Notable Quotables - 06/05/1995


...And Why Did We Support Clinton in '92?

"This time around, why are we leaving such critical decisions, then, up to the Republicans? Why didn't we come up with another more perhaps realistic deficit reduction budget plan?"
- NBC weekend Today co-host Giselle Fernandez to Labor Secretary Robert Reich, May 20.


Stupid Tax and Budget Cuts

"It's too bad, because he's actually one of the better chairmen. I mean he's a terrific lawmaker. He's been a statesman in the last couple of years, and he would be an important force, for instance, in stopping the Senate from passing this stupid tax cut."
- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas on Sen. Bob Packwood's sexual harassment troubles, May 20 Inside Washington.

"This is not the time to be cutting taxes. What you want to do is if the economy gets in a real jam, that's when you want to cut taxes, to give people spending power. They should let the tax cut go for now, use that money to really get that deficit down. That would be the best thing for the country....Given the fact that next year is an election year, I don't think it's too likely that they will pass on that tax cut. I'm afraid we will see it."
- CBS chief economics correspondent Ray Brady on Sunday Morning, May 21.

"In practice, personally, I think it will destroy the future competitiveness and security of the country, in terms of education, infrastructure, and medical practice as we know it today."
- NPR reporter Nina Totenberg on the budget, May 13 Inside Washington.


Dittoheads and More Thoughtful People

"Cut off the funding for NPR, or gradually reduce its funding to the point where it becomes a mere shadow of its usually robust, sensible self, and the American people may find themselves left with nothing much more than Rush and dozens of his mini-clones for information about the world. For Limbaugh's `dittoheads,' this may be the most splendid of tomorrows, but for other more thoughtful listeners, it may be the bleakest of forecasts."
- Marvin Kalb, former CBS and NBC reporter and current Director of the Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard, reviewing three books on talk radio, May 21 Washington Post Book World.


Republicans: Fomenters of Race War, Class War

"The Republican Congress, of course, is not likely to embrace raising taxes and cutting defense spending. It is beholden to three constituencies: The corporations, whose lobbyists finance politicians and then finagle billions in bizarre subsidies for clients. The rich, who write campaign checks and simply ask to be left alone. And many hard-working, middle-class men and women - mostly white - who resent handouts to the needy....About the best [the Democrats] can do is temper excesses of Republican plans - excesses that could lead to class warfare or race warfare, excesses that will widen the already widening gap between rich and poor."
- Former NBC News President Michael Gartner in his USA Today column, May 30.


Paleoliberalism Lives

"If raising living standards is the issue, then government should be doing more, not less to help Americans secure job training and education and to help kids go to college; more to help welfare recipients and their children get jobs and lead productive lives; more to restrain health costs and help all Americans get health insurance. And if paying for such programs requires not only cuts elsewhere but also new revenues - first, closing loopholes and if necessary, maybe even tax increases - we should talk about them openly."
- Former New York Times and Washington Post reporter E.J. Dionne in his Post column, May 16.


Whitewater: Who Cares?

"You just heard Mr. Panetta and his comments on the proposed Senate Whitewater hearings. Polls in the past, Mr. Gingrich, have said that: a) the American people really don't understand Whitewater; and b) they really don't care about it. Is there a reason for hearings now, other than to inflict political damage on the President prior to the elections?"
- Today substitute co-host Matt Lauer interviewing Gingrich, May 18.


Reagan's Fantasy Arrives

"An awful lot of people, Cal, decided during the Reagan years that this could be done painlessly. Remember Ronald Reagan, your old buddy, he used to say, you know, `All you've got to do is cut waste, fraud, and abuse, cut welfare, cut foreign aid,' and that's how you would solve the problem. Reaganism never involved pain for God-fearing, taxpaying, hard-working middle Americans. Now, finally, the Reagan fantasy is coming face to face with reality."
- U.S. News & World Report Senior Writer Steven Roberts on CNBC's Cal Thomas show, May 16.


Conservatives Didn't Bomb Oklahoma...But They Did

"The bomb in Oklahoma was not ignited by Rush Limbaugh or G. Gordon Liddy, but they are significant as well as highly visible fomenters of a mood that is fairly described as hateful, i.e., full of hate...The distance between speech and action is wide and it is exceedingly difficult for anyone to understand how and why it is closed. But anyone who thinks that the right-wing zealots are merely mouthing off is fooling himself."
- Washington Post columnist and chief book critic Jonathan Yardley, May 1.


Too Zealous About Civil Rights

"As your convention begins today, there is reportedly a power struggle going on within the NRA. More traditional - you're laughing, but this is what by many accounts is the case that there is a schism between traditional NRA members, conservative sportsmen, and a more radical branch of Second Amendment fundamentalist zealots."
- Today co-host Katie Couric to the NRA's Tanya Metaksa, May 19.


If He's for Abortion Then Our Bodies Are His

"There should be an effort to reconcile the two Packwoods: the lout - who purportedly pounced on unsuspecting women, sticking his tongue in one's mouth, running his hands up the legs of another, 18 reprehensible acts over 21 years - with the Senator who was a lonely champion of women's rights, and who is proving himself to be a voice of honesty and probity among the budget slashers in his own party."
- Time columnist Margaret Carlson, May 29 issue.


Pete Wilson, Purveyor of Hate and Division

"Wilson, whatever his chances, has already shown he knows his times....Now he is the man who gentrified fear. Exuding an aura of stern decency, he makes attacking Them only `fair.' He supported a state ballot initiative last year to deny state benefits to illegals - it passed overwhelmingly. Now he wants to end any state rule that smacks of racial or gender preference. Is this the worst kind of pandering? Or is it a public service to hear the fear and make it legitimate?"
- Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman, May 22.


100,000 Killed by Gingrich

"Think of the upcoming battle over Medicaid as though it were the battle of Manila. You aren't familiar with the battle of Manila? Well, that's the point. D-Day with its 19,549 dead and wounded was nearly a year past, and the war in Europe nearly won when American troops captured the city of Manila, a fight that resulted in 23,240 American and Japanese casualties and killed up to 100,000 Filipino civilians. The battle received little attention despite its enormous impact. The same thing could happen to Medicaid."
- Beginning of May 30 Washington Post news story by reporter Judith Havemann.


- L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher;
-Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- James Forbes, Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig, Steve Kaminski, Gesele Rey, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager;
-Melissa Gordon, Anna Johnson; Interns