Sunday, June 04, 2006
I saw "An Inconvenient Truth" yesterday, and it was pretty awesome. I decided I should see it early in its theatrical run. When I am faced with the Lie Machine so vital to conservative tactics, I will be prepared.
(This was very helpful when "Fahrenheit 9/11" came out. For example, I was prepared when Newsweek, that "liberal rag," refuted several things that, sadly for Newsweek, Michael Moore didn't say.)
The conservatives really hate Al Gore. I remember very well the "Al Gore, pathological liar" character that the conservatives made up and the "liberal media" perpetuated in the 2000 election campaign. It's funny. You'd think that if Al Gore was such a dangerous, serial liar, it wouldn't have been that difficult to come up with a REAL lie, something that Al Gore really said. Instead, the so-called "liberal media" contented itself with a barrage of distortions, half-truths and falsehoods that have been easily refuted by anyone who cares enough about America to do a little independent research. (Conservatives should try it some time. Maybe decent people wouldn't look at conservatives with such scorn and revulsion if conservatives weren't so stubbornly ill-informed.)
The "Al Gore, pathological liar" character has almost disappeared from current discourse. It was a very dishonest and transparent device from the get-go. Only the REALLY irredeemably pathetic conservative hacks, like Jonah Goldberg, are still trying to push this narrative. Goldberg, in a recent column, noted that Al Gore said he studied French in France the summer that he was 15. Yet Gore's biography states that he was working on the family farm that summer when he was 15. Obviously (in the mind of Goldberg and other tiny-brained conservatives), there is no way anybody could have done both in a single summer. So Al Gore must be a LIAR!
Maybe he was actually SIXTEEN when he went to France! LIAR!
Or maybe Goldberg is making it up. Or repeating a pre-recorded narrative carefully provided by the Repug Lie Machine. He's done it before. But it's not that big a deal. It's just what conservatives do when they don't have any genuine criticisms. He's just giving his alleged audience what it allegedly wants: The worst possible interpretation of every action of every "liberal." So it's hard to get mad at someone who is so pathetic that he has no other mission except to pander to a steadily-shrinking group of delusional, honesty-impaired conservatives.
(In Jonah's defense, he is not as lame as the guy who does "Mallard Fillmore," who, in addition to being a pathetic hack with no sense of humor, is also a bad artist.)
(NOTE: The Jonah Goldberg column appeared in that "liberal rag" The Los Angeles Times on May 25, 2006. It was titled "Same Old Al," but it should have been more accurately titled "Same Old Jonah.")
For more on the "Al Gore, pathological liar" narrative, check out The Daily Howler here, here, here, and here.
The new narrative I have seen in several different forms. It hasn't really coalesced yet, basically because it's based on total bullshit, and the conservatives and their "liberal media" thralls are trying out several variations, testing to see what will sway the public. I have seen Al Gore described as a fear monger (for trying to scare everybody with the Big Bad Wolf of global warming), an overly-ambitious hack who just wants to be president (unlike all the devoted Republicans presently jockeying for the highest office by exploiting wedge issues like flag-burning, illegal immigration and gay marriage), and a weak and indecisive figure who paid too much attention to his consultants in 2000.
I really like Al Gore. I've always liked Al Gore, and the unwarranted and false attacks on Gore in 2000 were a major factor in turning me against the Republicans forever. Until the Republicans apologize for this kind of divisive shit and stop doing it, I will never vote Republican again, nor can I have any respect for anyone who supports the party of lies and smears.
I didn't vote for Gore in 2000. I voted for Nader. Gore's campaign was so uninspired, so business-as-usual, so bloodless that I just decided to go with the "Democrats are almost as bad as Republicans" narrative, and I voted for Nader. (I don't regret it a bit.)
It's nice to see Al Gore back. He has learned a lot since 2000. (One of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats (some of them) can learn.) In "An Inconvenient Truth," he makes the case for global warming, caused by human activity, in a manner that is very persuasive, and should be considered seriously by decent, honorable, reasonable people. (For a typical refutation of "An Inconvenient Truth," see this piece on Salon, another media outlet frequently called the "liberal media" by lying conservatives. Also, see this refutation of the refutation at Media Matters, a watchdog organization accused of lying by people who are unable to provide examples.)
(UPDATE: See comments below for another attack on Al Gore, this one written by Tom Harris, utilizing talking points developed and approved by more shills from the big oil companies. I have provided several links that expose the dishonest and divisive silliness of these hacks.)
I am not going to go over the film scene by scene. Gore is funny and informative. The professional Gore-haters will hate it (largely without seeing it) but they really hate "liberals" and they really love their opinions pre-packaged by the White House Talking Points Dept. and they don't care enough to detect obvious falsehoods about people they are told not to like, so ... fuck them.
One of the things that struck me about the film was Al's accent. He has a hint of Tennessee twang. You can't cultivate a subtle accent like that. Unlike George W. Bush's phony accent, Gore's is real. Progressive Texans have told me that Bush's "Texas" accent is as phony as the ranch. (You know, the ranch in Crawford where the main crop seems to be brush.) He talks like an idiot because he is so out-of-touch with regular people that he thinks they talk like idiots. (And, yes, it's true, a lot of people who voted for him are idiots. It's a damn shame that the Repugs won in 2004 by only stealing a few million votes. They should have had to steal a lot more than that!)
It is a fucking tragedy that we got stuck with George W. Bush when we could have had Al Gore. The Republican leadership had no qualms about lying and lying and lying some more about Albert Gore. The future will be no different as the flip-flopping, opportunistic Repugs will disavow George W. Bush to start creating a new narrative of "John McCain, maverick and outsider" or "George Allen, man of the people" or "Jeb Bush, the smart one" or "Condi Rice, who stood up to Iraq and Iran." These new narratives, refined and promulgated by the "liberal media," will be supplemented with vicious and false attacks on any successful Democrat. And, lazy conservative dimwits will continue to believe dozens of transparent lies at the same time they repeat the "liberal media" mantra.
I want to vote for Al Gore for president. Hopefully, "An Inconvenient Truth" will just be the first step in the road to the White House for a man who already won it. It would be nice to have an articulate, intelligent, sincere president in the White House instead of yet another dishonest puppet creation of the Republican Lie Machine.
No Republicans were hurt in the making of this essay.