By Mr. Curmudgeon
If there is one truth in American politics, it is this: heroic service during wartime does not always translate into heroism in the contentious theater of political affairs. Two names come to mind: Bob Dole and John McCain. Dole bears scars suffered when wounded at Anzio, Italy, in 1944. And McCain has only partial movement in his arms due to grueling torture at the hands of his communist North Vietnamese captors. The gallant military actions of both men, under trying circumstances, honor both flag and country. But the political actions of both threaten the viability of their party by continuing to blur the few minor distinctions separating Republicans from Democrats.
As the mainstream media has noted many times since the midterm elections of 2010, moderate or establishment Republicans are finding it difficult to adjust to the new realities affecting the GOP. The inroads made by Tea Party activists to elect like-minded individuals to Congress have made it decidedly difficult for the GOP’s establishment leadership to work out political compromises advantageous to President Obama and his Democrats. These moderates have grown used to campaigning as conservatives and governing as leftist Democrats. The noisy Tea Party House contingent, therefore, is a constant reminder to the conservative base of the GOP that the biggest obstacle to real change in Washington is, and always has been, the Republican establishment.
When its candidate Mitt Romney suffered a profound defeat in South Carolina's GOP primary at the hands of Newt Gingrich, the latter saw a surge of support heading into swing-state Florida. Romney’s Wall Street cronies poured over $5 million to buy radio and television time to air ads that distort or outright lie concerning Gingrich’s record.
“Those who claim allegiance to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment should stop and think about where we are today,” said Gov. Sarah Palin on her Facebook page. “Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, the fathers of the modern conservative movement, would be ashamed of us in this primary,” said Palin.
As much as I love Sarah Palin, she is profoundly mistaken. Our allegiance is not to Reagan, Goldwater or the Republican Party … it’s to the truth.
The GOP’s establishment power brokers are determined to saddle their party with a presidential candidate whose draconian health care regime in Teddy Kennedy’s Massachusetts was the inspiration for Obama’s own wicked assault on our liberties. They tell us if Obama’s inspiration is elected president, he will undo Obamacare. One would have to abandon all sense of reality to believe a President Romney, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would do anymore than tinker around the edges of Obamacare. In short, a vote for the GOP establishment is a vote to preserve the liberty-killing machine that is today’s Washington.
“Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall,” said Bob Dole in an open letter critical of Newt Gingrich, “He loved picking a fight with President Clinton because he knew this would get the attention of the press. This and a myriad of other specifics like shutting down the government helped to topple Gingrich in 1998.”
Bob Dole was never one to pick a fight, especially with Democrats. Picking a fight usually means one is fed-up with assaults on their principles. With principles no more poignant than the pineapple that bears his name – unless you count federal price supports to Kansas farmers a principle – Dole’s sensibilities were rarely, if ever, offended. That is, until Gingrich shut down Dole’s pork-barrel machine on the banks of the Potomac.
At a time when Europe teeters on the brink of insolvency, when America’s debt to GDP ratio is 100% and climbing, when government debt and spending threatens the future expansion of our economy (ala, Greece), it’s nothing short of breathtaking to hear the doddering Dole attack Gingrich for attempting to stop America’s economic decline 16 years ago. Failing to heed Gingrich’s warning threatens the future well-being of Dole’s sod busters and even the ex-Mrs. Gingrich.
General Douglas MacArthur once said, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” It’s time for Dole, and the discredited establishment wing of the GOP he personifies, to just fade away. If the establishment GOP continues running interference for the Progressive left, we may lose our noble country. And Dole’s sacrifice at Anzio will have been for nothing.