An unnamed “politically active producer” allegedly told Arianna Huffington:
“The old ‘say one thing and do another’ bit isn’t going to fly this time,” a politically active producer told me. “We’re not ready to go through another experience where we back a candidate not ready to speak the truth. We kept our mouths shut and fell behind Kerry but, to quote the Who, ‘We won’t get fooled again.'”
First, unnamed sources aren’t convincing. So, until it’s clear who said what, I’ll just take this to be someone fictional Huffington is telling a story through.
Second, consider the similarity of this message to Hillary Clinton’s message about universal single-payer health care (it isn’t “politically viable”, according to Sen. Clinton):
“One major party donor, who is supporting Hillary even though he is against the war, told me that Clinton had assured him that she, too, was “against the war” but believed that there was no way a woman could ever be elected president while being against the war. “She is convinced,” the donor told me, “that she’d be attacked as soft on defense and unable to deal with national security and the war on terror. And I think she’s right. I’d rather she be anti-war, but I can’t argue with her reasoning.”
I can and do argue with her reasoning and the reasoning of this anonymous character, but not along the thin lines Huffington defends. Political viability is circular reasoning. Arguing viability in this way is just a matter of perception without acknowleding the will of the electorate, not a deep investigation of what actually happened (illegal and unethical invasion and occupation based on lies), who’s responsible (most Democrats and Republicans), and what we can do now (get out of Iraq immediately). Good speechwriters understand the mechanics of manufacturing opinion: say that “reasonable people” believe this or that and you’ll simultaneously create the opinion you want to support while placing that belief in the mouths of people who seem credible to the lazyminded. The Democrats are largely pro-war not because they’re secretly anti-war and think anti-war talk has no traction, nor are they (as Huffington later says) just saying pro-war things “for the yokels”; Democrats are largely pro-war because they know that their corporate backers are pro-war. As the country expresses increasing sentiment against the war in Iraq, talking pro-war “for the yokels” makes no sense; these “yokels” aren’t for the war.
The businesses that back political campaigns are organizations that lobby 24-7 and expect something in return for their financial support. They have the guts to withdraw support that isn’t working. People aren’t spoken to by the Left in such a way that encourages similar lobbying and return on their support. The Left loves to bring up big issues that individuals can’t hope to do anything about alone, issues that even large groups can barely adequately address (like millions in the streets being unable to stop the invasion and occupation of Iraq). And most coverage of these big issues leaves the audience with no practical message—here’s 5 things you can do in the next week to help end the occupation of Iraq, 3 bills you can write your Congressional representatives about, and so on. But I digress.
Getting back to Huffington’s article: since when is Al Gore anti-war? Let me remind you that Clinton/Gore oversaw US military action against Iraq that was far more lethal than this occupation has been so far: 500,000 Iraqi children died as a result of those sanctions. The bombings+sanctions killed over a million Iraqis. The Clinton/Gore regime bombed water treatment plants and medicine manufacturing facilities, further harming the people who depended on those facilities. The lack of chlorine to clean the water caused lethal disentary and diahrrea.
Al Gore is no anti-war candidate. I can still remember watching President of the Senate Al Gore gavel black Congressional representatives off the podium for daring to mention that there was a problem in the election that needed to be addressed immediately. Gore, or his former running mate Sen. Joe Lieberman, could have provided the signature needed to allow those representatives to be heard, but neither signed. Where was anything on this in Huffington’s essay?
So, yes, proper Leftists across the country will vote Democrat even though there’s plenty of reason not to. It won’t really matter what the Democrats stand for, and we’ll again be thrust into the argument of “At least they’re not Republicans!”. Least-worst strikes again, saddling us with a diminishing duopoly.
If Gore is what the Democrats offer up, it will further confirm that the Democrats are no opposition party and that they need to be replaced with an individual or party that truly supports what the public wants (which polls consistently show is not what either business party offers). But this won’t happen if a real contender shows up because the Democrats and Republicans will again collude to make sure that this opponent doesn’t get anywhere near the ballot. The two major business parties get along when they see a mutual threat even if that means one party helping out the other just like Microsoft helping Apple during Microsoft’s antitrust case. An opponent you can control is very valuable.