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Perhaps you noticed that stiff, rather uncomfortable man who has been
standing to one side, attempting to project a caring attitude. You might
easily mistake him for an “undertaker,” but no, he is the vice president
of the United States, Albert Gore Jr. And last week, in the “we will
bury you” tradition of the left, Gore promised that your grandchildren
will live in a future utopia with socialized medicine, a balanced
budget, a cooler planet and a guaranteed open season on unborn babies.

The pundits weren’t exactly holding their breath last week as they
waited for Gore to speak his words of promise. Legendary dullness, a
name that rhymes with “bore” and the speaking style of a gradeschool
teacher promised little in the way of excitement. But contrary to
expectations, Gore was neither dull nor pedantic. He did not stand on
the booming economy, neither did he squat on the double yellow line in
the middle of the political road. As one of many sheep who followed
Clinton “out of the valley of recession,” Gore now finds himself at a
funeral, standing to the left of a headstone that reads: “William
Jefferson Clinton, 1993 – 2001.”

On Thursday night Gore didn’t come to praise Clinton, but to bury
him. “We’re entering a new time,” said Gore, “and I stand here tonight
as my own man.”

Alas, the sheep has become a man even as the shepherd passes into
oblivion. It is a sad occasion for closeted socialism. Clinton roams the
White House, with full constitutional powers, as the undead. There is
yet a gleam in his eye, a swagger in his step and braggadocio on his
lips, but he has nonetheless gone to room temperature — politically
speaking. Perhaps in death he dreams of a grave (ha, ha) national
emergency that will revive his political existence. But the great
machine grinds forward, converting the dead matter of the last eight
years into fodder for the next four.

Take heart, Mr. President, as Al’s shovel begins to pile dirt upon
dirt. According to Al, “The real values in life are spiritual, not
material.” But it’s so hard to be philosophical as the undertaker fills
and packs the dirt firmly and methodically, saying, “To me honor is not
just a word.” But the unkindest cut of all, delivered as an
afterthought, was when Gore noted that: “The presidency is more than a
popularity contest.”

Oh wicked blasphemy!

Poor Bill, so young and full of mischief. History will record, if we
are lucky, that he was cut down by the 22nd Amendment, which says, “No
person shall be elected to the office of president more than twice.”

Good news for the Republicans? Well, let us not mistake the 22nd
Amendment for a guarantee of victory. In this context, Republicans
shouldn’t underestimate Al Gore, nor should they overestimate the
American public. After all, if the public elected Clinton twice they
could easily elect Gore
once.

And Gore has so much going for him. First of all, he is not married
to the Lady Macbeth of Little Rock, nor has he promised to keep the
three Weird Sisters in his cabinet. Even more creditable, his wife’s
picture has not appeared on the cover of “The National Enquirer” as
Hillary Clinton’s recently did, with a caption referring to “Gay
Affairs: The Shocking Truth” (Aug. 1 edition).

Gore also has other strengths. He appears to be more committed, more
knowledgeable and more serious than his opponent. To correct his
undertaker’s woodenness, Gore’s entrance last Thursday sharply
contrasted Clinton’s entrance on Monday. While Clinton walked alone
through backstage corridors, Gore walked through a cheering crowd on the
convention floor, grasping outstretched hands as he passed. On reaching
the convention stage, with undoubted premeditation, Gore passionately
kissed his wife.

His speech then began with kind words for his former punching bag,
Sen. Bill Bradley. But kind words were soon replaced by fresh punches,
this time directed at Republicans. In characterizing the Bush
administration of a decade ago, he said to the people: “Your hard work
was undone … by a government that was not on your side.”

Yes, that’s right. Gore claims that the Republicans of 1989-1993 were
malefactors and enemies of the people. But have no fear, Gore is here.
His mission is to “fight for the people, not the powerful.” He will stop
the Bush dynasts from reestablishing a regime of wealth and greed.

Planted firmly in the cemetery of the left, Gore’s roots have clearly
fed off the nutritious nasties that have gone before, the compost of
ancient liberal demagogy from FDR to Tip O’Neill. Judging from Thursday
night’s speech, Gore is the human watermelon of the Democratic garden
patch. He is green on the outside but all watery and red on the inside.

“I’ve taken on the powerful forces,” announced Gore, the handpicked
successor of America’s most corrupt president.

Did he take on the China lobby? Did he take on the People’s
Liberation Army, which slaughtered the student protesters of Tiananmen
Square? Or did he take their cash at a Buddhist temple while playing
dumb and stupid?

Surely Mr. Watermelon has a twinge of conscience, somewhere. Surely
he is not all pulp and seed, or the raw mental stuff of global warming
mania. Is it possible, could it be, that he believes the canned formula
with the red label, the “fight for the people” demagogy, and the pro
forma global rant of the “we care” liberal left?

Well, he did graduate from Harvard. And he did promise that your
grandchildren will live in a future utopia with socialized medicine, a
balanced budget, a cooler planet and a guaranteed open season on unborn
babies.

I’m afraid we can expect nothing more from a watermelon undertaker in
the cemetery of the left.

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