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.