The Best of Notable Quotables; December 20, 1993

Vol. Six; No. 26

Damn Those Conservatives Award


“Then you’ve got Bill Bennett out there, who is kind of a Torquemada...Bill Bennett is basically a schismatic heretic practicing his own contrived lunatic version of the Latin Mass in the basement. That’s what Buchanan is doing, only with Confederate flags flying. You have Phil Gramm from Texas, an incredibly mean-spirited right-wing character backed by big-oil money. He is the kind of perverse version of Lyndon Johnson whittled down to his vices and exaggerated. Then you have Bob Dole: when he’s most sardonic and cruel is when he’s most sincere. I think that’s the Republican Party right now.”

– New Yorker Washington reporter and former Washington Post reporter Sidney Blumenthal in The Boston Phoenix, April 16.


“The President permitted Buchanan, the man who tried to destroy him, to speak at the Houston convention during prime time. Buchanan delivered a snarling, bigoted attack on minorities, gays and his other enemies in what he called the ‘cultural war’ and ‘religious war’ in America. Buchanan’s ugly speech, along with another narrow, sectarian performance by Pat Robertson, set the tone of right-wing intolerance that drove moderate Republicans and Reagan Democrats away from the President’s cause in November. If Houston represented the Republican Party, many voters said, they wanted out.”

Time Senior Writer Lance Morrow in the Man of the Year cover story, January 4.

“Bob Michel is a great guy but his time was up. He was a moderate, and it’s the unmoderates who control the House Republicans, that is, the Newt Gingriches of the world, the firebomb throwers: burn this village in order to save it, destroy the House in order to try to elect Republicans, have term limitations....Bomb throwers don’t believe in civility, bomb throwers believe in throwing bombs...opposing every principle of the other party simply for partisan opposition.”

– Sam Donaldson on This Week with David Brinkley, October 10.

“If you look at the people who served on that [Republican] platform committee, they were a group of the most intolerant human beings that could ever be collected.”

Newsweek Washington reporter Eleanor Clift on the 1992 GOP platform, at a University of Pennsylvania forum broadcast by C-SPAN, Dec. 4, 1992.