Political Quiz: Who Compares Opponents To "Terrorists?"

3656396We've heard this morning about a Democratic Party spokesman comparing Republicans to terrorists for raising questions about the propriety of the Nobel Prize going to President Obama after nine months in office.

Which inspired today's trivia question:

Representatives of which major U.S. political parties made the following statements about their adversaries in the other major U.S. political party? I've elided the remarks with parentheses when specific organizations are named. (Otherwise it would have been too easy.)
(a) "Do they think that terrorists have all of a sudden become the good guys?"
(b) "I wonder if they're more interested in protecting the terrorists than protecting the American people"
(c) "Has thrown in its lot with the terrorists"
(d) Terrorists "wearing three piece suits" used a parliamentary maneuver and "stormed the U.S. House chambers today and took America hostage."
(e) "Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban... I'm not trying to say (my political) party is the Taliban. No, that's not what we're saying."
(f) "Inter-jurisdictional agency cooperation shall be improved for more effective joint action against organized crime, drug cartels, terrorist networks and (the opposing political party)"
(g) "The (non-profit group that supports the other party) is a terrorist organization."
(h) "As we fight back against (the opposing political party), domestic terrorists who are subverting the American democratic process."
(i) "What I don't want to do is create an opportunity for the people who are political terrorists"
(j) "If (we don't pass this legislation), then the terrorists will have won."

All of the above statements but one were made not by columnists or bloggers, but by government officials or political parties. It's true that the speaker in (e) is talking about his or her own political party, and (d) relies on a photograph of masked terrorists or gunmen rather than using the word itself, but both still make the cut.

I'll give you one hint: Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, you may not like the answers.

(Scroll down for the answers.)



(a) Sarah Palin said this. Source: CNN
(b) House Republican Leader John Boehner said this. Source: San Francisco Chronicle
(c) Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse said that. Source: CNN
(d) A North Dakota Democrats' Web site said this. Source: Screen capture of BismarckDems.com
(e) House Republican Congressional Committee chairman Pete Sessions said that about his own party. Source: NationalJournal.com
(f) It may have been a joke, but the Oregon Republican Party nevertheless featured this as part of their political platform for a few months in spring 2007, according to Archive.org. Source: Archive of ORGOP.org
(g) Bush education secretary Rod Paige said this about the National Education Association in 2004. Source: Boston.com
(h) This was a since-deleted alert on the "Organizing For America" Web site run by President Obama's campaign organization. Source: Screen capture
(i) Democratic Rep. Baron Hill, a leader of the Blue Dog Democrats, was referring to health care protesters over the summer. Source: Washington Post
(j) Maryland Delegate Saqib Ali, a Democrat from the Washington-area suburb of Montgomery County, said this on Twitter in August, referring to the so-called public option in the health care legislation. Source: Twitter.com

Surprise! Exactly half of those statements came from Democrats. The other half came from Republicans. While comparing your opponents to "terrorists" is a bit novel, and appears to have arisen after 9/11, both major political parties have been happily calling each other "un-American" for decades. Remember this quiz the next time either major party complains about the other side likening them to "terrorists."

Declan McCullagh is a correspondent for CBSNews.com. He can be reached at declan@cbsnews.com. You can bookmark the Taking Liberties site here, or subscribe to the RSS feed.
  • Declan McCullagh On Twitter»

    Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. You can e-mail him or follow him on Twitter as declanm. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.

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