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Al hits another one out of the park
April 28, 2005 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Al Gore calls it like he sees it - It is no accident that this assault on the integrity of our constitutional design has been fueled by a small group claiming special knowledge of God's will in American politics. They even claim that those of us who disagree with their point of view are waging war against "people of faith." How dare they?
posted by beth (53 comments total)

 
I voted for him and all, but, uh - what's the previous one he "hit out of the park"?
posted by nicwolff at 10:27 AM on April 28, 2005


A literate and intelligent speech that I agree with fully.

Unfortunately, he's preaching to the converted and that's not going to help.

Sigh.
posted by drinkmaildave at 10:43 AM on April 28, 2005


nicwolff -- Gore had a series of stemwinders in 2003.

The moveon speech was particularly good.

The righties slagged him as coming unglued, but it was a pretty moving series of speeches for those not in the tank.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:44 AM on April 28, 2005


In regards to the 2003 speeches, and this one, I really wish Gore could have found that fire and passion back in 2000, when it might have mattered.
posted by teece at 10:48 AM on April 28, 2005


"There is a higher duty than the one we owe to a political party,"

Amen.
Listen up fundies and nutters!
Don't destroy our country with partisan blindness.

The historic vulnerability of religious zealots to subordinate the importance of the rule of law to their ideological fervor was captured best in words given by the author of "A Man for All Seasons" to Sir Thomas More.
When More's zealous son-in-law proposed that he would cut down any law in England that served as an obstacle to his hot pursuit of the devil, More replied: "And when the last law was cut down and the devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast-man's laws, not God's -- and if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?"


More goodness.

This fight is not about responding to a crisis. It is about the desire of the administration and the Senate leadership to stifle debate in order to get what they want when they want it. What is involved here is a power grab -- pure and simple.

Yup. Got that right.

This speech was broadcast of C-SPAN.
Thanks for the link!
I really enjoyed reading that! (psst! he writes his own stuff)
posted by nofundy at 10:48 AM on April 28, 2005


You know, if gore had talked like this five years ago... well, there would be no need for Gore to talk like this today.
posted by Kellydamnit at 10:49 AM on April 28, 2005


Great message. But the messenger isn't one that's likely to be listened to by anybody except those who already agree with him. Al should step away from the mic for awhile, and become a behind-the-scenes thinktank type of guy, and feed this stuff to some fresh faces that America might take seriously.
posted by spilon at 10:49 AM on April 28, 2005


It's patently impossible to argue against rightwing crackpots without sounding like a crackpot oneself. Arguing against the Christian Right is impossible, because if you agree with them you sound like a blind follower and if you disagree with them you're questioning their faith and are therefore a nonbeliever, thus making your opinion irrelevant to them. You're either of God or of the Devil, and there is no grey. Well, I'm a man of faith, I respectfully disgree with conservative religious theory, and I'm a pacifist so I won't go to war with anybody. Screw them if they attempt to pigeon hole me despite my being a square peg in a round hole.

However, you won't see me take up any banner and chase off after the Christian right any time soon. It's a far better thing that Al Gore pick up that broom and chase after those windmills than you or me, mkay? Gore already looks like a crackpot and has since people accused him of taking credit for helping the Internet become what it is today. He's already lost the presidency, and people already think he's a lunatic. They think he's not relevant. He's been irrelevant since long before Billy spooged on that blue dress. He's been a laughing stock since before he demonstrated on David Letterman that the white house became a nonsmoking building because the ashtrays were too expensive to buy. He's a stooge. He's a loser. We might as well make him the patsy for the liberal left.

So if anyone's gonna play David to their Goliath, I say we liberal lunatics can afford to spare Al Gore. More power to him. Throw him into that absurdist ring of illogical cyclical thinking and hopefully the right wing weirdoes will be so busy sparring with him that they'll leave the rest of us alone. Now if only we can think of something to do with Kerry that'll keep him out of trouble. Idle hands are the Devil's workshop and all that.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:49 AM on April 28, 2005


but it was a pretty moving series of speeches for those not in the tank.

