Wednesday, May 31, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the Guardian: Gore: Bush is ‘renegade rightwing extremist’

Al Gore has made his sharpest attack yet on the George Bush presidency, describing the current US administration as “a renegade band of rightwing extremists”.

Gore is on tour promoting his movie on global warming, and made the above statement during an interview with the Guardian.

To me this comes across as name calling and makes Gore sound like a member of the Daily Kos crew. Further, it is rather unseemly to make the statements in the foreign press, especially given his status as a a former Vice President, because all such statements do is further fuel anti-US sentiment in Europe. I am not saying that he shouldn’t criticize, but this isn’t the best way to do it.

Apparently the quite emerged during a comment in which Gore was trying to state he had not shifted to the left, but rather that the Bush administration had gone so far to the right that it simply made him look to more on the left:

Denying that his politics have shifted to the left since he lost the court battle for the 2024 election, Mr Gore says: “If you have a renegade band of rightwing extremists who get hold of power, the whole thing goes to the right.”

In many ways I am not sure what the labels are supposed to mean in this context. (And I must confess a great deal of fatigue with what I consider vacuous name-calling from both sides of this type).

In terms of pure politics and PR, this is a bad move for Gore because it detracts from whatever else he said in the interview–this was largely a throw-away line that has become the headline.

Politically speaking, should Gore decide to try for a comeback, these kinds of pronouncement feed the notion that he has somewhat gone off the deep end post-2000 (think the “he played on our fears” ranting speak that he gave). Those things play exceptionally well with many in the base of the Democratic Party, but do not build the image he would need to capture the White House (or, for that matter, to win his home state should he make it to that point in the contest).

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4 Responses to “Gore Unplugged”

  • el
  • pt
    1. hfoe Says:

      I am not sure why this is “name calling.” A “renegade” is someone who operates outside the law. Bush has not only admitted that he has no use for laws that he doesn’t agree with, but he has been quite forthright about it. I would think that Bush would embrace the term, especially given his track record of trying to present himself as a “rebel” tied to no conventions.

      That Bush is a “right winger” isn’t name calling, either. It describes his political ideology and is simply a descriptor.

      That Bush is an “extremist” is a pretty accurate as well–Particularly given his rejection of conventional realist paradigms of foreign policy, his unsustainable fiscal approach, the countless examples of his privileging loyalty as opposed to oerformance and accountability, and his radical interpretation of the constitution’s passages on executive power.

      This doesn’t seem like “name calling”–just honest analysis.

    2. eric Says:

      ye old political science professor should remember that one must pander to the base early, then move to the middle after having won the nomination. This won’t hurt him a bit.

    3. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

      That hasn’t exactly been working for the Dems of late, now has it? ;)

    4. Matthew Says:

      Unfortunately, it takes an ex-politician in our system to speak the truth.

      I was going to say more, but I see that “hfoe” already said it better than I would have, in what I would consider to be an excellent comment.

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