Republican Party

What Bob Dole Said

When the man’s right he’s right. On Fox News Sunday:

“Could people like Bob Dole, even Ronald Reagan, could you make it in today’s Republican party?” Wallace asked.

“I doubt it,” Dole said. “Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly Nixon couldn’t have made it, because he had ideas.”

“Too moderate?” Wallace said. “Too willing to compromise?”

“I just consider myself a Republican,” Dole said. “None of this hyphenated stuff. I was a mainstream conservative Republican.”

I hasten to repeat: I don’t mind at all. Not only does it benefit the future of progressive politics, but it’s damn fun to watch.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Jesse Helms would have been considered mainstream in today’s Republican party. {shudders!}

  • D_C_Wilson

    Barry Goldwater couldn’t have made it today’s GOP.

  • Clancy

    For much of my youth, I thought of Bob Dole as a pretty scary character. His political positions on social issues were (then) extremely conservative. However, in hindsight, he could have been much worse, as Dole really had no issue with compromising to get something rather than nothing. Also, he seemed to recognize that when the other side won an election, they actually get to govern.

    The thing that is completely off about the argument that ‘Reagan wouldn’t be accepted in today’s GOP’ is the assumption that Reagan (or whomever) would not have simply shifted their views to be compatible with the party. Reagan wasn’t a transformative figure so much as he was a symbol for the more active socially conservative components within the party. This is why, despite all the evidence to the contrary, the base of the current GOP views him as the ideal. He was the standard bearer when they became ascendant. He is whatever they need him to be.