Bob Dole is as Smart as an Empty Ice Bucket
In his now infamous letter of endorsement for the liberal Wall Street favorite, Willard Romneycare, former U.S. Senator Bob Dole decided to go negative against Newt Gingrich. However, if you read the letter, the things Bob Dole mentions about Gingrich that according to him will “have an adverse impact” on Republican candidates running in 2012, are truly insipid and don’t make a lot of sense.
I have to wonder if anyone who is now touting Bob Dole’s renunciation of Gingrich (especially the Romney campaign), will actually ask Dole exactly what he meant by the things he wrote in that letter. I am afraid that if they do, they may find that Dole’s support of Romney is a bit foggy and his dislike of Gingrich based on nothing more substantial than an empty ice bucket.
Other than repeating the old saw about Gingrich’s ethics violations, which in fact have been proven to be partisan inspired attacks and not very evil, Dole attacks Gingrich on additional grounds which aren’t exactly negatives, except to Dole and the Romney campaign.
The first is Gingrich’s supposed mercurial mind.
Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall.
But he fails to give specifics. The reason he fails to give specifics, I suspect, is that the Romney Campaign’s oppo research team did some polling that showed a certain percentage (of not so smart) have the impression that New Gingrich is a bit flighty. They told Dole to emphasize these superficial personal qualities and there was no need for him to offer specifics. If Dole could manage to remember a few wild ideas (note he doesn’t say they were “bad”), so what? At least Gingrich has an active mind, and as we have already seen with his ideas for a moon base, just because the Romney oppo research team doesn’t understand these ideas, doesn’t mean they are outlandish or wild. They may in fact be necessary and perhaps, visionary. This is the kind of criticism the not-so-smart kids level at those who are their betters or it is the line of attack that the popular kids level at the nerds who they secretly fear.
Anyway, could you imagine Bob Dole being the main speaker at a congressional hearing where he eviscerates Cap and Trade and Al Gore like Newt does below?
I can’t either.
In my run for the presidency in 1996 the Democrats greeted me with a number of negative TV ads and in every one of them Newt was in the ad. He was very unpopular and I am not only certain that this did not help me, but that it also cost House seats that year.
So, just what were the nature of those attacks by the Democrats? Well, back then it was still effective for the Left to dishonestly scare people about conservatism, and despite a decade of harsh leftist attacks, the Reagan reforms were just then beginning to pay dividends in the economy. So, after what they felt was a return to liberalism under Clinton and Hillary-Care (despite Clinton’s deceptive moderate language), and after the House banking scandal was exposed by people like Rick Santorum and John Boehner, people were ready for a new direction in governance and voted forthe Gingrich-led Republican majorities in 1994.
The U.S. was just then emerging from 60 years of the New Deal and 40 years of Democratic control of the Congress. Newt Gingrich was the first Republican Speaker of the House since 1953, so it stands to reason it was his head that would be targeted for decapitation.
Whatever the so-called problems with the 104th Congress were, the biggest problem for the Democrats was that it was conservative, aggressive, smart and had a well-planned agenda that appealed to many in the electorate. Of course, Democrats were firing their big guns at Newt and the Republican Congress the very moment they were elected, just like they are doing now with the 2010 House. And the Democratic line of attack, because they have the Liberal Advocacy Media with them, was having an effect during the first two years of Newt’s Speakership. Is it any wonder they continued their attacks into the 1996 presidential election, especially with the Reaganite Jack Kemp as the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate?
According to Dole however, the attacks were all Newt’s fault. Below is an anti-Dole Democratic campaign video from the Clinton campaign:
Notice the nature of the attacks and the production techniques: the Democrats apparently felt that only two years into Gingrich’s speakership that they had successfully badjacketed and smeared him. Enough so, that they obviously felt associating Dole with Gingrich and playing scary music in the background and using slow-mo was effective. The substance of what they attacked Dole for is important as well. They must have felt that voting for a conservative agenda was enough to make a Republican look like a monster (cue scary music).
This is what is so annoying about the pro-Romney attacks on Gingrich. They rely on the partisan smears that the Left used against Gingrich in the 1990s, most of which were intended to defend Bill Clinton. Real conservatives who remember that era have to cringe when Romney forces, even those inside the conservative movement, seem more than willing to pick at that out wound in theior attempts to prom,ote Romney and damage Gingrich.
If you ask me, it is all being done intentionally. It is a signal to conservatives that they are no longer welcome in government.