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November 30, 2006 7:24 AM   Subscribe

GQ interviews Al Gore. "I have a battery-powered hubris alarm on my belt. And it's set on vibrate, and it's going crazy."
posted by kirkaracha (153 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
It is inconceivable to me that Bush would read a warning as stark and as clear [voice angry now] as the one he received on August 6th of 2001, and, according to some of the new histories, he turned to the briefer and said, "Well, you've covered your ass." And never called a follow up meeting. Never made an inquiry. Never asked a single question. To this day, I don't understand it. And, I think it's fair to say that he personally does in fact bear a measure of blame for not doing his job at a time when we really needed him to do his job. And now the Woodward book has this episode that has been confirmed by the record that George Tenet, who was much abused by this administration, went over to the White House for the purpose of calling an emergency meeting and warning as clearly as possible about the extremely dangerous situation with Osama bin Laden, and was brushed off! And I don't know why--honestly--I mean, I understand how horrible this Congressman Foley situation with the instant messaging is, okay? I understand that. But, why didn't these kinds of things produce a similar outrage? And you know, I'm even reluctant to talk about it in these terms because it's so easy for people to hear this or read this as sort of cheap political game-playing. I understand how it could sound that way. [Practically screaming now] But dammit, whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure? This administration has been by far the most incompetent, inept, and with more moral cowardice, and obsequiousness to their wealthy contributors, and obliviousness to the public interest of any administration in modern history, and probably in the entire history of the country!

But how do you really feel?
(cracks up)
posted by kirkaracha at 7:25 AM on November 30, 2006


But dammit, whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure?

This is the most important question for our time.
posted by ND¢ at 7:32 AM on November 30, 2006


For fuck's sake, Al, will you please just run for president already?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:32 AM on November 30, 2006


What’s the last really romantic thing you did for her?
I made her an iTunes list that communicated things that are important.

What was on it?

That’s too personal.

Marry me!
posted by iconomy at 7:35 AM on November 30, 2006


But dammit, whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure?

If it's not presented to the public as a catastrophic failure, the notion of accountability doesn't enter into the discussion.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:36 AM on November 30, 2006


Yea now it's catastrophic success. Remember that 2003 explanation for the mess in Iraq?
posted by Mister_A at 7:38 AM on November 30, 2006


Wow. Al, you can zip up your pants now; the interview is over.
posted by yhbc at 7:48 AM on November 30, 2006


Whatever, yhbc. Al seems like a genuine sort in addition to being a genuinely cool guy. For years, I had read just what comes across in this interview, that he's intensely personable and likable face to face, but never seemed to be able to convey the same warmth and cordiality using mass media. Besides, someone who knows that Me and Bobby McGee was written by Kristofferson can't be all bad.
posted by psmealey at 7:52 AM on November 30, 2006


For fuck's sake, Al, will you please just run for president already?

Yes, PLEASE!
posted by Shizman at 7:58 AM on November 30, 2006


Al Gore should be elected president based on Futurama alone.
posted by 235w103 at 7:59 AM on November 30, 2006


Sigh. Reading this just makes me so sad for our country right now. We could be living a country run by someone with intelligence and wit and competence who actually seems to care about where the world is headed. Please run again Al.
posted by octothorpe at 8:00 AM on November 30, 2006


What part of "lock box" do you not understand?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:03 AM on November 30, 2006


To quote Sammy Haggar - "One, two, three lock box!"
posted by spicynuts at 8:11 AM on November 30, 2006


Besides, someone who knows that Me and Bobby McGee was written by Kristofferson can't be all bad.

I knew that. Guess I'm not all bad.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:11 AM on November 30, 2006


Wow. Al, you can zip up your pants now; the interview is over.

I've noticed that a certain kind of person is astonishingly tormented by Al Gore's penis -- y'know, by the fact that he has one and everything. I saw a comment on LGF recently (no, I don't recall why I was reading it) from a guy still screeching about Al's Rolling Stone cover. Even though it had been airbrushed to minimize his package and it was six or more years ago this guy still in mental paroxysms over it. I'm pretty sure that a deep undercurrent of rage about their sexual inadequacy is a core component of Republicanism. Witness their fury about Clinton -- they don't like being reminded that people who aren't Republicans can get erections without heroic medical intervention and what's more, get blow jobs without money changing hands.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:13 AM on November 30, 2006 [5 favorites]


"I have a battery-powered hubris alarm on my belt..."

If he really cared it would be solar-powered.
posted by peeedro at 8:15 AM on November 30, 2006


I hope he doesn't run again. Once a loser, always a loser. Of course, Nixon won in '68, etc. But this is not a good model.
posted by growabrain at 8:17 AM on November 30, 2006


Did any of you ever read that book Philip K. Dick alternate history novel The Man In The High Castle? It has been years, but from what I remember the United States lost World War II and was occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan. The entire world was a terrible messed up place because something that really wasn't supposed to happen had happened. I think that the book ended with everyone (or maybe the main character) realizing that the world wasn't supposed to be that way. When they/he figured that out, then the world went back to the way it was supposed to be. I may be mixing this up with a Sandman comic about a world ruled by cats, but that is how I remember the book.

Anyway, my point being that the world feels that way to me: none of this can be real. We can't have allowed a presidential election to be rigged by the candidate's brother/campaign managers/father's judicial appointees, or given millions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 1%, or been attacked by planes flying into skyscrapers, or gone to war over a lie, or killed 650,000 people, or tortured people in secret prisons, or suspended habeas corpus. That is just crazy. Everything that has happened since November 7th, 2000 has been a horrible farcical mistake, and there is no way to fix it, because the world is off-track. The only way to make things right is to go back in time and stop the 2000 election from being stolen, or for enough people to realize that we are living in a perverted alternate universe where everything is messed up because of one major glitch in history. Or maybe I just fell asleep on the evening of November 7th, 2000 while watching the election results on CNN; and I have dreamed all this, and when I wake up they will be announcing that Gore has won Florida and will be the next president of the United States.
posted by ND¢ at 8:21 AM on November 30, 2006 [25 favorites]


Please go back in time and strike the word "book" from the first sentence of my last comment.
posted by ND¢ at 8:23 AM on November 30, 2006


Wait, wait, they're making a Futurama MOVIE?
posted by bicyclefish at 8:25 AM on November 30, 2006


Just remember, you can't spell "algorythm" without Al Gore!

That's my only Al Gore joke.

And I just made it up last night.

posted by Faint of Butt at 8:28 AM on November 30, 2006


Hey, I made up a similar joke way back in 1992. (It wasn't funny then, either.)
posted by gigawhat? at 8:31 AM on November 30, 2006


For fuck's sake, Al, will you please just run for president already?

Cause that worked out so well the last time.
posted by jonmc at 8:32 AM on November 30, 2006


What kind of freedom do you feel now that you didn’t feel when you were running?

You know my all time favorite Onion headline—you read The Onion?—sometime in the summer of 2001, the lead story on the front page had a picture of Tipper and me, and the headline was, “Gores Enjoying Best Sex of Their Lives.” And she said, “How did they know?”


Oh Al, your country did itself so wrong.
posted by orange swan at 8:33 AM on November 30, 2006


That's my only Al Gore joke.

More algorythm jokes, please!
posted by ibmcginty at 8:37 AM on November 30, 2006


What kind of freedom do you feel now that you didn’t feel when you were running?

You know my all time favorite Onion headline—you read The Onion?—sometime in the summer of 2001, the lead story on the front page had a picture of Tipper and me, and the headline was, “Gores Enjoying Best Sex of Their Lives.” And she said, “How did they know?”