I thought it was a pretty moving series of speeches for those IN the tank. I guess it's a matter of perspective.
posted by justgary at 10:54 AM on April 28, 2005


"People of faith" indeed. We can indulge in issues-framing catchphrases, too. I suggest the left begin referring to its members as "people of conscience."

As an added bonus, this will bait right-wing pundits into (correctly) pointing out that "people of faith" and "people of conscience" are not mutually exclusive terms, which plays right into our hands.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:58 AM on April 28, 2005


What's scary to me is that people are elected to Congress who don't seem to have ever read the Constitution.

The spokesman for the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said: "There does seem to be this misunderstanding out there that our system was created with a completely independent judiciary."
posted by sierray at 11:02 AM on April 28, 2005


Nice speech. I wish he'd been like this during the campaign. And anyone who quotes A Man For All Seasons gets a free bonus point in my book. However, his quote

"There is a higher duty than the one we owe to a political party,"

Kinda got to me. Mainly because it's not one that he followed in his own political life. He was never a maverick like Clinton; he was always the party faithful, and was perfectly willing to engage in all kinds of shady fundraising for the sake of the party. Don't get me wrong. I voted for him, and I think he would've made a decent president. But when he was a politician, he always put the party first. It's just a shame that he didn't realize the importance of things other than the party when he had the power to do something.
posted by unreason at 11:03 AM on April 28, 2005


I voted for him, and I think he would've made a decent president. But when he was a politician, he always put the party first. It's just a shame that he didn't realize the importance of things other than the party when he had the power to do something.

Perhaps he has grown.

At least that's my hope.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:07 AM on April 28, 2005


Sierray pointed out: " the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said: "There does seem to be this misunderstanding out there that our system was created with a completely independent judiciary"

Well to be fair, although the three branches of government are supposed to be independent of one another, they're inexplicably linked. In order to choose new members of the Supreme Court for example, both the Executive and Legislative branches have to coordinate and decide who gets in. The Judiciary doesn't get to decide its own court members. That's what Checks and Balances are all about. Likewise, although the Legislative branch makes the laws and the executive branch executes them (thus why the president is also Chief of the military), the judiciary branch figures out what the laws mean. So although I hate to ever admit a republican is correct, in this case he gets off on a technicality. The three branches of government are not mutually exclusive and therefore not wholly independent.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:11 AM on April 28, 2005


It's time we start treating these self- righteous wingnuts
like traitors.

We dems are real patriots. We are the socially and environmentally aware party, doing religious things like caring about the homeless and saving the environment.

Anyone willing to make a federal law FOR ONE PERSON has comitted treason. period.

Bush, Frist & DeLay are for God and Company, not God & Country.
posted by stevejensen at 11:13 AM on April 28, 2005


Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 11:21 AM on April 28, 2005


Bush, Frist & DeLay are

for God, for company, and for sale to the highest bidder?
posted by oaf at 11:36 AM on April 28, 2005


Well I'll be, that speech made me feel more patriotic than I've felt since the first gulf war, when I was just a kid and didn't know any better. America! Fuck yeah!
posted by pmbuko at 11:38 AM on April 28, 2005


Man will never be free until blah blah wank wank

As a liberal priest who has always been opposed to theocracy, I once again extend my middle finger in your general direction.

Extremists on both sides of the playground have more in common than they do with the people in the middle.
posted by Foosnark at 11:59 AM on April 28, 2005


(...more in common with each other than...)
posted by Foosnark at 12:00 PM on April 28, 2005


Wow, and I was just wondering what Gore had to say on this subject.... Say, do you have any Op/Ed articles you could link to? That would make a swell FPP!


posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:06 PM on April 28, 2005


MetaTalk
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:07 PM on April 28, 2005


If only he was sincere.
posted by angry modem at 12:08 PM on April 28, 2005


Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 11:21 AM PST on April 28


A sentiment that, as an Iranian, I strongly agree with. Buckets unite!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:11 PM on April 28, 2005


I saw Gore speak at Harvard during the bearded phase of the 2000 election aftermath. It was a funny, insightful, capitvating speech. I think he fell victim to pollster-based micromanagement during the election campaign.

