Notable Quotables - 09/16/1991


Thomas, Terrible Nominee

"Who is this guy, Clarence Thomas, and why should we want him on the Supreme Court? I can't think of any good reasons. The man is not distinguished and he doesn't seem to have a heart...Let's be straight about this. Clarence Thomas is a tool of the rich and powerful. His supporters include Dan Quayle, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms. Even David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan leader, is crazy about Clarence Thomas. Make no mistake, old people, poor people, black people, women, forget about it. Clarence Thomas is not your friend."
- NBC News reporter Bob Herbert in Sunday Today "Viewpoint" segment, September 8.

"I think the argument for rejecting him has more to do with the President who nominated him than Judge Thomas himself. This was an entirely cynical nomination to begin with. It was an attempt to basically play the race card by picking somebody who, because of the color of his skin, would not be rejected, even though he stood for a set of views on society and how the justice system would work that are completely against those of the Justice he's replacing, Thurgood Marshall."
- Time Editor-at-Large and former Washington Bureau Chief Strobe Talbott on Inside Washington, September 7.


Thomas, White Wannabe

"It may sound bigoted; well, this is a bigoted world and why can't black people be allowed a little Archie Bunker mentality?....Here's a man who's going to decide crucial issues for the country and he has already said no to blacks; he has already said if he can't paint himself white he'll think white and marry a white woman."
- USA Today Inquiry Editor Barbara Reynolds in The Washington Post, September 10.


The New Soviet Union

"There is a danger that the forces of democracy, as they are called, will now go too far. There is a spirit of revenge in the air....They may get into witch hunts where they're actually having kangaroo courts. If you saw that scene last Friday when Gorbachev was called before the Russian Parliament, the way he was heckled, even Yeltsin...saying 'read these notes of the Cabinet out,' I mean he was really embarrassing Gorbachev."
- Former New York Times reporter Hedrick Smith, August 26 Good Morning America.

"Now you're lending your voice on a kind of witch hunt. You will see a blood bath in Russia like you have never seen before."
- CBS News Consultant Stephen Cohen to Pat Buchanan, August 23 CNN Crossfire.

"[Leningrad Mayor] Sobchak's calls to hold the country together fall on mostly deaf ears. For one thing he's just another Russian. And besides, his rational arguments hardly penetrate in these emotional days of surging, hormonal nationalism."
- CBS reporter Jonathan Sanders, August 27 Evening News.

"There is discussion that this is the last chance to prevent the crime of the Soviet Union breaking apart."
- Sanders, August 28 CBS This Morning.

Moyers' Comfortable Lie

"Even if everything the right says about liberals is true, it would still address only a small segment of the collapse of America's self-discipline. It's a little bit like George Bush's answer to everything. His mind runs on one track: There are poor people out there? 'Cut the capital gains.' There are women with unwanted pregnancies? 'Cut the capital gains.' The waters are polluted? 'Cut the capital gains.' Hospital costs are soaring? 'Cut the capital gains.' It's hogwash. Reagan and Bush got away with it because we have come to prefer the comfortable lie to the uncomfortable truth."
- Bill Moyers in The Washington Post Magazine, September 1.


Weld: Conservative or Liberal?

"But the state underwent a sea change in January when conservative Republican William Weld, a former federal prosecutor, took office as Governor...Weld was elected narrowly last fall, thanks in part to thousands of liberal Democrats who defected from John Silber (D). Many were drawn to Weld by his support for abortion rights, gay rights, and environmental protections..."
- Washington Post Boston correspondent Christopher B. Daly, August 18.


Wet Net Loss

"Remember the environmental candidate who stood up and talked about how there should be no net loss of the nation's wetlands? Then the environmental President decided that that was not quite right. Perhaps the thing to do was to redefine wetlands from something that is occasionally soggy to something that is more like a pond. And that's what the President has done. He says it means no net loss. Clearly it means a big loss, and I think it's outrageous."
- National Public Radio news anchor Linda Wertheimer on CNN's Capital Gang, August 17.


No Idea What He Thinks

"Having read not only Cannon's new blockbuster but also several thousand of his stories and columns, I still have no idea if he is pro-Reagan or anti-Reagan. His only discernible ideological predisposition is that he has no ideological predisposition."
- New Republic Editor Hendrik Hertzberg reviewing Washington Post reporter Lou Cannon's President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime, September 9 issue.


"Reagan, as portrayed in Cannon's book and in his own, is a childlike and sometimes childish man. His head is full of stories. He is unable to think analytically. He is ignorant...He has difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality. He believes fervently in happy endings. He is passive and fatalistic. He cannot admit error."
- Same review, the page before.


Caring More

"A report last week compared health care for children in the United States with health care in the ten countries of Western Europe. Really there isn't any comparison. Nearly all children in Europe are able to see a doctor when they're sick. A lot more of them are immunized, a lot fewer of them die in infancy. Do Europeans care more about their children than we do? There's a simple answer: yes."
- Charles Kuralt on Sunday Morning, August 18.


Cuban Suffering: United States' Fault

"Cuban-Americans are reluctant to say so, but their brothers in Cuba are hungry and suffering economically, not just because of Castro and the withdrawal of Soviet aid. The U.S. is to blame, too. Washington refuses to lift its 30-year-old economic embargo against the island, which denies Cubans much of what they need."
- NBC reporter Ed Rabel, August 28 Today.


Thanks for the Compliment

"Today's right-wing women, the spiritual descendants of the Women's KKK, are far more overtly hostile to feminists than to any racial or ethnic 'others.'"
- Time essayist Barbara Ehrenreich in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, September 1.


Who Doesn't Love Grandpa Gus Hall?

"Elizabeth, his wife of 56 years, applauds him as a good family man. Indeed, how can anyone think ill of Hall when he beams so about cooking pancakes for his grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, or shares his secret for making tasty beef stew. (It's the apples.)"
- Time reporter Michael Riley, September 9.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Nicholas Damask, Sally Hood, Marian Kelley, Tim Lamer; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Circulation Manager