Banal Quote of the Week

By Kent R. Kroeger (Source:, January 19, 2018)

In’s latest installment of ‘Banal Quote of the Week,’ with great hesitation we are not selecting CNN’s Chris Cillizza, who could almost every week win this award.

Instead, we select White House Legislative Director Marc Short, who lamented at a Friday morning press conference that the budget bill wasn’t getting through Congress because “the reality is that this is not about policy, but politics.

It is always humorous when politicians (or the people working for them) complain about not being able get things accomplished because of “the politics.” That is like an accountant complaining, “I could get my work done if it weren’t for all these numbers.”

This is not a personal attack on Mr. Short, by the way. He is one of the stars in the Trump White House: Smart. Articulate. Telegenic. And able to stay on message without the cringe-inducing obsequiousness of White House staffers like Stephen Miller or Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Whatever happens to this administration, Mr. Short will survive with his reputation and integrity intact.

Besides, there were plenty of other politicians this week that made similarly empty statements about the politics of this budget impasse: Doug Collins (R-GA), Tom Cole (R-OK), etc.

And, of course, Chris Cillizza, never one to avoid making the obvious sound profound, used his CNN column to list a few of the problems behind the current government shutdown crisis, only to conclude: “And a big chunk of it is politics.

Clearly, he thought it was a profound insight since he gave the sentence its own paragraph.

But, Mr. Cillizza’s article did give us a clever (though impossible to recreate without a Japanese syllabaryshrug emojii: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

So, for now, Cillizza avoids the “Banal Quote of the Week” award. However, we are confident he will be a finalist again next week.

K. R. K.

{Send comments to:}

About the author:  Kent Kroeger is a writer and statistical consultant with over 30 -years experience measuring and analyzing public opinion for public and private sector clients. He also spent ten years working for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and the Defense Intelligence Agency. He holds a B.S. degree in Journalism/Political Science from The University of Iowa, and an M.A. in Quantitative Methods from Columbia University (New York, NY).  He lives in Ewing, New Jersey with his wife and son.