There are just too many things to love about that response.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:38 AM on November 30, 2006


Cause that worked out so well the last time.

Well, he won. Duh.
posted by interrobang at 8:40 AM on November 30, 2006


you can't spell "algorythm"

You can't spell "algorithm".
posted by vbfg at 8:43 AM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


because the world is off-track.

When, precisely, was the world ON track? Was it during the secret wars in Laos and Cambodia? Was it when Kermit Roosevelt overthrew Mossadegh? Was it when we wiped out the Native Americans? Was it during the Alien and Sedition Acts? etc etc. I really would like to know when this golden age everyone thinks existed was.
posted by spicynuts at 8:45 AM on November 30, 2006


Well, he won. Duh.

Yeah, but not by enough apparently. We need someone who will win in a landslide. I say we nominate Ray Romano. Everybody loves him.
posted by jonmc at 8:48 AM on November 30, 2006


Ray Romano? That fuckin' guy? I hate that guy.
posted by interrobang at 8:56 AM on November 30, 2006


Except for that cop brother of his. He no likee Raymond so much.
posted by spicynuts at 8:56 AM on November 30, 2006


Wait, wait, they're making a Futurama MOVIE?

According to gotfuturama.com, there will either be several movies released directly to DVD, or those stories will be broken up over several TV episodes.

Either way, I now have a reason to put off the suicide booth.

jonmc: no, everybody loves Hypnotoad.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:57 AM on November 30, 2006


It is a measure of the sheer hideous zombification of the conservative movement of today that, compared to them, Al Gore seems like a lively, cultured, interesting person.
posted by koeselitz at 8:57 AM on November 30, 2006


How does a guy like that end up marrying a girl like Tipper?
posted by stammer at 9:02 AM on November 30, 2006


A Gore / Obama ticket would be nice.
posted by jay.jansheski at 9:02 AM on November 30, 2006


How does a guy like that end up marrying a girl like Tipper?

Because, despite the fact that I endorse most of his policies and would vote for him, he still dosen't strike me as a guy I'd enjoy hanging out with. He's kind of a stiff. And so's she, so they fit together nicely.
posted by jonmc at 9:06 AM on November 30, 2006


Just remember, you can't spell "algorythm" without Al Gore!
It's rHythm.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:08 AM on November 30, 2006


From Gore's concession speech in 2000:

As for the battle that ends tonight, I do believe as my father once said, that no matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shape the soul and let the glory out.

Seems like Al learned a thing or two. It doesn't mean he's presidential material, there are other things to consider (like what tipper would do and who he would choose as vice president), but I'd be interested in seeing what he could do.


I really would like to know when this golden age everyone thinks existed was.


Back when we had a budget surplus, the world didn't look on us in pity/disdain or disgust, we hadn't started a war for stupid reasons which turned out to be false, the president only fucked willing women as opposed to the entire country and constitution, a president could speak coherently and consisently and we weren't cowering in fear over men with boxcutters.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:10 AM on November 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


People: the word is spelled "algorithm." It has nothing to do with "rhythm." Or al gore.

Thank you, and goodnight.

posted by koeselitz at 9:16 AM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure that a deep undercurrent of rage about their sexual inadequacy is a core component of Republicanism. Witness their fury about Clinton -- they don't like being reminded that people who aren't Republicans can get erections without heroic medical intervention and what's more, get blow jobs without money changing hands.

Modern "conservatives" make me think twice about Freudian theories. The projection and apparent sexual sublimation/power fixation are so bloody blatant they'd be laughable if they were devices in a fictional novel.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:16 AM on November 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


When, precisely, was the world ON track? Was it during the secret wars in Laos and Cambodia? Was it when Kermit Roosevelt overthrew Mossadegh? Was it when we wiped out the Native Americans? Was it during the Alien and Sedition Acts? etc etc. I really would like to know when this golden age everyone thinks existed was.

You're right, of course. That time never existed. But before the present group of wingnuts hijacked everything, our country at least took efforts to try and look like we were doing the right thing. There was decorum, statesmanship, attempts at political solutions. Now, to our shame, we don't give a rat's ass what we look like. We are more enamored of bully posturing than we are of solving problems. Payback's gonna be a bitch - my guess is Iraq will look like a picnic before the dust settles.

You can "coulda, shoulda, woulda" all you want, but Al Gore would not have gotten us into this mess. Even if a Gore administration had dropped the ball on 9/11, they wouldn't have compounded the situation as dangerously and criminally as this administration has. Gore had my vote, and he would happily get it again.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:21 AM on November 30, 2006


Brandon Blatcher: "Back when we had a budget surplus, the world didn't look on us in pity/disdain or disgust, we hadn't started a war for stupid reasons which turned out to be false, the president only fucked willing women as opposed to the entire country and constitution, a president could speak coherently and consisently..."

So you're saying... maybe 1810...

"...and we weren't cowering in fear over men with boxcutters."

I guess we weren't doing that in 1810, but I'm confused by your allusion.
posted by koeselitz at 9:22 AM on November 30, 2006


we hadn't started a war for stupid reasons which turned out to be false,

Oh so it was that brief period between invading Panama to arrest someone we put in office after murdering the previous leader and 9/11?
posted by spicynuts at 9:22 AM on November 30, 2006


There was decorum, statesmanship, attempts at political solutions. Now, to our shame, we don't give a rat's ass what we look like. We are more enamored of bully posturing than we are of solving problems.

This is veneer and it's bullshit. The veneer has been rubbed off, but the rotten wood underneath is still the same.
posted by spicynuts at 9:23 AM on November 30, 2006


I don't know, I'm not sure that the apocalyptic ecodoomsday thing is a message that can work well in a presidential campaign -- the reason people seem to like the otherwise uninspiring Obama so much is that he gets the Clintonian hope/optimism thing, with a twist of course. and if Hillary is a cold fish, well, it's not that Gore is exactly Richard Pryor either

not to mention, you can't run on the ghost of 2000 -- you don't get a refund for stolen elections, unfortunately. but I wish him the best: even with all his obvious flaws, when compared to Bush he truly is a Colossus


What was on it?
That’s too personal.

posted by matteo at 9:26 AM on November 30, 2006


modern conservatives
posted by nofundy at 9:27 AM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is veneer and it's bullshit. The veneer has been rubbed off, but the rotten wood underneath is still the same.

Absolutely not true. Politics is dirty; always has been. But if you want to keep face, sometimes you give the other guy a chance to save face. Sometimes everyone lives up to their agreements. Manners have positive influences. With no pretenses anymore, those opportunities don't even present themselves. Smart people (as opposed to ignorant cowboys, who will remain nameless) realize the game has rules.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:28 AM on November 30, 2006


>>algorithm/algorythm
perhaps the original poster was making a pun - algorhythm - given that we've all seen the rhythm (lack thereof) with which Al dances
posted by allelopath at 9:28 AM on November 30, 2006


Do you know if President Bush has seen the movie yet?

Well, he claimed that would not see it. That’s why I wrote the book. He’s a reader.


Stiff and unfunny my ass.
posted by RakDaddy at 9:44 AM on November 30, 2006


nofundy, that link and the associated research deserve their own FPP.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:46 AM on November 30, 2006


I really would like to know when this golden age everyone thinks existed was.

I know that people like to play the cynical world-weary realist on the internet, but if you honestly think that America under Bush is no worse than it has ever been, then I don't know what to say to you.
posted by ND¢ at 9:49 AM on November 30, 2006


Thanks Blazecock, please feel free to do so.

The MeFi censor deletes my great posts with comments like [grind, grind, grind].
posted by nofundy at 9:49 AM on November 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


Stiff and unfunny my ass.

