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Under the Banner of Dole

the Republicans unleash the dogs that whore

This is Dark Cloud on Tuesday, April 16, 1996.

Is it a bad dream to see Bob Dole - yet again - running for President? Apparently not. Evidently the bitter old man of Republicans cannot restrain himself and will call in every card he is owed, which may be enough to get him the nomination for President.

In a way, that is good. Because the Republicans have produced a litany of right wing wannabees who apparently have not only no shame, no conscience, no memories, but who have no chance to have their names recalled by associates, much less the voting public. Obscure Reagan era cabinet assistants, gooberish former governors of uncritical states, and the inevitable return to the Inquisition candidacy of Patrick Buchanan. What a field.

The Republicans have staked out, I am embarrassed to say, the population bulge of fearful, aging, and self-centered white mobs. This edges perilously close to me, and - even better - I feel the tug of their rhetoric, if only I believed it, if only it could happen. There is no quivering white man in rural Nebraska who won’t be deprived of a reason to buy a shoulder holster and gun under the Republicans. If you’re white, you and your heritage are at risk without protection, they claim, without subtlety.

I spent some time in jail recently, and while there I listened to the furrowed brow sincerity of men, intellectual geldings, who wore Nazi tattoos and offered up the most ludicrous assessments of the fate of our society or even what our society was. One of the most depressing conclusions I have reached is that the Republicans are trying to bridge to these people get them active and voting for them. When Newt Gingrich gave his first speech as Speaker of the House, he was applauded for supposedly paying homage to FDR and the social programs of the Democratic involving Civil Rights and uplift programs.

He was reminding his intended audience that the Republicans had never supported Civil Rights programs this century, had played no role in those programs that are now seen as tax drains. He was not praising the Democrats, but fluffing the pillows of his party.

Here in the West, where ranchers now can Government rangers and feed their cattle on public land, the first true signs of danger emerge. The bullies feel empowered. We can settle things with guns again. And Dole can run for President as a moderate.