Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Avedon Carol comments on my evolving feelings about Gore stepping down:
Interesting Times goes through his own little evolution after the announcement that Gore isn't running, first deciding Gore has missed a message: [my initial comments on Gore snipped -- Chris] But maybe not. One of the big problems Gore had during the 2000 campaign is that leading Democrats did very little to support him. If those same people have already made it clear they plan to do even less in 2004, he's going to have an even harder time of it. It's hard enough even to run for a local election without the support of the party; running for president on your own just doesn't seem very do-able at all. He's angry at the usual suspects, too: [my comments about Robert Kutner uttering the cliched "comfortable in his or her own skin" comment snipped -- Chris] But he seems to be calming down.
Many political junkies, especially on the left, have already come to terms with the fact that we no longer live in a Democracy. We all know how painful a realization that was. I still feel traumatized by it. But many of the citizenry (and probably more then a few in the establishment press and the leadership of both parties) have not. To vote for Gore, to "re-elect" him, would require admitting that Bush is illegitimate and therefore, our system has failed. That's a mighty big pill for people to swallow. Perhaps Gore wisely chose not to force it down their throats.
Maybe that's right, I dunno. I'll think about it. Still doesn't answer the question of who can beat Bush, of course. But this does seem to be a blog after my own heart.
Thanks for the vote of confidence Avedon. My feelings about Gore are evolving only in the sense that I am calming down and internalizing some of those feelings. I still think Gore listened to the wrong people and that he has made a mistake. I think about the only chance he had of getting any media attention was to remain a candidate. The minute he declined to run he officially entered the "has-been" territory and many in the establishment press will now ignore him (see my previous post). As I said in my laxative piece, the best reason I have heard so far for Gore not running was that the people may rebel against him simply because they don't want to be reminded of something they are trying to avoid: the reality that we no longer live in a Democracy. But, I also said in that post that the silent acquiescence to that fear doesn't help matters. What the Democrats need is a candidate who can give the people a way of fighting back against those who have taken away their sovereignty without forcing them to acknowledge that it was ever taken away in the first place. They may know it at a deep, sub-conscious level. But forcing them to acknowledge it may be just to much to expect from them. Perhaps Gore's baggage was to great to accomplish that goal. But I think he could have accomplished a lot just by running. Unfortunately, right now, I can't think of any Democratic who could do it right (other then Bill Clinton, and he can't run anymore).

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