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The return of Bob Dole Classic

In many ways, Bob Dole could be considered the mirror image of John Kerry. The "Mirror Universe" John Kerry, as it were. Both were Senators with distinguished war records and medals -- Dole two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, Kerry three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and a Silver Star -- who ran for the Presidency.

But sometimes the differences couldn't be more striking. Dole only won two purple hearts, but at one point was expected to die from his wounds and is still scarred and crippled to this day. He rarely talks about his wartime experiences. When he ran for President in 1996, he realized he couldn't campaign full-time and properly represent his constituents in the Senate, so he resigned. And on those rare occasions he lets it show, he shows a wicked and often self-deprecating sense of humor. (My favorite example: after losing the race for Vice-President in 1976, he told people that on election night "I slept like a baby. Every two hours I woke up and cried.")

But Dole used to have a reputation for meanness and anger, for being a "hatchet man." In 1988, he slammed then-Vice President Bush, telling a TV anchor to "tell him to stop lying about my record." He's seemed to mellow a bit since then, doing commercials for Viagra and Pepsi, writing a book about Presidential humor, and in general relaxing and enjoying his retirement.

But the Old Bob Dole came out this week, and he was looking to take a hunk out of John Kerry. After Moveon.org released a particularly odious commercial showing an American soldier getting trapped in quicksand, Dole called on John Kerry to demand the group pull the ad.

This very simple move has layers behind it that escape the first glance. Dole very carefully echoed Kerry's own statements to President Bush about the Swift Boat Vets' ads. By turning it back on Kerry, Dole has stuck him in a very untenable position. Kerry has essentially three choices, all equally unpalatable:

1) He can comply with Dole's demand, proving that his campaign has a very real (and very illegal) collaborative relationship with Moveon.org.

B) He can deny any responsibility for the ad, thereby tacitly exonerating President Bush from the Swifties' efforts.

III) He can ignore Dole's demand, and hope it just goes away.

Quite frankly, his best bet is the third choice. Very few people (and an even smaller percentage of the mainstream media) will see the significance of Dole's move, and the chances of this just blowing over are pretty good. But don't count Bob Dole out. Once Bob Dole gets his teeth into someone's hide, it takes a hell of a lot to get him to let go. And if there's one thing Bob Dole doesn't ever forgive, it's those who trash his fellow veterans -- just like John Kerry did when he came back from Vietnam.

I missed out on most of the Rathergate mess, being too busy with work. But this story has the potential to be almost as amusing.

J.


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Comments (17)

Good stuff, I missed this. ... (Below threshold)

Good stuff, I missed this. All I heard was that he asked Kerry to call for the add to be pulled. But as we have seen Kerry and the democrats won't have a problem taking both sides of this issue. Kerry will likely not take a position other than the swift boat guys are bad and the media won't press him with it, he hasn't answered any questuons in weeks as it is... i'll work up a cartoon on it.

hope you enjoy my work

I agree about the mirror im... (Below threshold)

I agree about the mirror image. Dole IS everthing that Kerry pretends to be. And a hell of a lot more. Dole's comments are doing the Republicans good, I think. A lot of common sense types definitely relate.

Bob Dole is an awesome fell... (Below threshold)
Cynthia Solomon:

Bob Dole is an awesome fella!!! I've always admired him and his service to our country!!

Kerry will probably ignore Sen Doles requests, he's so out of touch with reality. And so very arrogent. Kerry can not believe that anyone should question him in any way. He is such a hypocrite...He can hurl insults and lies at President Bush, but feels he is above reproach.

I remember Dole appeared on... (Below threshold)

I remember Dole appeared on one or the other late-night show after the 1996 election, and the host (I believe it was Letterman) asked in mock innocence, "So, Bob, what'cha been doing?"

Dole replied with a wry grin, "Not enough, apparently."

I think it more likely that... (Below threshold)
Dan:

I think it more likely that Dole would have hamstrung Kerry a week or two ago. The Clintonista's now onboard are going to do a lot toward getting him through the mind fields that were so often taking his legs out from under him. However, if Dole gets enough air time to keep up the mantra, Kerry's silence will cost him even more with the veteran vote - if there's any left him.

What I would very much like to see happen (and Dole's release set the groundwork) is for someone to speak out as to how the Left, and Kerry, are trying to re-create Vietnam. That ad is a blatant attempt by the left to undemine the country's resolve in a time of war. It's precisely what Kerry did when he returned in 71.

