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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

THE GORE QUANDARY

SAM SMITH - There are a number of reasons to oppose Gore. He's got a corrupt side, witness by his campaign finance scandal. He failed to separate himself from the Clinton machine in the 2000 campaign (which exit polls suggest would have won him the election). And he is in many ways just another establishment Democrat.
 
On the other hand, a reader fairly describes him this way: "Al Gore would be a great candidate in 2008. Gore's in favor of single-payer universal health care, against the current War in Iraq, and has spoken out against Bush more and before any other potential candidate in the Democratic Party. Every candidate has their flaws, but Gore would be backed by movement progressives rather than the usual corporate donors. He would raise money like Dean X 10."
 
My own view is that Al Gore - flawed as he may be - is at the moment the most important politician in America for the simple reason that he is the only leverage constitutionalists and progressives have for stopping the disaster occurring in both parties as they desert republic, courage, integrity and decent policies.
 
And Gore has a few redeeming qualities. True, he is like the girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead because when he is good he is very, very good but when he is bad he is horrid. But the way he has dealt with some of his own faults is encouraging. He has approached his situation like an intelligent human being rather than a huckster trying to reinvent himself.  And on the matter of personal honesty there is simply no comparison between him and the world's best cattle futures trader - the only first lady to come under criminal investigation.
 
And before Greens evict me from the party, let me point out that my argument that the future of the Greens lies in local and state organizing and not presidential campaigns has yet to have been in the slightest disproved by actual election  results.
 
I remain agnostic long-term on the subject of Gore but feel for this month anyway - and maybe next - he's the best chance we have of knocking a little sense into this country gone crazy.


32 Comments:

At May 23, 2006 6:18 PM, laughing(harder) said...

Well then the most important politician in America is a clone for that other rat-faced moron, George W. Bush!

 
At May 23, 2006 6:19 PM, Anonymous said...

Even progressives fall for the politics of lesser-evilism.

 
At May 23, 2006 7:03 PM, Anonymous said...

FWIW:

"Former US vice president Al Gore has denied rumours that he plans to stand for the US presidency, saying he could foresee 'no circumstances' that would cause him to change his mind. ..."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1779988,00.html

 
At May 23, 2006 7:48 PM, Anonymous said...

I'm a progressive and i'd vote for Ralph Nader (again).

 
At May 23, 2006 8:06 PM, Anonymous said...

Gore is a fine man and would make a great President.

Oh, wait! Didn't he try that once before, and lost? If I remember correctly, those who lose are called losers, which is the only accurate thing the Republicans will call him, repeatedly. And they'll be right and the swing voters will believe them. Its unthinkable that the Desperate Democrats would saddle themselves with a loser, again.

And, even though he won the 2000 election, he caved and let Bush walk away with it without the least protest of a stolen election.

If I had been Gore in 2000, I would have said, "I won, and I'm moving into the White House. Just try and stop me." Then lawsuits would have been filed and with subpeona power the whole corrupt mess could have been uncovered. But no, he did just what the Republicans want us to do: eat shit and smile.

Gore's looking at Bush's low popularity and thinking, well, maybe this time. The time to stand up, fight and never back down was then. Now, its too late. What was at stake was the survival of the United States and Gore walked away from it. Bush has had time to destroy the US to his liking. Its going to be damn near impossible to repair the damage he has done, if it even is, and it doesn't look like his damage can be undone.

Gore had his

 
At May 23, 2006 8:06 PM, Ed Martin said...

Gore is a fine man and would make a great President.

Oh, wait! Didn't he try that once before, and lost? If I remember correctly, those who lose are called losers, which is the only accurate thing the Republicans will call him, repeatedly. And they'll be right and the swing voters will believe them. Its unthinkable that the Desperate Democrats would saddle themselves with a loser, again.

And, even though he won the 2000 election, he caved and let Bush walk away with it without the least protest of a stolen election.

If I had been Gore in 2000, I would have said, "I won, and I'm moving into the White House. Just try and stop me." Then lawsuits would have been filed and with subpeona power the whole corrupt mess could have been uncovered. But no, he did just what the Republicans want us to do: eat shit and smile.

Gore's looking at Bush's low popularity and thinking, well, maybe this time. The time to stand up, fight and never back down was then. Now, its too late. What was at stake was the survival of the United States and Gore walked away from it. Bush has had time to destroy the US to his liking. Its going to be damn near impossible to repair the damage he has done, if it even is, and it doesn't look like his damage can be undone.

Gore had his one chance when he marched onto the world stage, Bush said "Boo" to him, and he obediently marched right off.

