Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their work to raise awareness about global warming.
…The former vice president said he would donate his half of the $1.5 million prize to The Alliance for Climate Protection, a U.S. organization founded by Gore that aims to persuade people to cut emissions and reduce global warming.
…The Nobel committee praised Gore as being “one of the world’s leading environmentalist politicians.”
He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted,” said Mjoes
The Nobel caps a series of prestigious awards associated with Gore, including two Oscars this year for the documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which followed him on a worldwide tour publicizing the dangers of climate change.
Last month he also picked up an Emmy — the highest award in U.S. television — for “Current TV.” The show, which Gore co-created, describes itself as a global television network that gives its viewers the opportunity to create and influence its programming.
In all this, it’s natural to speculate whether Gore will announce a run for president, whether he should run, and whether he could win. I can’t blame people for hoping for all three. After all, can anyone who supported him in the 2000 race, and has rued the outcome for the past seven years not help feeling vindicated? Can we help comparing the president we have to the president we could have had?
No. But in all that it’s easy to forget a few very important things. American voters do not vote in the Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, or the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. A great many of them did vote for the current White House resident. And somewhere around 25% to 30% of them consistently believe he’s doing a good job. That’s his base. And Bush’s base of support also believes:
In addition to approving of George W. Bush’s job performance, here are some other things roughly one in four Americans believe:
–The Second Coming will occur this year
–Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday should not be a national holiday
–The U.S. has no moral responsibility to help improve the lives of people in poor nations
–The Jews are responsible for Jesus’s death
–“[S]ome of the unidentified flying objects that have been reported are really space vehicles from other civilizations”
–Barry Bonds is a good guy
I’m also reminded of an earlier post that included an of the 25%’s objection to Gore’s Oscar winning film and his Nobel Prize winning efforts.
Oh, boy. This ought to be good. To give you an idea of how good, I posted earlier about one objection to Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth being shown in Washington state schools.
“Condoms don’t belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He’s not a schoolteacher,” said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven children who doesn’t want the film shown at all.
“The information that’s being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is,” Hardison told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn’t in the DVD.”
That’s the level of discourse we’re dealing with. If Gore doesn’t include the Rapture in his DVD, you can’t show it in schools. Meanwhile, children in the UK will actually be educated about climate change, and — if folks like Hardison have their way — American kids will be learning about the second coming. (Oddly enough, the Washington Times article on Hardison doesn’t include that quote. I can only imagine that somebody told him to stop saying stuff like that in front of reporters.)
Even the Washington Post, in reviewing Gore’s excellent book The Assault on Reason, criticized him for not ceding some ground to or at least giving equal time to the 25%. In his own book; a book which, by the way, will not be an asset to Gore on the campaign trail even if it did spend some time on the New York Times bestseller list. No one who hasn’t read it by now will read it, except for those who will be looking for ammunition to use against Gore. And they’ll find it, and it will work, because it won’t need to have the slightest association with reason. Because reason is not something people hold in high regard or want much of in a candidate.
And what would the Democrats do with Gore? What would a party whose presidential front runners are doing all they can to court or at least mollify that 25% and win over as many voters who are close to being in that number do with Gore?
As candidates rush toward religion (read, the Christian Right) in an epidemic of primary race conversions, it’s hard to imagine any of them being able to separate the secular from the non-secular, the church from the State. My friend is correct when she says there’s still a lot of rumoring going on in politics concerning a candidate’s religion, but that is the natural by-product of candidates exploiting their belief in God by offering it up as a prime qualification for being president. That kind of thing turns true religious beliefs into campaign fodder, taking what ought to be personal and private and subjecting it to all kinds of public scrutiny and discussion, rumors included.
What would a party who, even though they have majorities in both houses of Congress, still gives Bush nearly everything he wants do with Al Gore?
It’s going to take a generation to move these spineless Democrats out of office. Unfortunately, that is our only alternative. You can’t vote for a Republican these days and the Democrats make you embarrassed to ever be associated with them.
Jack Goldsmith is one of the most conservative lawyers in the country. He was the head of the Office of Legal Counsel for George W. Bush. He is telling you that what the Bush administration did for years in its first term was definitely illegal (that’s why he demanded changes in their practices when he was at OLC) and strongly suggesting that what they are doing now might also be illegal.
So, what is the Democratic response? They are considering changing the law to make it legal in hindsight. The equivalent would be if the Republicans tried to pass a law saying it was acceptable to lie under oath after they saw Clinton perjure himself in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Could you imagine?
Of course not. Because the Republicans are fighters. As loathsome as their policies have been for these last six years, at least I respect their willingness to fight for their side. I also respected President Clinton when he fought back against them, whether it was when Newt Gingrich shut down the government or when they tried to remove him from office.
Read this New York Times article. The Democrats are going to help Bush break the FISA law. They are going to change the law so that he doesn’t have to get a warrant. They are going to ignore the Fourth Amendment and current federal laws. Why would you help the least popular president in history? Why would you allow him to keep breaking the law?
If Gore ran as the Oscar, Emmy, and Nobel winner he is, what would he be allowed to do? What would he be required to compromise or forego in order to win and in order to be politically viable? And what good would come of it? What good would he be allowed to do?
I congratulate Gore on another win, and as much as I’d like to have a president with his intellect and accomplishments, my advice to Gore is the same as it was earlier this year.
And that’s why we probably deserve a president like George W. Bush, and why we don’t deserve a president like Al Gore, however much I wish we had one.
So, Al, make another movie, right another book, or whatever. I can guarantee you’ll do more good in those endeavors than you’d be allowed to do as president anyway.
Besides, we already have the president we deserve. Most of us do, anyway.
Correction; 25% to 30% of us do. The rest of us have what we’ve settled for, one way or another.