Jewish World Review July 7, 2000 / 3 Tamuz, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- ADMITTEDLY, many think he's an airhead who lacks substance. He does talk like a Valley Girl at times, employing such expressions as "That's no good for sure," and saying of his better half, "Isn't she cool?" He was quoted by a college roommate as having said after Martin Luther King Jr. was shot: "(W)e've got to understand who we are as a people and we don't, and we haven't formed that e pluribus unum."
His efforts to camouflage his Valley Girl speak just make things worse. Telling a reporter he wanted to discuss his "big think" ideas, he stammered, "I can't say this; it's going to sound so weird."
All those quotes were taken from a single New York Times article about the man who uttered them -- Al Gore. Naturally, this drove The New York Times to query: Is Gore too smart to be president? Mr. Gore's "challenge," the Times straight-facedly explained, is "to show that he is a regular guy despite a perceived surplus of gravitas, which at least some Americans seem to find intimidating." (Or as the candidate himself eruditely put it: "weird.")
Yes, Al Gore is about as intimidating as Alicia Silverstone in "Clueless." In the midst of the candidates' recent battle over high gas prices, George Bush pointed out that in Gore's magnum opus, "Earth in the Balance," Gore had proposed increasing taxes on fossil fuel as "one of the logical first steps in changing our policies in a manner consistent with a more responsible approach to the environment." (For sure!)
Gore quickly rejoined that although he had proposed taxing companies that emit carbon dioxide, he had also insisted that those taxes be offset by a reduction in the companies' payroll taxes so that the polluters would not pass on the tax in higher prices to consumers.
In other words, his proposal was to deplete the funds for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for no purpose whatsoever. If their overall taxes remained the same, the companies would have absolutely no incentive to produce any less carbon dioxide. (Of course, if the payroll reduction wouldn't make them whole but would merely offset a portion of the carbon dioxide tax -- well, then Gore's tax would have led to higher gas prices for consumers, as Bush said.)
But moreover: Gore was going to offset the pollution tax by cutting theirpayroll taxes? This from the guy who is now demanding that we take Social Security "off budget," and that anything less constitutes a "risky scheme"? Gore's "big think" pollution idea was to take money out of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid systems to help polluters pay their tax bill.
(Am I the only person bothering to read what Mr. E Pluribus Unum is saying these days?)
Gore needs a Hail Mary pass from the sycophantic media to save his campaign, but he's not giving them much to work with. The line about Gore being too intellectual for most Americans to understand him is wearing a little thin, especially in light of Gore's dementia defense to his fund-raising problems.
Like the mob figure who used to wander around Greenwich Village in his bathrobe, lately Gore has been protesting that he has a pretty bad memory whenever asked about his questionable fund-raising. Even Gore's adjunct staff at The New York Times has remarked on how often his memory, "considered to be quite excellent -- fails." Most fabulous, when asked recently on Fox News how it was that his subpoenaed White House e-mails got lost, the inventor of the Internet protested that he is "no expert on computers."
About a week ago, Senate Democrats were doing their part to help Gore, bolstering Janet Reno's refusal to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate his fund-raising improprieties -- as if she needed any further encouragement on this front. In any event, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., asked Janet Reno whether she had demanded that Justice Department lawyers "come out a certain way" in determining whether or not to prosecute Gore.
If I could just interject here, the answer is: Of course not, you idiot. If Reno had been telling investigators what conclusions they should draw, she wouldn't have ended up with three high-ranking officials telling her to appoint a special prosecutor for Gore. (Compared to Leahy, Gore probably is smart.)
The way his excuses are going, Janet Reno might want to skip the special prosecutor and
appoint a psychiatrist to investigate Gore instead, just to determine whether he's mentally
competent to stand trial. Any day now he could be shuffling around Greenwich Village muttering
about that e pluribus unum, cool, for
JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton. You may visit the Ann Coulter Fan Club by clicking here.
07/04/00: The stupidity litmus test