Is this the concensus of the Republican Party? "Speaking as a Republican, I want my party to let more people in," said the former U.S. senator and presidential candidate. "We don't have to agree with everybody. We ought to have diversity, not conformity. That's what America is all about.”  Sen. Bob Dole

Photos of the Bank of America (41st tallest building in the world, and Blumenthal Theatre.

 Venomous Or Obtuse Political Commentary

Where does Elizabeth Dole really stand on abortion? She's dodged it for 20 years -- but the question won't go away So when CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked her what her position was, during a January interview to hype her presidential hopes a day after her resignation as Red Cross chief, she had an evasive sound bite ready. "It's an important issue. There are many other important issues. But I do feel that's for another day, Wolf," she said.

This is the kind of reporting that we get. The obsession with the same fifteen issues that must be eternally discussed without any gain, is apparent in this two web pages. The best response from any presidential candidate last election was Dole’s. Dole was the only candidate that thinks it’s a discussion that should be put on the back burner, in order to discuss other issues, about which we can agree and do something. The abortion issue should be considered in light of the new science called bioethics. We have many new developments in this area, Cloning, Embryonic Cells, Euthanasia, and other similarly controversial topics. We should be thinking about that burning question, “Who owns life?” “Who decides what should live and and what should be sick for instance?” Who is got a right to make these choices? Who decides what type of life should be snuffed? Maybe some of it should. Maybe some organisms are detrimental to the human race, the ecosystems, the planet.. whatever. Does anyone have this right? Shouldn’t all of us know much more about this? Shouldn’t we invest our time in more meaningful dialogue, rather than parroting off the same old lines? There’s a lot of commentary about Elizabeth Dole that merits analysis, on the Internet.

POLITICS.(political activities of Elizabeth Dole) Author/s: William Saletan Issue: May, 1999 A Tale of Two Liddys "In my church, I learned to serve rather than stand in judgment," she said in Manchester. The "overriding theme" of her career, she explained, has been "to try consensus before confrontation" and cut through the "cacophony of conflicting voices." The reporter thinks that this remark arises from the following motives: “At the same time, Dole exploits other feminine stereotypes to distance herself from the Republican inquisition. Her strategy is to contrast her optimism and moral rectitude with her rivals' pessimism and sniping. Where men look for fights, Dole suggests, women look for solutions.” The reporter interprets the comment in light of specific, immediate, politics. The reporter must always explain to us what it all means and why it is said. The quote means so much more than that. It means that while our world changes at precipitous speed, we waste our time without arriving at any meaningful new conclusions, or better plans for our future. Someone as well informed and aware as Mrs. Dole must be, correctly thinks that the future is not a dirty, scary word to be buried under the cacophony of political hatred. But something to be carefully considered and planned for, so we can live better. "Reagan conservatism wore a smile," she argued in Manchester. "It was optimistic, futuristic, and inclusive." America faces a plague of "crime, violence, drugs, illegitimacy, and incivility," she declares. "If public life is lacking in civility, then it is our common task to help civilize it." “And guess which gender is supposed to be good at civilizing?” The reporter makes Dole’s campaign mostly a feminist campaign with this last remark. As if women do not lack civility as much as any man, often enough. It just so happens that most politicians are men. Therefore if politics lack in civility it must be a masculine trait. But I see their wives and supporters as well as female politicians, participating in the savagery.

“The second part of Dole's strategy concerns the role of government. While parroting conservative rhetoric on taxes, drugs, crime, and defense, she takes more moderate positions on education, labor, and consumer protection. Again, she credits her eclecticism to gender. Women bring "unique skills" to management, having learned to ‘read between the lines’ and devise ‘creative solutions,’ she tells the CUNA audience. In Manchester she denounced ‘either-or politics-liberal vs. conservative, public school vs. private school.’ As labor secretary under George Bush, she recalled, ‘I pursued cooperation between labor and management.’ And as Reagan's transportation secretary, she said, ‘I did not shy away from Washington's traditional responsibility to advocate and, where absolutely necessary, regulate.’" The reporter again hears everything in terms of standard political rhetoric. He insults Mrs. Dole saying she “parrots” conservative rhetoric. Nothing could be further from the truth. The obsession with making the person (a highly educated, experienced, professional) into a bra burning babe continues.

“Dole applies morality to economics. ‘Like any human creation, capitalism is imperfect,’ she argued in Manchester. Conservatives should never hesitate to speak out against the unregulated, unadulterated pursuit of cash if it leads... to the pollution of the airwaves, or the pollution of our air.’” If people were really asked some of the questions pertinent to this topic candidly, even the wealthiest might agree that they would like different alternatives.

