Two Ways We Know Al Gore's Speech in San Francisco Was a Mistake
You have to hand it to Al Gore. He made a speech on Monday in San Francisco that managed to outrage both the American right wing and the left wing at the same time. You would expect columnists like Michael Kelly to find fault with Gore's speech:
Gore uttered his first big lie in the second paragraph of the speech when he informed the audience that his main concern was with "those who attacked us on Sept. 11, and who have thus far gotten away with it." ...The government of Gore's country has led a coalition of nations in war against al Qaeda, "those who attacked us on Sept. 11"; has destroyed al Qaeda's central organization and much of its physical assets; has destroyed the Taliban, ... has bombed the forces of al Qaeda from one end of Afghanistan to the other; has killed at least hundreds of terrorists and their allies....
But, the strong disapproval of Gore's speech by The New Republic is the uncharacteristic element indicating that Gore made a mistake, even from the perspective of his traditional supporters:
In the 1980s and 1990s, Al Gore consistently battled the irresponsibility and incoherence on foreign affairs that plagued the Democratic Party. And it was partly out of admiration for that difficult and principled work that this magazine twice endorsed him for president. Unfortunately, that Al Gore didn't show up at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Monday. Instead, the former vice president's speech almost perfectly encapsulated the evasions that have characterized the Democratic Party's response to President Bush's proposed war in Iraq. In typical Democratic style, Gore didn't say he opposed the war. In fact, he endorsed the goal of regime change--before presenting a series of qualifications that would likely make that goal impossible.