I didn't say unfunny. I did say stiff and I still stand by that. He talks like a guy with a pipe stuck in his mouth. But like I said, I'd still vote for the guy, despite that record-censoring bitch of a wife.
posted by jonmc at 9:49 AM on November 30, 2006


Sorry about this long comment; this is something I've been turning over in my mind ever since I left political science and went back to philosophy. Here goes:

It's a fantastic and delightful dream to believe that Al Gore is the only "good" politician in a world gone bad, and that he would have miraculously saved us from everything evil. It's also somewhat comforting to tell ourselves that everything went wrong only in the last six years. The fact of the matter, unfortunately, is that the current Bush administration isn't an aberration; it's an extension of the legacy of past administrations and the lessons we've learned, or failed to learn, during the last fifty or so years. Notice that Bush's friends and colleagues, the ones he's invited into his administration, have served previous administrations, too.

The conservatives, on the on hand, have behaved miserably. No one seems to have understood the vast degree to which Nixon's fall from grace destroyed the conservative position. Everyone now remembers Nixon as a crook, and a foulmouthed one at that, to judge from his tapes. We forget that, at the time, he was the most eloquent speaker the conservative movement had. After his fall, conservatives had two options: extricate themselves from his legacy and rise above it, or dig in their heels and stand their ground. They chose the latter. That meant committing themselves to the VietNam war wholeheartedly, even today, and to the sum and substance of Nixon's and Kissinger's doctrines, which, while intelligent, have very questionable elements, to say the least.

Liberalism, on the other, has changed a great deal over the last fifty years, so much so that it is now almost unrecognizable. Not that that's an entirely bad thing; a democrat in 1950 was a much more frightening creature than a democrat today is. But that has meant that the democrats, too, have had a choice: either deal with those changes, and make a definitive stance on what those changes mean, or obfuscate the party positions in the hope of attracting more voters. They have chosen the latter.

The result of this has been one party which claims to be in favor of good, nice, healthy people everywhere, without saying precisely what that means, but generally really meaning it; opposed to another party which claims the same things, while covertly seeking the 'good' that it cynically believes the populace is too stupid to understand, without really meaning it at all.

This is all obvious from the questions that do and don't get asked at presidential debates. They do ask 'easy' questions like "what do you think about health care" or even "what do you think about abortion," for both of which a general "well, you see, it's very complicated, but I want the best for everyone" answer always suffices. They don't get asked "what have we learned from the war in Vietnam" or "what did we learn from Nixon's presidency" or such questions, because they know the answers to those questions would reveal them to be either simplistic morons or disdainful of the populace.
posted by koeselitz at 9:55 AM on November 30, 2006 [8 favorites]


What was on it?

I wonder if the little-known Canadian classic, "We Love You, Tipper Gore" was on it.
posted by dobbs at 9:56 AM on November 30, 2006


ND¢, you nailed my feelings exactly. I keep thinking how I'd explain this turn of history to my very liberal mom, who died in 1992, and another very democratic friend of mine who died in 98. It does seem like a bad dream. Or how to explain to younger people what the idealism of the 60s and 70s was really like.
posted by tula at 10:01 AM on November 30, 2006


That 2000 Election loss (theft?) changed Al Gore a great deal for the better. He damn well should run. A Gore / Obama ticket would be stunningly difficult to beat.

Two guys who were always opposed to the war, who aren't in anyone's pockets, and who can speak their mind in a constructive, intelligent way.

Hillary is a walking talking point, and McCain sold out. Who else you got?
posted by JWright at 10:03 AM on November 30, 2006


I know that people like to play the cynical world-weary realist on the internet, but if you honestly think that America under Bush is no worse than it has ever been, then I don't know what to say to you.

I know that people like to play the doomsday the world is falling because of Bush card on the internet, but if you honestly think that the same shit hasn't been going on behind closed doors for decades then I don't know what to say to you either. I do believe things are worse RIGHT NOW under Bush but I believe it is because he is not sophisticated enough to continue to play the American Empire game in a way that keeps the pretty veneer on it. And I'm glad, because it's finally nice to see the man behind the curtain - Bush's particular brand of obstinence and arrogance plus 9/11 set fire to the curtain.
posted by spicynuts at 10:08 AM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


The fact of the matter, unfortunately, is that the current Bush administration isn't an aberration; it's an extension of the legacy of past administrations and the lessons we've learned, or failed to learn, during the last fifty or so years. Notice that Bush's friends and colleagues, the ones he's invited into his administration, have served previous administrations, too.


On posting, thank you koeslitz for putting it better than I.
posted by spicynuts at 10:11 AM on November 30, 2006


I can spell "rhythm." I even have rhythm. I can't spell "algorithm." But I'll bet Al Gore can.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:13 AM on November 30, 2006


This social comparison everyone bandies about is incomprehensible to me. If what you wanted was to sit and drink beer and bullshit about nothing, maybe Bush would be your guy -- for all that he's not supposed to be a drinker; I never did figure that out.

But if you wanted to hear some amazing stuff about what goes on in the corridors of power, not just here but everywhere in the world, and what various countries and newsmakers are really all about, and hear about it from an intelligent guy who's thought a lot about it, Gore would be your guy. To me there's no contest; you can talk about boobies and what an asshole this or that person is with practically anyone, but it would be an amazing privilege to sit and drink with Al.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:16 AM on November 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


> But dammit, whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure?
>
> This is the most important question for our time.

You can't hold anyone accountable for failure because that might injure their self-esteem. It's the bed you made, sleep in it.
posted by jfuller at 10:19 AM on November 30, 2006



You can't hold anyone accountable for failure because that might injure their self-esteem. It's the bed you made, sleep in it.


So this whole thing (911, Iraq, Katrina, etc) is the fault of liberal education theory?
posted by octothorpe at 10:27 AM on November 30, 2006


This social comparison everyone bandies about is incomprehensible to me. If what you wanted was to sit and drink beer and bullshit about nothing, maybe Bush would be your guy -- for all that he's not supposed to be a drinker; I never did figure that out.

This has always confused the hell out of me as well. First, and more superficially, because I can't imagine a major public figure I'd less rather have a beer with than Bush. I hated being in the same bar as smug trust-fund frat boys like him back in university, and I'd hate it now. (Even Cheney would at least be fascinating, even if I'd fear for my life and/or soul.)

Second, and more importantly: How exactly did this personability thing become so central to assessing whether or not a person was a competent leader? I don't mean that rhetorically: America is the only democratic country I can think of where the notion of shoot-the-shit friendliness has mattered one whit to a candidate's prospects. And Bush is the only president I can think of whose success seemed to hinge significantly on the (dubious) notion that he possesses this quality. Is this another masterfully played Karl Rove move - inasmuch as it seems particularly prevalent in the case of Gore v. Bush - or do Americans really give a shit whether the guy seems like decent company at a bar? (And if they do, how'd Dubya's old man ever win an election?)
posted by gompa at 10:30 AM on November 30, 2006


This social comparison everyone bandies about is incomprehensible to me. If what you wanted was to sit and drink beer and bullshit about nothing, maybe Bush would be your guy -- for all that he's not supposed to be a drinker; I never did figure that out.

Nah, halfway through the conversation Bush would try to 'save,' me or start making faces at himself in the mirror.

But if you wanted to hear some amazing stuff about what goes on in the corridors of power, not just here but everywhere in the world, and what various countries and newsmakers are really all about, and hear about it from an intelligent guy who's thought a lot about it, Gore would be your guy.

