Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Saturday, September 10, 2005
 
All Power on Earth is either derived or usurped.
--John Locke


These last two weeks have led Americans to the somber realization that George Bush’s presidential aura is a complete product of public relations marketing; like Velveeta artificial cheese food, the actual bland taste of Mr. Bush’s wayward leadership fails to meet its hyped expectations.
Mr. Bush’s frozen-faced and clipped demeanor at stage-managed events, in this last week of frenzied smear and spin, actuates an age-old historical axiom, usurpers most fear usurpation.
Some fascinating recent conversations with people of all political stripes in the last few days make clear, with sincere expressions hardly verging on revolutionary, that Mr. Bush’s controversial presidency is finished.
Like a dead man walking, Mr. Bush and his puppeteers only feel the threat of doom and not the reality, but if the irate Bush country voters I’ve talked with lately are any indicators, that doom, like a personally tailored terrorist threat, is overt and looming.
Is it any wonder, with the Bush presidency at Code Red, that we find Rove and the Echo Chamber ineffectually whirling like demon-possessed tops?

Al Gore speaking to the Sierra Club Friday and helping evacuate Katrina survivors.

Americans, hungry for real leadership, need only look to morning blog and press accounts of the man who should have been President, Albert Gore of Tennessee, for a reassurance that intellectual leadership is not dead and that the possibility exists that, paraphrasing Locke, a true Father of his people might again come to the once usurped Right of his inheritance.
Gore, who spoke yesterday following “thunderous ovations” at the Sierra Club national convention in San Francisco, urged Americans to hold the Bush administration responsible for many of the Hurricane Katrina failures, according to an AP account:

When the corpses of American citizens are floating in toxic flood waters five days after a hurricane struck, it is time not only to respond directly to the victims of the catastrophe, but to hold ... the leaders of our nation accountable…What happened was not only knowable, it was known in advance, in great and painstaking detail.

The speech, according to a Sierra Club account published on AlGore-08.com, was peppered with quotes from “Winston Churchill, Upton Sinclair, the Bible, and President George W. Bush, and the contrast was not pretty.”
From Upton Sinclair, Mr. Gore said:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

From the Bible, Gore selected:

When there is no vision, the people perish.

And from George W. Bush, the man denied the presidency by the Rehnquist Supreme Court said:

Nobody could have predicted the levees would break.

In his speech, Vice President Gore didn’t mention his very personal involvement in the Katrina relief efforts.
This morning, in an Associated Press report on CNN.com and sourced by Gore’s personal physician, the former Senator from Tennessee was described as “airlifting some 270 Katrina evacuees on two private charters from New Orleans to Tennessee on Sept. 3 and 4” with the assistance of a California businessman.
According to Dr. Anderson Spickard, activist Greg Simon and the AP:

Gore told me he wanted to do this because like all of us he wanted to seize the opportunity to do what one guy can do, given the assets that he has…None of the airlines involved required a contract or any written guarantee of payment before sending their planes and volunteer crews…One official said if Gore promised to pay, that was good enough for them…He [Gore] also recruited two doctors, Spickard and Gore's cousin, retired Col. Dar LaFon, a specialist in internal medicine who once ran the military hospital in Baghdad. Most critically, Gore worked to cut through government red tape, personally calling Gov. Phil Bredesen to get Tennessee's support and U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta to secure landing rights in New Orleans. About 140 people, many of them sick, landed in Knoxville on Sept. 3. The second flight, with 130 evacuees, landed the next day in Chattanooga.

Not to sully Mr. Gore’s altruism with cheap politics and despite the reported Gore family assets, I have to imagine Bush wealth, to say nothing of the consequent non-offered assistance from that quarter, far outstrips the resources available to Mr. Gore.
God bless you Al Gore.
This blogger sincerely hopes you consider another run for the presidency.

Photos: Sierra Club, Knoxville News Sentinel-AP
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