“Still, Dole's bipartisan gestures, like Clinton's, are often empty and calculated. To foster the impression that Democratic women support her campaign, Dole's aides have released supportive statements from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala (who has the "highest respect and affection" for Dole). But both statements refer to Dole's leadership at the Red Cross.” This is another blatant attack on Mrs. Dole based on his own prejudices and goals. To foster the impression??? Those other ladies must have supported her campaign at that time or would not have made such comments. And finally, he dismisses the whole thing because it was just about her work at the Red Cross. What would he like it to refer to? Paul Volcker was once Treasurer of the Red Cross, and came to be known at the genius behind the “Reagan Revolution” as head of the Federal Reserve Board.

“Can Dole get away with such equivocation? Can she sell herself as pious and tolerant, libertarian and communitarian, feminist and antifeminist?” To someone like this reporter, she would have a hard time selling herself as anything. This is an extremely biased person with a goal: to make sure she didn’t get in. I for one do not see any equivocation between pious and tolerant. In fact piety is often an ingredient of tolerance. Good people are supposed to be really good people, not hypocritically pious. Likewise I don’t see the conflict between libertarian and communitarian. To be free an individual should not have to live alone, away from society and civilization. The free individual assumes responsibility for his actions and is able to live free in community with other free individuals by respecting the rights of others and the collective. However he remains free to choose for himself regarding things that are pertinent to him. With this arrangement, he remains free. And finally I have never heard Elizabeth Dole make antifeminist comments. She is la creme de la creme of the weaker sex, and I have not doubt she would never insult herself. If feminism means looking masculine; not looking one’s best; bathing every two or three days... burning one’s bra... well you are talking about savagery, not feminism. Not to say that we are all to be perennial fashion plates... Everyone has different circumstances. Mrs. Dole, I’m sure has had many helpers that look less than perfect at all times. I guess this is a matter of what is desirable, less than indispensable.

And in the National Review I found this other piece of reporting: The other Dole campaign: who is Elizabeth Dole? Her greatest political asset may be that nobody knows. (political ambitions) Author/s: Ramesh Ponnuru Issue: Feb 9, 1998. Her campaign “wouldn't have (a rationale) for the same reason she is so popular with such a broad range of people: no one really knows what her politics are. Although she has been in public life for more than three decades, in Administrations of both parties, somehow Elizabeth Dole has managed to keep her political views largely under wraps. Even close associates sometimes forget that she got her start working for LBJ; she was a volunteer worker on the Kennedy - Johnson campaign in 1960 and then, after Harvard Law, joined Johnson's Office of Consumer Affairs. To the surprise of some colleagues, she stayed there when Nixon took power in 1969. In 1973, President Nixon appointed her to the Federal Trade Commission.” Civil Servants have been known to work for both political parties before. There’s only one employer, the government. At least in this article the reporter resorted to historical data to diminish her chances. He lists her work for a Consumer Protection Agency to address the outmoded notion of caveat emptor; Promoted the notion of comparable worth, (fair wage for secretaries in relation to plumbers). “Her work at DoT included some real victories for the Reagan Administration: privatizing Conrail; devolving control over Dulles and National airports; privatizing landing slots at major airports; blocking persistent efforts by congressmen, including Newt Gingrich, to reregulate the airlines. In a reversal of the policy that had prevailed throughout the Seventies, Mrs. Dole approved a score of airline mergers.” “pushed for a mandatory third rear brake light, and bribed states to raise their drinking age to 21. Legal developments arguably left her no choice but to mandate airbags for cars -- but she did so enthusiastically.”

She has, by all accounts, done a praiseworthy job of modernizing the Red Cross, but her campaign to ban land mines suggests a weakness for a politics of gestural sentimentality that, in this case, even Bill Clinton has rejected. A hypocritical man reversed himself, as so many times before. A good, pious person sees land mines for what they are. It’s got nothing to do with gestural sentimentality. May I refer you to the following links: It’s always money. Certain countries make the devices and then they make the devices to locate the devices and neutralize the devices. The devices kill all kinds of people. Anyone walking through. The users make the $$$.

The article mentions that Mrs. Dole created the Glass Ceiling Commission without a directive from President Reagan. The abortion issue is devoted two paragraphs. Mrs. Dole’s views on abortion change without explanation, as not to offend he says, and from there he generalizes her stance an all other issues. He therefore thinks the May Queen will have a tough time running for president. Well I thought it was a good summary. What have other Transportation Secretaries left us that we can think of? As for the North Carolina motto, To be is better than to seem, it is a great notion that lets those who follow it live happier, but it certainly does not get applause from reporters. They have their goals and mandates. Oh by the way, her ambitions were to continue her career in government.

