WASHINGTON — Al Gore has made a career of lying, but if recent polls
are any guide, his lies may have finally caught up with him. Voters say
they trust George Bush by a 2-to-1 margin over Gore, which goes a long
way to explaining why Bush maintains an edge in a race that should favor
the peace-and-prosperity incumbent.

Gore made the mistake of thinking that since he got away with lying
in lower-profile campaigns, he wouldn’t get caught telling whoppers in a
showdown for the presidency with everyone watching. And he miscalculated
in thinking only the chattering class, and not the middle class, would
call him on the lies he so smugly broadcast on TV. With the Internet,
the masses now have an instant antidote to the swill Gore hoped to
inject like a hypodermic needle into the electorate’s bloodstream.

Gore also developed a false sense of confidence hanging around Bill
Clinton the past eight years. Heck, his boss got away with lying, even
under oath, why shouldn’t he?

But if Clinton is an “unusually good liar,” as Democratic Sen. Bob
Kerrey called him, Gore is an unusually bad liar.

His stage-prop persona makes his lies that much less convincing. When
lip-bitin’ Bill lies, he’s a scamp. When scowlin’ Al lies, he’s just a
jerk. That may explain why Clinton still beat Bob Dole on popularity in
the last election, even though Dole shined on questions of trust and
integrity. Gore, on the other hand, is someone voters neither trust nor
like. And many say they don’t like him precisely because they don’t
trust him.

But it’s not just delivery that hurts him, it’s frequency. Gore lies
when he doesn’t have to lie, increasing the odds that he’ll be nailed.
Not that there’s any justification for lying, but Gore lies when there’s
no strategic advantage to it. More than a compulsive habit, it’s as if
he’s speaking his native tongue when he lies.

There’s little Gore hasn’t lied about over the years. You name it,
he’s lied about it, including: Vietnam combat, investigative reporting,
the Internet, Love Canal, “Love Story,” the Earned Income Tax Credit,
farming, McCain-Feingold, Roe v. Wade, union songs, the Strategic
Petroleum Reserve, his sister, his mother-in-law, his dog, the Gulf war,
classroom sizes, school lunch hours and Texas wildfires.

Die-hard Democrats in deep denial still defend Gore’s lies as
“embellishments” and “exaggerations” uttered in the heat of battle. So
he got a few little “details wrong,” as Gore has said in brushing off
critics, what’s the big deal? He’s only human.

Let’s run a comb through that, shall we?

For starters, Gore is the most programmed politician on the planet.
No one hunkers down and learns his material and commits it to memory
like Gore. Almost nothing Gore says — or does — in a debate or stump
speech is spontaneous. Every cock of the head, every turn, every
grimace, every sigh is pre-programmed. The only way Gore could get a
“detail wrong” is if he blew a transistor.

When Gore was in Sarasota, Fla., prepping for the debates, you can
bet he was burnishing those very “details” he “misstated” about
overcrowded classrooms and 9:30 a.m. lunchtimes in Florida schools. He
fabricates. He doesn’t slip up.

But let’s pretend for a moment that he does. Then it becomes an issue
of competence. Is someone so scatter-brained really fit to hold the
nation’s top job? If he has such trouble being accurate — if he can’t
even get simple facts straight about his own family — how can he be
expected to negotiate budget deals and peace settlements in the Middle
East?

Of course, Gore’s supporters would never admit that he’s the real
dummy in the race. So it’s back to the little-white-lies lie.

Again, let’s stipulate to their argument, in this case, that Gore
merely embellishes, exaggerates, stretches or (pick your own euphemism)
the truth to juice his image. Is this normal behavior for a grown man?
Didn’t we stop making up stories in kindergarten? Do Democrats really
think that the Oval Office is comparable to Romper Room?

Of course, this is all an elaborate tap-dance around the obvious —
that Gore also flat-out lies about big things, such as his involvement
in or knowledge of serious crimes.

Money laundering: In 1996, two of Gore’s closest fund-raisers
dating back to his Senate days organized an illegal fund-raiser for him
at a Buddhist temple in Los Angeles. Gore met with the fund-raisers and
the temple master in Washington months before the fund-raiser. His staff
e-mailed him about the fund-raiser, which was listed as such on his
travel schedule. The Democratic National Committee sent him briefing
papers about the fund-raiser just before the event, which Gore hosted.
He sat between two fund-raisers. Another stood behind him. More than
$100,000 was raised at the fund-raiser, donations that had to be
returned because one of Gore’s fund-raisers laundered them through
Buddhist nuns and monks. She was convicted of related felonies this
year.

