Sunday, November 30, 2008

The terrible cruelty of Al Gore

In the wake of the Republican Party's electoral disaster earlier this month, many on the Right side of Virginia's blogosphere wondered what had hit them. "What went wrong?" they asked. "How did we get into this mess?" and "How do we get out?" others wondered.

As bad as their suffering has been, it's only going to get worse as I relate the following. It turns out that if there are any thoughtful Republicans out there who really want to know why they lost and maybe get some pointers on what to do differently, there is a book they can read. The bad news is that it was written by Al Gore. And he pretty much eviscerates the Republican Party. That's bad enough, but did I mention it was written by Al Gore? The literary style, the professorial condescension, the prose loaded with ten-dollar words; any Republican bold enough to try reading this book will probably end up bleeding from the eyes.

Why? The terribly cruel Al Gore has laced the book with a literary device I call the "implied sigh." Even though Gore's sighs are not actually located within the text of his book, you can still hear them in your mind. Here's a brief excerpt from the book with my notes in brackets.
Terrorism relies on the stimulation of fear for political ends. Indeed, its specific goal is to distort the political reality of a nation by creating fear in the general population that is hugely disproportionate to the actual danger that the terrorists are capable of posing. Ironically, President Bush's response to the terrorist attack of September 11 was, in effect, to further distort America's political reality by creating a new fear of Iraq that was hugely disproportionate to the actual danger Iraq was capable of posing. [Sigh] That is one of the reasons it was so troubling to so many when in 2004 the widely respected arms expert David Kay concluded a lengthy, extensive investigation into the administration's claim that Iraq posed an enormous threat because it had weapons of mass destruction with the words We were all wrong. [Sigh]

As we now know, of course, there was absolutely no connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. In spite of that fact, President Bush actually said to the nation at a time of greatly enhanced vulnerability to the fear of attack, "You can't distinguish between them." [Sigh]

History will surely judge America's decision to invade and occupy a fragile and unstable nation that did not attack us and posed no threat to us as a decision that was not only tragic but absurd. [Sigh] Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, to be sure, but not one who posed an imminent danger to us. It is a decision that could have been made only at a moment in time when reason was playing a sharply diminished role in our national deliberations. [Sigh]

Thomas Jefferson would have recognized the linkage between absurd tragedy and the absence of reason. As he wrote to James Smith in 1822, "Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind." [Sigh]
To a Liberal like myself, such implied sighs are merely slightly distracting, but they will cause curious Republicans real injury.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great book and Liberals can read it safely without experiencing the kind of pain that Republicans will surely experience. It just seems so cruel to provide Republicans with the answers to all their questions in a package that will cause them physical pain if they try to access that information.

Al Gore is one mean dude.

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