The Denver Post announced yesterday that liberal columnist Ed Quillen had died suddenly from a heart attack. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and coworkers for their loss.
While we here at the Peak have rarely agreed with Quillen, we’ll admit that we admired his creativity and humor even when he poked fun at our side of the political spectrum (Lamborn a “zygote zealot” – what? ) and issues. In honor of his life, we’ve compiled some of our favorite recent Ed Quillen excerpts. Some excerpts we thought were funny, some were included because we thought he was having a conservative moment. Feel free to share your own favorite Quillenism in the comments below.
Ed Quillen thought Ann Romney worked hard:
“To be sure, I doubt Ann Romney ever fretted about the cost of groceries, housing, utilities or day care, and she certainly never had to worry about finding the sheriff stacking her furniture outside her double- wide after pulling a double shift at the diner. But with five sons, she must have put in some exhausting days.”
Quillen thought environmentalists were insatiable, too:
“I get scores of impassioned pleas about saving old-growth forests, preventing potential pipeline leaks, protecting endangered species and reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide. An apocalypse looms unless I send money. And I'm sure that things will keep getting worse, for no matter how much money they get, they'll always need more.”
Thanks, Ed, for the historical context on dog meat consumption:
“The Romney camp responded last week by pointing out that Obama ate dog meat when he was a child in Indonesia. Dog meat certainly qualifies as traditional American cuisine, for the Arapaho and Cheyenne and doubtless many other indigenous peoples consumed it, as did the Lewis and Clark expedition. It isn't as though Obama killed and grilled puppies; when he was 8, he just ate what was on his plate.”
Quillen also had concerns about feeding the higher education beast:
“The more money you throw at colleges, the more they take. To put it another way, median household income rose by 147 percent from 1982 to 2007, adjusted for inflation. College costs went up by 439 percent.”
Hey, Rep. Peniston, here’s two ideas for legislation next year if you’re re-elected:
“For years, I have proposed that we declare Giardia lamblia the official state parasite and the Rocky Mountain wood tick the official state arachnid. But no class has taken up either cause.”
Was Ed finally internalizing our concerns about taxation?
“As [cigarette] prices rose, one looked for alternatives. First there were off-brands and generics. Then I started rolling my own, at first with a little machine and eventually with just my fingers.
The tax-and-purify crowd caught on. Over time the price of a 6-ounce can of Bugler or Top (tobacco) rose from about a dollar to about $30, and most of that increase was excise tax.”
We were excited when Ed defended personal freedom:
“So far, nearby cigarette smoke doesn't bother me. Some perfumes make me wheeze and sneeze, but there's no law proposed to eliminate those threats to my comfort and well-being. As for public health in general, does the occasional cigarette that's 20 feet away really constitute more of a menace than the mercury from burning coal, the particulates from diesel exhaust and dust from construction and farming?”
Ed Quillen was a Huntsman fan? Who’d have thunk?
“The Media Darling Candidate is humorous and knowledgeable, but never wins that year. Think of straight-talking maverick John McCain in 2000, or Bruce Babbitt in 1988, or Mo Udall in 1976. Huntsman is different only because he's from Utah instead of Arizona.
It's easy for me to spot the Media Darling Candidate because he's always the one I like best in the given contest.”
In other words, by making college unnecessary, we could solve the student loan problem at no cost to American taxpayers. After all, you don't need a degree in English to ask, "Do you want fries with that?”
That’s why conservatives support School Choice….
“But wouldn't it be cheaper and easier just to change the state constitution to require an "incomplete and inconsistent" system of public education? We already have that in place, so it wouldn't cost anything to implement. Plus, we amend our state constitution frequently anyway.”
Despite our frequent disagreement with Quillen on policy issues, we will miss his talent for uncovering the absurd in politics and everyday life and his unique brand of journalism.