Monday, January 16, 2006

Dogs and Cats, Living Together

In a point that underscores how little traction the issue of impeachment has right now, Al Gore gave a major speech today in which he essentially called the president a criminal.

You'd think such a charge coming from a former Democratic candidate for the presidency would be incredibly newsworthy, especially since Gore was introduced by former Republican congressman and Clinton impeachment manager Bob Barr. Of course, you'd be wrong. Not even the sight of powerful politicians from opposite ends of the spectrum coming together to condemn the president could stir the media from their apathy.


Tokyo Joe said...

Holy Crap!!! A big-wig in the Dem party said bad things about the Rep President and the media isn't playing it 24-7 Katrina style!!!

Sorry for the sarcasism, but this isn't much of a story in my book. In fact, i think the whole impeachment thing has been overblown. This is espcially true coming from Gore.

The problem the way I see it is the fact that the Dems have been calling for impeachment since almost day 1. It's almost like the dems are trying to get back at the reps for trying to impeach (and nearly succeeding) Clinton. And while I agree that these current charges are a bit more valid, i just have a hard time believing that these will stick any better. I think the American people are sick of hearing these constant cries of impeachment (which, let's face it, up to now have been pretty groundless) and just think this is more rhetoric from bitter dems.

Add to the fact that the President can play the Patriot card and point to the lack of terrorist attacks here in America, and this won't even come close. I think the dems would be best off just accepting that there is a rep in office until 2008 and start trying to find a decent canidate.

Studiodave said...

And BTW - is was in all the top internet news sources when I left work today. So it IS getting some traffic.

That being said, I would imagine I would avoid anything Al "Fun Times" Gore said if I were in the press as I don't think he gets headlines like that pregnant Angelina!! That baby will be adorable!

Otto Man said...

The problem the way I see it is the fact that the Dems have been calling for impeachment since almost day 1.

Sorry, but I don't buy your assumption here. Rank and file Democrats, maybe, but can you name me a single Democrat of Gore's level who's made a charge this harsh -- that the president is a criminal? The whole point of the Nation article, in fact, is that no one has called for impeachment before, and this is all suddenly new. And they're the ones out on the edge.

Add to the fact that the President can play the Patriot card

Didn't work for Nixon. Wouldn't work now. A couple years ago, sure. But the polls reflect that that dog just don't hunt anymore.

And BTW - is was in all the top internet news sources when I left work today. So it IS getting some traffic.

Yeah, even Wolf Blitzer was all over it this afternoon. Maybe it will gain traction. We'll see.

Otto Man said...

By the way, as I noted in the post before this one, I think all impeachment talk is premature and not worth following at least through the next elections and in all likelihood never.

Tokyo Joe said...

OM, see your point, but what exactly is Gore's level? He doesn't hold public office now, so he's free to make any wild accusation that he wants without being accountable to anyone. From what I've seen, the elected types usually don't go shooting their mouths off without either knowing what they are talking about or paying the price for it later (hell, Gore couldn't even find 1 senator to co-sponsor the challenge to his election results). So even though he was a big wig (past tense), he has no intention of entering politics again and thus is really no more power player than Michael Moore or Rush (the radio commentator, not the band).

And even though I see the parallels between him and Nixon, I think Bush's patriot card might act actually play since he was spying on "terrorists" and not just other politicians. Now if you could prove that all of the people who had their phones taped were large dem contributors (or even 1 dem contributor for that matter), then you might have a case.

Otto Man said...

I hear you, Joe, but I think right now, Gore is right up there with Kerry as the party's leading statesmen, largely because the public defines leaders not in terms of congressional leaders but presidential nominees. (And the way I've always seen the story of the lack of a Gore challenge is that Gore himself nixed it. If he'd wanted a senator, Paul Wellstone or someone like him would've leapt at the chance.)

And I think it's a mistake to see this as Bush spying on terrorists. He wasn't. The NYT has a story up about the thousands upon thousands of people who had their phones tapped without warrants and, as it turns out, without any results. These people had no ties to terrorism, and as a result, that means the Bush administration wasn't spying on terrorists, they were spying on ordinary Americans.

This is worse than Watergate for one simple reason -- the American people realize that this time around, it wasn't some high profile Democrat who was getting spied on, it was normal people. It was them.

Tokyo Joe said...

I can see where a pres nominee would be influential, but no one likes a loser. The only reason that Kerry or Bob Dole have any clout (to me at least) is that they still have jobs in the public sector. They are still accountable while all Al Gore has done is host a radio show and grown a beard. So while he does have some pull, i think it's more of the armchair quaterback type instead of some one who is actually on the field, which gives him a lot more lee way as far as crazy talk.

As for the patriot card, I think if this administration has shown anything, it's that results don't matter, only intent. Because the intent was to catch bad guys, this too shall pass with minimum fuss. Besides, all they will have to do is point out a few people on that list who of innocents and say that they were on their list because their phone number was called by a known terrorist. Now that person is probably innocent, but the average person will consider him guilty by associatation.

Additionally, even though it was just normal people being spied on, I don't think Joe Six-pack will really care since chances are the people spied on have funny sounding names. It's a terrible thing to say in this day and age, but it's surprising what people can get away with when you mix fear, ignorance, and racism.

Thrillhous said...

Like your typical wishy-washy librul, I agree with everyone. In my book Gore still has a lot of authority, and when he talks, I listen. But I don't think there's all that many people who feel that way, and we all know that the press has long loathed Gore for a variety of BS reasons.

Gore's done a number of great, fiery speeches the last 2 or 3 years. Each got major play on the blogs, each got inadequate to modest coverage in the regular press, and each went away a few days later.

I definitely agree with you guys that impeachment ain't gonna happen. I disagree with you, TJ, about impeachment being called for since day 1, but there have been a few instances of it (I think John Conyers may have called for impeachment proceedings, but I could be wrong about that).

As far as the issue of spying on U.S. citizens, I'm a lot less concerned about the civil liberties aspect than I am the breaking the law aspect. I think that Bush really was trying to enhance national security with the wiretapping stuff, and I wouldn't have had a problem with it if it'd gone on in the aftermath of 9/11, until they had a chance to address it legislatively. But the fact that they never bothered to even try to make it legal is scarry to me.