Friday, May 26, 2006

When It's Time to Listen, The Rude Pundit Hears

by Ken Houghton

Mr. Papa is reserved

Via the legendary Duncan, but the important part is here:
Gore joked (earlier he had called politicians "a renewable resource"), and he said he had "no intention" to run for President. Then he turned it around, speaking quietly, which, whenever he does, it's time to listen. He made a statement about the power of the people, of James Madison's "informed electorate," and about the responsibility of citizens to be active participants in the destiny of the nation. For Gore, running for President would give him the wide national platform to even discuss these issues. But more important to him is a politics of engagement, whether in power or not.

He's not wrong. My favorite televised moment from the 2000 convention was Gore arguing in his acceptance speech that the Estate Tax needed to be fixed (note: not eliminated). Check the audio (which I haven't; am I the only one surprised that Gore's is the only non-videoed speech?). There were boos, and not just scattered ones. And he paused, and stared, and spoke directly. And the crowd was silenced, because he was direct and appealed directly to their values ("deep in the soul, religious, even, moral purposes").

The verbal cues work both ways. Lee Papa is generally spit and bile and hyperactive phraseology; in this piece, the title is the Rudest part of the piece. (Well, okay, "that inarticulate, shit-tossing baboon hunched in the ditch next to Tony Blair right now" may be worse--but it's the Rudest part that deals with Gore, at least.)

Al Gore has never been my first choice as the Democratic Presidential candidate; I was pushing Bradley in 2000, and my home network isn't called "Re-Elect Kerry in 2008" (entirely) out of whimsy. But this is not the best of all possible worlds, and I could live with the choice in 2000 (even with Lieberman as the VP pick) or now.

So, apparently, could The Rude Pundit.
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