I stand by all the misstatements I have made: Al Gore's lying lips

By Shelley McKinney
web posted October 2, 2000

Frankly, that Kiss at the Democratic convention was a big surprise to me. Not just for the sheer yuckiness quotient, but because I thought the only thing Al Gore knew how to do with his lips was lie. The vice president's claims of the past two weeks as he flits about on the campaign trail have certainly borne me out: I haven't seen any more kissing, but I have heard outright falsehoods practically tripping over one another as they fight to make their separate ways out of his mouth.

In an interview with Sam Donaldson which was televised on August 1,1993, Al Gore supposedly said, "I stand by all the misstatements I have made," and I have to say that I appreciate his candor. I'd like to hold him accountable to that statement. Incidentally, that remark has also been attributed to former vice president Dan Quayle, but Quayle was more of an endearing master of malapropism than Gore, who is the undisputed prodigy of prevarication. I therefore think it entirely reasonable that this remark could be attributed to Gore, no questions asked.

Al GoreAl Gore's most recent lies have been about the cost of Lodine, the drug his mother-in-law and his dog both take for their arthritis; the look-for-the-union-label lullabye that his mother used to croon over his cradle; and -- most recently -- the credit he has unjustly taken for taking part in the project that established the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

"I've been part of the discussion on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve since the days it was first established," Gore confided to reporters. A strange thing to say, since the Washington Times pointed out in short order that the oil reserve was "authorized and signed into law in 1975 -- two years before Mr. Gore was in Congress."

Every bit of all three of these lies was proven false practically immediately by the mainstream media, who have obviously become so used to the vice president's offhand fibbing that they probably don't even need to type with two hands as they write their rebuttals.

So we've all wearily toiled along with Gore through all his fake-outeries -- through his claims about working in the family's tobacco fields in Tennessee; his always-'n-forever support of Roe v. Wade; his reminiscences of guard duty on the perimeter in Vietnam; his awestruck disclaimer of the knowledge that the affair at the Buddhist temple was a fundraiser...There have been so many stupid lies. And up until this last week, the Democrats have marched along obediently behind their Pinocchio-nosed candidate with few words of censure. It has only been recently when it finally -- finally! -- occurred to them that perhaps their own fragile credibility was being remorselessly undermined that they have begun to squawk and flap their wings. Could Gore's chickens finally be coming home to roost? How it must gall the liberals to have to haul their Hope for the Future up on the carpet after all their sycophancy of the past six months.

The good news is that Gore's complete inability to stop already with the self-aggrandizing behavior has led to an unexpected bounce in the polls for George W. Bush. It has been a refreshing breath of air to find out that honor and integrity apparently do still matter in certain sectors, although I must say that by the time the mainstream liberal media got around to feeling uncomfortable about publishing Al's "misstatements," I had already irrevocably lost what limited respect I had for them.

Although George W.'s campaign committee firmly addressed the issue of Gore's dishonest meanderings, (Bush spokesman Dan Sullivan said in apparent disbelief "[Gore's] becoming the Hans Christian Anderson of American politics" when commenting on the petroleum reserve debacle) I keep wondering where the offended outrage is. I want people, not just pundits to ask not only "Why?" but also "What in the world does it all mean?"

It seems that the "why" could be answered by simply saying that Al Gore wishes to appear as a person who has accumulated vast stores of gravitas. Maybe he secretly hopes that his little lies will pass by without being challenged by the majority of the media, who have undoubtedly been in collusion with the Democratic party for some time now. Perhaps he is tired of feeling like a big frog in a small pond and wants to move up to big-frog-big-pond status, but knows that his own political record is as uninspiring as his Harvard transcript. Or maybe he has the uncomfortable feeling that he has accomplished all he's worked for just because he's his daddy's boy. (Where have we heard that before?) Of course, it could be that he is -- in spite of his status as second-in-command -- a sad figure of a man who is so unsure of himself that his lies have become a way of whistling past the graveyard.

In any case, the polls begin to show that this person, whoever he is, is possibly not the person that American citizens want serving as their commander-in-chief. Who could blame them? When such patent dishonesty is offered without even an oops-a-daisy attempt at retraction or apology, it starts to grow into something that looks like...instability. Either that or a contempt for the voters, the media and his fellow Democrats that is so deeply entrenched that he truly believes -- to mangle Erich Segal's famous Love Story quote -- that "supporting Al Gore means never hearing him say he's sorry."

Don't believe it for a minute.

Shelley McKinney is a senior writer for Enter Stage Right. Readers can reach her at smckinney@enterstageright.com

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