A national columnist once reported that the two hardest people to work for on Capitol Hill were Bob Dole, out of 100 senators, and John Ashbrook, my boss, out of 435 congressmen. Someone asked me how I put up with it. This was my reply.
“John (Ashbrook) has some choices when he is frustrated and has to let it out.”
“First, he can blow up at his financial supporters, in which case I lose my job.”
“Second, he can go irrational with other congressmen, in which case he can’t get things done and I lose my job.”
“Third, he can blow his top at constituents, in which case I lose my job.”
“Fourth, he can cuss me out, in which case I keep my job.”
“I pick option four.”
It would have been better if John had been perfect, but he saw how bad things are and sometimes he just blew his top. Ideally he wouldn’t have needed that outlet, but the job of being Jesus Christ is already taken, so he was not always the nicest of men.
And I was more worried about his losing HIS job than I was about mine. To prevent that, I would take anything he could hand out.
Robert Dole was an entirely different animal from John. As a moderate Republican, he couldn’t are less how bad things were. I can explain to you in a few words why Dole was such an S.O.B.
Robert Dole is masty little man who needed somebody to beat the hell out of him a few times. But he was a nasty little man who had gotten an arm crippled in World War II. This meant that nobody could punch him in the mouth for his insults, be they contributors, fellow senators, or constituents.
Dole’s handicap also made him a “proven hero,” so nobody could say he was being a bully.
Dole had a bullying license, and he used it to the hilt. His fellow senators were afraid of him, and that was one reason he got elected to the leadership.
Robert Doles was member in good standing of the Greatest Generation.