Forget for a moment that the person making these charges once claimed to have invented the Internet. Disregard his 1997 assertion that he and his wife, Tipper, were models for the main characters in Erich Segal's 1970 romance novel "Love Story" -- a claim Segal later discounted. Set aside that Gore told a Teamster's conference in Sept. 2000 that among "the lullabies I heard as child," was one with the words, "Look for the union label" -- even though the lyrics weren't written until 1975, for an International Ladies Garment Workers Union ad campaign -- when Gore was 27. Ignore Gore's March 3, 1997 artful denial that calls to contributors from his government office violated federal campaign rules when he declared that, "There is no controlling legal authority that says this was in violation of law."
Gore's vainglorious fabrications only emphasize his hypocrisy. He is, after all, the person who said of the scandal-tainted administration in which he served: "I think the ethical standards established in this White House have been the highest in the history of the White House."
But the most recent assault on the commander in chief, like those of many other members of his party in recent months, place us at risk in the midst of a war. As such, they are far more serious than the spiteful, mean-spirited racial taunts of Clinton or Nagin. Though all three politicians' rants were undoubtedly uttered for partisan purposes -- the former vice president's accusations of criminal behavior against Bush threaten serious damage. It's a pattern of speech that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the Democrat party, potentially destructive to the morale of our Armed Forces and inherently dangerous for the American people.
Late last year, Sen. Richard, "Dick" Durbin, D-Ill., likened the actions of U.S. military personnel to those of Stalin, Hitler and Cambodia's Pol Pot. Just a few weeks ago, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars said "no" when asked if he would serve today. He went on to discourage others from enlisting in our all-volunteer Armed Forces. Now, Al Gore has all but accused the commander in chief of violating the civil liberties of the American people he has sworn to protect and defend against a brutal, bloodthirsty enemy.
These are not mere "misstatements" in the midst of heated political debate and dissent. The "foot-in-mouth disease" -- so prevalent in Washington today -- may well prove terminal if the American people perceive that Democrats want to win the next election so badly that they are willing to lose the war we are fighting now.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.