Gore, the Messiah

Debra J. Saunders

8/7/2002 12:00:00 AM - Debra J. Saunders
Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., is worried about former Vice President Al Gore. Lieberman thinks that Gore came across as too anti-rich when they ran for the White House in 2000. And he thinks Gore is overly hostile toward business now, as they're eyeing each other and a new bid for the White House in 2004. Ha! Being too anti-business is the least of Gore's problems. The real issue is that Gore is crackers. If you doubt it, read Sunday's New York Times op-ed piece, in which Gore began addressing the "destiny of the nation" by bashing "those who believed they were entitled to govern because of their station in life." Apparently, Gore doesn't have a mirror. Or a memory, because while the entitled-by-station phrase may seem to capture George H.W. Bush's son George W., it fits Gore better. Dubya came to politics late in life, whereas Gore has been campaigning for president since 10th grade. His father, the late Sen. Albert Gore from Tennessee, boasted that he raised his son for the White House. Gore played along, making a run for the presidency in 1988 before he completed even his first term in the U.S. Senate. It says something about Gore that he can sling that mud, either unaware of or unagitated by the fact that he is more guilty than the intended recipient. And pundits say Bush lacks introspection. News stories have focused on Lieberman's disagreement with Gore over whether the 2000 slogan "the people, not the powerful" was good politics. Lieberman says no, Democrats should only hit businesses that break the rules. Gore says yes, because he's a happy warrior against the "forces of greed." Except that Gore frames Lieberman's view as "the suggestion from some in our party that we should no longer speak the truth." The Truth. And praise be to Al Gore, the Truth Teller. But does Gore mean the truth that he opposes, as he wrote, the "forces of greed"? Or is he referring to the truth that he readily made multiple fund-raising phone calls to fat cats from the White House? Gore told voters it was the truth that he vowed to take on Big Tobacco after his sister died of lung cancer in 1984. And then there's the truth he told North Carolinians in 1988, that "throughout most of my life, I raised tobacco," hoed it, chopped it, shredded it and sold it. No surprise a Pew Research Center poll found that only 13 percent of Americans believe most of what Gore says. And he doesn't help his cause by turning every crisis or potential crisis into Armageddon. The market downturn has cut a swath through America's savings, but that's not painful enough for Gore. He writes that the corporate scandals put at risk "nothing less than the future of democratic capitalism." Ten years ago, Gore authored his book "Earth in the Balance" to warn the world that if it didn't heed his costly and extreme prescriptions for global warming, there would follow an "ecological disaster" that "could last for tens of millions of years." In office, the Clinton/Gore administration didn't even raise fuel-efficiency standards. If he actually believed his own doomsday scenarios, you'd think he'd spend his energy and time saving the planet. Instead, he's now the would-be messiah for the salvation of democratic capitalism. I guess the message is: Listen to Gore or your grandkids will stand Soviet-style in lines for toilet paper. His messiah complex is so overblown that some day you may see him on Pennsylvania Avenue, shouting, "Soylent Green is people."