I don't like hearing about adventures of people leading lives more interesting than mine. It only makes me depressed.

you can talk about boobies and what an asshole this or that person is with practically anyone,

more proof that boobie appreciation is the key to world peace.
posted by jonmc at 10:35 AM on November 30, 2006


For all that I agree with every word you've said, gompa, even I'd rather chat with Bush Senior than Michael Dukakis. Guy gives me the creeping fantods whereas talking with a former head of the C.I.A. would at least register on the awesomeness meter. Besides, I'd be thinking of Dana Carvey and trying to get him to say "not gonna do it" all the time.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:38 AM on November 30, 2006


(And if they do, how'd Dubya's old man ever win an election?)

He ran against Dukakis. 'nuff said.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:39 AM on November 30, 2006


What a great interview! I'm glad you posted it.

Gore just represents the same old corporate power structure as any other president or serious presidential candidate, (how different would life be for most people with him as president? Not very. Well, maybe a bit different if you live in Iraq, but for most people here in the US, I don't think we'd see in meaningful difference) but he's clearly a smart thoughtful person unlike Chimp Boy who we got instead.
posted by serazin at 10:40 AM on November 30, 2006


I really would like to know when this golden age everyone thinks existed was.

Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'
posted by dhartung at 10:42 AM on November 30, 2006


I like Al Gore, I really do. Liked his movie too.

But the reason he is not our President is because of this right here: "...obsequiousness to their wealthy contributors". It is a bit sad, but you can't toss about words like "obsequiosness" and win a presidential election in our country.

That's why my money is with Obama. He's smart but he can talk like regular folk. Al just can't do it. Neither could Kerry.

That two blueblood, know-it-alls almost won the Presidency is just a sign of how unappealing a candidate Bush is as well.

I'm hoping for McCain v. Obama in 2008 and a level of debate that rises several notches above (in both intelligence and plainspeak) what we've had the last two elections.
posted by django_z at 10:44 AM on November 30, 2006


despite that record-censoring bitch of a wife

Holding in abeyance Tipper's perceived bitchiness, I thought the PMRC initiative was going to be to make the lyrics available to parents so they could decide whether to let their kids buy and listen to the records -- and not whether any government would decide -- which would be indeed be censorship as opposed to consumer choice. I guess I need to reread some hearing transcripts; it's been awhile.

Of course, now that we've got the Web, you can look up all the lyrics you want, I guess, so there's no need for the PMRC anyhow.
posted by pax digita at 10:51 AM on November 30, 2006


I guess I need to reread some hearing transcripts; it's been awhile.


Nah, Dee Snider and Frank Zappa tore her to pieces. Since then she's been chained up in my closet listening to Slayer, NWA, W.A.S.P., Napalm Death and 2 Live Crew on an endless loop.
posted by jonmc at 10:57 AM on November 30, 2006


spicynuts and koeslitz: I suppose that whether one sees the Bush administration as a continuance of past American actions, or an aberrance, depends upon one's idea of what America is; a point on which reasonable people may differ. I feel like the past six years have been irreconcilable with my perception of America, even with all of its faults. However, I can see your point.
posted by ND¢ at 11:00 AM on November 30, 2006


You can't hold anyone accountable for failure because that might injure their self-esteem. .

yeah, we all saw how that thing worked well for Clinton -- nobody held him accountable for the adultery thing, right jmather?


It's the bed you made, sleep in it

no shit
posted by matteo at 11:01 AM on November 30, 2006


Related: a 2004 David Remnick interview with Al Gore, in the New Yorker. It has a "where are they now?" feel to it--at that point Gore was out of the public spotlight.

I'm not so sure Gore should run again. Public opinion is fickle; as he says himself, non-candidates are viewed more favorably than candidates. And it'd undercut the work he's been doing to combat global warming--critics would be quick to dismiss it as politically motivated. Can't Gore make an impression on public opinion from outside the White House?

koeselitz and spicynuts: as a foreigner, I'd have to say that the United States under the Clinton administration was, oh, about a million times better than the United States under the Bush administration. I really don't understand how the 2000 vote could have been so close in the first place (a poll done in Canada at the time showed that 60% would have voted for Gore). Bush embodies the worst stereotypes foreigners have of Americans: ignorant, arrogant, sanctimonious, utterly lacking in humility. And that was before the war in Iraq and Abu Ghraib.
posted by russilwvong at 11:01 AM on November 30, 2006


Does anybody else thing Gore's GQ pics look like Alec Baldwin in "Glengary Glen Ross"?

"my watch is worth more than your car".
posted by bukvich at 11:02 AM on November 30, 2006


> So this whole thing (911, Iraq, Katrina, etc) is the fault of liberal education theory?

There are quite a number of stakes through the corpse of personal responsibility. Drop-of-a-hat litigousness, victimhood politics, all the usual suspects. Hysterical oversensitivity about people's self esteem is certainly one of them.

The vector sum of all of them is that personal responsibility is dead dead dead. For everyone, including presidents. If you want personal responsibility back you'll also have to go back to flunking stupid, layabout schoolchildren and leaving 'em behind. Can't have responsibility for some and not for others, nobody will tolerate that, irresponsibility is too catching. It's everybody or nobody, dig? Which way is worse? Your choice.
posted by jfuller at 11:08 AM on November 30, 2006


I think you are mistaking symptoms for causes, jfuller.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:09 AM on November 30, 2006


Gore SHOULD run again.

I repeat: AL GORE SHOULD RUN AGAIN. Not that he should get the nomination.

Why. Lot's of very good reasons.

#1 A "do over" is precisely what this country needs.

In fact if we all could simply pretend the last six years never happened and go back to our 1999 calendars that would be best. We should rebuild the WTC exactly as they were. We should withdraw from Iraq immediately and leave behind a pile of money for those people to do what they want.

In short: We need a historical "do over."

#2 Al Gore, if the notion of winning was removed from the equation, could be the lefts' Unleashed Super-Samurai.

If Gore accepts his death before the battle begins he would be an unstoppable one man army of Atomic Supermen. He is smart. He has a solid core. He has tons of money. He KNOWS exactly all the facts of what this administration has done. And he has been there before. Gore has NOTHING to lose.

Gore likely could not win. And that is what you want. You a fearless berzerker to take down as many of those lying cheating incompetent right wing mother fuckers as possible. They will be compulsively drawn to him like moths to a flame. They would waste billions Swift Boating him.

Can you imagine him talking like THIS (in the interview) in a debate? It would fucking ROCK!

In fact it would be best if in the last debate he rushed over and suplexed Lieberman and crushed his puny pointy little skull on the conrete studio floor. After that. Dive into the panel and gouge out Bill O’Rielly’s beady eyes.

And then, as a last act of amends right there on live TV, Gore could calmly read his “death poem” and commit seppuku with the pointed shard of Karl Roves broken shin bone.

Then we can sneak through our real "nice cop" candidate.
posted by tkchrist at 11:12 AM on November 30, 2006 [9 favorites]


I'd still vote for the guy, despite that record-censoring bitch of a wife.

I think you're giving Tipper a bum rap, Jon. She wasn't pushing for censorship -- she was pushing for warning labels on records marketed to children so that parents could make an informed decision. Doesn't seem too onerous to me.

"I'm a strong believer in the First Amendment," she says. Instead, Gore continues to advocate "consumer information in the marketplace." That is far from censorship. It isn't even restricting sales to minors. It is just information for parents.

You can read an excerpt from her book here.

She doesn't come across to me as a bluenosed Puritan. She sounds more like a responsible parent.
posted by JackFlash at 11:33 AM on November 30, 2006


I think you're giving Tipper a bum rap, Jon. She wasn't pushing for censorship -- she was pushing for warning labels on records marketed to children so that parents could make an informed decision. Doesn't seem too onerous to me.

