Gore's consolation prizes hit the ground

Via Instapundit, part one of a two-parter by Walter Russell Mead on the Failure of Al Gore:

Gore has the Midas touch in reverse; objects of great value (Nobel prizes, Oscars) turn dull and leaden at his touch.  Few celebrity cause leaders have had more or better publicity than Gore has had for his climate advocacy.  Hailed by the world press, lionized by the entertainment community and the Global Assemblage of the Great and the Good as incarnated in the Nobel Peace Prize committee, he has nevertheless seen the movement he led flounder from one inglorious defeat to the next.  The most recent, failed global climate meeting passed almost unnoticed last week in Bonn; the world has turned its eyes away from the expiring anguish of the Copenhagen agenda.

Once upon a time, when I was young, and a Democrat, I rather liked Al Gore. I appreciated that he was a “pro-life Democrat” until that melted away from his stance for the sake of political expediency. I stopped liking him when he became Vice-President and seemed to embody an appetite for ambition, touched with the juice of entitlement, and by the end of his campaign, watching him sigh during debates and sweat and yell at crowds that the election was “a battle between good and evil,” I knew I could never vote for him. Even before the contested election, he seemed nuts to me.

But can we just say this, now, about Al Gore, so that it’s out there? 

All of his post-election “success” — all of it; the praise, the accolades, the faux-adulation — was simply an expression of public spite against George W. Bush, and nothing more. Just as Jimmy Carter was (in the words of the Nobel Prize committee’s own rep) given his “Peace”prize as “a kick in the leg at Bush”, Gore only succeeded, post-Clinton, because of Bush-hatred.  The left lifted Gore up on the hot air of their angry resentments against Bush, and the unquestioning obeisance to his every crazed muttering was a crafted consolation prize that only remained airborne as long as the heat of Bush-hate could be accessed, it’s chain pulled. Absent that heat, there was only the hard earth below.

Gore’s Nobel Prize, his Oscar, his “regard” were all born of a desire to “kick at” Bush. Once Bush was gone, Gore was, too– all his lofty illusions have been grounded, and no one is interested in reinflating any of them.

Imagine being such a mediocrity that your greatest “successes” are not even about you, but about needling someone else. Recognizing that has to hurt.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    No question about it. Al Gore is one of the whackiest (and I don’t mean that to have any positive connotations) people around. Some of the things he has said (“I invented the internet”) are down right delusional. He was pro-life at one time. But I think you got it backwards Anchoress. The expediency was to be pro-life in a conservative district and state. He never seemed to have any qualms about later being pro-abortion.

  • http://www.friendsofportia.blogspot.com Judith L

    Strange, strange man. The nation was spared by a hair.

  • JP

    Gore never said that he invented the internet. He claimed to take initiative in creating the internet, and it’s not quite the same thing. See Snopes with his actual quote here: http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp

    We can deride Gore for many silly comments and actions. Let’s make sure we are accurate when we do.

  • AlDelG

    Good points. Undoubtedly the otherwise inexplicable awarding of the Peace prize to Obama, who had just recently started his presidency, can be similarly explained as a “kick” at Bush.

  • John V

    It seems to me that, except for the fact that he won, much the same could be said about our current president.

  • Sherrill

    Al Gore wouldn’t matter at all except for one very serious thing. His overwhelming belief that he was entitled to be president led very directly to our current state of hyper-partisanism and disunity. The article you quote goes on to remind us that Fl or not had he carried his home state he would have been POTUS.

  • http://sisu.typepad.com Sissy Willis

    A sad epitaph to a web of inconvenient lies.

  • fiestamom

    I agree with everything you said, except I really wonder if Gore knows why he received all the awards, accolades?

    #6-ain’t that the truth? The media went berserk after 2000. The media seemed really surprised that the Republican citizens were so outraged about the open vote stealing. Remember, in 2004, one of the clowns from Newsweek said their coverage accounted for about 15 pts for Kerry. I imagine it was the same for Gore. Gore is the same kook now that he was then.

  • Teresa

    What I never understood is why it took some in the public so long to realize the man is seriously deranged. When I watched one of his debates (actually joint press conferences) with G. Bush and he moved menacingly into GBs face, I really wondered if he was going to smack him. Judging from the look from Bush I assume he was wondering too.

  • http://www.ilike.com/artist/Ritchie+the+Riveter Ritchie The Riveter

    Sherrill, I’ll take the liberty of editing one of your lines to expand upon what you said:

    “Progressives’ overwhelming belief that one of their own was entitled to be president led very directly to our current state of hyper-partisanism and disunity.”

