Democratic Underground  

Perhaps Gore Made the Right Decision, After All
December 18, 2002
By Jackson Thoreau

I think I may remember more of what I was doing the day Al Gore conceded to that liar/hypocrite occupying the White House on Dec. 13, 2000, than I do of Sept. 11, 2001. The impact of Goreís concession not to fight further hit me almost as hard as the terrible terrorism tragedy. I remember looking forward to another battle in 2004, when Gore would show Bush who really won.

But after Gore backed down again this week, Iím thinking maybe he did make the right decision. Maybe Gore doesnít really have the stomach to do everything it takes to win a race against a scumbag cheater like Bush. And thatís fine Ė we all arenít street fighters, thank God. We need a few decent politicians who wonít stoop to the level of the win-at-any-cost mentality. We just donít need them taking on Bush.

To take on Bush, you may need someone who has seen war combat in the trenches, such as Sen. John Kerry, or at least been a tough competitor in sports. Bush is not smart book-wise, but he is as competitive and cunning-to-the-point-of-cheating as any politician out there. He grew up playing baseball and other sports in the competitive leagues of West Texas. Itís no coincidence he was a part-time owner of a major league baseball team. Itís no coincidence that he continues to work out hard every day and play computer video games to sharpen his competitive edge [as Texas governor, Bush would spend a few hours a day playing such games Ė that shows how little governors do in this state]. Itís no coincidence that the first thing Bush said to me when I met him on the campaign trail in 1999 was, "How are the Texas Rangers [baseball team] doing?"

To take Bush on, you must understand this cut-throat mentality and sports-and-war-worshipping that surround many boys growing up in Texas. You must be prepared for anything, such as underhanded dealings in the state where your brother is governor, vicious smears in the Republican-controlled mainstream media, and rumors spread about your private life. You must be prepared to fight fire with fire. You must have that kind of stomach.

Clinton had it Ė I think he could beat Bush in 2004, even with all the war on terrorism patriotism in this country. Kerry might have it Ė of the present Democratic challengers, I think the Massachusetts senator might have the best chance against Bush in 2004. Kerry is intelligent in ways Bush is not and sounds like he does his homework when he answers questions during press conferences, unlike Bush. Kerry also has the war background and experience and credibility, and he seems like someone who understands the balance between the high road and dirty road that needs to be trod in such a campaign against Bush. I donít know that Gore ever really understood what he was up against and thus didnít know how to effectively combat Bush.

Another disadvantage, of course, involved money Ė Bush had twice as much money to spend as Gore in 2000 and has tons of it again for 2004. Gore was finding it hard to raise money among the Democratic Party insiders. That likely factored into his decision.

While part of me wanted Gore to cream Bush in 2004, another part didnít see that happening, not in the current environment, particularly after the Democratsí poor showing in the 2002 elections. Perhaps Gore understood that Ė heís so much more intelligent than Bush on many matters. He knew that Bush relished the chance to beat him in 2004. Bush privately burns that he didnít win the 2000 popular vote Ė or electoral vote, for that matter - and how so many people question his legitimacy. Bush wants to show people he did win and try to erase the 2000 loss from the history books, even if a victory in 2004 would be done after stirring up largely unthinking, Rush-Limbaugh-and-Jerry-Springer-brainwashed voters into war-fever patriotism.

Gore had little chance in such an environment. By pulling out, Gore effectively landed a punch to Bushís groin. Gore wasnít going to give Bush a chance at the satisfaction of beating him. Bush will take to his grave that he didnít really win in 2000, and that burns him up more than the fact that Clinton beat his daddy in 1992.

All in all, Iím thinking Gore did make the right decision. I doubt any Democrat will beat Bush in 2004, and the door will be wide open for Gore to win the White House he legitimately won in 2000 against a Republican candidate who takes a higher road in 2008.

So all we have to do is find ways to tolerate and protest and combat Bush for six more years. Remember that what doesnít kill you makes you stronger.

Jackson Thoreau is co-author of We Will Not Get Over It: Restoring a Legitimate White House. The entire updated, 120,000-word electronic book can now be downloaded on his Fight the Right Internet site. Citizens for Legitimate Government has the earlier version here. Thoreau can be emailed at

Printer-friendly version
Tell a friend about this article Tell a friend about this article
Discuss this article
Democratic Underground Homepage