That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
With the release of Al Gore’s new book “The Assault on Reason” next week, Time profiles the man who’s shadow is lingering over the presidential race. The conclusion from writer Eric Pooley is that he’s not running, and as of yet there’s no compelling reason that Gore has seen to get in the race. All of the reports of shadowy meetings with potential advisers and financiers, along with Gore’s weight loss, really add up to nothing.
His new book — which he will talk about on Tuesday night at an appearance in Beverly Hills before the Writers Bloc — reads like a treatise in what is wrong with American politics and democracy today, but it should not be taken as a campaign manual, Gore says.
From Time: “The real reason I wrote the book,” he begins, “is that I’ve tried for years to tell the story of the climate crisis, and it has taken far too long to get through. When the best evidence is compiled and there’s no longer room for dragging out a pointless argument, we’re raised as Americans to believe our democracy is going to respond. But it hasn’t responded. We’re still not doing anything. So I started thinking, What’s going on here?” While Gore was mulling that, another test of American democracy presented itself—the walk-up to war in Iraq—and American democracy flunked again. “In both cases, our democracy was pushed around by false impressions and wasn’t able to hold its focus,” he says. “That’s the common denominator. Once I’d thought through all of that, I couldn’t not write this book.”
Pooley notes that “An Inconvenient Truth” “helped trigger one of the most dramatic opinion shifts in history as Americans suddenly realized they must change the way they live. In a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed—90% of Democrats, 80% of independents, 60% of Republicans—said they favor ‘immediate action’ to confront the crisis.”
Pooley writes, “So now the question becomes, How will he choose to spend all the capital he has accumulated? No wonder friends, party elders, moneymen and green leaders are still trying to talk him into running. ‘We have dug ourselves into a 20-ft. hole, and we need somebody who knows how to build a ladder. Al’s the guy,’ says Steve Jobs of Apple. ‘Like many others, I have tried my best to convince him. So far, no luck.'”
Moore Fights “Hater-Ade”: Our own Anne Thompson caught up with Michael Moore this week, and offers a preview on her blog, Thompson on Hollywood. Moore says this about Fred Thompson: “I feel sorry for him. He mistakenly thinks that by going after someone who represents what 72% of the American people’s opinion of the war and the president is, he’ll get votes. It hurts his chances, he hasn’t seen the movie. But the forces I’m up against this time are a lot more sophisticated and well-funded than on ‘Fahrenheit 911.” As for the spate of anti-Michael Moore docs, the latest of which, “Manufacturing Dissent,” trails him in an effort to give him a tatse of his own medicine, Moore says,”I haven’t seen any of these. I’m thinking of sponsoring a little film festival of anti-Michael Moore movies. It’s a cottage industry. I’ll invite critics as judges, and we’ll give out prizes. There’s people drinking too much hater-ade.” Time offers its own interview, with Moore noting, “In March 2003, I stood up at the Oscars and said we’re being led to war for fictitious reasons, and I was booed. Only 20% of the country agreed with me. I should have learned my lesson and gone away quietly. Instead, I made Fahrenheit 9/11. I did that because I believe that the majority of Americans are not only persuadable but that they have a generous heart and ultimately want to do the right thing. Now I am in agreement with 70% of the country about Mr. Bush. So it took a while.”