    Mr. Gore’s most strident supporters worship the delusion of their own omniscience to such a degree, they believe they have a birthright to rule, er, lead … and their resultant hyper-partisanism extended, after 9/11, into an anti-war movement that gave us the term “BDS” and then went silent once Mr. Obama was elected.

    The True Believers expanded their support base, by tapping into two powerful motives fueled by Progressive class warfare and amorality …. the belief of many that government must take from others to give them “what they deserve”, and the aversion to having one’s mellow harshed by credible criticism of their lifestyle/recreational choices.

    (BTW, these two motives also form a lot of the market for comedians like Jon Stewart to build careers upon and even gain a measure of respectability, because these humorists effectively give the rest of us the permission to ignore the old fuddy-duds who believe that responsibility is not merely a function of pocket depth.)

    They couched those motives in the language of the anti-war movement, but criticism directly related to those motives was almost always part-and-parcel of the anti-war protests, as well.

    In that regard, Mr. Bush was simply the most convenient target for them … for their true goal was/is to discredit the conservative worldview by any means necessary, intellectual honesty be damned.

    That’s why any conservative voice that gains national recognition … from Limbaugh, to Coulter, to Palin … is confronted with the same rabid vitriol as Mr. Bush was (and still is).

  • sj

    This seems like a spiteful post to me, though I suppose it can all be in the eye of the beholder as I’ve seen nothing wrong with the posts on Father C., yet others have reacted quite strongly. I’ve always liked Gore, voting for him as far back as the 1988 primaries and I think he has done good work in the intervening years. The comments above mine mainly come from a different perspective and the most interesting thing to me is how the commenters feelings about Gore mirror my own feelings about various conservative figures. E.g., Ritchie the Riveter’s belief that progressives feel they “have a birthright to rule” — amazing, that’s what I’ve told people about the post-Reagan Republican party. The GOP from 1972 through 1988 got used to winning and winning big and whenever it has come a cropper since then, gets quite frustrated and vitriolic in their expression of that. That comes out in “whacky” ideas like saying that Gore claimed to have “invented the Internet.” I’m sorry he lost the election in 2000. I think we would have been in a better place had he not.

  • Salt Lick

    Gore reminds me most of Aaron Burr, who would have been President with the change of a single vote. Providence (and Alexander Hamilton) stepped in for America on that one, too.

  • Terrye

    Gore is a politician. He does not see past the moment. I always thought Bush was better than that. I think people on both sides of the aisle display a great deal of spite in political discourse. In fact, for many of them spite is all there is.

  • Sherrill

    I found your point of view interesting. As you know starting in the 1930s and going forward to the 1980′s the Dem’s mostly controlled Congress. Both parties want to get elected, however, when Nixon lost Chicago to Kennedy in what was later determined to big the biggest voter fraud in history; he decided not to cause a constitutional crisis and did not challange the vote in court. Contrast that behavior with Gore’s. Gore had been TN’s senator for years, they were the voters who knew him best and had they voted for him the FL vote would not have mattered. Yet he tore the country apart and continued to claim as did his followers that he was cheated out of “his election” by the SCOUS. Quite frankly our political discourse has not recovered so we have commericials of a frightened elderly lady being pushed over a cliff!! Does anyone really think that is what repubs really want??

  • Uh, Clem

    Gore: Carter’s priggery and Obama’s inexperience, but without any of that annoying charisma stuff.

  • SKAY

    Great post.

    I was also a Democrat-when I thought there was still something called “conservative” Democrats somewhere left in the party. I also kind of liked Al Gore -until I became aware of some of the leftist ideas he was trying to push thrugh while he was Vice-President – quietly using the EPA.
    Fortunately there were still enough Democrats with common sense left in Congress – at that time – to quietly stop this onerous regulation on private property owners.

    Awarding Gore and Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for — nothing except spite — has devalued the whole idea of the prize. Those who award it have made it a political joke instead of the honor it is supposed to be. Surely there were better choices who shamefully were passed over.

  • Gail F

    I liked Al Gore when he was vice president and if he did anything wacky then, I didn’t know about it. But the whole “inconvenient truth” thing shocked me out of my fond imaginings. I don’t know if he would have made a good president or not — it’s impossible to say whether much of his current wackiness resulted from him wanting to be famous for SOMETHING — but he is a wack-job for sure. The Nobel Peace Prize????? Of course, when that happened I lost my fond imaginings about that particular prize. Sigh. Real life is not as pleasant as one imagines it to be.

