In response to my column on Friday, any number of readers complained that I was “too personal” in discussing Al Gore; that I made no factual assertions and just made fun of the poor guy for being a weird, stiff, liar. A couple people even decided that they no longer wanted to subscribe to this column because of it.
Golly. What were these people doing reading this column in the first place? If they want sober, reasonable and dull commentary about pointless issues and warm and fuzzy propaganda they could throw a dart at the op-ed page of the New York Times and read whatever they hit — including those ads from Mobil.
Still, the notion that my Gore-bashing is content free rankles a bit. So let’s break up into discussion groups with this topic.
First, to those who believe personality and character don’t matter. All I can say to that is…wait right there.
[“Nurse! We’ve got another live one here. This liberal-line C-Span caller thinks that character and personality are meaningless. We should remove all the sharp objects immediately and force feed him bran and apple juice until he can purge the Jonathan Alter out of his system.” ]
No matter what perspective you come from, it seems hard to imagine how anyone can say that the character of the president is irrelevant. If you’re from the serious left, you know this because President Clinton left you with a room full of streamers, cocktail weanies, and a goody bag full of empty promises. If you are a “moderate Democrat” who thinks Clinton’s policies are the distilled wisdom of Solomon rather than the hedging, disingenuous propaganda politics they really are, then surely you think his various flaws are at least an unfortunate distraction.
But all of this is such an old and flagrantly obvious argument which misses the simple, old-fashioned point. Presidents should try to tell the truth and be gentlemen.
Besides Gore is the issue here, not Clinton. So, if last week’s column was too personal (it wasn’t) and lacking in facts (it didn’t) what can we do to make up for it?
Let’s see. I simply refuse to put on the green eyeshades and rummage through Gore’s various and sundry plans for spending the surplus. If we Americans can’t be trusted to spend our money wisely, as president Clinton put it, then we can’t be trusted to criticize what they’re gonna do with it either. No, actually, I’m just too lazy.
So, what about the big picture when it comes to Gore’s policies? We know he cares about health care. How do we know this? Because he yells “I CARE about health care!” We have similar evidence that he loves unions “I LOVE unions!”. He also feels similar passion about abortion, schools, gays, our “living” Constitution, affirmative action, etc. This in fact raises my current peeve about Gore (other than the “too personal” issues like his constant lies, exaggerations, race-baiting, robotic smarmyness and arrogant sophistry). Gore says that Bush’s “risky tax scheme” is “connected” to the fact that he receives money form corporate interests. Gore argues that because the “American people reject” Governor Bush’s plan there must be another reason why he proposes it, and that reason must be that corrupt big businessmen favor it. In other words, the man who’s favorite song is “Secret Asian Man” and who thinks Politburo translated into English means “ATM machine,” says his opponent is bought and paid for.
Putting aside the fact that Gore believes anything that doesn’t poll well must be wrong and dangerous, what’s interesting about this is the fact that Bush is actually far less beholden to his backers than Gore is to his.
During the primaries Gore screamed on numerous occasions that he will “Never!” sign an anti-labor bill. He will “Never!” support legislation that “hurts” the public schools. He will “Never!” sign a bill that infringes on a woman’s right to choose. He will “Never!” learn to use inflection of any greater subtlety than HAL the computer from 2001. Oops, sorry, that was too personal.
These “Nevers!” require a little translation as he was invariably speaking to audiences who knew how to decode his remarks. When he says he will “Never!” sign an anti-labor bill he means that the AFL-CIO and AFSME have veto power on his domestic agenda. When he says “Never!” about hurting public schools he means that he will recognize the AFT’s ban on giving poor inner-city kids scholarships (AKA vouchers). When he says “Never!” about curbing a woman’s right to choose, he means that NOW will phone in instructions about when life begins, including the infanticide that is partial birth abortion.
The Democratic Primaries are entirely dominated by the activist cores of Left-leaning interest groups. At the Democratic convention in 1996 I think one in seven delegates were members of the teachers union and one in four were members of some public union. By public union, I am referring to people who work — albeit very slowly — for the government. Indeed, aside from the Peoples Liberation Army and the Trial Lawyers, AFSME has been Clinton-Gore’s most reliable sponsor. Doesn’t it bother anybody that government workers so clearly know where their bread is buttered? (Ditto, by the way, the trial lawyers and the butchers of Beijing).
Gore says that George Bush is a puppet for the deep pocketed Texas moguls and a “lackey” of the NRA. But Bush has made no explicit, public promises to give veto power to outside interest groups. Gore is on the record that he will gladly be abused like Leonardo DiCaprio in a maximum security prison. This is because he is the real puppet.
On Super Tuesday, 75% of the people who voted for Gore came from a union household. Remember only one in seven American workers belong to a Union. In light of his willingness to make the Democratic Party and the White House direct arms of special interests, one could assume that Al Gore is actually an android replica of Walter Mondale. His opposition to school choice is fairly illuminating insofar as it is actually supported by sizable numbers of poor African Americans. Why should Al Gore support something “rejected” by core members of his constituency? Could it be that he is a lackey of morally corrupt teachers’ unions?
Gore cannot and will not propose anything that doesn’t get the approval of the people who hold his remote control console. Until this changes, his “policies” aren’t nearly as important as his character, or lack thereof.
ANNOUNCEMENTSI know I am way behind on a corrections and clarifications column. Not to worry. My staff has collected all of my errors — real and imagined — and we will go through them soon. As some may recall, I have a new syndicated column out there in the world that you people should be clamoring for in your local paper. I found a place on the web that carries it. It’s the Young Republicans website. Check it out if you dare.
But come right back because we have a vast amount of stuff at NRO today. Indeed, in the distant future they will call this day Guns and Pope Monday, considering all the cool stuff we’ve got on those topics.
And if you’re wondering why you should do this, take into account the fact that tomorrow is my birthday, and all of you forgot. Yeah, even you. So, you can do one, or all, of three things to make it up to me. 1) Rack up an unholy amount of page impressions at NR Online for the rest of the month. 2) Convince your local paper to carry my syndicated column. 3) Send cash.