Notable Quotables - 06/12/1989


Wright Resignation

"And if his moving speech today does not restore those decencies he so wistfully remembered today, then perhaps history will remember that at least he tried."
- Reporter Jim Wooten on ABC's World News Tonight, May 31.

"Both Coelho and Wright stand accused of committing the Republican sin - greed. They have shown that Democrats should leave that field to the Republicans."
- Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory, May 30.


The Loss of Tony Coelho

" the most dramatic victim yet of the Age of Accusation that now dominates American politics."
- Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman in the June 5 issue.

"It seems to be a personal tragedy as well as, perhaps, one for the country."
- Barbara Walters hosting ABC's Nightline May 26.


Bush Troop Cut Proposal

"Bush calls for arms cuts in Europe: Issues challenge to Gorbachev; most NATO allies back plan"
- Boston Globe, May 30.

"Bush Shift on Arms Unsettles Some Allies: New Initiative Abandons Key Points in NATO's Compromise Negotiating Position"
- Washington Post, same day.


Speaker of the House Jimmy Carter

"Perhaps the Democrat who best personifies this republic of virtue is former President Jimmy Carter. His reputation burnished by the elevated tone of his retirement, Carter would actually bring to the task energy, integrity and his legendary distaste for congressional business as usual. He could even boast a made-to-order campaign slogan: 'After the Wright stuff, why not the best?'"
- Time Senior Writer and former Carter Administration official Margaret Carlson recommending a new House Speaker, June 5 issue.


Affirmative Action

"Court, Ruling 5 to 4, Eases Burden On Employers in Some Bias Suits"
- New York Times, June 6.

"Bias ruling called a 'disaster'"
- USA Today, same day.


Ethics Accusations

"Politics didn't just turn ugly. It evolved from a nasty presidential campaign that featured the GOP's famous Willie Horton ad."
- Reporter Eric Engberg on CBS Evening News, May 29.

Democratic Congressman Larry Smith: "Almost every historical scholar of the Congress will tell you, this is one of the most ethical Congresses, it has avowed financial disclosure, and all of that has occurred."
Pat Buchanan: "You want to tell that to the camera?"
- exchange on CNN's Crossfire, May 31.


Liberals: Endangered Species

"Rep. David Bonior, 43, now the chief deputy whip, would like to move up to whip. The Vietnam vet is one of the Hill's last liberals."
- Newsweek's Howard Fineman in the June 5 issue.


Chinese Fascists

Robert Novak: "Ask the dead people in Beijing about the menace of communism: right through the head. That's the menace."
Tom Braden: "That's not communism, that's fascism and it's a dictatorship, and that's all it is."
- exchange on CNN's Crossfire June 5.


Soviet Democracy

"It would be hard to find a political spectrum anywhere in the world broader than the Congress of People's Deputies that opens in Moscow today."
- Christian Science Monitor Staff Writer Paul Quinn-Judge in the May 25 issue.

"Gorbachev is now seen worldwide as the herald and agent of change. He took the hammer to communism and smashed it. There is no question about that."
- Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory on May 23.


Reagan's IQ

"They [Reagan and Thatcher] quickly formed a bond that overcame their differences of age, gender and - many whisper - IQ scores."
- Washington Post reporter David Broder, May 27.


Bush & Taxes

"But the simple truth is that, apart from supposedly earmarked social insurance taxes, federal taxes are too low to pay for the obligations of a major power. Last year federal spending, excluding Social Security and unemployment insurance, totaled only $830 billion. Federal revenue - excluding Social Security and unemployment taxes - totaled only $643 billion. Closing the gap - more than $200 billion this year - means raising taxes....Try reading your own lips, Mr. President. Look in the mirror while you're doing it. You won't like what you see. It's the face of man who lacks the courage to pay the price of leadership."
- Washington Post Deputy Editor of "Outlook" and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Carter, Jodie Allen, May 31 "Business" section.


Death Penalty

"And the death penalty, if anything, encourages people to commit murders."
- New York Governor Mario Cuomo in an interview with USA Today, May 31.


Inane Quote of the Month

"'These boat people,' says the government of Hong Kong, 'they all want to go to America.' Well, I swear I don't know why, do you? I mean take Vietnam. Why would any Vietnamese come to America after what America did for Vietnam. Don't they remember My Lai, napalm, Sylvester Stallone? Clearly they have no more sense over there, than say, Mexicans who keep trying to get into this country even though this country stole large parts of their country from them in the first place."
- Linda Ellerbee, CNN's PrimeNews, June 2.

"What's wrong with network news?....I think we do insult the intelligence of the audience more than is required, more than we should. That's the one thing I would change."
- Ellerbee on CBS This Morning, May 8.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Jim Heiser, Richard Marois, Patrick Swan, Dorothy Warner; Media Analysts
- Cynthia Bulman; Administrative Assistant