Tag Archives: Bob Dole

Bob Dole is Wrong

People are starting to make a lot of noise about Bob Dole’s interview to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday in which he believes that the Republican Party needs to refocus:

The problem is that Bob Dole’s theory doesn’t really make any sense.  It sounds good to say that the Republican Party needs to adopt a more “positive” philosophy of governing or that it needs to focus more on substantive public policy to become viable nationally.  Except, the GOP just did that.  It had Paul Ryan, the guy who submitted multiple budgets on behalf the GOP and was supported by House each time it came up, as its vice presidential nominee.  Mitt Romney ran on a philosophy of running government like a business.  He even published a memoir that no one read called No Apology that no one read talking about his ideas.  For Godsake, healthcare reform was based on his Massachusetts plan.

What I think the GOP needs to survive are not just policy wonks that can put together coherent policy visions, but they need leaders that can actually sell conservatism as a philosophy and seem likable.  Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush come from different eras of Republicanism where being defined as a Republican and a conservative are different because times change, but all of them were able to sell their character as the reason for trusting the party (even if some of their ideas weren’t that great).  If anyone wants my armchair advice, I’d say that the Republican Party needs leaders that instill confidence and enthusiasm to comeback.

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Filed under Republicans, Uncategorized

Santorum’s Asinine Closing Argument

By Luke Brinker

As New Hampshire primary voters prepare to cast their ballots, Rick Santorum is pleading with GOP voters not to settle for a “moderate,” “establishment,” candidate, The Hill reports:

“Let’s put up Bob Dole, because it’s his turn,” Santorum said ironically of the 1996 GOP nominee. “Let’s put up John McCain, because it’s his turn.”

Some in the crowd started booing, while others cried out “No!”

Dole and McCain did not lose in 1996 and 2008, respectively, because voters perceived them as too centrist. Bill Clinton, elected amid a torpid economic climate in 1992, coasted to re-election thanks to robust economic growth. Because economic performance drives electoral outcomes, it followed that McCain stood little chance of defeating Barack Obama in 2008. Coming shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Democratic triumph in 2008 was the natural result of a severe recession occurring under a Republican president. Does Santorum really believe the GOP would have stood a better chance in 1996 by nominating Bob Dornan or in 2008 by putting up Tom Tancredo?

It’s also worth noting that by historical standards, Romney hardly qualifies as a centrist Republican. (And don’t expect a return of moderate Massachusetts Mitt.) Unlike Santorum, Romney tends to steer clear of inflammatory culture warrior rhetoric, so one could argue that he’s a temperamental moderate. But he still opposes abortion rights, stem cell research, and same-sex marriage. On economic issues, he endorses a full repeal of the estate tax, offers a regressive tax plan, and supports the Paul Ryan budget proposal, which would privatize Medicare. For a Republican presidential nominee who would really ruffle Santorum’s feathers, look to Gerald Ford, a pro-choicer, or Richard Nixon, the instigator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

It certainly suits Santorum’s ideological purposes to blame Republican defeats on insufficient conservatism, but a cursory knowledge of political history dispels his self-serving myth.

 

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Filed under 2012 Election, Rick Santorum