Archive for Thursday, May 30, 2013

Editorial: Kansas candor

Former Sen. Bob Dole still knows how to cut to the heart of political matters.

May 30, 2013


Bob Dole hasn’t lost his Kansas candor.

And when the former U.S. senator, who is approaching his 90th birthday, speaks out, he still makes news.

In an interview that aired Sunday on “Fox News Sunday,” Dole displayed his well-known ability to cut to the heart of political matters. His voice wasn’t as strong as it once was and his tone was more reflective than aggressive, but he still had a few choice observations for national politicians who, in his opinion, aren’t getting the job done for the people who elected them.

The U.S. Senate, he told interviewer Chris Wallace, may not be broken but, “It’s bent pretty badly.” Members of Congress, Dole said, have forgotten the principal of compromise that he practiced as a Senate leader: Everyone gets something but no one get everything they want. “That’s the way it has to work,” he said.

He described the inability of the Congress to complete basic tasks like a budget as “almost unreal.”

“We weren’t perfect, by a long shot,” Dole said, “but at least we got our work done.”

When he looks at the current situation in Washington, Dole sees plenty of blame to go around. President Obama failed in the early days of his presidency to form relationships that would have helped him work with Congress, Dole said, and continues to be a poor communicator.

“The American people are partly to blame,” he added, because they clamor for less spending — but only if none of the programs that benefit them personally are on the table.

The former senator, however, saved some of his sharpest criticism for his own party. The most quoted line from his Sunday comments appears to be this one about the Republican Party he once led: “ I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says ‘Closed for repairs,’ until New Year’s Day next year and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas.”

Dole described himself as a “Republican — none of this hyphenated stuff — I was a mainstream conservative Republican,” but he acknowledged it was unlikely he could pass muster among the conservative base of today’s GOP.

The timing of the Dole broadcast, on Memorial Day weekend, probably was inspired by the former senator’s status as one of the nation’s strongest advocates for military veterans. It’s impossible to argue with his dedicated service to America both in the military and for decades as a political leader.

Dole’s remarks were primarily aimed at federal officials, but they also offer some wisdom that might be useful to members of the Kansas Legislature as they struggle to complete the basic business of the state.


d_prowess 4 years, 11 months ago

Kudos to Bob Dole for speaking out. I think many folks agree, no matter which side you are one, that everyone has moved too far to the edges and decided they must either "win" or do nothing. Compromise is key and no one gets everything they want.

weeslicket 4 years, 11 months ago

.... which makes him a liberal. wot, wot?

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

He was a conservative, but he wasn't a radical conservative, like the ones who have strangle hold on the Republican party now; the ones who are destroying the party.

jwljpm 4 years, 10 months ago

Bob Dole, in his time, represented the far right of Republican politics, not the bizarre far right but as far right as one can go without tipping over the edge of nuttiness. The distinction between the extremists who now occupy political office and Senator Dole is that he respected the system and necessity of compromise in the process of governing. He did not put his ideological leanings ahead of his duty to function as a representative of the people of his state and his country.

JohnBrown 4 years, 11 months ago

Not everyone has moved to the edges. Bush did a hellava job trying to spend us into oblivion by --for the first time in our history-- failing to fund our wars with higher taxes. All he asked us to do was to 'keep on shopping". The subsequent failure of voodoo economics led to the greatest economic downfall since the Great Depression. But the right-wing nuts clamored on: more tax cuts and 'just ignore the economic dip and shrink the government!'. No lessons learned from 1937 with these guys and gals. Then, the election of our first black president galvanized all the die-hard xenophobes nurtured by Nixon's 'southern strategy', and brought all the right-wing nuts out of the woodwork. The Koch brothers saw an opportunity and took control of the Tea Party. Meanwhile, the religious right got more fanatical and became the American Taliban...wanting everyone to do as they say or they'll throw us in jail, meanwhile taking freedom away from women to run their own lives.

The current so-called Republican Party does not believe in individual freedom, individual liberty or the social contract. To them, "compromise' is just another word for giving up. They are a combination of Know Nothings who attack the fact-finders of facts not congruent with their political beliefs, aging racists, intolerant religious fanatics, and greedy and selfish power grabbers.

Since the election of our first black president they have been adamant in opposing anything O'Bama has tried to do, even things they once supported.


oldbaldguy 4 years, 11 months ago

A little dramatic but with a kernel of truth in there. However the President has not done himself any favors. When has he actually led?

Bob Forer 4 years, 11 months ago

I could tolerate the Republican Party if its politicians were like Bob Dole.

oldbaldguy 4 years, 10 months ago

I remember when a lot of people did not like Bob Dole.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 10 months ago

Dole's comments illustrate how far to the right the GOP has swung. Conservatism has been replaced by anarchy in the modern GOP.

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