Kansas Republicans just received a surprising criticism from one of their own. As picked up right here on Huffington Post, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) told a group of local Kansas journalists today that the GOP needed to get on board and stop fighting health insurance reform. His most stunning observation was reported by the KC Star:
"Sometimes people fight you just to fight you," he said. "They don't want Reagan to get it, they don't want Obama to get it, so we've got to kill it...Health care is one of those things...Now we've got to do something."
Tomorrow, Bob Dole will be releasing a statement with former Sens. Tom Daschle, Howard Baker, and George Mitchell along the same lines calling on Congress to enact health insurance reform.
These comments are brutal on their own, but what's most significant about these words isn't what was said, but who said them. Think about it for a second -- Bob Dole? I bet he could teach us all a thing about obstructionist politics. Just ask him about his role in crushing health reform in the 1990s -- I guarantee he'll have some incredible stories.
But that's where we're at these days. The level of Republican obstructionism and failed leadership has reached the point where even one of the Senate's greatest obstructionists is calling on his party to do better -- or, at least, to do something.
Now, Kansas Republicans like Reps. Lynn Jenkins, Todd Tiahrt, and Senator Sam Brownback are faced with an uncomfortable choice. Follow the advice of a party elder and start working towards real reform, or continue down their path of no results, no leadership, and nothing but no.
I wish I could say we could expect better from our elected representatives, but as Lynn Jenkins said yesterday: "I'm a proud member of the Party of No!"