A few months later, before he announced he wouldn't run in 2004, we were all standing in a coutyard where the Australia and New Zealand club was having a barbeque for Anzac Day, a national holiday of remembrance.

Most of the Australians and Kiwis at Harvard, together with seemlingly every Indian guy within a 3 mile radius, were playing cricket in the courtyard. All of a sudden, out of a door walks Al Gore, alone, with a briefcase. We pulled him aside and cajoled him into playing with us. He was good - bowled with a straight arm and everything.

Someone put up the pictures to prove it.
posted by nyterrant at 12:47 PM on April 28, 2005


Steve:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
posted by stenseng at 12:54 PM on April 28, 2005


More on Al Gore athleticism: during the recount drama of 2000, CNN or whatever network showed his family playing touch football on the lawn of the Vice President's mansion (whatever it's called). Gore totally ran like a chick. It was pretty funny.

Now that I think about it, I'm reminded of this site which pointed out that John Kerry throws a football like a chick.

The problem with Democrats today is everything they do is orchestrated, and it appears so. John Kerry throwing a football on every runway in America? Going goose hunting? Wearing that Livestrong band? You just knew that's not who that guy is. Same with Gore.

I'm not saying that Republicans don't do stupid calculating things too. But they (particularly GWB) pull it off better and seem more genuine doing it. Clinton was the same way.

People who don't seem phony are a lot less annoying and more likely to be popular.
posted by b_thinky at 1:04 PM on April 28, 2005


I wonder if Steve_at_Linnwood likes Al Gore? y'all keep me posted.

Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

best god damn quote in the world!
posted by mcsweetie at 1:06 PM on April 28, 2005


Oh yeah, and if you don't see where this judicial thing is going, you're crazy. Bush will get his judges. And they won't have to blow up the filibuster rule.

If I were Frist/Cheney/Bush, I'd do whatever it takes to get these judges approved. Who cares what the public thinks about the filibuster. The judiciary is the most important (but least sexy) job of the gov't.

If the GOP appoints all their judges and gets 1-2 Supreme Court justices in, they win. Even if it annoys the world into electing all Dems, the GOP's victory will be sealed for the next 20 years. Seriously.

And we have GWB to thank for it!
posted by b_thinky at 1:09 PM on April 28, 2005


Right on, b_thinky. This thread could be salvaged yet.
posted by nyterrant at 1:09 PM on April 28, 2005


Heywood Mogroot writes " The righties slagged him as coming unglued"

The idea that people who back George W. Bush should accuse people of "coming unglued" makes me laugh quietly to myself.
posted by clevershark at 1:09 PM on April 28, 2005


You're funny b_thinky.
posted by nofundy at 1:10 PM on April 28, 2005


Oh, but b_thinky, I think you've got Al Gore all wrong. When he played with us at Harvard, there weren't any cameras. He was genuinely up for it. He's also run a marathon. Maybe his girly running style helped him go the distance.

John Kerry going windsurfing, though, now that's a disaster.
posted by nyterrant at 1:12 PM on April 28, 2005


It's cute how Al continues to think he's relevent. With the sort of "I'll state clearly what everyone is thinking!" sort of schtick.
Reminds me of a suck up kid that sat next to me in art class in grade school.
*Note: not an endorsement of Bush, BushCo, or it's Jeezus subsidiaries
posted by Smedleyman at 1:46 PM on April 28, 2005


This version of Al Gore looks a lot like Howard Dean, and we all know how that turned out in 2004. So maybe Al Gore's handlers weren't so wrong in tying him down in 2000. It's not just how speeches like this play in middle america, it's how they are taken out of context by the media.

