I said it before and I’ll say it again, when you get past all the bullshit that’s been thrown around about his wooden personality or his exaggerations (all of which were shown to be dead on) during the last election and all the rest, Al Gore is damned smart and would have made an excellent President. This speech is excellent.
Robust debate in a democracy will almost always involve occasional rhetorical excesses and leaps of faith, and we’re all used to that. I’ve even been guilty of it myself on occasion. But there is a big difference between that and a systematic effort to manipulate facts in service to a totalistic ideology that is felt to be more important than the mandates of basic honesty.
Unfortunately, I think it is no longer possible to avoid the conclusion that what the country is dealing with in the Bush Presidency is the latter. That is really the nub of the problem — the common source for most of the false impressions that have been frustrating the normal and healthy workings of our democracy.