BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A SLIME?: There's three articles about Al Gore's speech to the MoveOn mob on National Review Online today, all of them fairly ridiculous. David Frum essentially suggests that the former vice president is mentally ill; Byron York assures us that Republican leaders are privately "delighted" that Democrats like Gore are going unhinged; Barbara Comstock joins York in dragging the Cold War cliché "blame America first" out of the mothballs, and also repeats the long-discredited canard that MoveOn "has promoted ads comparing Bush to Hitler." (This should be enough to convince you that Comstock is a partisan hack.) All this for an address that, whatever you think of its specifics, is well within the mainstream critique of the Iraq war.
MoveOn has hitched itself to some awfully silly stuff over the years, but this speech is nothing to be ashamed of. As with the Nancy Pelosi pile-on, it says more about the attackers than the attackee.
One of the pleasant byproducts of Bush's victory in 2000 is that it's allowed Gore to turn into a human being. For the first time since -- his teens? his childhood? -- the fellow isn't trying to become president. To judge from his sudden willingness to speak impolitic truths, it's been a liberating experience. I still can't say I'm a fan of the man, but I no longer believe that it would be unbearable torture to be locked in a room with him.
(Footnote: I don't want to pick on National Review too much, so I'll also note that they have an interesting article on the site today about health insurance deregulation in Maryland. See? I can be positive when I want to.)