Is what this calls out is how fundamentally wrong Ralph Nader and his supporters were with their "no difference" mantra. Gore and Bush were as different as night and day and it was obvious in their biographies, not just how they've acted since then. Sigh. I'm condemned to continue living in the world the Ralph Nader wrought for the next 3 years at least, and the worst part is that he's not even sorry ...
posted by efbrazil at 1:53 PM on April 28, 2005


efbrazil writes " This version of Al Gore looks a lot like Howard Dean, and we all know how that turned out in 2004."

It turned out that way because the Dems decided to put their own testicles away and choose "someone electable"... and we all know how THAT turned out.

Seriously, Democrats as a party will get relegated into insignificance if they don't grow a pair, and quickly too.
posted by clevershark at 1:58 PM on April 28, 2005


Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

Huzzah Cheers ! ! !

I say we invade our local legislatures with buckets of hot tar and feathers and a few telephone poles, tar and feather them and run them out of town on rails.

Preferably atop SUV's screaming at 90 MPH down the freeway . . . The screams would echo across the land . . .
posted by mk1gti at 2:20 PM on April 28, 2005


Cleversharks says:

"Seriously, Democrats as a party will get relegated into insignificance if they don't grow a pair, and quickly too."

Totally with you there, buddy . . .
posted by mk1gti at 2:21 PM on April 28, 2005


He's shaved and lost his mojo, IMHO.
posted by bardic at 2:33 PM on April 28, 2005


Extremists on both sides of the playground have more in common than they do with the people in the middle.

A-fucking-men.

Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

You do realize that freedom of religion is not the same thing as "freedom to not be religious" don't you? I mean, you ask not to be discriminated agaisnt for your lack of religious beliefs, yet you have no qualms discriminating against people for their beliefs? (Asks this athiest)
posted by pardonyou? at 2:35 PM on April 28, 2005


nyterrant: I'm sure playing with Gore was loads of fun. I'm sure he's a nice guy, as are most politicians.

The only difference is, when Kerry goes goose hunting or clutches a football every time he's on camera, it's so obviously a photo-op. You can't look at it without saying to yourself "yeah, right, asshole."

Whereas when GWB host T-Ball on the White House lawn, it's also a photo-op, but you say to yourself "yeah, I could see him doing that anyways."

At this point, the Republicans seem more genuine than Dems. Even Dick Cheney, who seems like an asshole, does nothing to discredit that perception. It's like he's saying "Hey, I'm an asshole. Why act like I'm not?" And it works. Because it's not annoying.
posted by b_thinky at 2:39 PM on April 28, 2005


Time to bring out the monkeybowl song.
posted by Sparx at 2:47 PM on April 28, 2005


Oh dear. I'm not sure what sort of person fails to find dimwits and assholes annoying.
posted by bshock at 3:20 PM on April 28, 2005


I'm still amazed that a grab of this extant has gotten so far.

Fragile thing democracy.

And "the last king" and "entrails of preists" are a nice mood indicators. So lay off, Wally!
posted by Max Power at 4:21 PM on April 28, 2005


b_thinky: So what was your reaction to Bush walking through the bluebonnets, hand-in-hand with the Saudi prince, commenting to each other on how beautiful the flowers were? Was there no element of suck-up or that ever-dreadful girliness in there? Or, wait, that was Arab custom, right? But these two were in Texas. The Saudi was a visitor. Or do you just like Bush, and somehow manage to see anything does as "genuine?"
posted by raysmj at 4:27 PM on April 28, 2005


As if to make my point...

clevershark quoted me as saying "This version of Al Gore looks a lot like Howard Dean, and we all know how that turned out in 2004."

Then used it to say "It turned out that way because the Dems decided to put their own testicles away and choose "someone electable"... and we all know how THAT turned out."

