by Rod D. Martin
May 26, 2013

Bob Dole says “Reagan couldn’t make it in today’s GOP,” which is his way of saying the Party’s gone far to Reagan’s right.  Uh-huh.

It would be easy to dissect that statement from a policy perspective, or from an electability perspective.  And given that nearly all the GOP Presidential contenders in 2011-12 were pretty Reaganesque — except the one guy who got nominated, who divided the conservative vote like McCain and Dole before him, but at least did a fine job of speaking “conservative as a second language” — one could make a case that Reagan couldn’t get nominated now because he wouldn’t stand out from the crowd.  But of course that’s not what Dole was saying.

Bob Dole pretends to be pro-Reagan, hoping we’ll ignore that his entire career was in opposition to Reagan, needless to say from Reagan’s left. He was actually on the anti-Reagan ticket in 1976, worked against key parts of Reagan’s agenda as Senate leader in 1985-89, ran to the left of Bush (!) and Kemp in 1988, and then trampled the Contract With America in 1995, blocking more of it from becoming law than did (Democrat) President Clinton. In 1996, he repudiated the GOP platform, tossed social conservatives out of the Republican coalition for the first time since Jerry Ford was in power (oh wait!), and spent the Fall campaign referring to “my good friend President Clinton.”

So when Bob Dole tells you “Reagan couldn’t make it in today’s GOP”, what he really means is “Only Reagan disciples are making it now, and it hacks me off.”  He’s longing for a party of Christie Whitmans and Nelson Rockefellers.

Don’t listen to this age-old liar. Like John Murtha and John McCain, his “hero” years are a lifetime of sell-outs past. He needs to go.