  • Bob Mounger

    Ever since Al Gore tried to wreck all prerecorded music sold in the US (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Audio_Tape) I have been extremely suspicious of anything he says, particularly on any technical or scientific topic.

  • http://www.zealforyourhouseconsumesme.com thereserita

    Teresa, Of note: It didn’t take voters in his home state of TN too long to realize what kind of person he is…he couldn’t even carry his own state. That should always be a red flag! He’s known here as a career politician who hasn’t held down a real job in his life. I pray we can someday REPLACE THEM ALL!

  • JimD

    Do ANY of you zany conservative Catholics believe Gore could have been worse than “W”? Oh! My! God! Just have a Latin Mass to make reparations, will you.

    [Not a fan of the Latin Mass, myself. You should probably figure out who you're responding to, instead of exposing your bigotry via the caricatures you relate -admin]

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Gore’s actual words to Wolf Blitzer on CNN were “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the internet.”

    Snopes disputes that Gore claims he “invented” the internet. True enough. But despite Snopes parsing of the two words, there is no distinguishable difference in “creating” the internet from “inventing” the internet.

    Gore was truly trying to take credit for it.

  • sj

    Sherrill — Whether or not voter fraud caused Illinois to go into the Democratic column or not has never been determined. There was voter fraud on behalf of Republicans downstate. There were aggressive attempts by Cook County Republicans that went nowhere. And at any rate, Illinois going Republican by itself would not have changed the result of the election.

    Contrary to myth, Republican challenges in various states kept going until the summer of 1961. As for Gore, I’m not aware of him “continuing to claim he was cheated” post SCOTUS.

  • tempus fugit

    Plus the fact that here’s a man that lectures the average person on their fossil fuel use then flies around in private jets, limousines, lives in a mansion with a heated swimming pool etc….

    Even liberals I know can’t deny that this man is a hypocrite of monumental proportions.

  • Terrye


    I am not a Catholic and I think Gore would have been much worse than W.

    I remember both Al Gores..I remember the conservative Democrat who was a strong supporter of the second amendment and who said that it was time we settled the score with Saddam…this time on our terms..and I remember the environmental fanatic/hypocrite who made millions asking other people to make sacrifices he himself would never make.

    They were both odd.

  • Terrye


    Gore is still claiming he was cheated. That is just a fact.

    And Republicans are pikers when it comes to stealing elections compared to the Democrats.

    Democrats have been known for years for doing this sort of thing, they used to use European immigrants to pack the polls, now they tend to lean toward crack heads. They exploit people. It is a tradition.

    Not all Democrats are guilty of this of course, but there are cities where this sort of practice is endemic. Why do you think they fought so hard to stop voter ID?

  • Galin

    What can I say about Al Gore that has not been said. The man tried to evade service in Vietnam by using his father’s influence. He failed many science courses in college, never completed Divinity Schools (pretext to avoid service in Vietnam) and never completed Law School. Now, by having a large personal interest in the carbon trading market which could make him billions more, he foists a theory missing credible science upon the public to achieve his financial goals. Plus, through in the creep ick factor of his ‘massages’ and reported infidelity and the bonus of accepting bribes from foreign Buddhist monks along with using the White House to solicit funds; you get a terrible man.

  • http://www.friendsofportia.blogspot.com Judith L

    To set the record straight. Gore did not try to evade the draft. His mother actually would have backed him if he had fled to Canada. But his father was up for re-election to the Senate in 1970 and there was nothing for Al Jr. to do, but sign up. He and Tipper presented a heart-rending pair on the campaign trail, Al Jr. in uniform, preparing to go to Viet Nam, where most Tennessee voters believed he would be fighting in the front lines. All that was to no avail. His father’s dreadful Civil Rights voting record caught up with him. Blacks stayed home and a Republican was elected.

    His disastrous career at Vanderbilt was after his return. He flunked out of Divinity School and dropped out of Law School while failing.

  • sj

    Give us a citation, Terrye, so we can take a look at these alleged claims.

    My take on all the bile displayed here is that the very existence of Gore serves as a reproach to a certain segment of the conservative community, which can only respond by trying to kick at him. You guys know better than that.

  • Mary

    Saved by a hair’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Al gore WON the popular vote and thanks to Scalia we had eight long years of death, destruction and collapse of America. Gore would not have had the military planes stand down on 9-11 if that even would have happened with Gore as President. Perhaps he would have paid attention to the August memo. I can’t believe you people.