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Choices and Consequences


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  • Yeah I was one of those, was young and edgy, still feel bad about it sometimes but then remember AlGore was a pretty different dude then too. Like, he picked Joe fucking Lieberman as his running mate ffs, so I harbor no illusions that he would have been anything other than status quo. Better than GWB? Oh fuck yeah, in retrospect it's not close, but their campaigns they were basically trying to out-center the other, and both seemed like just slightly different versions of each other. Assuming he would have been a major disruptor in terms of climate initiatives is naive I think.

    • were basically trying to out-center the other

      I mean that is and has been the post Reagan political paradigm. It worked once for Democrats (Clinton), every other election before and after (at least as far back as Carter), Democrats win when they step to the left. Yet they still think they should be fighting for some imagined center.

    • Yeah this - people tout Al Gore today as if he was the same back then. He learned from what happened, and became better, but it was that failure that caused that process... or something like that, maybe?

      Like, didn't he say that he invented the internet? Actually, supposedly he never said that, only that he played a key role in it (which he did), but that is the kind of thing that a "modern" politician simply cannot ever do: give comedians a reason to make fun of him, like Biden's "then you ain't black" comment. Obama understood this well: the President is mostly a face on television (these days, the internet), so portrayal is the main part of the job.

      Unfortunately, Trump used that same feature to his own benefit. i.e., Trump understood this one feature better than Gore. Before everyone downvotes me to oblivion, I invite people to think about how it is correct, no matter how desperately we wish it were not, or how disgusted it makes all of us feel:-(.

      • Gore was one of the senators who saw early on the potential of the internet and fought for funding for it. Vint Cerf said that Gore's actual statement (which, of course, was not that he "invented the internet") was completely accurate in terms of taking credit for what he'd accomplished and the value of it. It's the same quality he had that put him ahead of the curve on climate change (he would actually still be ahead of the curve today, in terms of the woeful bullshit people in Washington consider "the curve").

        If your goal is to live your political life in such a way that no one can twist your words around and make you look bad, you're not going to succeed. I think a better approach would be uprooting and demolishing as much as possible of the powerful media systems that are engineered and funded to take good politicians' words and twist them around to produce malevolent results and make those politicians artificially look bad. How to get that done, I wish I knew.

        • I think Obama's approach was to bypass the media, and reach out directly to the people themselves, even if through them. That way, the media dared not make fun of him. Ofc they did anyway, but quite often, it did not stick as a result.

          Here I have to ignore Faux News b/c they just ruthlessly tried to tear him apart - e.g. a black kid dies by violence, and Obama sheds a tear in sympathy, and they accuse him of it being faked. Which even if so, so what? We should have, and demonstrate, sympathy to people - imagine if that were a competition, and he was winning it, rather than the exact opposite of that which is the reality that we had:-(.

          So the more mainstream media made fun of Obama's pauses, and how white his hair had turned while in office. Obama himself played along, especially in the White House Correspondents speeches. Those were great relations:-D.

          Somehow Gore never managed to do that. I imagine him more like an engineer (which I am myself), who might be technically quite proficient, but struggle at the more "people" aspects of the job. Nixon too in a fashion. The people want a JFK/Bill Clinton/Obama/Trump, they don't want someone who will actually get the job done, more's the pity:-(.

          And now we have Biden, who similarly is quietly getting things done, though the media is eating him alive whenever/however they can. After that, whether in this upcoming election or the one after that, it'll be a GQP member - you just know that, b/c of Dems never winning successive elections in history. Rinse & Repeat.

          UNLESS libs learn this lesson, finally, and put forward someone who is electable? It very much IS a popularity contest, no matter how much we may wish, demand, expect, or hope otherwise:-|.

          The attitude of the Greek Stoics impresses me: we cannot impose our views upon the entire world, we can only change what WE can manage to change ourselves. Maybe that means skirting the government at the federal level - like individual states right now could pass protections against future anti-abortion laws, so why don't they? Or coalitions among cities could accomplish a lot - e.g. we can't force people to take vaccines, but we can work to make them cheap, effective, and available to anyone that will.

          Navel-gazing back into the past does serve a purpose, but only to the extent that we learn from our mistakes as we move forward.

        • If your goal is to live your political life in such a way that no one can twist your words around and make you look bad, you're not going to succeed.

          You're not going to succeed, nor will you ever care about anything that matters

      • didn’t he say that he invented the internet?

        No, he didn't say he invented the Internet. What he did say was that as a young congressman he took the initiative to create the Internet, by providing the funding to expand the military's Arpanet for civilian usage - a perfectly true and reasonable statement for him to make since that is actually what he did. Literally months after Gore made this perfectly true and unremarkable statement, Bush advisor Karl Rove twisted it into "I invented the Internet". There is no "supposedly" about this.

        that is the kind of thing that a “modern” politician simply cannot ever do

        Gore simply talked about one of his biggest accomplishments (perhaps the biggest accomplishment) of his long career as a politician. It is not reasonable to expect a Democrat to never mention the best parts of his record out of fear that the Republicans will twist his words - that will happen regardless.

      • a “modern” politician simply cannot ever do: give comedians a reason to make fun of him

        The problem is he didn’t. Go back and look. Republican Party twisted his words and successfully made the twisted version into the popular narrative. That’s also a time tested political trick, but when it’s not what you actually said, you have no control over it.

        The only thing that would have worked then was out-blustering his opponents, turn something else into the meme of the’s a very powerful trick for getting elected, but really not one we should reward in a national leader

    • At the time you didn't have to be major disruptor like we need major disruption now. What you needed to do was move the needle, which could be done. Moving the needle early on drastically changes the path decades later.

      There's also what you say during the election and what you do. I'm pretty sure Bush played it up (I'm amazed at what I see him say in old videos). Gore played down what he intended to do, or didn't make a big deal about it, because that's not what got votes at the time. So they may sound similar but not actually be similar.

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