Carol Platt Liebau: Not So Fast

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Not So Fast

Dick Morris speculates that Al Gore's time may have come -- that he can win the presidency, based on the strength, among other things, of his environmentalist credentials.

Maybe Morris just couldn't come up with a topic for his column this week . . . or maybe not. Because over at The New York Observer, Roger Stone has had the same idea.

Here's the thing: All the historical Nixon/Gore parallels may be "neat" -- just the thing for a columnist to play with on a light week. But there are important differences between Gore and Nixon. For one thing, although the country was embroiled in a war in Vietnam circa 1968, that war never reached America's shores, a la 9/11. So being "anti-war" when the war is against terrorists who are invested in killing Americans on American soil is a whole different proposition than being anti-war when it seemed (to those who were, in my view, mistaken) that a war was being fought for abstract principles half a world away -- and casualties were a whole different order of magnitude.

Even given all that, as late as 1972, the openly liberal, anti-war candidate, George McGovern, didn't stand a chance. Why in the world would anyone think that Americans would trust Al Gore during a time of war, when they didn't trust him enough to elect him in a time of peace? Yes, he's now "reinvented" himself, as Morris and Stone point out, but how many times has that happened before?

Above all, to the normal American, Gore has come across as quasi-insane in recent years, with ever more extreme positions and intemperate denunciations of the President on every issue of the day. That's not to mention his outrageous allegations against his own country last week -- words that bordered on treason.

Sure, the Howard Dean netroots love Gore. But then again, they love Howard Dean -- the other top contender for most unbalanced Democrat. What else do you need to know?


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