I anticipate a 7 week assault on the war in Iraq from all stripes of democrat's - and more han supported by a bleating MSM. It is their last best hope to win the election. And it disgusts me to think that they are going to go that route. But I believe they are now comitting to it. Witness Kerry's rhetoric of late. They would undermine the soldier in the field to win an election - sad, very sad. And even more so is the irony that if Kerry did win by that device, he would wind up trapped precisely as LBJ did - stuck in a war he couldn't win, or end because of competition within his constituency. Once again, Kerry would lie and people would die. That really must not happen. I hope the American people are strong.

Hillary was right about one thing - this is the most important election of our times.

1. Dole had aleady torn in... (Below threshold)

1. Dole had aleady torn into Kerry something fierce a few weeks back over Kerry's Purple Hearts, which Dole clearly regards as bogus.

2. Kerry will ignore the issue, and unlike Bush, reporters won't ask him to repudiate the ads. But then, as Mark Steyn has pointed out, the next MoveOn ad to persuade anyone of anything will be the first.

I think Dole could knock Ke... (Below threshold)
Chris W.:

I think Dole could knock Kerry out early in the fifth round. I've got ten bucks on it.

Kerry will ignore Dole, but... (Below threshold)

Kerry will ignore Dole, but as you pointed out Dole won't accept that. Dole might call John McCain and ask him to apply a little pressure as well. Kerry won't be able to ignore that as easily.

I wish Bob Dole and others ... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

I wish Bob Dole and others would hamstring Kerry up because he deserves it more than anyone I know. He started this whole mess and because he did, there has been so much animosity since. He destroyed the reputations of those who did honorably serve in Vietnam; he has debased those who died during that conflict and caused a living hell for those who came home, survived it, and would never be the same again. Many of those are already dead. His own words were used against POW's and they were tortured and killed. The way he talks about the military even now, puts our boys in danger over there in Iraq and Afghanistan and it certainly does not help their morale. That man should never ever become the President and Commander in Chief because he has no respect for all our military and it's pretty disgusting that this is the only man the Democrats could come up with to run for office! Today, I heard him talk about how there was no money to adequately protect our troops with body armor, et al and I almost literally came out of my seat because HE was the one who voted AGAINST the extra money for our troops, the body armor and more - and he dared to blame Bush for that? If I could have reached into the TV and strangled him, I would have done so. The man is despicable.
~Cindy

When are you going to repor... (Below threshold)
Dave:

When are you going to report that the Navy's own official review of John Kerry's medals and purple hearts were earned in accordance with all applicable regulations?

Dave

When are you going to repor... (Below threshold)
Dave:

When are you going to report that the Navy's own official review of John Kerry's medals and purple hearts were earned in accordance with all applicable regulations?

Dave

I want to say that the abov... (Below threshold)
Dave:

I want to say that the above Dave is not me!

Interesting suggestion, tha... (Below threshold)
Val:

Interesting suggestion, that. Earned is not the operative word here, nor was it mentioned by the Navy. The Dept of the Navy is merely doing CYA when they said that Kerry was awarded those decorations in accordance with milregs. Unfortunately for Kerry, that does not address the problem, i.e., did he actually earn the awards, something that is disputed in a very serious and believable fashion by far more of his former comrades than not; Also, whether or not Kerry was sneaky in how he applied for the awards, as in the case of the first purple heart. Simply put, the Navy is saying nothing more than that all the appropriate documentation was in order. You can clearly see the gaping hole this leaves in Kerry's ungoing defense of his awards, whether you like him or not.

In addition, Kerry's campaign has already acknowledged publicly that the foundation of the attacks on his first and third purple hearts are true, which is very damning regardless of what the Dept of the Navy says. Clearly, a great deal of this mess would be cleared up if Kerry would just sign the SF180, something very like what he and his campiaign have been hammering upon the Bush campaign since the start. Personally, I can't stomach the idea that he flat out refuses to do so to this day. One would think that a reasonable and honorable man would be willing to hold himself to the same standards that he demands of others, no?

However, all of this is a smoke screen, and both parties are wandering around in it. It seems that Bush is willing to trust his compass and dead reckon his party through, but as of late, Kerry has been running about with no direction, and no vision except that which is defined by Bush's footsteps. Very bad thing, there, for the Democrats. If one would clear the smoke, we could look at some very important things, such as: The undeniably treasonous activites that Kerry was party to while an officer in the Naval Reserve, the construction of a fantasy background in order to lend weight to his own credibilty as a senator, a two decades old voting record and innumerable statements on record that unequivicobly show him to have either been in favor of or outright contributing to the decimation of our defense and intelligence capabilities, poor or complete lack of understanding of basic economic principles, willingness to subordinate our soverignty to nations that are increasingly shown as having an active anti-US agenda, and so on.

