Patterico's Pontifications

12/6/2021

The Bob Dole That the Media Remembers

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:15 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Dana put up a very lovely post earlier this morning about Senator Bob Dole, who died yesterday at the age of 98. Because the Senator loomed large as a political figure in the final quarter of the past century, his death has elicited plenty of obituaries, remembrances, reflections, and memorial about the Kansas war hero. And naturally, the media being the media, they want to use his death to subtly take a poke at the GOP of today. Here, for example, is what Connie Cass and Calvin Woodward of the AP would like us to know about the Dole legacy:

In the Senate, Dole began to see the value of forging alliances with Democrats, and it became a lifelong habit. He teamed with Democrats to uphold civil rights, expand food stamps, shore up Social Security and create the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as well as to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act.

As Senate Finance Committee chairman, Dole won praise for his handling of a 1982 tax bill that raised revenue to ease the budget deficit. Some fellow Republicans were appalled by higher taxes, however. Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., called him “the tax collector for the welfare state.”

Dole didn’t think much of Gingrich at the time. “He’s just difficult to work with,” he said. “It’s either Newt’s way or the highway. He’s got a lot of ideas. Some of them are good; not many.”

This sentiment is echoed by CNN, the home channel of the disgraced Cuomo brothers, where some twerp called Gregory Krieg takes pains to contrast the late Senator with today’s rambunctious McConnellites, informing us that “The bipartisan outpouring of praise following the death on Sunday of Republican Bob Dole, the longtime Senate leader and former presidential nominee, mourned both a man and a more outwardly collegial era as Republicans drive the country toward another debt ceiling deadline crisis and party leadership downplays dangerous radicalism in its ranks.” Get that? It’s Republicans who are reckless in their partisanship, certainly not the sainted Democrats who, after all, only want what’s best for America, even though that remarkably seems to dovetail perfectly with the interests of untouchable government bureaucrats, academic elites, wealthy trial lawyers, and left-wing advocacy groups.

I have a feeling I would find similar sentiments if I checked the opinionated news coverage from the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and other mainstream media outlets, but I’m not going to bother to slip past the various firewalls to do so.

In the media’s telling, Sen. Dole was at his most heroic when he voted to raise taxes and expand welfare services. They tell us that as Senate Finance Committee chairman he raised taxes in 1982 without mentioning that just one year earlier in that same role he shepherded through the Reagan tax cut package by a 89-11 vote in the Senate, a massive bipartisan success if ever there were one. The AP reporters certainly don’t mention the aftermath of the 1992 election which saw Bill Clinton defeat the incumbent President George H.W. Bush largely by demagoguing the extent of the recession (which had ended several months earlier) and by putting together a tax-and-spending plan that even the New York Times Editorial Board acknowledged did not add up at all. As Mr. Clinton was taking office, Senate Minority Leader Dole warned the incoming President that Republicans would challenge him on his excesses, and indeed the Senator was extremely effective in keeping his party together to filibuster a stimulus package that was no longer necessary and was simply a payoff to Democrat* advocacy groups who had supported the Clinton candidacy. Leader Dole also held together Republicans, with the exception of Sen. John Chaffee of Rhode Island, against the Clinton plan to nationalize healthcare via Hillary Clinton’s bureaucracy-heavy bill. The AP might have mentioned other bipartisan successes during the Dole-Clinton years such as welfare reform, which the President fought kicking-and-screaming until his pollsters informed him that the American public strongly supported it. They could have also told us that President Clinton ended up adopting many sections of the Dole-Kemp tax agenda from the 1996 election, including cuts for small businesses and on capital gains, which passed through Congress and were signed into law by the President in the first year of his second term. But of course in the world of the Democrat media, Bill Clinton single-handedly balanced the budget on his own accord, despite campaigning for reelection on the idea that even attempting to balance the budget would be reckless and foolhardy, and bipartisanship is only when Republicans reluctantly accede to Democrat demands.

