Notable Quotables - 11/20/1995


Pouting Over Powell


"But what might have been is what is so intriguing: shrink the safety net, he was saying, but look out for the children. Cut the programs, but don't shut out the people at the bottom.... Abortion, no. But protect the bearer of the child and allow that person to decide. It was the glimpse of these views from someone speaking from inside the Republican Party that might have made for change in American politics. For the last generation, the Republicans have moved even further to the right. Here with candor and some skill, it was a political figure willing to move it back toward the center. That is what made today's announcement so bittersweet."
- ABC reporter John Martin on Colin Powell's decision, Nov. 8 Peter Jennings' Journal on radio.

"Most of them [Washington reporters] are centrists. They're not liberals, they're sane centrists, and Powell appealed to the image of why they think they got into politics - journalism, to begin with....a lot of my colleagues are trying to accept the fact that the Republican Party has the upper hand, and they want a Republican Party they can live with, and Powell is a guy they could live with."
- Newsweek Washington reporter Howard Fineman on CNBC's Equal Time, November 8.

"Republicans...are, with calculation, risking blame for shutting down the government next week, or for the United States' defaulting on its debt soon after. In the process they may project an extreme, uncompromising image, the sort that contributed heavily to this week's election setbacks. Ironically, that is the image that might have been mitigated in a presidential campaign by Gen. Colin L. Powell, for he would have forced their campaign dialogue away from pleasing the right and toward the political middle, where elections are won."
- New York Times Washington reporter Adam Clymer, November 11 "news analysis."

"I feel as if this is The Bridges of Fairfax County, and I'm Francesca. The graceful, hard male animal who did nothing overtly to dominate us yet dominated us completely, in the exact way we wanted that to happen at this moment, like a fine leopard on the veld, was gone....`Don't leave, Colin Powell,' I could hear myself crying from somewhere inside....Bummer. We were this close to something interesting and real, and it slipped away."
- Former New York Times White House reporter Maureen Dowd, November 9 column.


Klein, Heal Thyself


"Colin's crusade should be to rescue America from its poisoned political atmosphere....You have a great opportunity to recivilize the public square. Your mission should be to alleviate this awful screeching."
- Newsweek Senior Writer Joe Klein on what he'd tell Colin Powell, November 13 issue.


"If he decided to run as a Republican, we'd all have to prepare for the unavoidable, stomach-turning moment when the general made himself available for a photo op with the oleaginous tele-quack Pat Robertson....[Gingrich] misread the public disgust with the tired, corrupt Democratic Congress as support for a `revolution' that abandons the poor while protecting gun nuts and polluters."
- Klein, same article.


Setting Up the Answer


"Do you agree or disagree that the Republicans in Congress are going too far in cutting back government programs?"
- Question in a Time/CNN poll, November 20 Time.

"First, the budget, passed by the Republican Congress, the biggest cuts in the shortest time in memory. According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out today, almost three-quarters of those asked prefer a budget balancing plan that takes longer, but cuts less from Medicare and education. That's what the President wants. Sixty-one percent think that the President should veto this Republican budget as it now stands."
- Tom Brokaw, Nov. 1 Nightly News. Spending overall and on Medicare will rise faster than inflation.


Brutal and Deep Six Percent Annual Hikes


"White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta said Clinton would veto the GOP Medicare proposals. That tough talk suggests the battle for Medicare may be the one that casts Clinton in the role his pollsters ache to see - as the hero in the way of a brutal Republican juggernaut."
- Time Senior Writer John Greenwald, Oct. 16.

"The most important issue in the fight, which is sometimes lost amid all the talk of train wrecks and debt ceilings, is whether the Republican budget cuts will needlessly hurt the poor and the working class and thereby deepen divisions in an already polarized economy."
- Greenwald, October 30.


"I think they're hearing the worst possible message out of Washington right now. I think they're hearing a message of harshness far beyond any rationality that they can see in the figures and the numbers that are coming out of there and the intentions that are coming out of there."
- Former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite on the message blacks are getting from the GOP Congress. CNBC's Tim Russert, Nov. 13.


Today's Top News: A Democratic Press Release


"Half of the program reductions included in the budget packages would fall on the poorest fifth of American families, according to projections by the Democratic staff of Congress' Joint Economic Committee. Another 25 percent of the changes would be felt by the next poorest fifth of the population. At the same time, the richest 5 percent of the population would benefit from tax breaks that, on average, are almost as large as the reductions in income and health benefits facing families with children, according to a separate analysis by the Office of Management and Budget....The immediate result, however, is likely to be an increase in the average rate of poverty nationwide and harder times for many families and individuals. Clinton Administration officials and independent budget analysts contend."
- Front page story by Los Angeles Times reporter Elizabeth Shogren, October 29.


Communists and Liberal Republicans: The Same


"The book is, however, a testament to the deep affinity between the two dominant conservative leaders of their time: Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev. At the height of Watergate, Dobrynin delivered a secret message from Brezhnev, urging Nixon to tough it out. When Nixon resigned one step ahead of the law, Brezhnev sent a generous, secret tribute. Brezhnev later demonstrated his conservative consistency by urging Gerald Ford to run for a full term as President."
- Boston Globe reporter and former Moscow Bureau Chief Paul Quinn-Judge reviewing Anatoly Dobrynin's memoir In Confidence, October 19 Globe.


So Much for Unique Political Analysis on PBS


"Well, will they get the blame for killing programs that help people? I mean, we've been talking about politics a lot, we're talking about size and shape and politics, but how about the issues that are involved? Won't Democrats get any credit for trying to save Medicare and other policies that help people?"
- Associated Press reporter Barry Schweid on PBS's Washington Week in Review, October 27.

"The flat tax is a great one-liner but when you get behind the one line and look at it, it has some problems, the biggest of which is that it amounts to a huge tax cut for people with high incomes...and amounts to a tax increase for a lot of people who are in the middle, middle-income types."
- Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Alan Murray on the new PBS series Challengers '96, same night.


Abortion: Just as Bad as Eating Meat


"But aren't most medical procedures, when you describe them in detail, pretty disgusting? Isn't, for example, the production of veal, when you describe it in detail, and how people eat meat, when they crunch down on the flesh of living beings, formerly living beings with their teeth. Isn't that pretty gruesome, too?"
- PBS To the Contrary host Bonnie Erbe discussing partial-birth abortions, November 3.


- L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher; Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Gesele Rey, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager; Gene Eliasen, Intern