Using wit, not anger, to deal with ones opposition

In an earlier post, I wrote approvingly about Greg Gutfeld’s The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage, which focuses on a culture of outrage that requires that people — especially people on the Left — use manufactured outrage to yell down anything that doesn’t agree with their limited view of “tolerance.” When someone sent me an email with the following quotations, it occurred to me that many outraged shrieks we hear may result because Lefties are totally at a loss for words. In other words, their education has been so limited, and their intellectual materiel so sparse, they’re incapable of the type of cutting wit that was once de rigueur amongst educated (or semi-educated) people:

These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

· “He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr

· “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” – Winston Churchill

· “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” Clarence Darrow

· “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

· “Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” – Moses Hadas

· “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” – Mark Twain

· “He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends..” – Oscar Wilde

· “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one.” – George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

· “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second … If there is one.” – Winston Churchill, in response.

· “I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” – Stephen Bishop

· “He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright

· “I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” – Irvin S. Cobb

· “He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” – Samuel Johnson

· “He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.” – Paul Keating

· “In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” – Charles, Count Talleyrand

· “He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” – Forrest Tucker

· “Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” – Mark Twain

· “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” – Mae West

· “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde

· “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts… For support rather than illumination.” – Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

· “He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” – Billy Wilder

· “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.” – Groucho Marx

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  • ceruleanbill

    I’d settle for being able to agree with some things that the opposition supports – for example, we all want the debt reduced – without that being translated into ‘ah, you support all of my positions’.  Something like “he had the rare gift of being able to acknowlege a valid point without generating the assumption that he supported the entire bloody 99 Theses.”  Alas, I don’t have that – but I’m working on it.

  • afakaz

    Ceruleanbill: something perhaps akin to “… the rare ability to accept a solid point without embracing the rosebush containing it”?

  • raven397

    Don’t forget John Randolph’s slam an opponent,
    Last but certainly not least is his memorable observation about political opponent Edward Livingston: He is a man of splendid abilities, but utterly corrupt. He shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight.

  • David Foster

    The Earl of Sandwich, to John Wilkes: “Sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox” (ie, syphilis)   Wilkes, in reply: “That depends, my lord, on whether I embrace your lordship’s principles or your lordship’s mistress”  

  • Danny Lemieux

    I will submit my summary assessment of NYT Columnist, Tom Friedman: an unerring ability to state the obvious while simultaneously missing the obvious.

  • Ymarsakar

    I prefer to use a sword instead.

  • baborn3

    A recently published, fun read on Limbaugh is “A Dog Named Rush Limbaugh”. For those inclined: