Sunday the news that Bob Dole passed away broke. Remembering a comment that I made in the run up to the 2020 presidential election my thought was, “the GOP don’t run ‘em like that anymore”. The grammar leaves a lot to be desired but I don’t think I’m alone in that core thought.
Bob Dole served his country well both in the military and in Congress. I had one opportunity to vote for him in 1996 when he ran for president. I did not and given a redo I would again vote for Bill Clinton. The difference was that the thought of a Dole presidency didn’t scare me. I disagreed with him on policy but I never questioned his integrity, patriotism or common sense. Sadly I can’t say the same about most of the candidates the GOP runs theses days.
The Georgia governor’s race keeps getting increasingly interesting and terrifying. Brian Kemp is the incumbent Republican who is seeking reelection. As of this writing it appears that former Republican Senator David Perdue will challenge him in the Republican primary and that former and twice impeached President Donald Trump will endorse him. What choice does that leave a traditional conservative Republican – and although an endangered species they still exist in the Republican voter base – who really doesn’t want to vote for a Democrat? I don’t want to make this column about them but both Kemp and Perdue have more baggage than the lost and found at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
In the wake of last week’s school shooting in Michigan that left four dead, Kentucky Republican Representative Thomas Massie – long widely considered one of the wackiest in the House – sent out a tweet with a picture of his family in front of a Christmas tree all holding weapons and the tagline, “Merry Christmas, ps. Santa, please bring ammo”. The best I could say in his defense is that extremely poor judgement is still judgement.
One of the real up and comers in the Republican ranks is Ohio Representative Jim Jordan. If the Republicans take back the House don’t be surprised to see him make a run at the Speakership with Donald Trump’s backing. Like Jordan, I was an assistant coach at the college level. Speaking from that viewpoint to call him human would be an unwarranted compliment!
Don’t rule out the possibility of a second term for Donald Trump. And if he isn’t the 2024 standard bearer for the GOP do you honestly think it will be a Bob Dole type? I don’t know who will win in 2024, in fact at this point I won’t even make a solid prediction as to who will run. But the thought of Trump or a wannabe Trump is terrifying. The GOP doesn’t run Bob Dole types anymore.
A final thought: Dole was a World War II veteran who left part of his body behind in that war. Today is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
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