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President Biden and Tom Hanks to deliver remarks at Bob Dole's funeral

The bipartisan outpouring of praise following the death on Sunday of Republican Bob Dole, the longtime Senate leader and former presidential nominee, mourned both a man and a more outwardly collegial era as Republicans drive the country toward another debt ceiling deadline crisis and party leadership downplays dangerous radicalism in its ranks.

The remembrances, though, often overlooked — perhaps, ironically, in the name of a bygone decency — Dole’s complicated legacy.

The Kansas native, who suffered grievous wounds on the battlefield during World War II before becoming a titan of late 20th century American political life, was in many ways emblematic of the Republican Party’s souring stew.

It was a narrow concession, though more than the vast majority of GOP officials would openly concede. For an aspirational Republican to take a hard stand against Trumpism today is an invitation to being run out of office or the party itself. Georgia’s conservative Gov. Brian Kemp, for example, is expected to get a Trump-backed primary challenger on Monday, when former Sen. David Perdue plans to announce his candidacy, because of Kemp’s unwillingness to kowtow to the former President’s election lies.

The danger for Republicans in risking backlash from Trump has further complicated business on Capitol Hill, where Congress is facing a series of year-end challenges that GOP lawmakers are either fueling or refusing to help solve.

Only eight senators remain in office from when Dole carried the Republican standard into the 1996 presidential election, when he was handily defeated by the incumbent Democratic President Bill Clinton. On Sunday, Clinton was among the high-profile members of his party to honor an old rival.

“Bob Dole dedicated his entire life to serving the American people, from his heroism in World War II to the 35 years he spent in Congress. After all he gave in the war, he didn’t have to give more. But he did,” Clinton tweeted. “His example should inspire people today and for generations to come.”

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