Its going to take a lot more than a man who only wants to fight when his opponent is down to take on and clean out the corrupt Bush regime. Its going to take a lot of yelling and screaming and loud talking and arm waving and pounding on the table and finger pointing and outrage, all of it completely justified. I don't see any Democrat capable of doing that.

I wanted to hear from "I have a plan" Kerry what he was for damned sure going to actually do, but he never said. Pathetic.

The namby-pamby, equivocating, never offend anyone, try to please everyone Democrats need to throw a purple-faced, bug-eyed screaming fit about whats going on in the Republican Bush regime and the Republican Congress. But no, instead of starting an aggressive war with Republicans, they soberly argue bullshit Republican talking points instead of just saying "Bullshit."

Bush has so unalterably warped and perverted the Republicans and conservatives that no matter who they run for President next time, the Democrat will be running against Bush.

The majority of people are already so disgusted with this bunch that they're looking for a strong leader with the balls to tell the truth and just do it.

If just one Democrat would take up this whole, stinking, aromatic mess and throw it in the Republican's faces, demand loudly, longly, at full volume and unceasingly for the immediate impeachment and removal from office of Bush and his entire administration and the undoing and reversal of everything Bush has done, that person would be the next President, possibly before the 2008 election.

I know you're out there somewhere, please step forward.

 
At May 23, 2006 9:28 PM, Anonymous said...

Yes, Gore folded when he had clearly won. It is enough to suggest that he might have been part of the organization that moved Bush into power. Looking back at Gore's record, corruption was not a small part of his game, either. Like Clinton, he had/has the knack Looking Good while he steals your wallet. But at the moment there is noone else. The situation that the Bush regime has manufactured is not intended to be overcome, and is not vulnerable to anything short of revolution. But someone like Gore could start making the changes that would bring things around in a hundred years or so. But before he gets my vote, I want an explanation for his cowardice in not standing up for his victory in the election. If he can prove to me that his family was under a fatal threat (we are talking about the Bush regime after all), or that he had been demonstably convinced that on taking office the ruling elites of the Bush regime would have had him killed, leaving that idiot vice president in charge, then I might consider re-considering. Then, however, I'd want to see a feasible plan for extrication from Iraq, and an alternative to the fossil fuel dependency that is keeping the current regime in power - say using our technology and development skill to take the place we rightfully deserve as a world leader in developing sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative fuels. That would give me a moist eye, and a yearning to bother to participate in what passes for fair elections in this country. But to believe that would be sheer idiocy. And in the 11th hour, we would not be sure whether Gore wouldn't just pull out again. I think revolution is still the best solution.

 
At May 24, 2006 12:12 AM, You can do better than lesser-evilism! said...

But at the moment there is noone else.

There are nearly 300 million people in the U.S., at least half to 2/3 who disapprove of Bush. I'd hardly call that "noone else." And for the record, both the Green Party and Ralph Nader have outdone Gore on all the points progressives are now fawning over Gore for, consistently, for over 5 years now. Have a little more political self-esteem, or celebrate your slavery to the corporate party with 2 faces.

 
At May 24, 2006 12:39 AM, marnie said...

sam, we'll never throw you out of the party. as you always say, keep the faith!

 
At May 24, 2006 1:45 AM, liquified viscera said...

Ed Martin, that was some fine writing and excellent argument. I agree completely. And let's not forget the HYPOCRITICAL side of Al Gore, in which his new film's website talks about what we can all do individually to help save the planet, but NEGLECTS TO MENTION that Al and his family gained their power, prestige, political capital and fiscal wealth from OIL... Occidental Petroleum, to be specific. If Al Gore is our best hope to right the sinking ship of America,

I'm running for the lifeboats.

I'm sad to see Sam Smith writing and arguing as he is here. Al Gore is an opportunist, not a strong-willed, courageous warrior.

And America needs a warrior right now. Someone who will GET ANGRY and EXPOSE THE ILLEGALITY of the Cheney Admin.

Al Gore is not that person.

 
At May 24, 2006 2:09 AM, Anonymous said...

Gore reminds me of Howard Dean in the last election: the fantasy bone the Democrats threw to the left to chew on, until the corporate media decided to take him out.

Where is Dean now? Not talking impeachment.

The DemRepug Party will never run a candidate that doesn't have corporate America's pre-approval. Nothing substantial will change by electing one of the two corporate party candidates. Follow the money.

 
At May 24, 2006 8:23 AM, Anonymous said...

