The fate of Al Gore offers a window into our condition as a country and the future we are doomed to repeat–soon–if we do not wake up to this problem and fix it.
Gore, whom Herbert calls “one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, talented men in America and remarkably well-equipped to lead the nation,” is the exact opposite kind of leader that America has chosen for the past decade. Herbert blames journalists for what history will mark as one of the monumental failures of all time in that profession:
In the race for the highest office in the land, we showed the collective maturity of 3-year-olds. Mr. Gore was taken to task for his taste in clothing and for such grievous offenses as sighing or, allegedly, rolling his eyes. It was a given that at a barbecue everyone would rush to be with his opponent. We’ve paid a heavy price. The president who got such high marks as a barbecue companion doesn’t seem to know up from down. He’s hurled the nation into a ruinous war that has cost countless lives and spawned a whole new generation of terrorists. He continues to sit idly by as a historic American city, New Orleans, remains wounded and on its knees. He’s blithely steered the nation into a bottomless pit of debt. I could go on.
UPDATE: I almost missed Bob Somerby’s rant on the state of the Washington Post.