, that's why they got elected: they were elected on the promise of doing A, B, and C. If they do the exact opposite... well, there should be international tribunals for that kind of thing!
Gabriel: They haven't just done the exact opposite, they've invented new letters to do.
—Let's Drown Out, Alien³