“Many [OWS] protesters say the lawless visitors constitute a tiny fringe and are not representative of the movement, which, they say, has espoused nonviolence and mutual aid. Some have suggested moving the kitchen area and the comfort station out of the park to discourage freeloaders from congregating there. But there are concerns that even if the criminal and antisocial elements are a small minority, they are becoming visible enough to tarnish the image of the entire group.” – From a November 6 story by Cara Buckley and Colin Moynihan.
“It was difficult, if not disingenuous, for the Tea Party groups to try to disown the behavior. They had organized the rally, and under their model of self-policing, they were responsible for the behavior of people who were there. And after saying for months that anybody could be a Tea Party leader, they could not suddenly dismiss as faux Tea Partiers those protesters who made them look bad.” – Reporter Kate Zernike on page 139 of her 2010 book “Boiling Mad – Inside Tea Party America.”
Yuck: “For Children’s Sake, Taking to the Streets.”
“Malka Lubelski marched for economic justice last Sunday dressed as Minnie Mouse....And so it goes in the second month of Occupy Wall Street, where children are becoming an increasing presence as parents try to seize a ‘teachable moment’ to enlighten them on matters ranging from income inequality to the right to protest.” – An October 27 story on Occupy Wall Street by Helaine Owen, headlined “For Children’s Sake, Taking to the Streets.”
Worth's Worthless History: Arab Revolt Lacks 'Standard-Bearer' Like Lenin or Mao
“More than 10 months after it started with the suicide of a Tunisian fruit vendor, the great wave of insurrection across the Arab world has toppled three autocrats and led last week in Tunisia to an election that many hailed as the dawn of a new era. It has not yielded any clear political or economic project, or any intellectual standard-bearers of the kind who shaped almost every modern revolution from 1776 onward. In those revolts, thinkers or ideologues -- from Thomas Paine to Lenin to Mao to Vaclav Havel -- helped provide a unifying vision or became symbols of a people’s aspirations.” – Robert Worth, writing on the “Arab Spring” in the October 30 Week in Review.
Editor 'Alarmed' at 'Right Wing' Pushback on Cain Story, Whines About Willie Horton Ad
“I’ve always been impressed, well alarmed really, at how quickly the right wing jumps on an issue almost in unison. This week, it was the news that Herman Cain, one of the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, was sued on claims of sexual harassment when he was running the National Restaurant Association....it was the Republicans who perfected the art of injecting racial fears into modern-day politics (remember Willie Horton in 1988?) and have conducted an unrelenting personal attack on President Obama that sometimes has not-so-subtle racial overtones.” – Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal in a November 1 blog post.
Krugman, Voice of Reason: [Rep. Paul Ryan's] Voucher Would Kill People, No Question"
Paul Krugman: “To be a little melodramatic, the voucher would kill people, no question.”
Gloria Borger: “His ideas infuriate liberals, like Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.”
Krugman: “The cuts in Medicare that he’s proposing, the replacement of Medicare by a voucher system, would in the end mean that tens of millions of older Americans would not be able to afford essential health care. So that counts as cruelty to me.” – Columnist Paul Krugman on CNN’s “Up Close” profile of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, September 25.
“Even Barack Obama couldn’t be lucky enough to waltz past two wacky black conservatives, first Alan Keyes and then Cain.” – Columnist Maureen Dowd, November 2.
I’m Sure They Used Those Exact Words
“The champions of Alabama’s far-reaching immigration law have said that it is intended to drive illegal immigrants from the state by making every aspect of their life difficult.” – Lead sentence of Campbell Robertson’s October 28 story on stronger enforcement of immigration law in Alabama.
"Far-Right" GOP Pushing "Anti-Washington Argument Closer to Its Illogical Extreme"
“It wasn’t that long ago that Republican moneymen and operatives in Washington were moping around K Street like Eeyore in the Hundred Acre Wood, lamenting their party’s extremist image and casting about for a candidate with a chance of beating Barack Obama in 2012....in September, not long after I saw Reed, far-right Republicans staged another successful mutiny in the House, temporarily blocking a spending bill that [House Speaker John] Boehner had championed....And a progression of ideological uprisings inside the party -- the Reagan revolutionaries, Pat Buchanan’s pitchfork brigades, Newt Gingrich’s band of guerrilla lawmakers and now the Tea Partiers – have only pushed the anti-Washington argument closer to its illogical extreme. ” – From Matt Bai’s October 15 cover story, headlined “‘ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS LOOK AT THESE GUYS AND SAY, "YOU’RE NUTS!"' – The G.O.P. elite tries to take its party back.”
Condescending Times: “Do the Bankers Get It?”
“As the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have grown and spread to other cities, an open question is: Do the bankers get it? Their different worldview speaks volumes about the wide chasms that have opened over who is to blame for the continuing economic malaise and what is best for the country.” – Nelson Schwartz and Eric Dash, October 15.
Allegation Blame Falls Solely on Cain?
“Michael, you invoked Elvis Costello in talking about the blame game when it comes to Herman Cain. But isn’t the more fundamental question, that he has no one except himself to blame? And does it really matter where this story is coming from? Isn’t the more important thing the substance of the story itself?” – “Caucus” podcast host Sam Roberts questioning co-host Michael Shear in the November 4 installment.
Stubborn Americans Averse to Controls on 'Right to Bear Arms Or Children'
“As recently as the 1970s, the subject of population control was less controversial, partly because the baby boom years had given rise to concerns about scarcity of resources, some population experts and environmentalists said. Then came China’s coercive one-child policy and a rise in social conservatism in the United States, combined with the country’s aversion to anything perceived as restricting individual freedoms, be it the right to bear arms or children....But the notion that curbing births is an effective way to control emissions is not an easy sell.” – Mireya Navarro in a November 1 article.
GOP “a Danger to Itself and to the Country”
“When the G.O.P. presidential candidates were asked during their debate on Aug. 11 whether any of them would accept a budget deal that involved $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases -- and they all said no -- the Republican Party officially became a danger to itself and to the country. The G.O.P. became a danger to the country because it announced, in effect, that it would not be a partner for the kind of Grand Bargain that many economists believe we need -- something that provides more near-term investment in the economy that spurs job growth, combined with a credible long-term plan to increase tax revenues and trim entitlements so the country’s debt-to-G.D.P. ratio stays in a safe range.” – Columnist Thomas Friedman, October 5.
Read the rest of the latest Times Watch Quotes of Note newsletter here.