Sunday, August 12, 2007

Al Gore: The Limits of Executive Power

Highlights from his speech to the American Constitution Society, Jan 2006:

Transcript and link to video of the entire speech here.

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Steve Bates said...

I remember viewing and reading that speech. Most impressive.

Yet a year and a half later, our situation is, if anything, worse, Congress more cowardly despite Democratic control, the executive branch more dictatorial in its inclinations and behavior.

Run, Al, run. I'm not sure that anything less than Gore's running can draw me back into active partisan politics. And with all respect due to Gore, that is a sad statement indeed, that no one else appears to be ready to lead the fight. Run, Al, run.

hipparchia said...

i wasn't paying any attention to al gore in 2006, beyond occasionally grousing about the 2000 election [still!], and i was really angry about his inconvenient power bills earlier this year.

i actually liked him in 2000, instead of just voting against the evil republican party. i wonder what would happen if he didn't run, but won the election as a write-in candidate.

Steve Bates said...

... i was really angry about his inconvenient power bills earlier this year.

I dunno, hipparchia; what else is a wealthy person with a big house... that describes just about every senator, quite a few representatives and almost all presidents I can think of... to do, other than buy equivalent amounts of "green" energy? If one wants to fault him for excessive energy consumption, I'd say his incessant air travel is more worthy of criticism.

In early days, I was not an Al Gore enthusiast until I read Earth in the Balance. That won me over. Then he listened to bad advice and blew the 2000 election... yeah, I know he really won it, and no, I'll never forget, but I think he could have rendered it unstealable had he not taken bad DLC-sourced advice. For a while, I was pretty soured on Gore. But for a few years now, though, the "good" Al Gore, the aggressive, principled Al Gore, has been on display again. By now, I could vote for him in preference to any of the current top-ranked Democratic candidates.

hipparchia said...

sure, he's not using any more than any other politico or other persons in his wealth class [and possibly he's using less], but it was galling that he didn't appear to be doing anything to lessen that usage until after he got "caught."

i did eventually find some other information, and some numbers for comparison. if he and tipper are both working out of their home [published reports say they do], as well as living in it, and have a few employees who come there and work with them, then they're actually using about the same amount of power as an equivalently sized and staffed office building, so i forgave him for that, since they do seem to be doing useful work.

the flying is a problem, like you say.

the country did tolerably well under clinton so i guess the democrats can be almost forgiven for becoming fat and happy and complacent and a bit stupid about what it was going to take to hang on to the oval office after that.

their focus on electability may have won them a [very] narrow margin over the republicans in 2006, but it's become patently obvious to probably everybody else except the dlc that this next election needs to be about more than winning just another popularity contest.