Newsweek asks What if Al Gore had won the 2000 election? It provides an alternative oral history with quotes from several journalists as they imagine the Earthly paradise that would have obtained had Gore instead of Bush succeeded to the American throne. (Hat tip: PJTV.)
This event offers a unique opportunity to assess the internal fantasy life of the American “Progressive”, to ask what makes him tick, to understand his motivations, fears, and desires. For your benefit, I analyze his torments and his exuberances. I come to several fascinating conclusions.
It is not clear whether the journalists’ quotes were provided by the sources or were elements of the fantasy. Either way, they are telling. If genuine, then we learn something about each reporter. If imagined, we have further proof that each working journalist knows well the mind and wishes of each other journalist. That is, the press bias of which we hear, is real.
Fantasy: Nina Totenberg (D), a journalist for NPR, purrs as she imagines a petulant Antonin Scalia, who, this time, was unable to convince the Supreme Court to side with Bush. Jacob Weisberg (D), a writer for Slate, is not as vicious and imagines Scalia and Gore hugging publicly. Other Democrat journalists play with the hug theme—a hug which heals the nation!
Conclusion: Hugs are a panacea. If only a hug could have reached Bin Laden in time!
Fantasy: Just as the “August 2001 Daily Intelligence Briefing” would have reached Gore. Who would have acted! He would have instantly authorized “the strategic bombing of targets in the Khost province of Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border.” This would have killed every living terrorist, and thoroughly discouraged all the remaining ones. Result: no 9-11!
Conclusion: If in doubt, bomb the hell out of ’em—blood lust can assuage troubled memories.
Fantasy: Addled by the bombing, Gore “signs the U.S. Patriot Act, which is almost immediately repealed by the Supreme Court as an unconstitutional abridgment of guaranteed rights.” Saintly Al Gore signs the Patriot Act, why? To allow the League of Justices to spring into action!
Conclusion: Consistency is for conservatives. And the Supreme Court will save us all!
Fantasy: In 2002, Gore “singles out Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, saying ‘their objectives vis à vis the United States are not dissimilar in malign intent to the Axis powers.'” He then cuts taxes of the wealthiest. Paul Krugman (D) labels this a “craven, immoral wealth transfer.” Andrew Sullivan (D) lapses into incoherence over Gore’s actions.
Conclusion: People with money should not be allowed to keep it.
Fantasy: “First Lady Tipper Gore launches R.A.M.R.O.D. (‘Rap Against Misogyny, Racism, and Disrespect’) with the enthusiastic cooperation of the hip-hop community.”
Conclusion: fantasy should not be attempted by the less than sane.
Fantasy: Al Gore says “hands off” the nation’s swampland. To celebrate this action, he “holds a ceremony on the deck of a solar-powered casino boat in the Biloxi harbor, standing before a banner that reads ‘Mission Accomplished.'” It is roundly ridiculed.” Bill O’Reilly (R) teases the president. As does, inexplicably, MoveOn.org.
Conclusion: Gambling revenues can make up for any budget shortfall. And people—you know who they mean—never know what’s good for them.
Fantasy: “[T]he robust economy and no major foreign or domestic conflicts are enough to secure a second term for Gore-Lieberman in November 2004, beating out the McCain-Kemp ticket by 51 percent to 48 percent. ”
Conclusion: We won’t even mention her name; the bimbo.
Fantasy: Gore “announces his health-care-reform package that includes a public option offering coverage to compete with private insurance. Polls indicate the American public is overwhelmingly in favor of such a program.” Lieberman says he would vote no. A “visibly angry Gore jokes, ‘Funny, Joe, I had no idea that the higher authority you were answering to was Aetna.'” Janeane Garofalo, a “comedian”, hilariously quips, “Everyone was so surprised, like this was some crazy aberration.”
Conclusion: It was Bush’s fault the majority of the public does not now support a government-run health-care system.
Fantasy: Al Gore single-handedly limits the force of Hurricane Katrina and limits the body count to “just 17 people.” Vincent Cardozo, deputy White House chief of staff, celebrates Gore’s geeky “methodical and evidence-based” method of hurricane control.
Conclusion: Democrats really can walk on water.
Fantasy: During Gore’s tenure, two League of Justices members retire. Replacement number one becomes the ” first female chief justice in history.” The second goes to “Illinois junior senator and constitutional law scholar Barack Obama as 110th Supreme Court justice.”
Conclusion: A Supreme Court quota party. Quota! Quota! Quota! (Oops, I meant toga, of course.) Also, progressives are extremely flexible over their definition of scholar.
Fantasy: It is “learned that the National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on private communications among citizens without search warrants.” The culprit? Herr Vice-President Leiberman. Gore bends him over the Oval Office desk for a spanking. Hillary Clinton takes Leiberman’s job.
Conclusion: Progressives are still pissed at Leiberman for his (initial) opposition to full government-controlled health care.
Fantasy: In 2008, Bill and Hillary Clinton run against George W. Bush (who has since publicly admitted he is a drunk) and his brother Jeb. The Bushes win.
Conclusion: Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) will appear as a new entry in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V (forthcoming).