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Oct 21st, 2009

Today, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, eager for a few minutes in the media limelight but evincing little appreciation of Sacrifice in Service to Country, participated in a drive-by dissing of decorated war hero Bob Dole, essentially characterizing him as a loser.

Bob Dole, PCCWW photo portrait.JPG
Sen. Robert Joseph (Bob) Dole

Appearing as a guest on Laura Ingraham’s radio program to discuss the ideological direction of the Republican Party and recent statements by retired GOP Senate Majority Leaders Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Bob Dole (R-Kan.) in support of health care reform, Bachmann mocked Dole — who has said “we’ve got to do something to reform health care” — as being complicit in a “non-pro-freedom agenda.”

In my book, Bob Dole is a genuine American hero. Gravely wounded on the battlefield in World War II while attempting to drag a comrade to safety under heavy enemy fire, 2 Lt. Dole was decorated for valor, earning the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and two Purple Hearts.

Bob Dole, off to war in 1945.
(The Russell Daily News)

My suggestion to Bachmann: Read Dole’s autobiography, My One Soldier’s Story: A Memoir (HarperCollins, 2005), in which he recounts his service as a 21-year-old second lieutenant and platoon leader in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.

Here’s a left-of-center blog’s take on the story. While Ingraham does show some deference to the former Republican leaders, Bachmann displays no such consideration:

Bachmann Says Dole and Frist Represent a ‘Non-Pro-Freedom Agenda’ Because They Want Health Reform

By Lee Fang
October 21, 2009

Today on her radio program, Laura Ingraham interviewed guest Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and asked her about the ideological direction of the Republican Party. The pair discussed recent statements made by retired GOP Senate Majority Leaders Bill Frist (TN) and Bob Dole (KS) in support of some type of comprehensive health reform.

Dole has called for Republicans to become engaged in the process, stating “we’ve got to do something” to solve the current crisis. Frist has endorsed the Senate Finance health reform bill, and has called out “people on the extreme” in his own party for falsely labeling President Obama’s health reform as “socialized medicine.”

Clearly incensed by these comments, Ingraham and Bachmann traded barbs trashing the former Republican leaders for daring to veer away from a “pro-freedom agenda”:

INGRAHAM: Of course. God bless Bob Dole, he just came on our show, I have great respect for the man. And also for Frist. But Frist presided over a pretty disastrous situation in the Senate.

BACHMANN: They lost.

INGRAHAM: They lost. And Bob Dole lost how many times on a national level? I guess I’ve lost count. […] That Republican ideology and that Republican outlook has been a losing outlook. That’s why President Obama wants more of us to be like them.

BACHMANN: Because we want a pro-freedom agenda. And he’s trying to throw people around who he believes will increase a non-pro-freedom agenda.

Listen here:

Rep. Michele Bachmann and Laura Ingraham trash Republicans Bill Frist and Bob Dole.

Bachmann and Ingraham’s vitriol wasn’t only reserved for Republicans who dared to express a willingness to support reform. Asked if the New York Times’ recent profile [*] of her has generated a lot of “hate mail,” Bachmann replied that although she does receive a lot of mail, it is “because Nancy Pelosi has made me a top target.”

Ingraham then began mocking Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives and the highest-ranking female politician in American history — by making hissing and cat noises, then shrieking, “she doesn’t like powerful women.”

Listen here:

Laura Ingraham says Nancy Pelosi opposes Michele Bachmann because of her gender.

* Bill Prendergast has written an excellent critique of the New York Times puff piece on Bachmann, which I’ll reprint on this site next week.


Related reports

Michele Bachmann labels Bob Dole ‘non-pro freedom’

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has reappeared, this time on the Laura Ingraham radio show where she accused past GOP Senate Majority Leaders, Bob Dole and Bill Frist, as being representative of a “non pro-freedom agenda” because of their support of health care reform.

Cat Scratch fever: Bachmann and Ingraham hiss, meow at Pelosi

Ingraham claimed that President Obama wants Republicans to be more moderate and rational … like Dole and Frist, because he wants them to lose. Bachmann then chimed in saying, its because Obama supports the “non-pro-freedom agenda” advocated by Dole and Frist …


2/9/2012 Update

Bob Dole: Still a Man to be Reckoned With

By Al Eisele
The Hill

The Huffington Post
February 7, 2012


He’s 88 now and visibly frail after struggling with serious health problems in recent years. He hasn’t held public office since 1996, when he stepped down as Senate majority leader to run against President Clinton, who defeated him in a electoral landslide. He lost his bid to become vice president as President Ford’s running mate in 1976, and failed to win the Republican presidential nomination in 1980, and again in 1988.

