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Origin of “Stupid Party” & “Evil Party”

There is a quote out there that sometimes get attributed to Republican Senate Leader Everett Dirksen and sometimes not. The quote is that there two parties in Washington — the stupid party and the evil party. Every once in a while the stupid party and the evil party get together and do something that is both stupid and evil. In Washington, that is called bipartisanship.–Erick Erickson, “It’s What Happens When the Stupid Party and Evil Party Get Together,” April 12, 2011.

It’s not from Everett Dirksen (1896-1969), who never said it.

John Stuart Mill is credited for calling conservatives “the stupid party” (or something like it) in a letter written in March 1866.

I’m tentatively crediting Samuel T. Francis (1947-2005) for the full “stupid party” and “evil party’ and “bipartisanship.” An anonymous Congressional staffer is usually given credit for saying this about 1989 to someone from Russia (or from a former nation in the Soviet Union) who wanted to know about our government, but Francis usually gets credit for the “stupid” and “evil” terms together.

FYI, here is a list of relevant citations, now added to my large Political Glossary:

Entry from April 13, 2011
Stupid Party (Republicans) & Evil Party (Democrats)
Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Samuel T. Francis
Samuel Todd Francis, known as Sam Francis (April 29, 1947 – February 15, 2005), was an iconoclastic anti-capitalist paleoconservative columnist, nationally syndicated in America, known for his reactionary views on immigration, multiculturalism, miscegenation, and his involvement in debates concerning other controversial issues of the day. His supporters characterized him as a conservative and a realist, while to his critics he was a reactionary and a racist. Francis was also a leading political theorist of paleoconservatism; among his better-known stances was his claim that the Iraq War was illegitimate.

Wikipedia: M. Stanton Evans
Medford Stanton Evans (born July 20, 1934) is an American journalist, author and educator. He is the author of eight books, including Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies (2007).
(…)
Quotations
“We have two parties here, and only two. One is the evil party, and the other is the stupid party. I’m very proud to be a member of the stupid party. Occasionally, the two parties get together to do something that’s both evil and stupid. That’s called bipartisanship.”

Wikiquote: John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill (1806-05-20 – 1873-05-08), also known as J.S. Mill, was an English political philosopher and economist who was an advocate of utilitarianism.

Sourced
I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
. John Stuart Mill, in a letter to the Conservative MP, John Pakington (March 1866); this seems to have become paraphrased as “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.” which was a variant published in Quotations for Our Time (1978), edited by Laurence J. Peter.

23 April 1969, Progress-Index (Petersburg, VA), “Silly Tinkering With The Electoral College” by Russell Kirk, pg. 6, col. 5:
John Stuart Mill called conservatives “the stupid party.” One is tempted to apply that judgment to Republicans, nowadays.

10 April 1973, Morgantown (WV) Post, “Legal services should be retained” by James J. Kilpatrick, pg. 6A, col. 5:
THERE ARE TIMES, sad to say, when American conservatives appear to constitute “the stupid party,” as John Stuart Mill once labeled their British counterparts a century ago.

14 August 1993, Washington (DC) Times, “More on the Stupid Party and the Evil Party”:
In an April lecture concerning immigration, Samuel Francis opined, “There are two parties in Washington: the Stupid Party and the Evil Party.” He did not say which was which.

24 June 1994, Bedford (PA) Gazette, Editorial: “When they agree, watch out,” pg. 2, col. 1:
“I am reminded of Sam Francis’ description of our political system as competition between the stupid party and the evil party,” writes Thomas Fleming, editor of the Chronicles magazine. “When they team up to do something that is both stupid and evil, it is called bi-parrtisanship.”

Google Groups: alt.fan.rush-limbaugh
Newsgroups: talk.politics.misc, alt.politics.usa.republican, alt.politics.usa.congress, alt.politics.democrats.d, alt.politics.guns, alt.politics.usa.newt-gingrich, alt.fan.rush-limbaugh
From: BR00…@bingvmb.cc.binghamton.edu (Nathan L. Wurtzel)
Date: 1996/01/10
Subject: Re: Who’s the stupidest member of the Congress?

Interestingly enough, although I am nominally a Republican, I can still think of many more idiotic GOP follies. I guess it’s the reason Samuel Francis refers to the GOP as “the stupid party.” Of course, he also refers to the Democrats as “the evil party.”

Google Books
The Devil Knows Latin:
Why America needs the classical tradition
By E. Christian Kopff
Wilmington, DE: ISI Books
1999
Pg. 204:
“In America we have a two-party system,” a Republican congressional staffer is supposed to have told a visiting group of Russian legislators some years ago.

“There is the stupid party. And there is the evil party. I am proud to be a member of the stupid party.” He added: periodically, the two parties get together and do something that is both stupid and evil. This is called: bipartisanship.

Washington (DC) Times
Cultivating conservatism
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
(…)
Last month, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) sponsored a presentation at the Heritage Foundation by Mr. Evans. His presentation, to a group of Washington interns, was titled “The Role of Conservative Ideas in Practical Politics.” The following are excerpts from that presentation:
(…)
I will recite a little story that I think sums it up. It’s a true story. Back after the fall of the Soviet Empire … [Eastern European leaders] came to Washington to meet with our Congress to find out how we do it. God help them.

They were puzzled by our system. … In Europe … there are a lot of parties, 10 or 11 parties, and they don’t quite understand the two-party system. And so they met with a Republican Senate staffer, and asked him to explain our system. He said, “Yes, we have two parties here, and only two. One is the evil party, and the other is the stupid party.” He said, “I’m very proud to be a member of the stupid party.”

He said, “Occasionally, the two parties get together to do something that’s both evil and stupid. That’s called bipartisanship.”

The Chicago Lampoon
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
The Wit and Wisdom of M. Stanton Evans
M. Stanton Evans was one of the wittiest conservative leaders and writers that I ever had the pleasure of meeting.
(…)
Here is a sample of Stan’s witticisms from across the years:
(…)
* “We have two parties here, and only two. One is the evil party, and the other is the stupid party. I’m very proud to be a member of the stupid party. Occasionally, the two parties get together to do something that’s both evil and stupid. That’s called bipartisanship.”

RedState
It’s What Happens When the Stupid Party and Evil Party Get Together
Posted by Erick Erickson
Tuesday, April 12th (2011) at 4:46AM EDT
There is a quote out there that sometimes get attributed to Republican Senate Leader Everett Dirksen and sometimes not. The quote is that there two parties in Washington — the stupid party and the evil party. Every once in a while the stupid party and the evil party get together and do something that is both stupid and evil. In Washington, that is called bipartisanship.

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