Gore and Thompson: Blah and Order

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  • 03/02/2023

The political buzz over the last few months has been centered on two former Senators from Tennessee.  Al Gore played coy with the audience at the Oscars, suggesting that he might have another announcement.  On Tuesday night Fred Thompson appeared on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno."  No announcements were made, but he was decidedly less mysterious than he has been.  Thompson boldly told Leno, “I want to do some things that only a president can do.”

In the last Democratic debate, Sen. Chris Dodd (D.-Conn.) acknowledged that the most important issue the next president will face is national security.  This week Rush Limbaugh and Andrew Breitbart called attention to a 1992 speech in which Al Gore talked about Saddam Hussein and criticized then-President George H. W. Bush for his “blatant disregard for brutal terrorism” and “dangerous blindness to the murderous ambitions of the despot.”  I had to watch the video a couple times to make sure he was actually criticizing Hussein for terrorism and not because he wasn’t living a carbon neutral lifestyle.  Gore also said that Presidents Bush and Reagan accelerated a diplomatic relationship with Iraq “in spite of repeated warnings that anyone with common sense would have had no difficulty understanding.” 

However, after the 1992 election, Gore dropped the tough talk on terrorism and kowtowed to the environmentalists.  The vice president of the National Wildlife Federation said, “Al Gore will make the environment part of his portfolio.”  In a 1993 segment on how Gore is changing the vice presidency, a CNN correspondent gushed that he is “rescuing the environment.”

Following his parlay into Hollywood’s inner circle, Gore is being hailed as the left’s Savior in 2008.  Rolling Stone magazine offered their advice to the Democratic Party (presumably with a straight face), “If the Democrats were going to sit down and construct the perfect candidate for 2008, they'd be hard-pressed to improve on Gore.”  Earlier this year Simon Rosenberg of the New Democrat Network told the Financial Times, “If you go to the west coast the big issue is not Iraq - as it is in Washington - but global warming.  The Oscar ceremonies offered the spectacle of an exuberant repudiation of the Bush years.  It is hard to think of a better platform for Mr. Gore’s public profile.” 

Thankfully, it isn’t just the west coast voting next November.  In his column this week, Michael Barone noted that “electorates live in two different nations.” He writes, “The Republicans want to protect us against Islamist terrorists.  The Democrats want to protect us against climate change.  Each side believes the other's fears are largely imaginary.”

Regarding the other former Senator from Tennessee, Thompson is on the side of protecting us against the terrorists.  It’s no surprise that this seems to be a popular theme among several of the pro-choice Republican candidates, as it probably should be.  In a recent column, Thompson acknowledged that fighting terrorism goes beyond military action.  Thompson wrote, “The British and the Spanish have discovered, through terrorist attacks on bus and train lines, that the enemy is studying us daily.  They learn our every weakness by living and working among us - but our schools have stopped offering courses that would help us meet their challenge.”

Meanwhile, there are dozens and dozens of classes devoted to global warming and other environmental issues with little objective discussion.  At Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, Assistant Dean of Science Jeffrey A. Hughes ordered that professors in his department show students Gore’s movie, "An Inconvenient Truth."  Jason Mattera, an RWU alum wrote, “'An Inconvenient Truth', and only 'An Inconvenient Truth', was shown by Hughes’ cabal, as if that film were the authoritative voice on global warming.  So, every core science section - 12 in all - consisting of philosophy, political science, english, engineering, and psychology majors needing the class to graduate received only Gore’s big government “solution” to climate change.”

Gore and other liberal Democrats’ advantage in making global warming their hot-button issue is that Republicans won’t be able to play Monday morning quarterback.  As Ann Coulter wrote in "Slander," “The reason ‘global warming’ has become such a
burning issue for liberals is that this time we can't prove them wrong for a thousand years.”  With terrorism and national security, Democrats have the advantage of criticizing Republicans for not doing enough, as Gore did in 1992.  They don’t have to wait a thousand years, just until the next terrorist attack.  Democrats’ tough talk on terrorism ceases when they’re in the positions of power because they only pretend to care about national security in order to get elected.  In 2005 Gore said, “I don't want to diminish the threat of terrorism at all, it is extremely serious, but on a long-term global basis, global warming is the most serious problem we are facing.”

Fred Thompson may still have to prove himself to conservatives, but hasn’t Al Gore already said enough?