She's on my Enemies Of Rock And Roll list. Just because her husband was a half decent presidential candidate dosen't mean I cut her any slack.
posted by jonmc at 11:42 AM on November 30, 2006


russilwvong: "koeselitz and spicynuts: as a foreigner, I'd have to say that the United States under the Clinton administration was, oh, about a million times better than the United States under the Bush administration. I really don't understand how the 2000 vote could have been so close in the first place (a poll done in Canada at the time showed that 60% would have voted for Gore). Bush embodies the worst stereotypes foreigners have of Americans: ignorant, arrogant, sanctimonious, utterly lacking in humility. And that was before the war in Iraq and Abu Ghraib."

It's remarkable to me that everyone, everywhere, seems to care more about popularity than about justice. At the very least, the keening of democrats about the way that other people don't like them betrays a fundamental disregard for the real issue: what are the actual wrongs we've done, and how can we fix them and do better in the future? Republicans, meanwhile, don't say what they think, but I suspect they don't really spend much time in reflection on what right and wrong actually mean.

In other words: there was a moment when the US did an enormous amount of good for the world precisely by ignoring what the international community thought and doing what we thought was right. That kind of honesty, the honesty that refuses to pander or to bend, has served us, and the world, very well. Now, when we seem very confused about what's right, but still take the same attitude of confidence, it might help a tiny amount to give up trying to do the right thing and act according to worldwide polls. It might hurt. I'm inclined to believe that the only way to solve our current dilemma is rather to spend some time in reflection on the lessons of history, determine what the right thing is, and do it.
posted by koeselitz at 11:45 AM on November 30, 2006


Shirt by Prada. Jeans by Versace Jeans Couture. Boots by Tony Lama. Watch by Rolex.
posted by limon at 11:45 AM on November 30, 2006


Responsible parents don't need warning labels to know what their kids are listening to.
posted by rajbot at 11:46 AM on November 30, 2006


or as Ice-T put it:

"PMRC suck my dick, please
You can kiss my ass while youre on your knees"


"Think I give a fuck about some silly bitch named gore?
Yo pmrc, here we go, raw
Yo tip, whats the matter? you aint gettin no dick?
Youre bitchin about rocknroll, thats censorship, dumb bitch"
posted by jonmc at 11:47 AM on November 30, 2006


And, as a P.S.: I had a fine professor some years ago, a citizen of France teaching in the US briefly, who told me, just before the 2004 election, that the greatest tragedy for US-European relations would be a Kerry win. This was not, he said, because Kerry is any worse a diplomat than Bush; to the contrary, Bush certainly does not excel at diplomacy. But, my professor told me, should Kerry be elected, the European belief, comforting and safe, that Americans are just like them, want the same things, and, most importantly, want to impress them, would be shattered. Kerry, he said, though perhaps as different from Bush as one politician can be from another in the US, is still an American, and would still play out that same stereotype that so many outside the US so hate.
posted by koeselitz at 11:53 AM on November 30, 2006


She's on my Enemies Of Rock And Roll list.


You're wrong on Tipper, Jon. She was unfairly caricatured. Plus, I've heard her play the drums - she's pretty good.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:04 PM on November 30, 2006


koeselitz: It's remarkable to me that everyone, everywhere, seems to care more about popularity than about justice.

It's not about popularity. It's consent.

Ultimately, US power abroad rests on consent. And the Bush administration has done a great deal to destroy that consent.

--there was a moment when the US did an enormous amount of good for the world precisely by ignoring what the international community thought and doing what we thought was right. That kind of honesty, the honesty that refuses to pander or to bend, has served us, and the world, very well.

Can I ask what you're referring to? (Surely not Bush's description of the war in Iraq?) Because it seems to me exactly wrong: the US has done worst when it has failed to show a "decent respect to the opinions of mankind", as Jefferson put it. This was a key difference between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War: the US had to persuade its allies rather than merely compelling them.

I don't know enough about politics in France to be able to say whether your professor was correct or not (but the fact that he studied with Aron certainly impresses me).
posted by russilwvong at 12:07 PM on November 30, 2006


She was unfairly caricatured.

I don't agree. She had plenty of opportunity to set the record straight during the debacle and I don't recall her ever doing it. Only in recent years has she tried to 'set the record straight" about what she really wanted. Sounds like a lot of back peddling to me.
posted by dobbs at 12:13 PM on November 30, 2006


Fine, Jon, you don't like her for whatever reason, but saying that she was promoting censorship is just untrue. It is unfair of you to promote a lie.
posted by JackFlash at 12:15 PM on November 30, 2006


You're wrong on Tipper, Jon. She was unfairly caricatured. Plus, I've heard her play the drums - she's pretty good.

In her book about her record labeling crusade she recommends another book which contains instructions on how to hold a record burning. She is not one of us. If she wasn't married to Al Gore you wouldn't be wasting breath defending her.
posted by jonmc at 12:16 PM on November 30, 2006


koeselitz, I've reread your comment about 8 times and I still can't figure out what it means. How on earth did a Bush reelection affirm European belief that "Americans are just like them, want the same things, and, most importantly, want to impress them"? This sounds completely backward to me. Am I misunderstanding you?
posted by maryh at 12:20 PM on November 30, 2006


I'm talking about WWII. My reading of one of the lessons of that conflict is that, in an international scene as complex as the one we live in now (and I don't think one should use the phrase "international community," even though I just did; it implies that there is some cohesiveness to international politics that I don't think really exists) consent is so difficult to ascertain, much less obtain, that only justice is a good metric for making decisions. There were times during that war when the vast majority of world leaders thought the US, and Britain, should withdraw. I believe it was good that we didn't. "Let them fight it out on their own, it has nothing to do with us" was an obsolete concept the moment that Neville Chamberlain put it into words; in a world that is forced to interrelate like ours is, we're forced to take sides. Our only hope is to try to do so carefully and subtly, and to seek tirelessly to find a place for self-determination in a world of injustice and collusion.
posted by koeselitz at 12:20 PM on November 30, 2006


It is a bit sad, but you can't toss about words like 'obsequiosness' and win a presidential election in our country.

I know this is the conventional wisdom, but I don't agree. I recently read an essay on Robert F. Kennedy's remarks on the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. and how the quality of political discourse has declined since then. He name-drops Aeschylus and recites one of his poems. Now everything's bite-sized soundbites and buzzwords, but I don't think that's because that's all Americans can understand. (The essay made some similar points to this review of Joe Klein's Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized by People Who Think You're Stupid.)

After his fall, conservatives had two options: extricate themselves from his legacy and rise above it, or dig in their heels and stand their ground. They chose the latter.

Every Republican administration since has been made up of criminals and traitors, usually the same ones.

how'd Dubya's old man ever win an election?

Two words: tank photo.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:43 PM on November 30, 2006


Algorithm

1699, from Fr. algorithme refashioned (under mistaken connection with Gk. arithmos "number") from O.Fr. algorisme "the Arabic numeral system," from M.L. algorismus, a mangled transliteration of Arabic al-Khwarizmi "native of Khwarazm," surname of the mathematician whose works introduced sophisticated mathematics to the West (see algebra). The earlier form in M.E. was algorism (c.1230), from O.Fr. Modern use of algorithmic to describe symbolic rules or language is from 1881.
-http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=a&p=9
Arabs AND French etomology. Dude just can't seem to catch a break.
posted by Sparx at 12:46 PM on November 30, 2006


Sorry, maryh; crosscomments. I wasn't responding to you, but to russilwvong, in my last comment.

