Skip to comments.A despicable speech from a contemptible man
Posted on 09/25/2002 6:58:22 AM PDT by too-taxed
Distasteful as it may be, some notice should be paid to the speech that the formerly important Al Gore delivered Monday at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
This speech, an attack on the Bush policy on Iraq, was Gore's big effort to distinguish himself from the Democratic pack in advance of another possible presidential run. It served: It distinguished Gore, now and forever, as someone who cannot be considered a responsible aspirant to power. Politics are allowed in politics, but there are limits, and there is a pale, and Gore has now shown himself to be ignorant of those limits, and he has now placed himself beyond that pale.
Gore's speech was one no minimally decent politician could have delivered. It was entirely dishonest, cheap, low. It was utterly hollow. It was bereft of policy, of solutions, of constructive ideas, very nearly of facts bereft of anything other than taunts and jibes and embarrassingly obvious lies. It was breathtakingly hypocritical, a naked political assault delivered in smarmy tones of moral condescension from a man pretending to be superior to mere politics. It was wretched. It was vile. It was contemptible. But I understate.
Gore uttered his first big lie in the second paragraph of the main body of the speech when he informed the audience that his main concern was with "those who attacked us on Sept. 11, and who have thus far gotten away with it."
Who have thus far gotten away with it. The government of Gore's country has led a coalition of nations in war against al-Qaida, "those who attacked us on Sept. 11"; has destroyed al-Qaida's central organization and much of its physical assets; has destroyed the Taliban, which had made Afghanistan a state home for al-Qaida; has bombed the forces of al-Qaida from one end of Afghanistan to the other; has killed at least hundreds of terrorists and their allies; has imprisoned hundreds more, and is hunting down the rest around the world. All this while Gore, apparently, slept.
Well, perhaps Gore was just talking loosely. No. He made clear in the next sentence this was a considered indictment: "The vast majority of those who sponsored, planned and implemented the cold-blooded murder of more than 3,000 Americans are still at large, still neither located nor apprehended, much less punished and neutralized."
If there is a more reprehensible piece of bloody shirt-waving in American political history than this attempt by a man on the sidelines to position himself as the hero of 3,000 unavenged dead, I am not aware of it.
And, again, this sentence is a lie. In truth, the men who "implemented" the "cold-blooded murder of more than 3,000 Americans" are not at large. They are dead; they died in the act of murder, on Sept. 11. Gore can look this up. In truth, the "vast majority" of the men who "sponsored" and "planned" the crime are dead also, or in prison, or on the run. The inmates at Guantánamo Bay, and the hunted survivors of Tora Bora, and the terrorist cell members arrested nearly every week, and the thousands of incarcerated or fugitive Taliban, might disagree as to whether they have been located, apprehended, punished or neutralized.
Although Gore knows that Bush has been publicly attempting to move the nation toward war with Iraq since at least January, he pretended to believe the president was only now "in this high political season" pushing for war in order to gain electoral ground for his party and to divert attention from his administration's failure against al-Qaida by attacking "some other enemy whose location might be easier to identify." I see Bush is risking his presidency on a war with Iraq because it is the easy thing to do.
Although Gore knows that the Democratic leadership insisted (and both practical politics and constitutional imperatives demanded) that Bush seek the congressional support he is now requesting, he pretended this too was something the president was doing simply for political gain.
Although Gore knows that Bush is also seeking, as Democrats also demanded, United Nations approval, he pretended this represented a failure of leadership as well because "thus far, we have not been successful in getting it." True enough because the Security Council hasn't voted. Thus far. Cute.
Probably the purest example of the Gore style equal parts mendacity, viciousness and smarm occurred when Gore expressed his concern (his deep, heartfelt concern) over "the doubts many have expressed about the role that politics might be playing in the calculations of some in the administration." And then added: "I have not raised those doubts, but many have."
What a moment! What a speech! What a man! What a disgrace.
Michael Kelly's column appears regularly on editorial pages of The Times.
In 1991 Prime Time Al "sold" his vote on Desert Storm to the party that would give him the most Senate floor time.
I heard this being read on the air in Chicago via WLS-AM890 and couldn't help but wonder if Kelly's eyes were being opened, even if just a bit.
Someone posted "I smell Hillary" .... I'm not so sure about that. Hillary has said the same or worse about President Bush and has been pilloried in the press for it as well. Methinks Hillary Clinton is the most hated woman on the planet, surpassing Martha Stewart in my wife's eyes anyway.
You have about as much chance of a successful "comeback" as Phil Donahue. But don't let that stop you from pulling a "Ralph Nader" on whoever the Democraps nominate. (Oh, BTW - when you get your butt kicked in the primaries, be sure to demand at least 5 or 6 recounts... that'll show those snotty Democrats that they never deserved a candidate of your caliber anyway...lol)
I nominate Al Gore for the "Jim Traficant/Cynthia McKinney Award", to be given annually to the Democratic politician who embarrasses the party the worst. (Although the fact is, after Clinton, we may never get a chance to give this award, since it's obvious that Democrats are beyond normal shame or embarrassment.)
Are we talking about the same Michael Kelly that appears regularly as a columnist in the conservative Townhall.com? He's no Ann Coulter, but I don't think this guy is a liberal by any stretch.
Michael Kelly writes pretty conservative stuff.
Well worth sharing this one. . .
-Al Gore, in Feb. 12, 2002 speech to Council on Foreign Relations.
On May 23,2000 vice president and presidential candidate Al Gore made the following remarks about Iraq:
"We have made it clear that it is our policy to see Saddam Hussein gone. We have sought coalitions of opponents to challenge his power from within or without. I have met with the Iraqi resistance, and I have invited them to meet with me again next month when I will encourage them to further unite in their efforts against Saddam. We have maintained sanctions in the face of rising criticism, while improving the oil-to-food program to help the Iraqi people directly. We have used force when necessary. And we will not let up in our efforts to free Iraq from Saddam's rule. Should he think of challenging us, I would strongly advise against it. As a Senator, I voted for the use of force. As Vice President, I supported the use of force. And if entrusted with the Presidency, my resolve will never waver. "
Michael Kelly was a liberal. His credentials include editorial stints at both The New Republic and National Journal (the WashPost online opinion magazine).
The Clinton administration, however, set his Sleeze & Corruption antennae to quivering. Kelly was among the leaders of the opinion pack in calling for Clinton's impeachment.
I suspect that, if you asked him, he would still consider himself a liberal. But a wiser one. And, certainly, an honest one, able to distinguish right from wrong...
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