Notable Quotables - 02/27/1995


Deflowered in the Reagan Years

"In the corporate takeovers of the 1980s, the Reagan Administration was a wallflower at the orgy."
- First sentence of Time Associate Editor Richard Lacayo's February 27 sidebar on Microsoft anti-trust settlement.


Republicans: Threat to the Human Race

"The noises coming from [Rep. Sonny] Bono and many of his fellow Republican signers of House Speaker Newt Gingrich's `Contract with America' signal a radical shift in Congress's attitude toward environmental issues - a shift that may bode ill for the health of snail darters, spotted owls, and even the human species."
- Time reporter Dick Thompson in a February 27 story headlined "Congressional Chain-Saw Massacre: If Speaker Newt Gingrich gets his way, the laws protecting air, water and wildlife may be endangered."


Clinton's Ventriloquist Dummies

"The gamble inherent in the President's budget - which posits $200 billion deficits through the millennium - is that there won't be enough true conservatives in the GOP to really take a whack at spending (or do much of anything else, including cut taxes). After all, most Republicans spent the last 15 years faking it - exhorting austerity but never actually having to impose it. The presence of taxes and absence of majority status enabled Speaker Gingrich and his allies to evade tough votes on George Bush's 1990 deficit-reduction package, and Bill Clinton's in 1993."
- Newsweek Senior Editor Joe Klein, February 20.

"First of all, he's the first President to seriously go after and reduce the deficit. And second, the federal government is now the smallest it's been since the 1960s."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on CNN's Crossfire, January 27.

"He and Hillary (depicted in the book as surprisingly nonideological but oddly blind to appearances) have titanic screaming fights, yet they rightly complain that they have been punished for keeping their family intact. Had they simply gotten divorced, Clinton's sex life wouldn't have been an issue."
- Newsweek media writer Jonathan Alter on the new David Maraniss biography First in His Class, February 13.

John Powers, Smarter Than the Rest of America

"Truth is, Americans live in a dream world. They believe in zero percent interest and `lite' pancake syrup. They believe a beer can have great taste and still be less filling. That's why the voters lined up for the conservative goody bag this time. They wanted things to be the way they think they were in the '50s - and get money back, too....Rip into the conservatives when they start talking about orphanages, when they peddle Ronald Reagan's old voodoo economics, when they balk on gun laws. Draw up your own contract with America....Liberalism, real liberalism, created the country we live in, both for the better and for the worse."
- Boston Globe Magazine staff writer John Powers' memo to liberals, February 5.


Uneducated Whites on a Bender

"Well, there's affirmative action already. There's affirmative action for white people. It's just as she said, you can look at Congress, you can look at the Fortune 500, you can look at most major industries. And I think this is a red herring and a racist issue, largely because people won't be honest and talk about the changes that are going on in the world and in the culture. It's angry white males, angry white males who have high school educations that can no longer provide them with the manufacturing jobs that once helped them and their families move into the middle class."
- New York Times reporter Karen DeWitt on PBS's To the Contrary, February 18.


Foster Committed Abortions - So?

"So what! I mean, you know right away it's going to be an issue, but it shouldn't be an issue. The whole man should be the issue. Is this a good man for the job? He's done nothing illegal, nothing wrong...Clinton did an awful thing when he cut Dr. Elders loose, and if he cuts Dr. Foster loose I think it will appear to be a disaster."
- Former NBC News President Michael Gartner on C-SPAN's Sunday Journal, February 12.


Where Does That Leave the Real Conservatives?

"[Lamar Alexander] takes hard-right positions in soothing tones and plays gospel music on the piano."
- U.S. News & World Report Senior Writer Michael Barone, February 27.


Wasteful, Useless SDI

"The House Republican bill called for increasing military spending on Star Wars anti-missile defenses (this part was thankfully defeated) so the U.S. would have more useless Nintendo technology to fight the least likely of wars, while restricting the President's ability to dispatch troops abroad to fight the most likely of wars."
- Former New York Times White House reporter Thomas Friedman, February 19 column.

"Am I right? About $35 billion was spent under the Reagan and Bush administrations, and the conventional wisdom, or the popular wisdom, was very little came of that. Is it really worth spending the amounts that would be needed to pursue that?"
- Robert MacNeil interviewing former Defense undersecretary Richard Perle, February 8 MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour.


Conservatives vs. the Bill of Rights

"Let's just hope they don't put the First Amendment to a vote...A lot of conservatives didn't want the Bill of Rights to apply at all to the states, so there's plenty of precedent for conservatives wanting to knock this out."
- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas on Inside Washington in discussion about the House bill limiting exclusion of evidence on Fourth Amendment grounds, February 11.

William Fulbright: Saving Clinton from Yankee Imperialism

"He had been a Senator from 1944 to 1974, an inventor of American internationalism after World War II and a foe of American imperialism during Vietnam....He epitomized the word `internationalist' yet fought against a growing American empire - perhaps it was impossible to keep internationalism and imperialism separate."
- Washington Post reporter Henry Allen writing about Fulbright's memorial service, February 18.


It's a Beautiful Day in Mister Rogers' Ghetto

"To relegate opera to Bravo, history to the History Channel, or nature to Discovery and TBS - that's the elitist route. It ghettoizes science and the humanities. It says that those who want that stuff will seek it out. And that's precisely the reason that stuff should be on PBS....The marketplace does not meet the cultural and informational needs that PBS was set up to meet. It does even less in the Inside Edition and 57-channel era than it did when LBJ was President. And if President Clinton...and the new Congress are really interested in the public and the taxpayer, they will make public television stronger, not weaker, and will make commercial television pay the freight."
- Boston Globe television critic Ed Siegel, February 12.


Associated Mess

"Despite the political theater,Democrats must be wondering where Dole and Kasich were during the 12 years that Republicans controlled the White House. The GOP, of course, certainly would want to forget that period when it comes to deficit control, given the performances of Ronald Reagan and George Bush in that area."
- "News analysis" by AP Washington reporter Martin Crutsinger, February 9 Fairfax (Va.) Journal.


- 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