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Al Gore: Who’s up for an American version of the Arab Spring?

August 5, 2011

Olby and his new boss pander to their leftist activist audience with fantasies of a grassroots uprising that’ll finally convince Congress to pass those 60-percent tax rates that America desperately needs. I know what you’re thinking. First: “Given how things are going in Egypt, does he really want to use the Arab Spring as a model?” Good question, but the answer is yes. The Egyptian revolution is all about replacing a terrible, too-powerful government with an even more terrible, more powerful government and dressing it up as “reform.” I’d say that’s exactly what the Goracle has in mind. And second: “Isn’t there already a grassroots uprising that’s helping to remake policy in D.C.?” That one doesn’t count, silly:

Not in the Tea Party style. There are people who are genuinely upset in the Tea Party, I understand that, but that movement was funded with seed money from right-wing billionaires, the Koch brothers, and promoted on Fox News and turned into a stalking horse for this right-wing agenda that a lot of people have been trying to push on this country for a long time. What’s sacrosanct for them is to have absolutely no tax increases on the wealthiest Americans—they are at a low level now—and to try to shrink down government so they can get it out of the way of powerful corporations and special interests, so that they can have free rein. And the Supreme Court has, of course, has now declared that they’re persons and make these secret contributions. I want to tell you, Keith, this country is in trouble. Our democracy has been withering on the vine. This has been going on for some time.

After a week of terrorist analogies from the left, a lazy dismissal of the tea party as astroturf for the Koch brothers seems almost genteel. In fact, contra Gore, tax hikes aren’t completely sacrosanct for most tea partiers: A CBS poll last month found that 53 percent of TP supporters backed a combo of spending cuts and tax increases in the debt deal, and Gallup recently discovered that just 26 percent of Republicans favored a pure cuts-only bargain. Beyond that, though, does this tool believe so fervently in the sanctity of his own side that he thinks rich liberals and the left’s own very special interests — like, say, labor — wouldn’t eagerly bankroll a populist left-wing movement to carry their water? Van Jones is already trying to create a liberal counterpart to the tea party. Here’s their webpage; scroll down and you’ll see that they’re “partnering” with MoveOn, AFSCME, and the CWA, among a galaxy of other lefty organizations.

And yet, the dumbest part of this surely must be Gore whining about Fox News’s role in galvanizing the tea party when here he is, on his own network, with the most hysterically partisan “newscaster” on the media landscape, overtly trying to goad the left into doing the same thing. Does anyone on either side doubt that if Jones managed to grow his organization and build some political momentum, MSNBC and Current would hype it relentlessly in the name of advancing liberal Democrats’ agenda? Jones would probably end up with his own show.
The punchline here is that the left has managed to turn out in droves in the recent past to support its causes. Remember Wisconsin? Remember the monster anti-war protests in 2003?

Those were impressive shows of strength. How’d they work out? Probably the only element of this clip about which Gore is right is the idea that faith in democratic government is flagging; I made the same point a few days ago in noting Congress’s historically horrendous approval numbers. The irony is, the more successful he and Jones are in adding a liberal counterweight to the tea party, the further apart congressional Democrats and Republicans will be pulled and the lower those approval numbers will go. Oh well. Bring on the Greek crisis.

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