Sage Thoughts for Would-Be Politicians

Polis' Attorney Law:
          Any law enacted with more than fifty words contains at least one loophole.

Metzger's Maxim:
          A "government subsidy" is getting just some of your own money back.

Anthony's Observations:

  1. Freedom requires every man beware those that share his views.
  2. Exceptions rule.
  3. People, judging an entirely new matter, will be:
    • one third in favor
    • one thid opposed, and
    • one third undecided.
  4. President, beware a mood of nostalgia that occurs during your Administration.
  5. Join the Republican party if you cannot abide Democrats. You will probably loathe Republicans just as much, but there are fewer of them.
  6. The English language has so few cuss words that, much like the flag, they should not be displayed day after day, but kept inside, lovingly rolled up and stored away, to bring forth proudly, unfaded, and effective upon special occasions.

Adam's Admonition:
          Those who like sausage or political policy should not watch it being made.

Abraham Lincoln's Rumination:
          Tell the truth and you won't have so much to remember.

Mo Udall's First Law of Politics:
          If you can't find something everyone agreed on, it's wrong.

Mo Udall's Second Law of Politics:
          It's hard to convince people of the first.

Murray's Law:
          If written correctly, legalese if perfectly incomprehensible.

The "What Am I Doing Here?" Rule:
          It's better to leave the room than try to make an explanation when something doesn't work.

Grandma Soderquist's Rule for Political Speeches:
          Don't ever make a speech with more than one thousand words. The speech should contain and repeat certain key words like: "people," 81 times; "our country," 26 times; "liberty," 17 times; "the poor," 33 times; "I promise you," 77 times; and call all opponents "incompetent as many as you can say it.

Hodges' Observation:
          The problem with government is that it scratches where there ain't no itch.

Vietnam Corollary:
          If you expected it to be easy, you should have become a politician.

Van Roy's Postulates:

  1. Government always plays both ends against the taxpayer.
  2. Inflation is a stab in the buck.

The Abilene Paradox:
          People in groups tend to agree on courses of action which, as individuals, they know are stupid.

Boyle's Observation:
          A welfare state is one that assumes responsibility for the health, happiness, and general well-being of all its citizens except the taxpayers.

Observation of a Mad Author:
          If you tell the truth once, they will never believe you again, no matter how much you lie.

Andrew's Truism:
          Honesty is almost always the best policy.

Johnson's First Law of Politics:
          As soon as you're elected, get that "Honorable" in front of your name.

George Bernard Shaw's Observation:
          Those who can - do. Those who cannot - teach.

H. L. Mencken's Corollary:
          Those you can't teach - administrate. Those who can't administrate - run for office.

Archimedes' Principle of Politics:
          A light-weight congressman can often be buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the pork in his barrel.

The Politician's Rule:
          In politics you can often be wrong, but never in doubt.

Kling's Contrast:
          Statesmen tell you what is true even though it may be unpopular. Politicians tell you what is popular even though it may be untrue.

Dr. Nordstrom's First Rule of Debate:
          It is difficult to win an argument when your opponent is unencumbered with a knowledge of the facts.

Hawkinson's Law:
          Every clarification breeds new questions.

Kamin's Law:
          Politicians will always inflate when given the opportunity.

Calvin Coolidge's Comment:
          We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.

Kamin's Law of Politics:
          When attempting to predict and forecast microeconomic moves or economic legislation by a politician, never be misled by what he says; instead watch what he does.

H. L. Mencken's Observation:
          The main trouble with democracy is that the people eventually realize that they can vote themselves the treasury; then you have anarchy.

Parker's Law of Political Statements:
          The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility and vice versa.

Jacquin's Postulate on Democratic Governments:
          No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

Expression from a Politician Who Didn't Wish to be Quoted:
          Long ago we forgot that what was best for most of the people was best for all the people.

Hoffman's Rule:
          Smile - it makes people wonder what you're thinking.

Ferdinand Lundberg's Law:
          There is such thing as a "cheap politician."

Pate's Prattle:
          Bureaucrats are the meat loaf of humanity.

Nowlan's Deduction:
          Following the path of least resistance is what makes men and rivers crooked.

White's Chappaquiddick Theorem:
          The sooner and in more detail you announce bad news, the better.

Sorenson's Law:
          If you want to make it in politics, go to church regularly.

Doelger's Findings:
          Politician's political issues are true enough - only their facts have been made up.

Taft's Law:
          If "pro" is the opposite of "con." then "Progress" is the opposite of "Congress."

Imhoff's Law:
          The organization of any bureaucracy is very much like a septic tank - the really big chunks always rise to the top.

The First Law of an Officeholder:
          Get re-elected.

Henry's Political Pragmatism:
          To run for a political office, all it takes is a few bucks, a pretty face, a glib tongue, a church membership, a large family, and absolutely no sense of economics.

Clarke's Law of Revolutionary Ideas:
          Every revolutionary idea - in science, politics, art, or whatever - evokes three stages of reaction in a hearer:

  1. It is completely impossible - don't waste my time.
  2. It is possible, but it is not worth doing.
  3. I said it was a good idea all along.

Gordon's Law for Politicians:
          When you get a chance to get any podium - don't rush it, keep smiling, shake as many hands as possible, yell "John and Mary" (as many common names as possible), and upon arriving nod several times, grab both sides of the podium, lean forward slowly, look stern, stare at the back of the hall for several moments, etc. The idea is to open your mouth as little as possible.

Justice Douglas' Observation:
          The right to be left alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.

Hodghead's Cynicism:
          A husband (or wife) is a person who sticks with you through troubles you wouldn't have had if you hadn't married him (or her) in the first place.

Hildebrant's Rule:
          True wealth is not so much having talent, industry, and a bit of luck, as it is having lots of money.

Ellis' Eloquence:

  1. To find a policeman in a hurry, double-park.
  2. Start your own lay-a-way plan... smoke.
  3. If God thought that nudity was O.K., we would have been born naked.

Peers's Possibiilty:
          Too many books you can tell by the cover.

Alfred E. Smith's Rule:
          No matter how thin you slice it, it's still baloney.

Aphorisms for Politicians from the Congressional Record:

  1. You have to know what's biting you before you reach for a remedy.
  2. Always look for the calculations that go with the calculated risks.
  3. Try to find out who's doing the work, not who's writing about it, controlling it, or summarizing it.
  4. Watch out for formal breifings. They often produce an avalanche (definition: a high-level snow job of massive and overwhelming proportions).
  5. The difficulty of the co-ordination task often blinds one to the fact that a fully co-ordinated piece of paper is not supposed to be either the major or the final product of the organization, but it often turns out that way.
  6. Most organizations can't hold more than one idea at a time... thus complementary ideas are always regarded as competitive. Further, like a consistent pendulum, an organization can jump from one extreme to another, without ever going through the middle.

Lyndon's Observation:
          If the first person who answers the phone cannot answer your question, it's a bureaucracy.

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