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Notable Quotables - 07/22/1991


Clarence Thomas: Black and White

"Clarence Thomas is the best only at his ability to bootlick for Ronald Reagan and George Bush...They didn't pick him because he was black. They picked him because he's a black conservative. And the thing that bothers me about his appointment - if they had put David Duke on, I wouldn't scream as much because they would look at David Duke and reject him for what he is. If you gave Clarence Thomas a little flour on his face, you'd think you had David Duke talking."
- Columnist Carl Rowan on Inside Washington, July 7.

"It's a shame that Thomas and Marshall are even mentioned in the same breath...But I still advocate his confirmation. First, if Hugo Black, who once was a member of the KKK, could become a distinguished liberal justice, there is a hope that a Negro can turn black. Maybe Thomas, who would have lifetime employment as a justice, could find his soul."
- USA Today Inquiry Editor Barbara Reynolds, July 5.

"To fill the seat of one of the greatest civil rights heroes, Bush found a black who actually believes in the Republican notion that minorities need the absence of discrimination, not affirmative action, in order to succeed."
- Time Senior Writer Margaret Carlson, July 15.

"If Thomas were white, the very idea of putting him on the Supreme Court would be an affront to the legacy of the justice he is replacing, the legendary Thurgood Marshall."
- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas, July 15.

"Justice Marshall: He added realism and a sense of how decisions affect the poor and disenfranchised"
- Christian Science Monitor caption, July 1.

"Judge Clarence Thomas: He is not in the US civil rights mainstream"
- Monitor caption, two days later.


"Reactionary" Blacks

"Black conservatives or reactionaries are getting a lot of attention since the Thomas nomination...It has been a common misconception that Americans who happen to be black also happen to be liberal or progressive. True, perhaps most are, but as Bruce Morton reports in tonight' Eye On America, the terms black or African-American and conservative or reactionary are not mutually exclusive."
- Dan Rather on the July 12 CBS Evening News.


Estimate Opposites

"U.S. Raises Estimate of '92 Deficit"
- Washington Post, July 16

"Budget Deficit Estimate Is Lowered"
- New York Times, same day

Liberal "Rights" = Civil Rights

"They were galvanized by the prospect of losing the civil rights they had fought so hard for...The National Organization for Women had plenty of power in the late '60s and early '70s and they used it. They fought for, and got, equal pay for equal work, child care, abortion, and birth control rights. Today, women believe those rights are eroding and they are resorting to time-worn tactics to fight back."
- ABC reporter Karen Burnes on World News Saturday, July 6.


Oh No, A Conservative Court

"For the first time since the 1930s, conservatives will comfortably control the Supreme Court and they are likely to be there well into the next century. Marshall's departure means that now when government prerogatives collide with individual rights, increasingly, government will prevail."
- ABC correspondent Jack Smith on This Week with David Brinkley, June 30.

"One of things they [the Founding Fathers] were very concerned about was the tyranny of the majority. And one of the things we could be seeing in this era is that tyranny of the majority taking hold."
- ABC reporter Cokie Roberts on This Week with David Brinkley, same day.

"What if the court does not stop where it is - somewhere to the right of center, but still safely in the mainstream of popular mores and attitudes? Will Americans still be applauding (and voting GOP) if the court keeps on moving to the right - if it severely restricts abortions, abandons the rights of minorities and women, and gives the other branches of government license to do pretty much whatever they please, all under the mantle of 'judicial restraint'? "
- Newsweek Washington reporter Howard Fineman, July 8.


Yugoslav Federalism Vs. U.S. Central Control

"Fractured Government: Yugoslavia is a federation. Unlike the U.S., it has strong local government and weak central control. The collective presidency is composed of eight members, one from each of the six republics and two provinces. The chairmanship of the presidency is rotated every 12 months among these eight."
- Time, July 15


Hope You Had A Happy Fourth of July, Too

"Oh say, we've seen too much. The Star-Spangled Banner pushes like a cough through America's mouth and the twilight's last gleaming is just that, a sickly flash above our heads as we ride unsuspecting in the bellies of sleek trains, plop to our knees in churches, embracing truths that disgust us."
- Boston Globe arts critic and "poet" Patricia Smith in The Nation's "Patriotism" issue, July 15/22.

"In the 1980s, a time when wealth accumulated and men decayed, the superpatriots entered Gloryland. They were the anointed Moral Majority. They stood foursquare for God, Reagan, and the bombing of abortion clinics...We could only wince when the President called the Contras 'freedom fighters,' when Oliver North became a national hero, when the pledge of allegiance became - with sinister embellishments - a campaign issue...We winced - and some of us wept in shame - when George Bush, wearing the white flower of a blameless life, won the 1988 election with tactics only a Mafia don could admire."
- Los Angeles Times Syndicate television critic Harriet Van Horne, same issue of The Nation.

"So as you've celebrated yet another Independence Day, as you've toasted the great victory in Iraq one more time, as you've marveled at the success of the $4.4 million tanks (88 times costlier than their World War II counterparts) and the $28 million bombers and the $106 million Stealth fighters, you might also think for a moment about how some - just some - of the $880 billion the world put out for the military last year might have otherwise been spent. On things like health. And the environment. And education."
- NBC News President Michael Gartner in a USA Today column, July 9.


Quote of the Month

"The newly chosen [African National Congress] leadership includes a number of Communists, who seem unlikely to make the congress more radical and may in fact make it more efficient - to judge from the youth and organizational skills of some of them."
- New York Times foreign correspondent Christopher S. Wren in front page story, July 8.


- 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