Mark Shields Howler: Bob Dole 'Was a Certifiable Conservative'

PBS's Mark Shields said something on Friday's Inside Washington that is guaranteed to make right-thinking Americans across the fruited plain double over in laughter.

Bob Dole "was a certifiable conservative" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

GORDON PETERSON, HOST: Former Republican Senator Bob Dole told Fox’s Chris Wallace over the weekend that Republicans, as you heard, should put up a sign that says closed for repairs. And he blames President Obama for failing to cultivate better relationships across party lines. Dole says his Party has changed so much that Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon would no longer be welcomed in it. Any of that ring true to you, Mark?

MARK SHIELDS, PBS: Yes, several factors ring true in it. I think Bob Dole is on to something, a man who was a certifiable conservative and five times a candidate for his Party’s highest office.

A certifiable conservative? Really?

Let's see how the left-leaning Wikipedia scores Dole's record:

Dole had a moderate voting record and was widely considered to be one of the few Kansas Republicans who could bridge the gap between the moderate and conservative wings of the Kansas Republican Party. As a Congressman in the early '60s, he supported the major civil rights bills, which appealed to moderates. When Johnson proposed the Great Society in 1964–65, Dole voted against some War on Poverty measures like public-housing subsidies and Medicare, thus appealing to conservatives. Dole's first speech in the Senate in 1969 was a plea for federal aid for the handicapped. Later, as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, Dole joined liberal Senator George McGovern to lower eligibility requirements for federal food stamps, a liberal goal that was supported by Kansas farmers.

Here's how the Washington Times scored Dole's record on April 5, 1996:

As co-manager of the self-proclaimed Republican revolution in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole had a voting record squarely in the middle of the party's ideological spectrum.

The American Conservative Union released a study yesterday of 23 House votes and 22 Senate votes in 1995 to measure the conservative records of every member of Congress. Mr. Dole, of Kansas, earned a rating of 87 on a scale where 100 denotes perfect agreement with the ACU's legislative agenda.

Mr. Dole scored higher than 25 Republican senators and lower than 28 Republican senators.

This is what a liberal such as Shields considers "a certifiable conservative."

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PBS Inside Washington Video Mark Shields Gordon Peterson Bob Dole
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