Oh puh-leez! Not this "Gore is the man" crap all over again! For a while it looked as though Gore would crawl back in his hole and not bother us again. But no, the Republicrat High Command has drafted him once again to act as the voice for the phony opposition, and make Americans think they have a "choice."

This guy is just another cog in the hopelessly corrupt Republicrat machine that is running America into the ground.

 
At May 24, 2006 10:12 AM, Anonymous said...

In case no one has noticed, it takes someone with good national name recognition to survive the primary system and get nominated for President these days. Right now, in the Democratic party that leaves about three choices: Kerry, Clinton & Gore.

Clinton and Kerry would lose no matter who the GOP ran against them. This leaves Gore.

While I agree with Sam and Doug Thompson that there is only minimal difference between the two parties, it is necessary at present to sweep as much as possible of the current GOP monopoly out of office in the next couple of years. The only hope for doing that, short of a major Hollywood star running independently and bringing out tons of people who don't normally vote (and no, I don't have any particular people to recommend), is to elect a Democrat and Gore is probably the only one with a chance.

Let me end with the usual caveat: even this one chance presupposes that the GOP manufactured voting machines can't be rigged to reverse an overwhelming vote for Democrats. I have little confidence that is true and humbly suggest that our energy would be better spent worrying less about who the Dems nominate and more about getting rid of electronic voting before 2008.

FoE

 
At May 24, 2006 10:44 AM, liquified viscera said...

This post has been removed by the author.

 
At May 24, 2006 10:53 AM, liquified viscera said...

FoE,

I'd like to hear you explain how it is that a "big name Democrat" is the only person electable. I've heard this nonsense from others in the past, but every time I've heard it, I've asked for some sort of historic or other persuasive evidence that it is so. Nobody I've challenged on the point has been able to explain the thinking.

My conclusion is that the argument is one which begins from a presumption of losing the election. From there you head to a "lesser evil" choice, one which resembles in great part the HUGE evil currently in office. The thinking is that if people elected the HUGE evil before, then that surely is what they want again.

The problem with the loser mentality is manifold, but principally -- at this point in America's history -- is this: MOST AMERICANS ARE DISGUSTED WITH DUBYA BUSH. If you don't believe this, ask around. Don't listen to the mainstream or "slightly left of center and independent" quasi-mainstream. Don't believe PBS or NPR. Don't believe The Nation. Don't believe Keith Olbermann. And please, don't emulate Jean Rohe's weak-sauce simpering victim attitude.

If you plumb the psyches of Americans who elected Dubya Bush despite their not really being fans of what he's been doing in the neo-fascist corporatocracy direction, you'll find that what they voted for was decisiveness, spunk and simplicity.

In 2000 Gore offered none of those things. In 2004, Kerry likewise.

Americans don't like the fascism afoot.

They need someone who'll say as much, who'll point out simply and directly and ANGRILY what the Cheney Admin is doing to America and Americans' traditionally taken-for-granted privacy and independence rights.

Al Gore isn't that man, and I'd defy you and Sam and anyone else arguing likewise to offer some shard, some wisp, some scintilla of persuasive evidence that he is.

If you can.

 
At May 24, 2006 11:00 AM, Anonymous said...

isnt this the same al gore who invested in occidental petroleum, contributing to environmental distruction and the violent displacement of indigenous tribes in columbia?

i can see now that david cobb did his job well with sam smith by destroying the green party and leaving deluded progressives with nowhere to go but back to the most evil organization ever to exist in the us, the democratic party, the party which has coopted and ruined peoples movements again and again and again.

 
At May 24, 2006 11:01 AM, Anonymous said...

oh yeah, remind me to never trust your sell-out ass ever again. you've officially lost your links on any of my pages, along with the nation, the progressive and the rest of the whores for the dnc.

 
At May 24, 2006 11:24 AM, Anonymous said...

Dear Sam: You're evicted. Get the fuck out of the Green Party if you follow the David Cobb 'safe states' path of destruction. We don't need any more 5th columnists undermining our independence from the two-party slave system.

 
At May 24, 2006 12:06 PM, Anonymous said...

Greens are wackos!!!! Greens are wackos!!!!! Greens are a laughing stock. They are commies!!!! Fuck the Green Party!!!!

 
At May 24, 2006 12:10 PM, Anonymous said...

well sam smith has certainly accomplished that.

 
At May 24, 2006 2:46 PM, Dan F said...

