Skip to comments.Gore Imbalanced (The story of Al Gore's encounter with Ward Connerly is priceless.)
Posted on 08/03/2007 11:37:35 PM PDT by neverdem
The former vice presidents new book is itself an assault on reason.
The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore (Penguin Press, 320 pp., $25.95)
The most surprising thing about The Assault on Reason, Al Gores current bestseller, is that for a little while it actually makes some sense. The first few dozen pages, while hyperpartisan, mainly excoriate a dumbed-down, trivia-and-celebrity-obsessed culture, and in the age of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan who could disagree?
But Al Gore is like one of those guys at a party with whom, once you get a few drinks in him, you never know whats coming. Hes liable to strip to his underwear or start spewing expletives or waddle over with an outstretched hand and ingratiating smile and suddenly go for your ear like Mike Tyson. For just beneath that aging prep-boy facade, theres an unmistakable anger and bitterness; where Bill Clinton has always seemed too comfortable in his skin, Gore has often seemed inclined to burst out of his, like some demented political version of the Incredible Hulk.
For me, the defining Al Gore story is the one that Ward Connerly, the longtime crusader against racial preferences, tells in his autobiography Creating Equal. Having been invited to the Clinton White House as part of a group of largely black conservatives to counter criticism that Clintons vaunted Initiative on Race was getting input from only one side, Connerly held forth on the great damage that he believed affirmative action and other well-intended policies had done to the ideal of a colorblind America. Clinton, he says, listened attentively, even sympathetically, and later threw his arm around him in brotherly solidarity. But Gore visibly seethedand afterward, when Connerly offered his hand, he seized it in a vicelike grip and, smiling coldly, kept squeezing, until there was no doubt in Connerlys mind that he was trying to hurt him.
The Assault on Reason is like that. Yes, its logically inconsistent and self-serving and unbelievably sanctimonious, but theres a lot of that going around. What ultimately makes the book so disturbing is that something pretending to be a brief for reason and comity is so unbelievably small and mean-spirited. It is less an argument than an extended tantrum. Reading it is often like being locked in a room with a madman.
Even more than most partisan commentators today (and of course there are more than a few on the right), Gore is blind to how recklessly he abuses facts and applies double standards, not to mention to his own viciousness. He continually rails, for instance, against those who use fear and simplistic nostrums disguised as solutions to sway an inattentive and emotionally malleable public, causing it to overreact to illusory threats and underreact to real threatsthis from the man behind the global-warming frenzy, who consistently downplays the menace of international terrorism.
He describes his conservative adversaries as nothing less than monsters, who hold their views not out of genuine conviction about whats good for the country but because they are wholly indifferent to the general good. Moreover, he piously adds, the Right often manifests a complete lack of empathy toward other Americans whom it identifies as its ideological enemies. Yet a little further on, hes applauding the special-interest groups on the left as advocates of a broad and effuse public interest who rely mainly on the force of argument and the rule of reasoning, regretting only that they lack access to the same supplies of concentrated wealth as those on the right. He bemoans hatred as entertainment, reserving special venom for the Limbaugh-Hannity-Drudge Axis, yet cites the likes of Paul Krugman and Joseph Wilson as decent and fair-minded commentators.
Most bizarre of all, he insistsindeed, this is his main pointthat the public sphere is simply no longer as open to the vigorous and free exchange of ideas from individuals as it was when America was founded (this on page 26), and then manages not to discuss the Internet for another 230 pages. When he finally does, he blithely contradicts almost all of the alarmist claptrap that came earlier, proclaiming that broadband interconnection is supporting decentralized processes that reinvigorate democracy.
That The Assault on Reason has sold well is surely because Al Gore is now a name brand with whom a certain stripe of leftist is eager to identify. One is reminded of a recent marketing survey of Prius owners, which revealed that as many as 50 percent of those buying the Toyota hybrid do so because, unlike the Honda and Ford hybrids (which can be mistaken for regular Civics and Escapes), the Prius is immediately identifiable as a badge of virtue. Rest assured that this book, a similar emblem, will spend a lot more time on Hamptons coffee tables than at the beach.
Who is the algore guy anyway?
broadband interconnection is supporting decentralized processes that reinvigorate democracy.
In other words, FR rules!
To this reviewer, Al Gore is Michael Moore squeezed into a suit.
"For just beneath that aging prep-boy facade, theres an unmistakable anger and bitterness; where Bill Clinton has always seemed too comfortable in his skin, Gore has often seemed inclined to burst out of his, like some demented political version of the Incredible Hulk."
Al Gore is one of the bitterest little men I've ever seen. He is offended by the idea that someone dares disbelieve him.
I think he’s flat-out whacked. Nutso. Kooked.
Harry Stein is a very good writer.
“He BETRAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYED our country! He PLAYED ON OUR FEARS!!!!”
This helps to explain AlGore’s conversion from legislative policy wonk to eco-zealot; this new name brand is PROFITABLE. As long as he continues to be the “environmental prophet” and preach fire and brimstone (as a consequence of anthropogenic global warming) the donations will continue to pour in to the Ministry of AlGore from the flock of faithful liberals.
