MRC’s Notable Quotables: Scolding ‘Harsh Rhetoric’ of Tea Party ‘On the Fringe’

I don’t usually post the MRC’s bi-weekly Notable Quotables here on NewsBusters, but there seemed to be more than the usual number of obnoxious liberal quotes over the past two weeks — disparaging the Tea Party as “harsh” or racist; denigrating Sarah Palin as “preposterous” and “anti-intellectual,” and insisting that the voter revolt against Democrats’ big government policies is fiction: “a tempest in a teapot.”

Here are some of the choicer quotes from this issue; the entire package (with five audio/video clips) is posted at You can also sign up to get each issue sent to you via e-mail (next issue will be March 8).

Scolding “Harsh Rhetoric” of Tea Party “On the Fringe”

ABC’s John Berman: “The business of this first ever national Tea Party convention is the nuts and bolts of politics, like voter registration....But barely scratch the surface, and there’s a tone of anger and confrontation....When we asked delegates what they thought, their feelings about the President were almost universal.”
Unidentified Man: “I believe he is a socialist ideologue.”
Unidentified Woman: “You just read his history, he’s a Marxist.”...
Berman: “One of the goals of this convention is to turn this movement into a political force. The question is, does the harsh rhetoric keep them on the fringe?” — ABC’s World News, February 5.

Nothing but a Bunch of Racist McCarthyites

“What does Margaret Chase Smith have to do with the next two segments on Countdown — one of them about the Tea Klux Klan?...It was Maine’s Republican Senator who said, and I’m quoting here: ‘I don’t want to see the Republican party ride to political victory on the four horsemen of calumny — fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear.’...[In 1950, Smith was] pushing back against the fear and bigotry and smears and ignorance being practiced by her own party by, in particular, the Wisconsin Republican witch hunter, Senator Joseph McCarthy....Today, the GOP has plenty of McCarthys, an entire wing of them in the Tea Party.” — Keith Olbermann on Countdown, February 9.

“Times are tough, the future is confusing, the threat from those who would dismantle our way of life is real, as if we weren’t to some extent doing it for them now. And the President’s black....I know phrases like ‘Tea Klux Klan’ are incendiary, and I know I use them in part because I am angry that at so late a date, we still have to bat back that racial uneasiness which has to envelop us all.” — Olbermann in a “Special Comment” on Countdown, February 15.

Trashing “Simple-Minded” Sarah Palin

“I watched her speak at the Tea Party convention, then I listened to the interview that followed with the Tea Party chairman and it was embarrassing at points, to the point where you just want to avert your gaze when she starts to talk. Simple, simple thoughts, very simple-mindedly expressed....Just as the Supreme Court nominee who was defeated said, you know, ‘Everybody needs to have a little mediocre representation and that’s what I am.’ That’s what she is.” — Washington Post columnist Colbert King on Inside Washington, February 12.

“We see a lot of preposterous things in American politics....Sarah Palin’s entire career would be eliminated, would pass out of history if preposterousness were somehow disqualifying, but it’s not.” — The New Yorker’s David Remnick, formerly a Washington Post reporter, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, February 9.

“What she said was drivel. No, let me amend that: it was anti-intellectual drivel....Those who celebrate Sarah Palin’s lack of knowledge as a form of ‘authenticity’ superior to Barack Obama’s gloriously American mongrel ethnicity and self-made intellectuality are representatives of a long-standing American theme — the celebration of sameness, and mediocrity, in a country that has succeeded brilliantly because of its diversity and restlessly eccentric genius.” — Political columnist Joe Klein on Time’s “Swampland” blog about Palin’s Tea Party speech, February 7.

George’s Prescription for Democratic Revival: Pass a Big Health Care Bill

Anchor Diane Sawyer: “Which leaves about ten months to turn it around before the mid-term elections. What are they going to do in the White House?”
George Stephanopoulos: “Well, it’s not going to turn around completely. Democrats and Republicans agree that Republicans are picking up seats in the mid-term elections. What the White House can do — what they’re trying to do — is to achieve a health care bill. People still want that.” — ABC’s World News, February 10, discussing ABC’s poll showing Democrats trailing in congressional races.

Don’t Worry: Anti-Democratic Backlash Just a “Tempest in a Teapot”

“While analysts expect Democrats to lose some seats in 2010, more Republicans [than Democrats] are retiring.... The sense of dramatic change is more about who is leaving — high profile Democrats like Patrick Kennedy and Chris Dodd — than how many....In politics, the nine months between now and November can amount to a lifetime. But, for now, despite all the passionate, anti-incumbent tea parties, the math suggests limited changes on Capitol Hill — a tempest in a teapot.” — ABC’s John Hendren on Good Morning America, February 14. [Watch the video]

Dick Cheney: Giving Aid and Comfort to al Qaeda?

“Don’t you think when the former Vice President says America is weaker than it has been that you are giving aid and comfort to the enemy, that you are encouraging another attack?” — FNC’s Geraldo Rivera to conservative author Ann Coulter on the February 14 Geraldo At Large. [Watch the video]

Blizzard or No Blizzard, Don’t Mock Global Warming!

“The anti-science crowd in the Republican Party is saying that the snow storms we’re having are evidence against global warming. These guys, these clowns — go to high school!...It isn’t something to laugh about, gentlemen, unless you don’t care about what happens to this planet down the road. And I suspect that some of you folks, sadly, don’t.” — Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, February 10.

War on Terrorism Global Warming Tea Parties ABC MSNBC Fox News Channel Countdown John Hendren Sarah Palin