Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Go, Al, Go
Like many, I was blown away by Al Gore's speech yesterday--both by the speech itself, and by the sad predictablity of the Bush humpers' response to it. It says a lot, and none of it good, about the state of political discourse in this country when the instant response to such a speech has nothing to do with the content and everything to do with ad hominem attacks on the speaker. "Oh, Al's just running for president" or "Everybody knows Al Gore is mentally ill." (Honesty compels me to report I haven't seen anybody criticize Gore's mental state this time, although conservative mouthpieces said so frequently after one of his earlier speeches.) And after the administration has had a couple of hours to formulate a response, what they do is predictable, too: They send out an official--last night it was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales--to A) distort and B) lie about Gore and his record.

It seems to me that responding to legitimate criticisms and accusations by defaulting immediately to dishonesty, or childish "nanny nanny boo boo" behavior, is its own form of mental illness, but I'm not a doctor. And if Al Gore is running for president--the new-model, post-2000 version of Al Gore, the one who talks plainly and passionately about stuff that really matters--then go Al. I love me some Russ Feingold, but I could easily love me some Al, too.

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