P. J. O'Rourke

P. J.

American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author

Author Quotes

You may be surprised to discover you're rich, especially if you're broke.

You say we [reporters] are distracting from the business of government. Well, I hope so. Distracting a politician from governing is like distracting a bear from eating your baby.

You'll note that politicians no longer spend money, they invest it. Don't worry about paying more to the [IRS]. You aren't being taxed; you're taking a plunge on a fly-by-night stock issue.

You're never going to read 'The Wealth of Nations,' and you shouldn't, really. It's 900 pages.

You're not a baby boomer if you don't have a visceral recollection of a Kennedy and a King assassination, a Beatles breakup, a U.S. defeat in Vietnam, and a Watergate.

'You're stupid,' is not something even his most severe critics usually say to President Barack Obama.

You can keep the dining room clean by eating in the kitchen.

You've got to understand, people are motivated by fun. And they should be.

You can learn all about the human condition from covering the crime beat in a big city - you don't need to go to Beirut for that - but a foreign correspondent begins to understand poverty from a different perspective.

Zero-sum thinking is an obsession of mine, but mostly in economics.

You can?t get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That?s all you need to know about communism.

You can?t get rid of poverty by giving people money.

You can't destroy America by destroying our elite. Think about America's elite. Think about it down through history. Destroy our elite, and about half the time, you're doing us a favor.

You can't get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That's all you need to know about communism.

You can't shame or humiliate modern celebrities. What used to be called shame and humiliation is now called publicity. And forget traditional character assassination; if you say a modern celebrity is an adulterer, a pervert and a drug addict, all it means is that you've read his autobiography.

You don't despair about something like the Middle East, you just do the best you can.

You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going.

You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal.

The sternest commissar and the wildest hippie both share the same daydream: that a thing can be worth other than people are willing to give for it.

There are a lot of mysterious things about boats, such as why anyone would get on one voluntarily.

There is only one thing that gives me hope as a Republican, and that is the Democrats. It's going to be hard to do a worse job running American than the Republicans have, but if anybody can do it, it's the Democrats.

To blame the existence of al Qaeda on poverty like Egypt's is a slur on the poor.

War expands government powers. The trouble is that, when the war goes away, the government powers do not.

We will win an election when all the seats in the House and Senate and the chair behind the desk in the Oval Office and the whole bench of the Supreme Court are filled with people who wish they weren't there.

When a thing defies physical law, there's usually politics involved.

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American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author