I will always reserve my vote for the platform that most clearly aims for the public good, especially the ones that focus long term. Of course, interwoven in that is the idea that their talking points make general sense, and show a consistent pattern in focus. Again, the Democratic platform, due to the unfortunate Kerry campaign, has clearly failed to meet with my own standards of worthiness. As a result, my vote for the single most important office in the land will go to Bush, despite the fact that I strongly disagree with him on a number of very imporant issues.

So, even if you can't agree that Bush is the best possible presidential candidate, and you find yourself looking for the least worst, the Bush platform is still the only logical choice. The facts are clear: All the nice talking points that we all focused on so much in the nienties, from gay rights to abortion, are all utterly irrelevant when viewed with respect to the war. Such things wil not matter at all if this does not turn out with us as the victors, and the only consistency Kerry has shown throughout his entire career is one of giving the intiative to the enemy. No person familiar with the winning of contests, from football or chess, to all out war, will ever tell you that this is a winning strategy.

Val

You forgot one subtle diffe... (Below threshold)

You forgot one subtle difference that sets these two men apart in their experience.

Sen. Kerry allegedly traded a few shots with the enemy. His wounds are spurious and more than likely were not inflicted by the enemy.

Sen.Dole earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge which means he was in continuous combat long enough to meet the criteria for earning that award. It used to be 60 consecutive days in ground combat as an Infantryman when he earned it. Not just running into intermitent fire on a few patrols. We all know WHO inflicted Sen. Dole's wounds, and it was NOT sen. Dole. It was the German Wehrmacht.

Yes, I am aware of this dif... (Below threshold)
Val:

Yes, I am aware of this difference and its significance. However, RedFalcon, if we were to detail all of these things, would we have enough room?

In the interest of brevity, I only included a few of the more spurious aspects of Mr. Kerry's career that concern me greatly. Frankly, the idea of leadership change in the middle of combat has always been a very bad one, unless the positive outcome of the conflict clearly depends upon that change. Here it is clearly the opposite. The fact that the Democratic Party has so obviously decided that they will win back power at any cost, has turned me away from them in a very strong way. A serious rethinking of not only their platform, but their very character and manner of business will have to show radical change for me to feel it safe to even consider supporting them.

Truly this election is a synchronicity in the direction of the US. Will we go towards socialism and join Europe in a woeful descent into economic (and therefore everything else) stagnation? Will we hand the reigns to emerging powers that still do not demonstrate any concern at all for basic human rights? And of course, will we hand the initiative, the choice of our own destiny to others that clearly wish us ill in the pursuit of their own power? I have two children, and the course for me is very clear in light of their future. What type of struggle will they inherit? One that offers a brighter destiny, or will their strugglings' energies merely be spent in a long, wearisome and fruitless fight to keep their heads above the water that drowns freedom? My choice has never been more clear.

Val

The Dept of the Navy is mer... (Below threshold)
DaveV:

The Dept of the Navy is merely doing CYA when they said that Kerry was awarded those decorations in accordance with milregs.

This is much more than a CYA and to imply that it does not mean anything that these medals were awarded with the appropriate signatures and reviews in place is a very high standard. To dismiss that out of hand and to imply that it is just "putting an X in the right box" is quite an understatement and dispels many of the SBVFT issues of false documentation that would have been uncovered by the multi-layered reviews involved in awarding medals.

Unfortunately for Kerry, that does not address the problem, i.e., did he actually earn the awards, something that is disputed in a very serious and believable fashion by far more of his former comrades than not; Also, whether or not Kerry was sneaky in how he applied for the awards, as in the case of the first purple heart.

I think you say sneaky, I say he was proud of himself and perhaps a little self-promoting but who does not do a little self-promoting - see any resumes lately?

Simply put, the Navy is saying nothing more than that all the appropriate documentation was in order. You can clearly see the gaping hole this leaves in Kerry's ungoing defense of his awards, whether you like him or not.

The documentation is in order (which disputes the whole "V" controversy by the way which you carefully skip over). Also assumes there was proper superior review to make sure that any "self-promotion would not be possible.

Dave (the other one)

Filed Under the Heading:... (Below threshold)

Filed Under the Heading: Administrative Correctness


::quote:: When are you going to report that the Navy's own official review of John Kerry's medals and purple hearts were earned in accordance with all applicable regulations? Dave ::quote::

You infer too much. The "awards" citations were properly handled, prepared and administrative conventions were correct. OBTW, as mentioned previously, John Forbes Kerry did not earn any of his citations... They were awarded; and possibly by his own hand...


If you have served in the United States Military; thank you for your service. If not, join the rest of the "contused opinionators" in knowing nothing about which you speak... (no disrespect intended).


Kerry's mouth has written checks his ass can't cash and Senator Dole has called Bullshit on the elitist bastard... No brag, just fact!


Cheers!


SA





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