Monday, October 15, 2007

Gore Again!

What is it about Mr. Gore that drives right-wingers insane? asks Paul Krugman. Probably the same Pavlovian thing that makes them bark like dogs at the sound of "Clinton" or "Moore" or any of the suite of scapegoats in the inventory but perhaps one has to be one of them to understand their rationalizations for the irrationality. Of course Krugman is right that Gore's habit of being right makes the Right's habit of being wrong too apparent for comfort, but that doesn't help me to understand the kind of contempt that requires them only to mention the name to cause pandemonium in the ape house.

Perhaps some of the barking and hooting and cage rattling simply serves to drown out the quieter and more dignified voices of those who know what they're talking about; witness Tucker Carleson's success in stifling conversation with an emotional outpouring of high speed, hyperbolic non-sequitur on Bill Maher's Friday night show. Poor Krugman didn't have a chance and even Joy Behar could hardly get in a word. It's what Ann Coulter does, it's what Rush Limbaugh does, it's what O'Reilly does but it's a technique and not an explanation or an answer to the question.

Perhaps the best we can do is to emulate the medical profession and pretend we understand it by giving it a name like GDS or Gore Derangement Syndrome as Krugman calls it. At any rate, there's no profit in understanding the irrational if we want to further the interests of the sane and is there anyone more likely to be able to do that than Mr. Gore himself? Isn't it time we remember that Al Gore was the one to tell us that if we invaded Iraq, the results would be more dangerous than anything Saddam could do? Isn't it time we remember who laughed and ignored him and isn't it time we remembered who lied by calling him a liar and isn't it time we stopped being the kind of voters who dismissed him because he sighed in frustration during a "debate" with a moron?

Al Gore got more votes than George Bush in 2000 and since then, many of his controversial statements have proved to be right and his detractors have lead us into the biggest disaster in 50 years. Isn't it time?


Intellectual Insurgent said...

Perhaps it's because An Inconvenient Truth was a profound insult to the intelligence, a disgusting short-change on the topic of alleged global warming and a sickeningly vain attempt at a campaign ad.

Alexander Cockburn said it better than I can -

It's As Ridiculous As If They'd Given Goebbels One in 1938

Capt. Fogg said...

And comparing Gore with Goebbels isn't just a wee bit Wahnsinnig, as we say in German?

Cockburn might well have been named for his personality and he's the reigning master of quasi-logical half-truth smear tactics. It's truly amazing that he can identify imperfect accuracy regarding global warming with terrorism, genocide and mass slaughter.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

I don't know Captain. He laid out quite logically how Gore participated in the destruction of Iraq as Vice President under Clinton.

Capt. Fogg said...

Goebbels my ass. Gore is no more Goebbels than Cockburn is a geologist or paleometeorologist or statistician or historian and that's no exaggeration.

The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. By his standards every President we have had is a mass murderer if they did not oppose sanctions on Iraq stridently enough. I'm sure he considers Gandhi a murderer too. Sanctions on countries like Cuba, North Korea and Burma may or may not be effective and may often arguably be misguided, but they are not "demonically designed to prompt gnawing, endless suffering." Those aren't the statements of a responsible journalist but of an opportunist, a Bolshevist a Mao Zedong.

Cockburn is a polemicist and makes his living the way Coulter and Limbaugh do, by mining history and current events for things that can be beaten and welded into shape and sold as outrage to people who love that sort of thing. I seriously doubt that he believes half the crap he spews. I don't and even though I sometimes agree with him, I loathe the way he ruins dialog and pursues scapegoats like a hyena.

But he's the kind of guy who will tell you Doctors Without Borders is a terrorist organization with the same kind of liars logic because some former head of it supported the war in Iraq, or so he says. They're not a bunch of doctors trying to help people for free - they're terrorists! I would imagine I could make a terrorist demon out of my grandmother or yours using this kind of septic hogwash although Alex is rather selective in what he considers acceptable applications of terrorism.

Here's the bottom line: Goebbels participated in starting a war that cost something like 20 to 50 million lives. Gore did not, nor did he destroy Iraq, nor did Clinton's attempts to deal with Saddam -- OK?

