I have to admit that I have never had a hard time constraining my enthusiasm for either Al Gore or John Kerry, but at the same time, Gore’s recent speeches have been stemwinders and offer us a glimpse into the kind of appealing president he might have been.
Yesterday, Gore took President Bush to task on the warrantless wiretapping authorization he gave the National Security Agency to spy on Americans.
He has called for a “Special Counsel” to be appointed.
From Ron Brownstein’s piece this morning:
Former Vice President Al Gore, charging that President Bush’s record on civil liberties posed a “grave danger” to America’s constitutional freedoms, on Monday urged the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Bush’s authorization of warrantless domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency.
In a detailed and impassioned speech sponsored by liberal and conservative groups, Gore said that although much remained unknown about the spying program, “what we do know. . .virtually compels the conclusion that the president of the United States has been breaking the law, repeatedly and insistently.”
Gore, the Democratic nominee who lost to Bush in the bitterly disputed 2000 presidential race, also said Congress “should hold comprehensive. . .hearings into these serious allegations of criminal behavior on the part of the president.”
I couldn’t agree more with Gore that Bush does not seem to know the definition of democracy or of checks-and-balances:
If the president has the power “to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, imprison citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can’t he do?” Gore asked.
It is this kind of spirit — combined with smarts — that appeals not just to the left that will get a Democrat into the White House.
Maybe losing the White House helped Gore find his inner Truman. Brownstein speculates that he may try to run again.
Whether he does or not, the template he is setting is impressive for any of the candidates that may finally make it.
— Steve Clemons