The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, March 02, 2007

Al Gore Friday

People have been reporting lately that the word is Al is out for 2008. Which I think is tragic. But Joe Conason managed to put a smile on my face with this story about the man who I'd like to think is at least leading a prosperous and happy America in some other timeline.

Had the recent adoration of Gore been accompanied by any sign of healthy introspection among those who once savaged him, there might be reason to hope that they've learned something from this extraordinarily costly lesson. But as usual, mainstream commentators prefer to write as if they suffer from severe amnesia (as well as database deprivation) -- and to pretend that everyone else does, too.

Consider Maureen Dowd, a perceptive and often witty columnist who understands very well how destructive the Bush presidency has been to her beloved country. Just the other day Dowd acknowledged in the New York Times that we and the world would be in considerably better shape today had Gore -- whom she described as "prescient on climate change, the Internet, terrorism and Iraq" -- ascended to the Oval Office instead of the current occupant. But she neither noted the guilt of the media in that travesty nor recalled her own starring role. This compilation of her past columns on the subject of Gore, replete with false accusations and trendy sneering, is must reading.

Particularly catty and revealing is a quote from a 1999 column in which she suggested that Gore's environmentalism raised questions about his masculinity. But that was simply one episode among dozens that continued well after the 2000 election cycle. When the former vice president dared to voice his anger about the bloody debacle in Iraq two years ago, the Times columnist sweetly lumped him in with "the wackadoo wing of the Democratic Party." He had to be nuts to be upset about the lies that led us into war, didn't he?

Sigh. What might have been.