Gore is not Like Goebbels any more than he's like the Queen of England, who Alex undoubtedly thinks is a terrorist too, as was anyone who advocated going after Osama bin Laden after he bombed us. That wasn't "demonically designed" because it was mostly Americans who got killed. Typical Cockburn.

It's a perfect example actually, of the limitless, unrestrained, unwarranted, hysterical and irresponsible maliciousness I've been talking about. It never has needed facts to back it up and in the case of Clinton, the ravings about his failed administration began long before he was president of anything.

Cockburn, who can't even pronounce his own name right, is and has been a much better example of Goebbels' techniques with lies, distortions, deliberate misinterpretations, false equivalences, exaggerations, bogus syllogisms, hysterical hyperbole, sorites, paranoid delusions and more lies.

The Democrats are far from perfect, but they're not lords of evil floating around in some death star waiting to destroy the galaxy. That kind of shit appeals to some people, but so did Goebbels.

As to Global warming, He quotes a superminority position the way creationists try to undermine evolution by crediting the two or three people with college degrees that doubt it while equating any degree of uncertainty with disproof -- and without the slightest background in elementary school science, he rants about what is the best scientific consensus at the moment.

In fact there's further information in the last month or so that makes the scenario look more dire than what the movie shows. Read some peer reviewed literature for Krishna's sake.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

So Gore didn't support the starvation of millions of Iraqis when he was VP? He didn't support the bombing of Kosovo, Iraq, etc.?

The prize is supposed to go to men of peace. What exactly has Gore done?

And there are more than creationist types challenging the "lies, distortions, deliberate misinterpretations, false equivalences, exaggerations, bogus syllogisms, hysterical hyperbole, sorites, paranoid delusions" about global warming.

When we elevate global warming to holy religion and Al Gore to the high priest, those who question the orthodoxy become heretics.

An Inconvenient Truth was one of shabbiest pieces of crap Hollywood has produced in a while. And that's a big statement considering I saw Knocked Up last Friday and made it through 15 minutes.

mrsleep said...

Wow II. I made it through all of Knocked up :)

You raise an interesting point. Al G, as being part of the Clinton administration, supported policies that caused starvation, and cost other lives in other countries.

I'm trying to understand your position so bear with me.

If Gore/Clinton had not imposed any draconian sanctions on North Korea, or Iraq, then their actions then could have been construed as peaceful, correct? Even so, inaction, could in turn cost lives as well. See Darfur as an example. Bushco has basically been invisible in setting up policies to deal with Darfur, and we all know many lives have been lost as a consequence.

Ideally there is a magical answer, but in reality there is none. Any time we embargo, sanction, etc, it will have significant adverse consequences on the poor.

Is Bush a terrorist for vetoing SCHIP funding? No argument from me.

Capt. Fogg said...

All actions have unintended consequences. Winning WW II caused untold suffering - by your logic peace would have been served by submission to the axis powers.

Bad consequences do not mean that the action that caused them were "designed" to produce them, that the entities against which actions are taken are always free of responsibility, that the initiators of the action were evil demons or that the intended consequences must be ignored.

Regardless of your opinions regarding climatology and international sanctions, Gore is not Goebbels, denial of global warming is political and Cockburn's kind of slimecasting is grotesque and unworthy of respect.

d nova said...

hitler only has one ball
goerring has two but very small
himmler is somewhat sim'lar
and goebbels has no balls at all

actually, i think the ww2 dead estimates range from 40 to 60 million, generally tending toward the high end.

the sanctions on iraq were pretty draconian and resulted in an enormous number of dead kids. clinton admin didn't start the sanctions but didn't end them either.

as for the hate gore, etc, thing:

Capt. Fogg said...

Some great posts there.

I think sanctions are usually counter-productive and usually hurt the population and leave the rulers unscathed. We've operated for a long time under the assumption that popular uprisings will end governments like Cuba's if only we squeeze Castro. Look at the results.

Still the policy wasn't designed to exterminate Cubans any more than it was to exterminate Iraqis.