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Matthew N. Klink - Contributor

Matthew N. Klink is a writer and political consultant who works for Republican candidates at the federal, state and local level. He can be reached at [go to Klink index]

The Fight to Remain Relevant
There Goes Al Gore…Again
[Matthew N. Klink] 11/13/03

Poor Al Gore. In his never ending struggle to remain relevant in America’s political discourse, the former vice president tried to make “big news” by discussing the Patriot Act. Unfortunately for Al, his views go to such excess that only the most liberal of all Democrats -- many of them hugging the California coast -- find his opinions relevant or even remotely accurate.

In a November 9th speech to the American Constitution Society, a “mom and apple pie” sounding group populated by NAACP, ACLU and Lambda Legal Defense Fund lawyers, Gore feebly attempted to take the Bush Administration to task for its war against terrorism, its “abuse” of civil and constitutional rights, and pretty much anything else.

Gore charges the president with trying to “roll back the changes in government brought about by the New Deal and the Progressive movement…they are cutting back on civil rights enforcement, women’s rights, progressive taxation, the estate tax, access to the courts.” Gore’s leftward rant sounds more like message points designed to energize Barbara Streisand, Rob Reiner and other Hollywood liberals rather than “middle of the road” wisdom from someone who once billed himself as a “New Democrat.”

By throwing the left’s kitchen sink at President George W. Bush, Gore lays down the liberal gauntlet for all Democratic 2004 presidential candidates. President Bush is demonized for not following the progressive ways of higher taxes, big government and special rights for minorities. If Al Gore thinks he’s right, maybe he should ask Gray Davis about Californians’ strong reaction to these “progressive ways.”

Gore then questions the Bush Administration’s effectiveness in fighting the war on terror. One can’t help but wonder what a Gore Administration would have done following 9/11. Thankfully, America will never know, but we have ample examples of their likely reaction. Look no further than Clinton-Gore’s “response” to four terrorist attacks - the U.S.S. Cole, two American embassies in Africa, and the first World Trade Center terrorist bombing. Their response was nothing more than a few harsh words and some finger wagging. True, we did take-out an empty terrorist camp in Afghanistan and we destroyed an aspirin factory in the Sudan, but no concerted plan was ever implemented. No strategy. Nothing.

Gore then claims that the Bush Administration has “exploited public fears for partisan political gain and postured themselves as bold defenders of our country while actually weakening not strengthening America.”

Al Gore believes that we went to war with Iraq in September because this timing would harm anti-war Democrat candidates in the November 2002 elections. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it then President Bill Clinton who launched a bomb attack against Iraq during his impeachment trial? Unlike Al and Bill, our current Commander in Chief doesn’t synchronize his war calendar with the political calendar.

Gore further attempts to justify his war-politicization theory by using former Georgia Democratic Senator Max Cleland as his example. Gore states that Republicans won a tight Senate race by inappropriately questioning the triple amputee’s patriotism because his views differed from theirs. Cleland, under pressure from liberal Senate Democrats, helped block passage of a Homeland Security Bill in attempt to unionize these workers. Cleland chose a big labor, Barbara Boxer liberal Democratic agenda over a centrist policy toward homeland security. His position was out of step with his constituents and he lost because of it.

Finally, Gore feebly attempts to equate terrorists with organized militia, a mistake popular with the liberal elite. Gore asks, “How can we expect American soldiers captured overseas to be treated with equal respect?” I don’t recall the Vietnamese treating American soldiers with “respect” during the Vietnam War. I don’t recall Al Qaeda terrorists or the Taliban ever signing the Geneva Convention. What Gore fails to realize or refuses to understand is that terrorists do not belong to any organized government and they aren’t regular army. Conventional treaties or rules of law do not apply to them. The Bush Administration realizes this. Gore and his liberal Democrat supporters fail to do so.

In Al Gore’s world, America was wrong to attack and defeat Saddam Hussein. America was wrong to defend itself after 9/11 - an attack fostered by weakness and inaction during eight years of the Clinton-Gore Administration. America was and is wrong for fighting and winning the war against terrorism both at home and abroad. In short, the America of Al Gore and liberal Democrats would look much different - and much weaker - than the America we know today.

In November 2004, America can choose the liberal Democrat/Al Gore vision of America or George Bush’s America. The choice is clear.

copyright 2003 Matthew N. Klink




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