Bob Dole did indeed work with Democrats on important initiatives when it made sense to do so, but he also was willing to play the obstructionist when he thought the other party was pursuing an agenda that was against the interests of the American people. He kept Senate Republicans together to ensure that there were zero GOP votes for the Clinton Administration Budget in 1993 — in fact, five Senate Democrats voted against the Clinton budget, so the “no” vote was the true bipartisan sentiment. Having unanimity among Republicans helped make the party’s case in the 1994 midterm elections which swept the GOP back into power, and allowed the newly-empowered majority party to begin the process of forcing President Clinton back to the center. It should be noted that in the election which he lost rather handily (31 states to 19), the American people recognized Bob Dole’s Senate leadership by increasing the GOP’s majority in the chamber where he so effectively served.

After a heroic life of service to his country and to his party, Bob Dole deserves much more than being the latest deceased “good” Republican, used by the media as a foil to today’s living “bad” Republicans. He continued to support GOP candidates throughout his retirement, including the most recent party nominee for the Oval Office. When he lost to an opponent who showed nowhere near his character or gravitas, in explaining what he planned to do going forward, Bob Dole hearkened back to his arrival in the Kansas legislature 46 years earlier. “A reporter asked me what I had on my agenda,” he recounted, “and I said, ‘well I’m going to sit back and watch for a few days, then I’ll stand up for what I think is right.'” He continued, “And if any of you are wondering what my plans may be for the future, I’m going to sit back for a few days and then start standing up for what I believe is right for America.” Bob Dole should be remembered as one who stood up for the things he believed were right for America, irrespective of whether it met with the approval of the shallow and delusional media elite.

– JVW

* I adopted my insistence on referring to the body as the “Democrat” Party rather than the “Democratic” Party — peevish though it may be — from Bob Dole.

30 Responses to “The Bob Dole That the Media Remembers”

  1. I’m wondering if Bob Dole was the last living prominent politician in the U.S. to have personally met Dwight Eisenhower. I doubt if Jimmy Carter or Joe Biden ever has.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. Ah, I do see that Chuck Grassley of Iowa first joined the Iowa Legislature in 1959 (at the tender age of 25) during Ike’s Presidency, so perhaps he met the great General and is indeed the last link to Eisenhower’s America.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  3. It should be remembered, though, that he “saved social security” by doubling (and in some cases tripling) the FICA withholding amounts, by increasing both rates and base limits, and placing an additional burden on the self-employed.

    It should be remembered, though, that he talked Reagan into accepting tax hikes, with the promise of later spending cuts that never happened.

    It should be remembered, though, that after that 1994 blowout election his Senate leadership was a wet blanket on the “Contract with America” program of reforms.

    Democrats spent like drunk sailors and Bob Dole made sure they money was there to be spent.

    To be fair, Dole, Gingrich and Clinton combined to balance the budget fro a brief moment. Later, after all three were gone, both parties took up the wild spending and no one was there to collect taxes.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. Bob Dole deserves much more than being the latest deceased “good” Republican, used by the media as a foil to today’s living “bad” Republicans.

    No. He doesn’t:

    ‘Dole was a staunch supporter of Nixon, defending the president’s choices in the Vietnam War and through the Watergate scandal. In an attempt to protect the reputation of the president and the Republican Party, Dole introduced a resolution that would pull the Watergate committee hearings off TV. “The purpose of the hearings is to serve legislative interests. It is not to try, convict and sentence Richard Nixon,” Dole said in a speech on the Senate floor. “Lives, reputations and careers can be hopelessly shattered by such exposure. It is time to turn off the TV lights'” Dole’s resolution failed. And those televised hearings sped the end of the Nixon presidency.’

    https://www.thekansan.com/story/news/2021/12/06/bob-dole-1923-2021/8886871002/

    Sunshine is a great disinfectant. He was a Nixon apologist- right to the Big Dick’s graveside:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvHpnGmZNXo

    The media has been even-handed toward Dole [he even appreciated the late Norm MacDonald’s lampooning of him on SNL.] But his rabid support of Nixon: unforgivable. The ‘Hatchet Man’ nickname stuck and ‘Stop lying about my record’ still echoes. But Dole had a helluva good sense of humor- which he hid as a campaigner. And Dole a strange aberration of referring to himself in the third person [a flaw MacDonald picked up on.] On the whole, Dole was a better person being himself [as his post-Senate/retirement accomplishments reveal] than he was as a partisan politician.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  5. I’ll remember Dole as the man who, long after he was out of Republican politics and so presumably doing what he believed rather than what the caucus was for, was all-in for Don Trump.

