Channeling Al Gore
In a very busy day yesterday laboring in the yard the front door was open long enough for a snippet of the NBC Evening News to wink out: Barack Obama was touring an industrial plant somewhere and the reporter stated that he was “channeling Al Gore” in his answer.
Good, I said to myself as I trudged away; channel him, inhale him, mainline the sumbitch, just do whatever necessary to get as much of the persona of that man into our politics as possible.
How unfair I am to Barack Obama, I thought to myself as I slit open bags of chicken manure. Not for some childish whim that he become more like Al Gore, but because of what makes me love Al so much, the politics and issues of what he represents, are almost impossible for a politician—or any politician—like Barack Obama to embrace.
Al Gore is environmentalism, and just as the sun rises another election cycle is here with a huge swath of voters greatly concerned that something immediately be done to abate horrendously serious problems while politicians hardly say anything about it (Clinton does have an alternative-energy plan, but it’s far too modest). As always, the environment is given very little attention when a politician is trying to gel and issue agenda to run on.
Who could blame them? War, deficit, health care, income equality, racism, education, child care, elder care, energy, there is a dizzying list of urgent policy issue to immediately address in a world where fish don’t vote. A man or an administration can only can do so much to succeed, and it’s a tragic outcome of our times—not a failing of Mr. Obama—that global warming and environmentalism is not the #1 issue in the American political landscape.
Because of his history and what was stolen from all of us Al Gore represents the second great issue on my personal agenda, accountability to the rule of law. Americans don’t want to hear the horribly ugly story, fine, but the truth is that their shining holy document of all that is good, the Constitution of the United States, has been ripped to shreds right in front of them while an enabling GOP Congress and corporate press smiled right along, Democratic opposition ineffective, some would say complicit.
First a politician has to unequivocally state the truth that in fact the President, right now, is a horrendous felon, the exceptionalism of America turned out to be a huge turd in the punch bowl of earth, and that in approximately 15 months a massive fight and public show trial is going to take place to put Bush and Cheney in prison. Starting a very, very long list of prosecutions.
Politicians run on the future, not on what could be seen as a grudge match over the past. That is very much not the truth of the above scenario, not at all, but there would be a hurricane of instant hostile criticism that prosecutions were 100% partisan in a grossly skewed corporate press. While problems of screaming urgency of the present somehow have to wait, initiated by a political party still struggling to define a liberal agenda.
In utter misery I already smell the American Ford and Clinton constitutional twofer wafting over the republic in a sickening stench of lawlessness: let bygones be bygones. Faced with realities somewhat similar to those outlined above, the last two American presidents who immediately inherited an office just vacated by heinous felons let it all slide.
That, too, is to be our fate in 2009. The reality society must accept it, no matter how gagging and bitter, and understand that now, in this time and place, it was far, far too much to demand Clinton and Obama set accountability high on their agendas. Their political reality would never allow it, and our American environment simply doesn’t produce the kind of politician required for 2009 persecution, Clinton and Obama aren’t wired that way, very few of our people are.
Is there a path forward from this appalling reality that somehow alleviates the festering wounds inflicted upon the country and the planet by Bush and the Republicans? As I worked the short hoe in superlative California sea clay a glimmer of hope began to grow in my mind, for Barack Obama doesn’t have to channel Al Gore, he just has to hire him.
The best scenario is that in January one of our precious ancient moderate Supreme Court justices retires and has Al Gore immediately take the slot. It isn’t anything close to a real accountability process, but in many ways it sends a vivid message that previous lawlessness is certainly no longer the case, the republic is under real rule of law stewardship again. Gore could also superbly address other urgent issues as Secretary of State or head of Environmental Protection Agency.
Is there a way to obtain the acquiescence of Al and somehow communicate that on Obama’s agenda? Tall, tall orders, it seems, but is a way forward, at least. I think Al would say yes to any of the above three jobs, actually, if they were presented correctly. At least one can be very grateful for the chance to dream about it, that is very true, American still has a great chance, especially if our politicians eventually hire Al Gore, not just channel him.