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A Toast to Al Gore on his Bar Mitzvah

By Kirsten Andersen
kirsten@politicalusa.com

12/14/2000

Tonight, Al Gore became a man.  Joe Lieberman may have forgotten to bring the Manischewitz wine, and Al Gore isn't even Jewish, but tonight was Gore's Bar Mitzvah.

Sure, he lied through his teeth throughout his speech, saying he was "at President Elect Bush's disposal" for the next four years.  Sure, he took his shot at the Supreme Court like the whiner we all know he is.  At least he conceded.  Using the word 'concession' was just the lift he needed to rise above his reputation of being a deranged, spoiled child.  Affixing the label 'president elect' to the front of Bush's name didn't hurt his newfound manhood any, either.

I guess in the end, he probably realized it was his own fault.  While Bush may have been ultimately forced to take the final court action, Gore was the one who demanded this election be a legal issue all along.  Every step of the way he begged America to trust the judicial system, and now that we have, he doesn't have much choice but to accept the outcome.

Maybe Gore will be able to put the single-mindedness he displayed during the past five weeks to good use in the next four years.  During the camapign, he demonstrated very decent fundraising ability and talked a lot about issues he claims to care about.  With nothing but time on his hands, will Al Gore become a force for environmental protection?  Abortion rights?  Minority empowerment?

The answer is, probably not.  Now that Al Gore has 'become a man,' he is bound to lose the childlike idealism that was both his greatest asset and his greatest weakness in the battle for the Oval Office.  The people he once spoke loudly for will be forgotten, contrary to what he said in his concession speech.  The truth is that the people who supported Gore didn't give him the keys to the White House.  In Gore's eyes, the Supreme Court held the keys to the White House, and handed them over to George W. Bush.  His new mission will almost certainly be to "fight for reform;" or undermine America's confidence in their high court so they doubt the legitimacy of the Bush administration.

It doesn't take a psychic friend to see that future Gore attacks on the Supreme Court will be his easy way of taking shots at Bush without straying from his 'rally behind the new President' theme.  Patriotism only comes first for Gore when it serves his purposes-in this case, winning in 2004.

Well, to Gore and his supporters, I say 'Better luck next time.'  Maybe the newly grown-up Gore and his minions will succeed in their quest to weaken the Bush Presidency, though it is doubtful.  There IS a surefire way to boost the Democratic poll numbers in 2004, though-find a different candidate. 

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