In all of the comments above not one name is raised as a prospect. A case has been made (sadly) that Nader is the main cause of the election loss with or without the legal cheating. He will never be elected nor will Hillary. I don't want Gore either but until someone recruits somebody that is capable of winning, he is the best we have got. Recruit is the right word, too. No one in their right mind would put themselves through the hell the repblicans are sure to bring.

 
At May 24, 2006 2:52 PM, Anonymous said...

hello green party losers,
i'm with you. the two party system sucks. but don't think that one day you're going to win by convincing people to go 'third party.' that is, because there are basic game theory reasons why third parties can't win in america--it's the winner take all/first past the post system.

change that, and you have a chance. don't change that, and you'll always lose. study some american electoral history, and maybe you idiots will figure it out.

i'm not fan of the democrats. but i sure as hell would like someone in power other than GWB or jebb. maybe just someone who would let the insanity at the federal level stay at status quo.

like sam said, work on those local issues.

 
At May 24, 2006 3:05 PM, Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear you explain how it is that a "big name Democrat" is the only person electable.

The DemRepug Party will never run a candidate that doesn't have corporate America's pre-approval. In this case:

electable=darling of the corporate media

or equivalantly

electable=darling of the corporate America

It's a simply matter to say NO to corporate America's candidates: don't vote for them. How quickly Americans marginalize themselves and crawl back to the corrupt parties they loathe.

 
At May 24, 2006 3:52 PM, Anonymous said...

When you get over the shock, look over some of the things Sam has written for the past "x" number of years. A lot of it is available on this site. Not the type to easily take leave of his senses. Or to enjoy tormenting the faint -hearted just because he has nothing to do. I'd say he's too busy to be bored.

Isn't it likely that a man w/ such a piercing political gaze glances a few times at what passes for a "progressive/ left " presence in this country to see if it possesses any hopeful signs of life as an opposition, BEFORE he reaches thru the ropes & tosses a clean towel to Gore.... slumped in his corner , cut & bruised , knocked

 
At May 24, 2006 4:20 PM, Anonymous said...

"that is, because there are basic game theory reasons why third parties can't win in america--it's the winner take all/first past the post system."

could you explain those basic "game theory reasons" for someone who's not well-versed in such theory?

and while you're at it,

explain why such a "theory" elevates past the theoretical and becomes concrete established fact.

thanks.

 
At May 24, 2006 4:31 PM, Anonymous said...

the democrats (and their republican clones) will never allow proportional representation because it will end their power. that's the whole point, we can't beat them at their own rigged scheme, the only winning move is not to play the two-party game.

 
At May 24, 2006 4:31 PM, Anonymous said...

the democrats (and their republican clones) will never allow proportional representation because it will end their power. that's the whole point, we can't beat them at their own rigged scheme, the only winning move is not to play the two-party game.

 
At May 24, 2006 6:37 PM, Gored said...

A perfect explanation of game theory in this case, 4:31.

As for myself, why am I going to vote for a guy who after 6 years still can't decide if the election was stolen?

"There may come a time when I speak on that but it’s not now; I need more time to frame it carefully if I do. In our system, there’s no intermediate step between a definitive Supreme Court decision and violent revolution." -AlGore

Even the Palm Beach Post concluded Gore would have won the FL recount, which was the Constitutional way to handle the conflict, and not a Supreme Court intervention using the equal protection clause. Before this, the Supreme Court refused hundreds of challenges brought before it invoking the equal protection clause. Gore didn't care about my vote in 2000, he's not getting it a second time.

 
At May 24, 2006 7:41 PM, Lloydyboy said...

Sam-
Let Gore renounce his involvement with the Clinton administration and the horrors it hatched -- sanctions vs. Iraq, Barry McCaffrey, the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, the unprovoked and illegal war against Yugoslavia, Plan Colombia -- and I'll listen to what else he has to say. Until then I'll assume that Gore's latest incarnation as savior of the republic is just posturing.

 
At May 24, 2006 8:43 PM, Anonymous said...

and the Defense of Marriage Act.

 
At May 25, 2006 1:04 AM, Anonymous said...

"the democrats (and their republican clones) will never allow proportional representation because it will end their power."

Yup.

Strongly recommended:

Michael Dummett, Voting Procedures (Oxford 1984) & Principles of Electoral Reform (New York 1997).

Strongly discouraged:

Getting worked up over '08 will-not-runs, such as Gore.

 
At July 01, 2006 12:24 PM, Gorebot2000 said...

To all you Greens:
LBJ might have caused the deaths of 3 million Vietnamese, but he got the Voting Rights Act through congress (and just look at how much more democratic politics are in this country 40 years later!). Chew on that for a while.

 

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