The Bush reelection allowed Europeans to believe that it was merely one party, representing a particularly backwards and confused segment of a population, that appeared to embody all the characteristics about Americans that they hate. Unfortunately, USians in general have a habit of acting in a certain way; and the US Presidency is in such a shape, for better or for worse, to make it generally unlikable by the rest of the world. This has little or nothing to do with Mr. Bush's considerable mistakes.
posted by koeselitz at 12:50 PM on November 30, 2006


He name-drops Aeschylus and recites one of his poems.

Not knowing who Aeschylus is dosen't make you stupid*, and flinging stuff like that around wantonly and assuming people will know what your talking about is a good way to sound stilted and snobby, which a candidate can't really afford.


*I have only the vaguest idea who he is myself, and that's only because I worked in a bookstore. Greek philosopher, right?
posted by jonmc at 12:54 PM on November 30, 2006


Greek philosopher, right?
Wrong.

Not knowing who Aeschylus is dosen't make you stupid

It certainly makes you more stupid than someone who does know who he is. It doesn't make you (or they) any better, though.
posted by Chrischris at 1:11 PM on November 30, 2006


Not knowing who Aeschylus is dosen't make you stupid*, and flinging stuff like that around wantonly and assuming people will know what your talking about is a good way to sound stilted and snobby, which a candidate can't really afford.

I think that that, to some degree, is one of our big problems. People (and their close relatives, political consultants) automatically dismiss intelligence and force this lowest-common-denominator pablum on the public. That's how we've gone from great orators to "aw shucks" fucking idiots like Shrubya.

A leader should be intelligent. He, or she, should challenge the public's critical abilities. It's their duty to lay out the issues that we face, explain them with candor, and furnish a vision of how to achieve common goals. The more you expect of people, the more you get.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:11 PM on November 30, 2006


Al, you are my hero. Run for president, goddammit!
posted by bshock at 1:20 PM on November 30, 2006


It certainly makes you more stupid than someone who does know who he is.

No, it maybe makes you less informed, or less educated, but not neccessarily stupider. There is a difference.
And dropping a lot of hightoned names dosen't necessarily make one smart either. And of course, intelligence is no guarantee of moral fiber or integrity. I always say that American don't mind smart people, they just don't like smartasses.

I see through Bush's 'aw shucks' routine as well, but to swing into 'we're smarter than you, poor retard. we know what's best for you." won't work either. It's off-putting.
posted by jonmc at 1:21 PM on November 30, 2006


It's not dismissive or name-dropping to quote Aeschylus, if what Aeschylus had to say is pertinent to the point you're making.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:28 PM on November 30, 2006


I didn't say it was. I'm saying that assuming people will know what the hell you're talking about and considering people stupid if they don't is off-putting.

Understand? You're supposed to be the smart one in this coneversation.
posted by jonmc at 1:30 PM on November 30, 2006


You know what Aeschylus would say if he were alive today?

"HOLY FUCKING ZEUS! I'm burried ALIVE! Get me out of here! Help!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAH"

Only in, you know, Greek.
posted by tkchrist at 1:34 PM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


jonmc:

We're on the same page. I just think there is a strong anti-intellectual streak in the conservative movement and it's filtering into the public at large.

An intelligent person who quotes Aeschylus, BTW, would not assume you were stupid if you were unfamiliar with the material. No one knows everything.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:36 PM on November 30, 2006


Greek philosopher, right?
Wrong.


The linked wikipedia article currently states he is a playwright, but adds that "P.W. Buckham writes that Aeschylus was considered, philosophically speaking, a Pythagorean and that this was evidenced in some of his works"

Does a playwright preclude being a philosopher?

May we have a president who learns from mistakes.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 1:37 PM on November 30, 2006


I just think there is a strong anti-intellectual streak in the conservative movement and it's filtering into the public at large.

I agree. But I think the 'anti-intellectual streak' is partly an anti-smartass streak, and the real anti-intellectualism has some origins from earlier in the 20th century, when education was only for the wealthy, and the wealthy were the people with the power to crush you (your banker, your boss, etc) thus creating an association between power and being educated. But that's just a theory.

An intelligent person who quotes Aeschylus, BTW, would not assume you were stupid if you were unfamiliar with the material.

I dunno. I've had too mahy eyes rolled at me for not knowing some esoteric bit of info to buy that completely.
posted by jonmc at 1:43 PM on November 30, 2006


koeselitz: I'm talking about WWII.

What?!

The US stayed out of WWII until it was attacked by the Japanese. What on earth makes you regard it as an example of the US doing the right thing, in defiance of world opinion?

Or are you referring to FDR's policy of support for the Allies prior to Pearl Harbor, in defiance of domestic opinion (which sought to stay out of the war)?

Unfortunately, USians in general have a habit of acting in a certain way; and the US Presidency is in such a shape, for better or for worse, to make it generally unlikable by the rest of the world.

Again, contrasting the Clinton administration and the Bush administration, I have to disagree with you.
posted by russilwvong at 2:04 PM on November 30, 2006


jonmc - you would probably roll your eyes at me for not knowing who Dee Snider and Napalm Death are. I wouldn't know Frank Zappa if you blasted my eardrums out with his stuff. Maybe that makes me ignorant, but I really hope that doesn't mean I'm stupid.
posted by casarkos at 2:26 PM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Should people know who all the ancient greek philosophers are? No. But stupid people need to get over the idea that the world should cater to them, and that electing people as dumb as they are is a good idea.
posted by delmoi at 2:34 PM on November 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


I see through Bush's 'aw shucks' routine as well, but to swing into 'we're smarter than you, poor retard. we know what's best for you." won't work either. It's off-putting.

Slight derail, but: Would someone PLEASE tell Aaron Sorkin how unbelievably annoying it is when he has characters do it on Studio 60?

On topic: I approve of tkchrist's Gore-suicide-run idea.
posted by sparkletone at 2:49 PM on November 30, 2006


jonmc - you would probably roll your eyes at me for not knowing who Dee Snider and Napalm Death are. I wouldn't know Frank Zappa if you blasted my eardrums out with his stuff.

Actually, I'd be thrilled that I could play them for you for the first time (I'm very evangelical about my enthusiasms). And I'd just figure that for whatever reason, you hadn't been exposed to them.
posted by jonmc at 3:19 PM on November 30, 2006


Al Gore reads the Onion and enjoys the infamy of being on Futurama. For these reasons alone he should run again.

Do you want your daughter Karenna to go into politics?
I want her to do what she wants to do. I think her judgment is so good, and if she were to decide to go into politics, she would be soooo good. If I had half of the skills that she has, I would definitely be in my second term as president right now.

What does she have that you don’t have?
Perfect pitch.


I laughed.

And I agree with jonmc on the Tipper thing. If she had come out since and said "sorry, my bad" I might feel different, but the fact is, she and her PMRC friends got their asses handed to them by Dee Snyder, Frank Zappa, and John Fucking Denver. They slunk off after that and the world was a better place.

Also jonmc quoted Ice-T which means that he wins. Your only hope is to counter with Public Enemy for a tie.
posted by quin at 3:22 PM on November 30, 2006


russilwvong: "Or are you referring to FDR's policy of support for the Allies prior to Pearl Harbor, in defiance of domestic opinion (which sought to stay out of the war)?"

This makes the point just as well as anything else.

But again, it's a principle. These are just examples. The "world community" doesn't exist; pretending to know, much less respect, the opinions of that community is silly. The only basis for international action is the good of all, not the consent of all. This is true not least because people don't always know what's good for them.

"Again, contrasting the Clinton administration and the Bush administration, I have to disagree with you."