Yet, Bob Dole remains one of the most durable figures in modern American politics, still a man to be reckoned with in the nation’s capital, where he arrived as a freshman congressman from Kansas more than a half century ago. Indeed, he’s shed his image as a political hit man to become one of his party’s elder statesmen whose opinion still matters in the political realm. …

Like Sens. Daniel Inouye and John McCain, Dole is a genuine war hero. Badly injured in 1945 by German machine gun fire in Italy left his right arm paralyzed, he can shake hands only with his left hand. But his grip is firm and his mind still sharp, along with his famous wit and his much-parodied penchant for referring to himself in the third person. …

Dole, who was Senate majority leader from 1985-87 and again from 1995-96, and is the only person nominated for president and vice president who failed to win either office, lamented the hyper-partisan tone that permeates Congress and the campaign trail. “I hope they’re going to tone down their increasingly bitter rhetoric,” he said. …

Dole made it clear he believes the rise of the so-called super-PACS that can contribute unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns are distorting the electoral process by putting candidates who are not well-known at a disadvantage. “We were always told there’s too much money in politics, and now that’s probably true,” he said.

And while he declined to offer an assessment of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, or compare his performance to his own as minority leader from 1987-95, Dole noted that when he was there, the Senate was “more collegial and we trusted each other.” He also criticized the “use and overuse” of the filibuster.

Dole pointed out that he has since joined with three former majority leaders, Democrats Tom Daschle and George Mitchell and Republican Howard Baker, to form the Bipartisan Policy Center, a nonprofit think tank, to develop bipartisan support for federal policies.

Dole … said he has no regrets about his long and eventful life. … But he conceded that “in hindsight, I probably would have some regrets” about his hawkish position on the war in Iraq during President George W. Bush’s administration. He said he supports President Obama’s decision ordering early withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. He also praised Obama as a person, noting that he visited him when he was hospitalized last year and “said he wished I was still in the Senate.” …

Clearly, Dole is enjoying life in his twilight years, even though they’ve been marked by a series of health problems, mostly stemming from his war injuries, that have regularly hospitalized him since 2001. He spent most of 2010 in Walter Reed Army Hospital recovering from knee surgery and pneumonia, and another week there in 2011 for treatment of an infection.

While that’s limited his mobility, it hasn’t stopped him from  promoting domestic and international hunger and school feeding programs with Democratic former Sen. George McGovern of  South Dakota, as well as programs helping wounded veterans. He’s also raised funds for the National World War II Memorial and the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. …

Full story


12/4/2018 Update

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, age 95, is helped out of his wheelchair to stand and salute the casket of former President George H. W. Bush in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington D.C., Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (Due to his war injuries, Sen. Dole is physically unable to give a right-handed salute.)


Related reports

The Political Personalities of 1996 U.S. Presidential Candidates Bill Clinton and Bob Dole (Aubrey Immelman, Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 3, Special Issue: Political Leadership, Fall 1998, pp. 335–366).

A Comparison of the Political Personalities of 1996 U.S. Presidential Candidates Bill Clinton and Bob Dole (Paper presented by Aubrey Immelman at the 19th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Vancouver, BC, June 30–July 3, 1996).


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — October 21, 2008

Write-in Campaign: Day 3

One year ago today, on the third day of my write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I thanked supporters for their messages of encouragement and online contributions and published excerpts from Nick Coleman’s Oct. 21, 2008 Star Tribune column, “Republican angered by Bachmann revives candidacy.”

5 Responses to “God Bless Bob Dole”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Bachmann’s March of Folly Says:

    […] Bachmann: Bob Dole Represents ‘Non-Pro-Freedom’ Agenda (Oct. 21, 2009) […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Bachmann Between the Lines Says:

    […] Sidebar: Bachmann: Bob Dole Represents ‘Non-Pro-Freedom’ Agenda […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties Says:

    […] God Bless Bob Dole […]

  4. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » “United We Fall”? Republican Establishment Rally Around Cruz Says:

    […] Conservative media star Glenn Beck also announced he is endorsing Ted Cruz, while a number of Republican establishment figures, including former GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole, have publicly attacked Cruz. […]

  5. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » In Memory of U.S. President George H. W. Bush (1924-2018) Says:

    […] Related: God Bless Bob Dole […]

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