Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

President Gore, Lame Duck

As Al Gore faces his final years in the White House, history will view his two terms as disappointing.

After a razor-thin victory over George Bush in 2000, the new President was ultra-cautious.

Republicans labeled him “Al Bore” for failing to pursue a muscular foreign policy and for endless consultations with UN members, NATO allies, even potential adversaries such as North Korea and Iran.

Then he overreacted to such criticism, using an intelligence report in August, 2001, as pretext for striking defenseless camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, arousing protests throughout the Middle East over the death of a populist leader, Osama bin Laden, and his followers.

Even more controversial was Gore’s expulsion of fifteen visitors from our ally, Saudi Arabia, for what Rush Limbaugh sarcastically termed “the heinous crime of taking flying lessons.”

The furor drove oil prices to $30 a barrel, with public protest bringing the President’s approval ratings down to 50 percent.

After that, Gore reverted to consensus by pushing for UN inspections in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, which were never found. This diplomatic waffling, critics claim, diminished the U.S.’s standing in the world.

On the domestic front, the President refused to stimulate the economy with tax cuts, despite an ongoing budget surplus, and pushed for crippling limits on industrial emissions to reduce the so-called greenhouse effect.

Despite such gaffes, Gore narrowly won reelection in 2004 by reverting to Bill Clinton’s ploy of “It’s the economy, stupid.” His opponent, Malcolm Forbes, never managed to stir voters with his proposal of a flat income tax.

As 2008 approaches, the blandness of the Gore years may end. Vice-President Joe Lieberman, with a lock on the Democratic nomination, favors an aggressive American stance in the world. He will likely face George W. Bush, who claims Gore's election sent the country into a downward spiral.

A major issue will be terrorism which, relatively quiescent in eight years of diplomatic bumbling, may come to the fore again when a new President has America acting like a superpower again.

The question in 2008 will be: How do we let the rest of the world know we can no longer be pushed around?


11 comments:

aimai said...

It is to weep.

aimai

Frederick said...

If only.

Mccs1977

beervolcano said...

He will likely face George W. Bush, who claims Gore's election sent the country into a downward spiral.

Ha ha ha. Perfect.

Now that would have been an awesome presidency if a few other things had been done. If a competing currency was issued directly by Congress, as per the Constitution, to compete with and eventually replace Federal Reserve Notes. Then, eventually, the personal income tax could be eliminated entirely.

Instead of:
On the domestic front, the President refused to stimulate the economy with tax cuts, despite an ongoing budget surplus, and pushed for crippling limits on industrial emissions to reduce the so-called greenhouse effect.

He could have pushed to eliminate giveaways to big oil and sent them to solar, wind, and wave energy, and pushed for electric cars and plug in hybrids. No crushing limits are necessary. He could also strive to promote decentralized power grids based on home electricity production through solar and wind power.

Unless someone does these two things, this country will remain a country of slaves.

Hmm, the Federal Reserve, Big Oil, and the personal Income Tax. What do all these things all have in common? They keep this country under the financial thumb of a relatively small number of private bankers.

Until these three problems are addressed, nothing in the country will ever change. You'll never stop war. You'll never have health care for all.

Batocchio said...

Nice post. Really, no matter what any liberals do, the conservatives will condemn them, so why not do the right thing?

How sad that the neocons, who always should have been regulated to the fringe, were given so many prominent positions.

Avedon said...

How could you leave out the raging frenzy of the right-wing after Gore introduced single-payer health insurance?

Anonymous said...

(*Sigh*). Well-done, CtD. Nonetheless, it made me sad, thinking of what might have been.

Don Porges said...

In this parallel world, Malcolm Forbes came back from the dead? (That would be Steve, I think.)

gerireig said...

That's EXACTLY how the Korporate Media would have chronicled it! They are democracy's #1 problem.

republicans are idiots said...

Who said Joe Lieberman would come back for a second term as Veep? I think after four years of his undermining Pres. Gore, he probably would have chosen someone else - John Kerry, perhaps.

misterniceguy1960 said...

I have read similar scenarios about the "disastrous" Presidencies of James Cox (keeping the screws tight on Wall Street, when Harding/Coolidge would have let them run free all the way to the Crash of '29) and Adlai Stevenson (ending the Cold War, the wimp).

Without a doubt, this is exactly how it would be played by the SCLM.

thegoreyears said...

http://thegoreyears.wordpress.com/2006/09/04/