Another piece of clear, informative, accurate, unbiased reporting from the National Review: Don't Ask. (Elizabeth Dole's run for president) Author/s: Richard Lowry Issue: May 17, 1999 Elizabeth Dole's very careful campaign. Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  “...Perfect-and Dole will do it just as well, and in exactly the same fashion, at a Waterloo event the next day.” Is it her fault that the rest of the people running for office can’t remember what they, did so as to do it again the same way? Everyone likes to do it the right way once they get it right. ...But they can’t. People in the performing arts call it coreography. The soprano always moves her hand just so in that production. That’s how it is. That way everyone sees the same thing. The People who are brighter have less trouble remembering what and when they have to make the specific gesture. I find it reassuring. I see that as a sign of intelligence, so desperately needed in government today. “The problem is that Dole is presentation and little else. It's no accident that before this Iowa swing her public appearances were confined mainly to inspirational talks at success seminars, where the emphasis is on simulated enthusiasm and sincerity, along with inspirational rhetoric the exact meaning of which is hard to divine.” The meaning of the rhetoric is hard for you to divine because you are a person of narrow, short vision. In fact it would be nice if more politicians were less obsessed with the two campaign promises of interest to their audiences at the specific events, and more interested in discussing their super ordinate goals for us, who will have to suffer them.

Until recently, Dole had virtually no public positions (see Ramesh Ponnuru's "The Other Dole Campaign," Feb. 9, 1998). And it is not clear that she really has any now, at least not in the sense of positions she has thought through and cares deeply about. She hints as much when she explains to her roller-rink audience, "I've chosen a number of venues to announce positions," as if to say, This isn't one of them, so kindly ask no specifics. She probably would be happy to make a summation of her career the only theme of her campaign: "Coalition building is important to me, consensus building, bringing people together so we can work together and make a difference, a positive difference on the key issues that we face today." And a wonderful thing that is. That is how things actually get done, not just talked about. With the new scientific developments we are facing, it is of paramount importance that people get along better, not live constantly at each other’s throats, doing as much harm as possible.

This obviously won't do for long, so Dole does try to talk about issues. Someone must be giving her decent advice, because she talks about some good ones: taxes, missile defense, military readiness, the need to prevail in Kosovo. She does not need the advice. When she attended Harvard, she was 1 of 24 women in a class of over 500 men. She did better than most of them. Why would she want advice for instance from individuals like some of the reporters who wrote these articles. People who can’t even do a decent job of informing the public. But she doesn't muster the ring of authority she has when describing her resume. Because you are not receptive. It is really your problem. You perceive incorrectly. She sounds plenty authoritative to me, when she says that there should be 120,000 immigration officers along the Mexican border; or when she says she supports Proposition 187; or when she says that she is against all discrimination in the workplace; or when she says that we need to get our act together, and usher in a better future. When she talks of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in relation to defense spending, for instance, you can imagine her practicing in the mirror beforehand to get it right: "the . . . Joint . . . Chiefs . . . the . . . Joint . . . Chiefs." And she resorts to the usual pabulum about education and drugs, except she pretends that her anti-drug position is a thing of courage: "I don't get my passion from polling." And it is a courageous stance. The same as refusing to discuss abortion. It is a blow against the empire practically. The reactionary US government empire? Your empire? Is it difficult for you to write these articles? I wonder how much you all get paid for this little ditties?

Another reporter wrote, Elizabeth Dole: America's First Woman President? By Bob Fertik Editor, Political Woman January 8, 1999 ...“Of course, all of these advantages would be meaningless if Elizabeth Dole lacked the intelligence, experience, and executive skill to serve as President. But Dole's intelligence is widely admired. And her experience as the only woman ever to serve as a Cabinet Secretary under two different administrations puts her at the head of the field of candidates. Most recently, her service as President of the American Red Cross is the kind of executive position that makes her appear "Presidential." Indeed, most voters have already crossed the psychological bridge: the CNN poll cited above gives her a 48%-45% lead over Vice President Al Gore.
Still, Dole's candidacy has an achilles heel -- her allegiance to the Christian right. Although her career path makes her look like a classic 70's feminist, Dole chose to walk the opposite path. First she joined the Republican Revolution led by Ronald Reagan, who turned the GOP against the Equal Rights Amendment and abortion rights. Following her marriage to a leading conservative Senator, Dole became a devout conservative Christian. In the 1996 campaign, she spent much of her time seeking Christian right support for her husband, who was viewed as insufficiently religious. So on the fundamental issues which underly the gender gap -- abortion rights and women's equality -- Dole is on the wrong side.” Abortion will not be addressed again here. We already did. Women’s equality? What does that consist of? The right to do what? Dole certainly supports women’s equality. She’s famous for it.

This is how even the most liberal women should have thought about voting for Dole. If you did not, you probably were paid, or you were under the spell of mind control. ... I'll deal with the guilt, because we have to start somewhere. And to tell you the truth, someone like Hillary is just not electable this first time around. America needs a stern Republican mother as a first woman president. It's our Puritan roots that will call the shots. If we're going to try something new, then it's gotta be "good" for us, sort of like broccoli and psyllium husks in the dinner bowl. Then we can have the Ben & Jerry's floating in Boone's Strawberry Farmalicious.