|Man Without Qualities|
Friday, September 27, 2002
Al Gore is now reported to be denouncing the Bush Administration for not acting on its pre-9-11 information:
"The warnings were there" before the attacks, Mr. Gore said. Mr. Gore's speech, which also accused the administration of running roughshod over civil liberties.
Of course, his argument seems to completely ignore that the intelligence services he is now criticizing are the same ones the Clinton-Gore Administration molded for the preceding eight years.
But the completeness of Mr. Gore's incoherence is most surely displayed in the way it neatly illustrates Dan Henninger's observation that "the same people who say the danger was obvious also say and write that we don't yet know enough about Iraq's military capabilities or intentions to act pre-emptively against Saddam Hussein." Just days ago, Mr. Gore asserted that any military action against Iraq now could "seriously damage our ability to win the war against terrorism and weaken our ability to lead the world."
Gore and Henninger must be a vaudeville act, right? Henninger the straight man. Gore does Gracie?
As an amusing aside, Mr. Gore revived his old embarrassing campaign problem of asserting bizarre factoids which almost certainly will not check out once the inevitable investigative leg work is done by the media or Republican partisans:
Mr. Gore also said Mr. Bush's Justice Department and the FBI had spent more time and resources investigating a suspected brothel in New Orleans than monitoring bin Laden and his terrorist network. "Where is their sense of priorities?" Mr. Gore asked.
And let's not forget:
Ironically, while Mr. Gore was escalating his attacks on the administration, former President Bill Clinton was planning to attend a Labor Party conference in Great Britain to help Prime Minister Tony Blair persuade skeptical party members to support Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush in taking military action against Iraq.
It is increasingly apparent how much Messrs. Gore and Clinton dislike each other. But is that any reason for Mr. Gore to ignore the caginess of the old silver fox?
Mr. Gore's statements are taken by some as a sure sign that he will run for the presidency in 2004. But really they are a sure sign that he should take Ms. McNeil's advice: "You've got other talents. Go write about sports at the school newspaper, join the debate team, or maybe you've got a nice voice and belong on the stage." In fact, Mr. Gore's 2004 campaign song now seems obvious, and in the mean time I know just the song for Mr. Clinton to urge Mr. Gore to work on now:
Don't you love a farce; my fault I fear
I thought that you'd want what I want - sorry my dear
But where are the clowns - send in the clowns
Don't bother they're here
UPDATE: Only a few weeks ago the Man Without Qualities suggested:
Gee, if this recent progress against Iraq and al Qaeda keeps up, maybe the [New York] Times will begin to suspect that the United States is not only the world's only superpower - but it can whistle and walk at the same time, too! Don't laugh. It could happen!
And while the scales have not yet fallen from the eyes of the New York Times, an astute reader e-mails that the Associated Press reports that Bill Clinton said:
"I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time. That is, I think we can turn up the heat on Iraq and retain our focus on terror."
Is Mr. Gore listening? Or is he still too busy trying to get his nose to honk?
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