    That tells you all you need to know about the man.

    john (cd2753)

  6. … Dole … was all-in for Don Trump.

    At age 93, that’s how old Dole was five years ago, a man may do anything he wants. You know why? Because at age 93, there is not much that he can do.

    nk (1d9030)

  7. In 2015/16, Dole was more ABC than GOP. Anybody But Clinton. I can’t find that less than admirable.

    pouncer (6c33cf)

  8. You guys are a tough crowd.

    Charlie Davis (03f4c9)

  9. They be the most impotent people they know, Charlie Davis.

    mg (15c28b)

  10. @5 too bad for john, it’s a tad late to cancel dole

    but there’s probably a dole statue somewhere that you can tear down

    JF (e1156d)

  11. 🍻 JF

    mg (15c28b)

  12. cheers, mg

    JF (e1156d)

  13. One man’s boogaloo is another man’s bugaboo. Either way, be happy, it’s still about Trump, the center of your existence.

    nk (1d9030)

  14. i enjoyed the Dole pineapple maze.

    mg (15c28b)

  15. Gentleman, Veteran, Politician: Bob Dole Remained True To Himself

    My sentiments exactly, Dana. May he rest in peace and his remembrance always be a monument of pride and honor to his family.

    nk (1d9030) — 12/6/2021 @ 8:33 am

    Later that same day:

    At age 93, that’s how old Dole was five years ago, a man may do anything he wants. You know why? Because at age 93, there is not much that he can do.

    nk (1d9030) — 12/6/2021 @ 4:30 pm

    LOL

    BuDuh (b430cc)

  16. The other thing about Trumpmuffins is that they will never grasp that you can honor a person without fetishizing him. I don’t need Dole to have been perfect to still respect him. Highly. And that’s probably a joke he himself would have made. But I doubt that you can grasp that either.

    nk (1d9030)

  17. @13 trump

    @16 more trump

    JF (e1156d)

  18. Bidenistas like nk love talking about Trump.

    BuDuh (31e3b3)

  19. Gentleman, Veteran, Politician: Bob Dole Remained True To Himself

    My sentiments exactly, Dana. May he rest in peace and his remembrance always be a monument of pride and honor to his family.

    … and Nixon smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  20. It should be remembered, though, that after that 1994 blowout election his Senate leadership was a wet blanket on the “Contract with America” program of reforms.

    To be fair, Bob Packwood was the vote that prevented the Balanced Budget Amendment from passing. Tort reform was passed by both houses of Congress but they lacked the votes to override Clinton’s veto. Welfare reform lite was eventually passed after the original version was vetoed by Clinton. The line item veto passed but was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Most of the small business stuff passed both houses and was signed into law. The Democrats filibustered UN reform. And term limits didn’t even make it through the House.

    The small-bore House reform stuff didn’t affect the Senate, so there wasn’t much for Dole to do there.

    Really, I think that Dole did just about as much as a Senate Majority Leader operating under the strict rules of the Senate could possibly have done with the Contract with America, especially given the fact that the Senate GOP had never officially agreed to sign on to it.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  21. When I was in high school, there was a program that sent a bunch of us to DC for a few weeks. It was an interesting experience.

    I remember meeting Bob Dole. I shook his hand, and never even noticed that he shook my right hand with his left (because of the damage to his arm). I was amazed that I hadn’t noticed. My brother gently pointed out that he had had some experience meeting people.

    It was a different time.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  22. “you can honor a person without fetishizing him. I don’t need Dole to have been perfect to still respect him”

    This

    “To be fair, Bob Packwood was the vote that prevented the Balanced Budget Amendment from passing. Tort reform was passed by both houses of Congress but they lacked the votes to override Clinton’s veto. Welfare reform lite was eventually passed after the original version was vetoed by Clinton. The line item veto passed but was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Most of the small business stuff passed both houses and was signed into law. The Democrats filibustered UN reform. And term limits didn’t even make it through the House.”