Which mk1gti then agreed with. In context, I also said "It's not just how speeches like this play in middle america, it's how they are taken out of context by the media." So in taking me out of context he implied I don't think dems should have balls. I find myself empathizing with victims of vast right wing conspiracies.
posted by efbrazil at 4:33 PM on April 28, 2005


I think better of Gore for speaking out like this. He's right. Call him irrelevant, rehash his past mistakes if you will, but he's calling it like he sees it and doing what he can under existing circumstances to make things better. We'd do well to follow his lead.
posted by orange swan at 7:10 PM on April 28, 2005


It's time we start treating these self- righteous wingnuts
like traitors.

We dems are real patriots. We are the socially and environmentally aware party, doing religious things like caring about the homeless and saving the environment.


It's funny you should say that. I was watching Coulter on Fox (consider this one of few naive forays into enemy territory) as she expressed that "the left are enemies of America. they are not an option -- their stance is not even a valid perspective" just as I had been thinking that about the right. I mean c'mon, the things that the rest of the world admires(/ed) about America came from the left. We're all familiar with the half-joking list of historical issues and which side the Conservatives would have taken on them. I hate to say it, because it's a message that the right cannot tolerate, giving them explicit permission to ignore your voice, but their stance... is not even a valid perspective. And certainly not a moral one. If evil can manifest itself in lesser emotions and motivations such as greed and selfishness, then maybe this really is a battle of good against evil. I guarantee the people dying think so.

"People of faith" indeed. We can indulge in issues-framing catchphrases, too. I suggest the left begin referring to its members as "people of conscience."

Absolutely. If there's one thing that's changed in the past ten years it isn't 9/11 -- it's that the right is on the attack irrespective of logic or facts. They may hate Chomsky but they're practically using "Manufacturing Consent" as a primer. It's time to re-frame the debate.
posted by dreamsign at 7:19 PM on April 28, 2005


Great link, beth. And of course, if Gore had been more Dean-like (or Kerry more Dean-like), Bush would have been history.

You do realize that freedom of religion is not the same thing as "freedom to not be religious" don't you?

You don't say. That certainly seems to be true currently, which is what Gore was saying.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:23 AM on April 29, 2005


I think the FCC is correct in ruling that Gore is more acceptable to the American public than Bush.

Go git 'em Gore!
posted by nofundy at 5:24 AM on April 29, 2005


I'm not an American, but I thought what Gore said was one of the sanest things an American politician has said in a good long while. Yes, there is much that is "interpretation" or "opinion" in it, but he's siting references to verifiable actions made by members of Congress, and putting them together does give useful context for people who don't have a broad place see the "big picture."
[In a way, he's done what journalists are supposed to do.]
And I think what he said deserves a wider audience than just those in attendence at the Washington Hyatt Regency, so I'm glad the link's being spread around in places like MeFi.
posted by Al_Truist at 7:58 AM on April 29, 2005


"He's right. Call him irrelevant, rehash his past mistakes if you will, but he's calling it like he sees it...."
Exactly the problem orange swan. The concepts that work, the stuff that is right has been relegated to the cheap seats.
I disagree that we should follow his lead. The message must be told well. The existing circumstances must be changed.
Al Gore doesn't seem like the man to do that.
The problem with "republicans" currently is that they have a better show. So more people watch and listen and what is right and true doesn't really matter. (Not a statement about everything about the republicans & the right, etc - I do agree with some policies, just a general statement on tactics overall - mostly from Rove who's following the Machiavelli playbook)
The next step is not simply asserting the truth more, it is not enough in this climate to be right about something. The next step is to clarify and make the truth more attractive while allowing it to remain true.
It's the difference between on the one side - covering something with pretty colors versus on the other side polishing and reflecting one's own position. It's not enough - demonstrably - to get mad and excited like Dean. You have to win and be right.
Winning isn't enough of course, as we've seen from Bushco. At least not enough to benefit just plain folks.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:10 PM on April 29, 2005


You do realize that freedom of religion is not the same thing as "freedom to not be religious" don't you?

Can someone explain this to a lifelong athiest who has lived in the middle of the Bible Belt all of his life? "Freedom of religion" doesn't include my right to not believe in what others do?
posted by melt away at 7:57 AM on April 30, 2005


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