Joe's quotes are much better when you're reading his columns and a beautifully turned phrase sneaks up on you, but here are a few good ones, even in isolation:
-- On our democracy: "Your chances of meeting an IRS agent are far greater than your chances of meeting anyone you voted for."
-- On Clinton: "Once again, his defenders, furiously attacking the prosecution and equating opposition with 'conspiracy,' don't dare mount the best defense: 'He's not that sort of man.' It's because Clinton is, supremely, 'that sort of man' that this whole thing has happened. He's a lying lecher, a prevaricating pervert, an utterly slimy crook, without a trace of honor or loyalty, desperately trying to save his own skin one last time."
-- On big government: "Freedom has ceased to be a birthright; it has come to mean whatever we are still permitted to do."
-- On Obama: "Nor has he said anything memorable -- not even a single aphorism over this long campaign. And the title of his book 'The Audacity of Hope' -- what on earth does that mean? He is always hinting at a substance that is never disclosed to us. He seems to live by raising vague aspirations he never fulfills."
-- On Buckley's book "In Search of Anti-Semitism": "Its real message is not that we should like or respect Jews; only that we should try not to hate them. But this implies that anti-Semitism is the natural reaction to them: If it's a universal sin, after all, it must be a universal temptation. ... When he defends Jews, I sometimes feel like saying: 'Bill! Bill! It's all right! They're not that bad!'"
-- On evolution: "If our furry and scaly friends were still evolving, none of them appeared to be gaining on us."
-- On Canada banning Dr. Laura: "Canada has to protect itself against such pernicious, hate-filled American notions as the Law of Moses. If Dr. Laura wants to spew the Ten Commandments, let her do it in her own country."
After I made some point to Joe once, he paid me a compliment that describes exactly why it was so fun to be around him. He said, "Your mind is always going."
His body is gone, but I'm sure his mind is still going like gangbusters. And I'm insanely jealous that he's giving God all the good belly laughs now.