Monday, October 15, 2007

Paul Krugman on "Gore Derangement Syndrome"

Krugman nails it right on the head. Gore drives right-wingers crazy.
What is it about Mr. Gore that drives right-wingers insane?

Partly it’s a reaction to what happened in 2000, when the American people chose Mr. Gore but his opponent somehow ended up in the White House. Both the personality cult the right tried to build around President Bush and the often hysterical denigration of Mr. Gore were, I believe, largely motivated by the desire to expunge the stain of illegitimacy from the Bush administration.

And now that Mr. Bush has proved himself utterly the wrong man for the job — to be, in fact, the best president Al Qaeda’s recruiters could have hoped for — the symptoms of Gore derangement syndrome have grown even more extreme.

The worst thing about Mr. Gore, from the conservative point of view, is that he keeps being right. In 1992, George H. W. Bush mocked him as the “ozone man,” but three years later the scientists who discovered the threat to the ozone layer won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 2002 he warned that if we invaded Iraq, “the resulting chaos could easily pose a far greater danger to the United States than we presently face from Saddam.” And so it has proved.

But Gore hatred is more than personal. When National Review decided to name its anti-environmental blog Planet Gore, it was trying to discredit the message as well as the messenger. For the truth Mr. Gore has been telling about how human activities are changing the climate isn’t just inconvenient. For conservatives, it’s deeply threatening.

I will send you to the article itself to get the details of the threat to movement conservatives. They're very clear and whether they admit it now or not, the right-wing noisemakers have so much as enunciated every single one of them, themselves, at one point or another.

So if science says that we have a big problem that can’t be solved with tax cuts or bombs — well, the science must be rejected, and the scientists must be slimed. For example, Investor’s Business Daily recently declared that the prominence of James Hansen, the NASA researcher who first made climate change a national issue two decades ago, is actually due to the nefarious schemes of — who else? — George Soros.
Of course. Who else could it be? And the best part about the right-wing argument is that they don't need proof. They just need to repeat it ad nauseum.

Which brings us to the biggest reason the right hates Mr. Gore: in his case the smear campaign has failed. He’s taken everything they could throw at him, and emerged more respected, and more credible, than ever. And it drives them crazy.
Which is, perhaps, the best part of it all. Gore doesn't care what the right-wingers think of him. He knows there is no way to reach them until they are standing waist-deep in water on a Miami street. Even then, they're not likely to listen.

No, Gore will speak his message. Those who listen might learn something. Those who don't will simply continue to contribute to the problem.

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