I think it's a mistake to believe that the US was across-the-board popular in the world during the Clinton administration. In particular, I remember many of the international reactions to certain events in places like Rwanda and Somalia. Rose-colored hindsight is easy with people like Clinton, who talks well. (He was a good president, too; that didn't stop people from hating him.)
posted by koeselitz at 3:25 PM on November 30, 2006


She is not one of us. If she wasn't married to Al Gore you wouldn't be wasting breath defending her.

who cares about her -- her husband was massively anti-abortion until 1988 (he had something like a 90% -- more or less, feel free to correct me -- rating from a big antiabortion group). he seems to have become all fuzzily pro-choice when he figured out you don't get nominated otherwise.

speaking of backpedaling, you know
posted by matteo at 3:28 PM on November 30, 2006


koeselitz: The only basis for international action is the good of all, not the consent of all. This is true not least because people don't always know what's good for them.

Isn't the United States supposed to be a democracy? You know, the government responds to the will of the people, consent of the governed, etc.?

Leaders often don't know what's good for people, either. John Adams: "Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all His laws. Our passions, ambitions, avarice, love and resentment, etc., possess so much metaphysical subtlety and so much overpowering eloquence that they insinuate themselves into the understanding and the conscience and convert both to their party."

This does not mean that a democratic government should spinelessly pander to public opinion (Hans Morgenthau criticized the Eisenhower administration on these grounds, for example). It has to persuade public opinion to do the right thing.

As the Louis Halle quote I linked to previously puts it: ultimately, power depends on consent.

Besides that, I would question your assumption that it's possible for a single state to act for the "good of all". That seems hopelessly utopian; George Washington comments on this. I would suggest that the best we can hope for is action based on enlightened self-interest. US containment of the Soviet Union in Europe during the early Cold War, through the Marshall Plan and NATO, is a good example: it benefited both the US and Western Europe.

I think it's a mistake to believe that the US was across-the-board popular in the world during the Clinton administration.

Of course. (In the Arab and Muslim world, the two major grievances were the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the sanctions against Iraq.) But it was much more popular than it is today. Check out the results of the Pew Global Attitudes Project. In 1999/2000, 75% of people in Indonesia and 52% of people in Turkey had positive views of the US. In 2006, it's 30% and 12%.
posted by russilwvong at 3:45 PM on November 30, 2006


Who is the babyface? Bush or Gore?
Hilarious names.
posted by asok at 4:07 PM on November 30, 2006


Ok. We are in agreement.

Based on the priceless info in this thread, if I were to manage Al Gore for his '08 run, I would advise:

Gore no longer quote from faggy Greek play writes — yet he must still use enough multi-syllabic words to let us know he is not dumb. Also to complete the effect Gore must then change his name to just "Gor." It's more eXtreme. Gor is coming!

To restore his Rock-credentials "Gor" must divorce Tipper and go and train Kick Boxing in Thailand for a year. He must also blog publicly about his having had oral sex with Avril Lavine and Gwen Stefani. He must supply pictures.

After a few months training in Martial Arts "Gor" should return to re-marry. And that should be to Halle Berry.

When asked "Why Berry?" he should say something about "....her healing his heart..." and "forgiving the sins of his slave owning ancestors..." or "Something, something, something... they share an interest in Hip Hop."

He also should be seen hanging out with Samuel L. Jackson.

Thus will he finally end criticism from minorities and horny frat dudes. Two trouble voting blocks for Gor in the past.

Lastly he must get in a "Fight Club"-like fist fight with Clinton. Outside some dive bar in Harlem. In full view of the press. It should go on and on. Like two ancient mighty Titans doing battle. Just when it looks like a draw, the two giants exhausted, Gore will rally all his energies in one final crazy jump-turn-side-kick and lay out Clinton like a sack of wet potatoes on the cobble stone alley. It will start raining. Gor must cradle Clintons head like a baby and weep. "Why. Oh. Why. You know I always thought of you as a brother."

Gor will stand in the downpour, defiantly shake his fist at the sky, and scream "Cheeeeneeeeey!!!"

And only THEN can he announce his 2008 candidacy to the waiting press.
posted by tkchrist at 4:19 PM on November 30, 2006 [36 favorites]


her husband was massively anti-abortion until 1988

I admire an ability to change one's mind. Just look at all the damage done by the foolish consistency of the current hobgoblin-in-chief.
posted by jrossi4r at 4:28 PM on November 30, 2006


Sure, we could elect a smarter president, but then all the stupider citizens would be complaining, furrowing their brows in a vain attempt to understand the situation.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:39 PM on November 30, 2006


I hope he doesn't run again. Once a loser, always a loser. Of course, Nixon won in '68, etc. But this is not a good model.

Perhaps. But it's a better model than an ex-President's son or another ex-President's wife running (and, in the case of the first, winning, sort of), qualified to do so primarily, it would seem, because of their family connections. That's a really bad model.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:52 PM on November 30, 2006


quin: Also jonmc quoted Ice-T which means that he wins. Your only hope is to counter with Public Enemy for a tie.

True.

But wait -- I have a better idea! And a way to get Tipper to make up for all that PMRC hoo-ha, too! Ladies and gentlemen... your 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate, Al Gore...

... WITH RUNNING MATE, CHUCK D!

(or Ice-T. Ice-T'd be cool, too. I'd love to see Coco take Lynne Cheney's place).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:57 PM on November 30, 2006


Do you know if President Bush has seen the movie yet?
Well, he claimed that would not see it. That’s why I wrote the book. He’s a reader.


Ha! Zing!

I was reluctant to see An Inconvenient Truth, in all honesty because I'm tired of listening about global warming (see here), but the film is really, really well done. Informative as hell and fascinating, even. Shows a side of Gore you don't get from soundbites.

Gore would make a much better president than Hillary, but I don't know what it'll take to make him popular enough to be the likes of McCain.
posted by zardoz at 4:59 PM on November 30, 2006


tkchrist, Al Gore or no, I'd vote for any candidate that came to the table with that kind of street cred.
posted by quin at 4:59 PM on November 30, 2006


Holy shit, tkchrist. I'd forgo internet access for a month to see that!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:03 PM on November 30, 2006


Headline: Gore gores self in Capitol Hill Gore-fest
posted by asok at 5:13 PM on November 30, 2006


bitter-girl.com : ... WITH RUNNING MATE, CHUCK D!,

It's funny that you mention that. I was having a debate with some coworkers a while back about the realistic feasibility of a minority third party. While there were some legitimately great ideas generated, one of my favorite sillier moments was trying to sell them on Chuck D as a vice presidential material. I got a lot of confused looks, but hell, I'd vote for him. I'd save Ice-T for the secretary of state. He has the right diplomatic attitude for that role.

I still think Morgan Freeman would be the ideal choice for prez. If for no other reason, his speeches would be a joy to listen to.
posted by quin at 5:13 PM on November 30, 2006


I'd save Ice-T for the secretary of state.

No. Secretary of Defense.
posted by jonmc at 5:44 PM on November 30, 2006


Heh, I actually wrote 'Secretary of Defense' first, but I figured the idea of Ice-T as a diplomat was funnier.

Besides, if we are going for the rap cabinet, Sir Mix-a-Lot gets the nod for defense.

posted by quin at 5:52 PM on November 30, 2006


and Luther Campbell gets the nod as Secretary of the Interior...
posted by jonmc at 5:57 PM on November 30, 2006


John Fucking Denver

I'm pretty sure his middle name was actually Henry. Just like Jesus Christ.
posted by diddlegnome at 6:02 PM on November 30, 2006


I always figured Jesus H. Christ's middle name was Hallowed. You know; a family name.
posted by quin at 7:08 PM on November 30, 2006


Name dropping The Onion as street cred? Seriously?
posted by delmoi at 7:08 PM on November 30, 2006


You know Tipper's iTunes playlist has Darling Nikki on it.

