Friday, March 23, 2007

The One-Armed Kansas Comic

I saw Bob Dole (b. 7/22/1923) in person once. He's a funny guy. Politically, he's as dead as a dodo and I disagree with almost everything he says, but still.

Bill Clinton whipped him in 1996, even with gadfly Ross Perot in the presidential race. Back in 1976, Gerald Ford added Dole to his ticket after dumping Nelson "Rocky" Rockefeller. The revised comedy troupe was roundly whipped by Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. Dole served as hatchet man for the bumbling Ford. In the debates, whereas Ford claimed that Eastern Europe was not under the thumb of the Soviet Empire, Dole quipped: "I figured it up the other day: If we added up the killed and wounded in Democrat wars in this century, it would be about 1.6 million Americans -- enough to fill the city of Detroit." I guess old Bob still held FDR accountable for his WWII injury, the one that resulted in his useless right arm. And "Detroit" no doubt also stood as double entendre speak for The Democrat[ic] party embraces black people, urbanites, and all those things that aren't held sacred in most of mostly-white Kansas.

These days, Dole's jokes hold no more water than they ever did. But he's still around in TV ads, mumbling about himself and his non-working parts in the third person like Dick Nixon, and now helping that young'un G.W. Bush -- investigating the ill treatment and neglect of veterans at Walter Reed Hospital, the ones left there to rot thanks to them "Republican wars."

Today's Rune: The Warrior.

Birthday: Erich Fromm.

Ciao, Kansas City!


Johnny Yen said...

From what I've heard, Dole is a very gregarious, witty guy. He was very well-liked by staffers. None of this, of course, came through in his campaigns-- he seemed like a stiff, humorless bore.

Did you ever see the Saturday Night Live spoof on the MTV program where all the young people lived together under one roof-- I can't remember the name of the show offhand-- Norm McDonald portrayed Dole-- grumpy, talking about himself in the third person..."Who stole Bob Dole's peanut butter?" It was pretty funny.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Whenever I think of Bob Dole, I think of him in the third person. I believe that's normal on my part.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the posts Erik. As always your writing is genous. UNC looks like they could go all the way in the NCAA BB finals. They have a strong team. MW