Clearly "off the rails." Gone politically postal. "Nuttier than a squirrel turd," as one FReeper says.
[Hes always sounded to me that he was speaking down to people, but that is now mixed with anger.]
The reason for this is the same as in my post #14. AlGore is the “fire and brimstone” preacher excoriating the multitudes of sinners to repent (and keep sending those checks to the Ministry of AlGore!*).
*and buying the latest books and bumper stickers from the stores
Gore could never hope to better a great man like Ward Connerly intellectually so he tried to do so physically, in a setting where no one would expect such physicality.
This idea that emotion-driven, irrational liberalism is based on logic and intellect, while conservatism is based on raw emotion, is one of the more brazen lies the left has been propagating lately.
Didn't Gore drop out of a divinity school for preachers?
He the blatant LIAR that claimed two billion people participated in Live Earth when the TV and internet ratings companies worldwide could only account for about 40 Million, or two percent, of his claimed audience.
I’m telling you, Manbearpig is real, and he’s coming right here.
The angels of our better nature were hard at work in Florida in 2000. How CLOSE this madman came to the whitehouse should give all of us the willies...
The fool has said in his heart that Al Gore is smart..
Franken-Clintoon's hunchback laboratory assistant fromspoof ads on Rush's show during the 1992 campaaign.
I skimmed for mostly for tone while checking the index to drop in on a couple of my pet issues. Gore has been one of the leading practioners in recent years of the politics of hysteria. I was looking for some acknowledgement of his own excesses, a discussion of how the dynamics of modern campaigning can pull good people into the gutter, and an effort by Gore to meet his opponents fairly on the issues. Nope, nope, and nope.
The Assault on Reason is simply a tirade on the theme that evil people (i.e., anyone who disagrees with Al) are able to find a platform and an audience.
AlGore’s book, “The Assault on Reason”, is exactly that.
An aptly named tome, even if the foaming drooler that wrote it meant something else by it.
AlGore was, is, and always will be, a self-important, sanctimonious windbag.
Prayers for those who are forced to read this book for their jobs.....
Visually accurate description. He's like Peter Boyle in 'Young Frankenstein' tap-dancing to 'Puttin' on the Ritz'.
[Didn’t Gore drop out of a divinity school for preachers?]
Yes, Vanderbilt University. Divinity school. Five F’s out of eight classes. And we were told he’s smarter than “that other guy” who earned a degree in business from Yale.
But AlGore is REALLY smart because he runs around (flies on private jets actually) giving speeches about science. Even though he’s scientifically illiterate, and wouldn’t recognize a logical fallacy if it bit him on the left buttock.
Gore has pig’s eyes. Nuff said.
Clinton is Gantry,,Gantry had a warmth and charisma.
I have long contended Al Gore is Asperbers gone bad. He never had even one oar in the water. He has always had something wrong with him, from childhood on. I suspect Asbergers. But now he is plain looney.
Imo, Clinton was Mordecai Jones, the Flim-flam Man.
Say, wahtever you want about George W Bush, the man does not give a wit about his critics.
He flunked out of law school, and then divinity school. (How do you flunk out of divinity school?)
He seems so damned imbalanced, even when he's getting iced tea.
I remember how he couldn't even take care of his rented property in Tennessee, and he now presumes to think he can solve the problems of the earth?
Disbelieve him ? Heck, a majority of the folks in Rocky Top didn’t know him...
Al Gore is, perhaps, the most STUPID man ever to be inflicted on the American people ( Idunno’, maybe Jimmy Carter is more stupid- hard to tell). He HAS to know, however, that unless he comes up with some half-baked crusade like “global warming” he ends up ONLY on the trash heap of history. An ego like his won’t live with that...
Remind me again which administration had more stupid celebrities hanging around the White House and Lincoln bedroom, day and night?
He described Al Gore well ... and described even better the attitude of the left toward the right.
Algore betrays the truth and plays on our fears.
Bump for later.
I wonder how much of this anger has been directed at Al's son, it could explain some of his need for solace in drugs.
“Nuttier than a squirrel turd,” as one FReeper says.
Global citizen? Then let him relocate to elsewhere on the globe and annoy someone else!
On some level I agree, but Al Gore has long been an adult and responsible for himself. I know many people with equally poor upbringing who have opened their minds and allowed a little light and air in.
Undoubtedly that is true but I doubt that any of those you know were subjected to the level of "indoctrination" Al Gore was.
Geez! Am I defending Owl Gore?
A red diaper baby for sure(Al Gore).. Must have been Hitlerys subliminal message, to us all, by choosing him.. for BILL..
I think it was George Carlin who quipped about somebody flunking out of divinity school, "They caught him cheating. During the exam he was looking into the soul of the guy sitting next to him."
Actually, I have read some accounts that he was smoking so much dope at Vanderbilt that he couldn't even pass the courses in their Divinity School.