Gore seems like an affable person, and fairly well educated. It always bothered me that he basically spent his whole life trying to be a politician. But I think losing in 2000 is probably the first time in his life that he was ever forced off that path and into something altruistic. It has definitely changed him. It's like he spent his whole life focused on one really, really selfish thing (being a more successful politician than daddy), and when he saw it slip away, he finally realized what life is really about. That's very cool, I think. I bet not being president is the best thing that's ever happened to him in terms of personal development. I also bet his family is very glad he isn't president.

Of course, I'm probably just wishfully imagining all that.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:34 PM on November 30, 2006


Jesus' middle name is Haploid.
posted by EarBucket at 8:13 PM on November 30, 2006


delmoi : Name dropping The Onion as street cred? Seriously?

In a potential Presidential candidate, trying to appeal to my generation, and demonstrating that he appreciates satire, particularly when referencing a periodical that has historically, cruelly made fun of whom ever is in office, and specifically one that had targeted you personally?

Umm, yeah.
posted by quin at 8:32 PM on November 30, 2006


I was just going to say

Using the phrase "street cred" unironically? Seriously?
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:42 PM on November 30, 2006


It is amusing to contrast the lyrics jonmc posted up there with my memory of the dude who was in front of me at the buffet line at the Charthouse in Miami this Thanksgiving. He was very gracious when a guy walked up and said "Excuse me, are you Ice T? Could my mom take a picture of us?" He responded, "sure. Here, hold your plate up high, brother" which may have just been humor or might have been a subtle "you're interrupting me trying to get my grub on, dude."

Coco was wearing leopard print pumps, if you care.
posted by phearlez at 8:43 PM on November 30, 2006


I still think Morgan Freeman would be the ideal choice for prez. If for no other reason, his speeches would be a joy to listen to.

And I think I may have fallen in love with tkchrist at some point in their thread. Cheeeeneeeeey!!!

And do you have identical robot duplicates?
posted by phearlez at 8:56 PM on November 30, 2006


Coco was wearing leopard print pumps, if you care.

Well of course I do! Very Mrs. VP. Or Mrs. Secretary of Defense, if we go with the suggestions above... love it.

By the way, phearlez, I can't remember what set it off last time, but I think this is about the 2nd or 3rd time I've fallen in love with tkchrist this month.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:09 PM on November 30, 2006


The point of Kennedy mentioning Aeschylus is that he gave the audience credit enough to either (a) know who Aeschylus was in the first place or (b) being smart enough to figure it out of they didn't.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:44 PM on November 30, 2006


Gor is coming!
posted by me & my monkey at 9:52 PM on November 30, 2006


Holy crap phearlez, I'd never seen that before, but it perfectly illustrates my point. I have no idea what Freeman's politics are, but if he asked me to, I'd follow that magnificent bastard to hell and back.

He's like a fit, black Churchill.
posted by quin at 9:54 PM on November 30, 2006


(returns to thread, sees jonmc's reference to Tipper chained in a closet, realizes little useful work will now be accomplished this Friday)
posted by pax digita at 5:04 AM on December 1, 2006


The National Science Teachers Association turned down 50,000 free DVDs of An Inconvenient Truth becuase other "special interests" might also want to distribute DVDs, they don't want to offer "political endorsements," and taking the DVDs "unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters." Like Exxon Mobil.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:04 AM on December 1, 2006


So this battery-powered hubris alarm, it vibrates?
posted by grouse at 8:46 AM on December 1, 2006


Morgan Freeman for President. Hmmmm. Maybe THAT will be out stealth candidate while Gor distracts the mouth breathers.

I do see a couple of tiny problems. His past has skeletons.

Here is how I see Freeman interviewed on Bill O'Rielly.

Freeman:
It's great to be here Bill. It's fine to have this opportunity to share with America and your audience.

BOR:
Yes. Let's dispense with the pleasantries and get to brass taxes. MISTER Freeman? What makes YOU, a card caring member of the Hollywood Elite, think you are qualified to be commander in Chief? Seriously. Aaaand. Go.

Freeman:
Thank you Bill. That's a good question. I think the most complete answer to that question.... certainly the most pure... is that my qualifications are that I am, like you, a concerned and active citizen of this great republic. I think I can fairly represent this republic - honestly and with dignity and intelligence.

BOR:
Oh. Please. What are your qualifications? To lead our fighting men for instance...

Freeman:
Well. Bill. Unlike you I served in the United States military. In the Air Force. Also slated to be my running mate is retired Army war veteran and former Senator, Joe Bi...

BOR:
Enough. What about your standing as a Role Model?

Freeman:
For many years, Bill, I was a feature player on the Electric Company, a children’s show what was very involved in early educa...

BOR:
Uh. Did you, or did you not, also play a VAMPIRE on that show. Dracula, in fact! A blood sucking vampire!

Freeman:
Y... yes, I ... but also there was the character Easy Reader who...

BOR:
And is true you were also a Pimp, MISTER Freeman? A PIMP! Of WHITE women.

Freeman:
What? No. (chuckles) I played a street hustler in a movie called Street Smart.. and...

BOR:
Were not also a convict. In prison for Murder! Who aided other convicts to escape!

Freeman:
(looks around) Bill you seem to have confused real life with my roles in film. As far as that goes I have ALSO portrayed the president...

BOR:
... YES. Yes you did. And before your term was up, President Beck, did not an asteroid wipe out most of North America? I'd say that was quite an indictment on your administration.

Freeman:
Bill? Are you Ok? You look like your...

BOR:
AND GOD! Do you still think your God, Mr. President Beck... er... Freeman... er God. A God who abdicated his responsibilities to a mortal! Not much of god if you ask me.

Freeman:
Ok. Thank you for having me Mr. O'Rielly. I really must...

[Crash sound off camera. Cameras wildly pan around studio. Suddenly we see the huge shirtless form of Al "Gor", muscles bulging, massive fists curled like claws as he has smashes his way through the studio wall. He is seething and his eyes glow bright red with rage.]

Gor:
O'Rielly humiliate friend! Freeman FRIEND of Gor! DESTROY O'RIELLY!!! DESTROY!!!!

BOR:
Aaaaaaah! He's back! Protect me [Redacted]. Not again!!!! Mommeeee!!!

[BOR slides to floor in a rigor of terror. Pees himself. Camera operators and studio staff flee through frame.]

Freeman:
What the [redacted]!?

[Gor lunges forward to BOR. Cut to black]
posted by tkchrist at 10:05 AM on December 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


If the USA thought it was okay to have Ronald twice over the least you could do would be to vote in Morgan to make up for it.

(O, and tkchrist wins a years supply of props. Use them wisely dude).
posted by longbaugh at 10:13 AM on December 1, 2006


Shouldn't it be Gör?

more proof that boobie appreciation is the key to world peace.

Which kind of boobie appreciation? The self-centered fratboyish entitlement-gratification type appreciation, or the "wow, this really connects me to the beauty of the world like puppies and kittens" type?
posted by namespan at 10:14 AM on December 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


namespan: whichever. either way it's still just looking at boobies. and I really, really like looking at boobies. and you may be the most liberated, sensitive-ponytail cumbaya-singing guy in the world, but when you look at boobies you aren't thinking aesthetics. trust me.
posted by jonmc at 10:49 AM on December 1, 2006


What the hell tkchrist? Are you trying to get me fired for laughing out loud and looking like an idiot at work?
posted by quin at 1:57 PM on December 1, 2006


tkchrist wins. Twice.
posted by uni verse at 2:54 PM on December 2, 2006


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