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The Best of Notable Quotables; December 18, 1995

Vol. Eight; No. 26


The Embodiment of All Evil Award (for Newt-Bashing)

 

“The election returns start with a stark fact so disturbing that no one in the media wants to state it plainly: The U.S. House of Representatives is now to be led by a world-class demagogue, a talented reactionary in the vengeful tradition Gov. George Wallace and Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Like Wallace before him, Newt Gingrich evokes the nation’s boiling anxieties as a rancid populism of ‘us vs. them,’ though he is too shrewd to make the racial resentments explicit. Like Joe McCarthy, Gingrich depicts his adversaries not simply as mistaken in their political views but as sick, traitorous people who are invidiously subverting the national character....We shall soon find out if there is a kinder, gentler Newt lurking beneath the rock. Somehow I doubt it. His hatred seems to be from the heart.”

– William Greider, past producer of PBS Frontline shows and former Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor, in the December 29, 1994 - January, 12, 1995 Rolling Stone.


Runners-up:

“Newtie has gone too far. When you take food out of the mouths of babes and claim it is in their best interests, as Gingrich did in defending his Draconian budget cuts, you cross the line from mere heartlessness to dangerous demagoguery. It is one thing to play the mean-spirited reactionary, gutting one social program after another while pandering to the greed of the more affluent voter. That is a morally wrong but logically consistent position. Taking $500 from a child on welfare and giving it to one whose parents earn more than $200,000 a year is a loathsome but defensible position to advocates of a social Darwinism that holds that only the strong deserve to live.”

– Former Los Angeles Times reporter Robert Scheer, May 16 Times column.

“Let’s face it: to most African Americans Newt Gingrich is one scary white man....One can only hope Gingrich was sincere in his speech to Congress last week....That could mean Gingrich is serious about shedding his party’s whites-only image. If so, blacks ought to meet him halfway – if only to temper the wilder impulses of one very scary white man.”

Time National Correspondent Jack E. White, January 16.

“You called Gingrich and his ilk, your words, ‘trickle-down terrorists who base their agenda on division, exclusion, and fear.’ Do you think middle class Americans are in need of protection from that group?”

– Bryant Gumbel to House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, January 4 Today.