Friday, August 29, 2008

Al Gore's Regrets

To warm up the crowd for Barack Obama last night, Al Gore did something he has resisted for eight years, replay the 2000 election and express bitter regret over what might have been.

"Take it from me," he told Democrats, "if it had ended differently, we would not be bogged down in Iraq; we would have pursued bin Laden until we captured him.

"We would not be facing a self-inflicted economic crisis; we would be fighting for middle income families.

"We would not be showing contempt for the Constitution; we'd be protecting the rights of every American regardless of race, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation.

"And we would not be denying the climate crisis; we'd be solving it."

If Gore had shown more of that combativeness eight years ago, we might be looking back at his two terms in the Oval Office and facing a different set of choices this year.

Instead, we have an admirable but tragic figure with the consolations of an Academy Award and a Nobel Prize and a rueful sense of humor.

"Today," Al Gore told Democrats, "we face essentially the same choice we faced in 2000, though it may be even more obvious now, because John McCain, a man who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them, the same policies all over again.

"Hey, I believe in recycling, but that's ridiculous."

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