Government

A Cynic’s Guide to Congress


Readers of this site know that congress is the word used to describe a large group of salamanders. Most people, however, think of something completely different when that word is mentioned. Take a look at what some of the world’s great cynics think of this noble institution and the political system that makes it possible.

  • Milton Berle: “You can lead a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think.”
  • P.J. O’Rourke: “The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it.”
  • Groucho Marx: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.”
  • Mark Twain: “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
  • Ambrose Bierce: “Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.”
  • Will Rogers: “Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”
  • Mark Twain: “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”
  • Ronald Reagan: “I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.”
  • John Adams: “I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, that two become a lawfirm, and that three or more become a congress.”
  • Matt Taibbi: “The Congressional Record will forever show that [Obamacare] was passed in a romper room of overgrown children seemingly barely old enough to keep from peeing on themselves.”
  • Will Rogers: “Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing, nobody listens, and then everybody disagrees.”
  • Ronald Reagan: “Government is like a baby: an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”

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Read more great quotes here.

Read more fun facts and stories about politics here.

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1 reply »

  1. When it comes to cynicism, it’s hard to beat the Sage of Baltimore (H. L. Mencken). Some of his quotes:

    As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

    Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.

    The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.

    Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

    A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.

    Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

    Liked by 1 person

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