    Excellent reality check. I think Kevin is misremembering. Some of this…like the line item veto….was gimmicky….and would allow a President to distort legislative compromise in ways that probably deserved a smack down from SCOTUS. Don’t get me wrong….some sort of BBA is needed but it does need broad consensus….and a willingness for both sides to have skin in the game. At the time, the Contract seemed like the GOP could finally match the Left idea for idea. But in hindsight, it never created the ground swell…or momentum to change hearts and minds about deficits, the UN, or entrenched power. Still, I woould love to get back to the days when the GOP had some bold ideas….and not the paranoia and personality worship that seems popular today….

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  23. I think Kevin is misremembering.

    It’s quite possible.

    The line-item veto is something that a lot of governors have. My feeling is more that it isn’t all that useful, not that it distorts compromise. Executive discretion seems more of a problem lately.

    The BBA is also something states have, but is mostly just papered over with lies, like in California. I favor a spending cap based on recent average GDP, since that provides a hard number that cannot be waved away with rosy projections.

    The Contract fizzled away, and my belief has always been that it died in Dole’s Senate due to his lukewarm appreciation of Gingrich’s “few” good ideas and his desire not to have competition for the 1996 nomination. But maybe it’s more complicated than that.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  24. And anyway, it all went wrong when the Supremes killed the single-house veto of regulations. History has proven the dissenters right.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. I’ll remember Dole as the man who, long after he was out of Republican politics and so presumably doing what he believed rather than what the caucus was for, was all-in for Don Trump.

    That tells you all you need to know about the man.

    john (cd2753) — 12/6/2021 @ 3:47 pm

    Yes. Even then, he remained a fighter who understood you don’t surrender just because the only weapon available is a Sten gun.

    Matador (0284e8)

  26. #25

    Looking at #5, I really don’t know if that was a slam on Dole or praise of Dole. Maybe, that was what he meant to do.

    Dole was a Republican before he was a Conservative and before he was a Trumper. That meant he supported the Republican nominee and the Republican figure, regardless. He supported Nixon, even at the end. He supported Trump. I beleve he would have given the same support for Jeb! had he been the nominee. Like it or not, he was no RINO, under anyone’s definition of the term.

    The one thing Dole would detest is being the latest deceased Republican cited to denegrate the current GOP. The current reporters now doing that may have Bod Dole’s curse on them. And knowing Dole, that curse is likely to be something like a permanent case of ED (for the men).

    Appalled (1a17de)

  27. Event Planner Working on Bob Dole’s Funeral Is Let Go for Jan. 6 Ties

    The Elizabeth Dole Foundation has cut ties with Tim Unes, an event planner working on former Senator Bob Dole’s funeral, after the Senate’s top Republican complained that Mr. Unes had been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 select committee for his work organizing the rally before that day’s attacks.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  28. Bob Dole funeral at Washington Cathedral.

    https://go.cnn.com/?stream=cnn

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  29. Bob Dole was an unmitigated racist, right up to the day he died, as he was a staunch supporter of the racist Donald Trump. His support of other former racist U.S. presidents like Nixon, Reagan, and George Bush, Sr. says a whole lot of the kind of ignorant white man that Bob Dole was. As does Doles unconditional love and support for the racist Apartheid regime in south Africa as it was Dole and Reagan who were among the last Republican holdouts trying to uphold the pillars of Apartheid, until his white behind and Reagan were overridden in the Senate with a two thirds veto-proof vote against Apartheid. Thank God, that some white Republicans had the decency to help put an end to the centuries of European Genocide in South Africa, but no thanks to Bob Dole and Reagan and their kind.

    GARY G JOLLEY (4ebdc5)

  30. Dole was an unmitigated racist, right up to the day he died, as he was a staunch supporter of the racist Donald Trump. His support of other former racist U.S. presidents like Nixon, Reagan, and George Bush, Sr. says a whole lot of the kind of ignorant white man that Bob Dole was. As does Doles unconditional love and support for the racist Apartheid regime in south Africa as it was Dole and Reagan who were among the last Republican holdouts trying to uphold the pillars of Apartheid, until his white behind and Reagan were overridden in the Senate with a two thirds veto-proof vote against Apartheid. Thank God, that some white Republicans had the decency to help put an end to the centuries of European Genocide in South Africa, but no thanks to Bob Dole and Reagan and that kind of ignorance that they both represented.

    GARY G JOLLEY (4ebdc5)


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