No Minister

Bob Dole – the last full measure

with 3 comments

Over in the USA, World War 2 vet, long-time GOP politician and 1996 Presidential nominee, Bob Dole, died this week. He was very badly injured by machine gun fire in Italy in 1945 and barely survived thanks to the then new wonder drug called streptomycin. For the rest of his life he’d hold a pencil in his right hand so that people would not shake it, so damaged still was his right arm and shoulder.

Dole had built his political reputation in the 1970’s so in the 1990’s I was largely unaware of him or what he stood for and he seemed like a man whose time had passed. It would be like voting for Muldoon.

As a result I didn’t support him for President in 1996 as I thought Clinton would do a better job, but I did agree with Dole’s comment about all of Clinton’s sexual and corruption problems: “Where’s the outrage?”. Sadly for those of Bob’s generation there was none and people merely snickered at him for being so old and square about sex instead of cool and hip like Bill.

The whole #MeToo movement – where the Left would set new and higher standards for men getting handsy (and worse) with women – was years away, although as we’ve seen, it was only ever aimed at Right-Wing men and died with the ascension of Gropey Joe.

Same with the age factor which, as you can see from this TIME magazine cover, was also a “big thing” in the 1996 race.

I now regret thinking such things about him. Dole might not have been a better President than Clinton, but he would have been a more honourable one.

As Paul Mirengoff over at the Powerline blog reminds us, looking at the gracious and generous coverage of Dole in the MSM now, portraying him as “a bridge-builder, friend of Democrats and Republicans alike, and a reminder of the good old days when the parties cooperated and the Senate got things done”:

Back then, Dole was portrayed as a nasty piece of work, a hatchet man with an acerbic wit. In 1976, when he ran for vice president, the line on Dole was that Gerald Ford selected him because of his ability to sling mud at Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. President Ford would take the high road while Dole would ridicule and demean the opposition.

There was nothing warm, fuzzy, or the least bit sympathetic about the way the MSM portrayed Dole when he ran against Bill Clinton in 1996.

But the media didn’t abandon the “prince of darkness” narrative. It portrayed Dole as deeply divisive. There was little if any praise that I recall of his Senate skills or his ability to work across party lines.

It wasn’t just the MSM. In Chicago at the time I was on good terms with a Boomer “Liberal” who just hated Dole’s guts. Since I wanted Clinton to win and had no skin in the game I never inquired as to exactly what Dole had done to earn such hatred. It bemused me, but I now realise that almost every US “Liberal” feels this way about every GOP politician, which is why they and their MSM allies, even as the likes of Dole vanish into history and the cold ground – are always on the lookout for the next GOP Hitler. Mirengoff again:

My point, though, is the mainstream media’s serial demonization of Republicans who stand in the way of its liberal agenda. When Ronald Reagan had power, he was a right-wing zealot and menace to world peace. When George W. Bush had power, he was the evil stooge of the even more evil Dick Cheney. When it looked like Mitt Romney might get power, he was a callous, out-of-touch serial destroyer of jobs and wrecker of lives.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 10, 2021 at 12:00 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Bob Dole never managed to shake off the tag that at 72 he was ‘yesterday’s man’. He was however a man big on principle.

    And Biden at 79 and counting?

    The Veteran

    December 10, 2021 at 1:29 pm

  2. You could have saved yourself lots of time and angst by simply looking at the suffix (R).
    Wishing that any Democrat takes the reins is no different from supporting this bastard of a government that we are currently having to endure.


    December 10, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    • Different world and time Kloyd. Clinton was not the same as the lunatics increasingly running the Democrat Party, nor were the ones then running US academia, media, etc.

      They’re far worse now.

      But sure, in hindsight I should have supported Dole.

      Tom Hunter

      December 10, 2021 at 4:54 pm

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