In and Out of Al Gore's Speech

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 02:06:35 +0000

I thought Al Gore's speech was one of his best in politics. Two things jumped out at me.

First, the word "tax" was not uttered. It was the perfect opportunity to make his case for a carbon tax. He could have slipped it in before (or in lieu of) the second paragraph here:

And it just so happens that the climate crisis is intertwined with the other two great challenges facing our nation: reviving our economy and strengthening our national security. The solutions to all three require us to end our dependence on carbon-based fuels.

Instead of letting lobbyists and polluters control our destiny, we need to invest in American innovation.

Impose the tax and the innovation follows. There is no particular reason for the government to direct the innovation. Better to focus on the critical aspects of infrastructure where natural monopolies make a more compelling case for government involvement.

Second, I have often wondered what the Democrats think would have happened on 9/11 if the 2000 election would have broken for Gore rather than Bush. Unless you are of the view that Gore in the White House would have prevented 9/11, then I don't see how the Democratic Party could have recovered from it. There would have been an unbroken line from the 1993 WTC bombings to 9/11 and no way for Gore to withstand what would have been blistering critiques from the Republicans. Soft on national security and the like. I think the 2002 midterm elections would have gone strongly Republican and that they would have used the full powers of the Congress to rake Gore over the coals. The Republicans would have captured the White House in 2004, but probably not with George Bush as their candidate.

In his speech tonight, Gore made this remark:

Take it from me, if it [the 2000 election] had ended differently, we would not be bogged down in Iraq; we would have pursued bin Laden until we captured him.

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That suggests he doesn't think he could have prevented 9/11, but read a more complete Q&A with Gore about this topic here. What do you think?