Yet Gore has repeatedly claimed — most recently under oath in a
deposition by federal prosecutors — that he did not know he was hosting
a fund-raiser.

Perjury: Gore claims that when he dialed for dollars from the
White House during the last campaign, a big no-no, he was raising only
unregulated soft
money, not regulated hard money for his own campaign, so there was “no
controlling legal authority” against it.

It turns out that, in fact, part of the money Gore raised was hard,
based on notes taken by a Gore aide during a 1995 White House meeting.
When FBI agents asked Gore about the meeting, he pleaded the potty
defense. Gore claimed he drank too much “iced tea” during the meeting
and may have been in the bathroom when hard money had been discussed.

This was too much for prosecutors. The aide’s notes quoted Gore
saying, “count me in.” And they had a DNC official and former White
House chief of staff Leon
Panetta swearing that Gore heard the hard-money discussion. Even Robert
Litt, a politically appointed deputy to Attorney General Janet Reno,
agreed in a 1998 memo that Gore should be investigated for perjury. Reno
deep-sixed the case.

Obstruction of justice: In a startling discovery made only
months ago, it was revealed that the vice president’s office has denied
federal prosecutors and congressional committees thousands of e-mails
under subpoena. None of Gore’s e-mail has been electronically archived
in a searchable format, and at least 13 months of records are
permanently lost. They weren’t even backed up on computer tapes.

“I don’t know about the backup tapes,” Gore claimed. “I read about
that in the papers recently.”

“I don’t know anything about why that happened or — or how it
happened,” added the man who helped create the Internet and carries an
electronic Palm Pilot on his belt. “I’m not an expert on computers.”

Yet one recently recovered e-mail shows Gore sought ways to avoid
having his e-mail archived. Another shows he was personally involving in
hiring computer contractors. And the information specialist he put in
charge of his e-mail system refused to tie it into the automated White
House archiving system, even though

he was repeatedly warned by
computer experts and lawyers that he was flouting a 1994 law requiring
such archiving, as WorldNetDaily first
reported.

If that weren’t bad enough, Gore has lied, at least by omission, about national security matters.

Members of Congress just found out that Gore was cutting arms deals with Russia’s prime minister behind their backs. He signed a secret agreement to let Russia sell nuclear materials to Iran — in violation of non-proliferation laws.

So is the administration’s nuclear non-proliferation program with Russia, in which Los Alamos and other labs are supposed to be securing nuclear materials in Russia and the newly independent states and controlling their nuclear exports, actually working? Or is Congress funding a dead operation?

If Congress can’t trust Gore to tell the truth as vice president, and voters (along with former Democratic challenger Bill Bradley) can’t trust him to tell the truth as a candidate, how can anyone possibly trust him to tell the truth as president?

The only thing more disturbing than Gore saying anything to get elected is the prospect of him saying anything to hold onto power, particularly during a crisis.

During a recession, would he “misstate” unemployment figures? Would he “misrepresent” the solvency of Medicare or Social Security? Would he “embellish” the size of the surplus?

During war, say in the Taiwan Strait, would he “exaggerate” troop strengths and get “details wrong” over casualties? It’s bad enough that his own campaign aides had to plead with Gore not to exaggerate in 1988. But imagine the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff having to warn his commander-in-chief: “Your main pitfall, sir, is exaggeration.”

All this talk of Gore “embellishing,” huffs Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, is really just a plot by the Bush camp to distract attention from the issues that affect real people. People don’t care about “linguistics,” as Dodd characterizes Gore’s lies, they care about Medicare, prescription drug prices, education and the environment.

Wait a minute.

If Gore can’t be trusted to tell simple truths, how can people count on him to deliver on all his big-government promises? And how can they trust him to have an honest debate on so-called crises like drug prices for seniors or global warming when he’s not honest himself?

Fact is, the only real crisis the nation has had over the past eight years is a crisis of lying in the White House. And Dodd is simply doing what Democrats have done all along during this crisis — changing the subject from personal ethics to social ethics. It’s worked, sadly enough, but only with major help from the old media elite, which share the social agenda of DNC officials like Dodd, as well as their end-justifies-means morality.

Still, do Democrats and their friends in the media really want to spend the next four years apologizing for another liar and defending all his lies? At some point, they have to start feeling kind of slimy.

Meanwhile, Gore, shameless as ever, actually expects us to believe that he will build an honest administration on top of a foundation of lies. But lies don’t go away. They demand new lies to protect the old lies, which covered the older lies, and so on. It just builds on itself until eventually you have institutionalized lying in government. If we’re not there already, we will get there with a President Gore.

Fortunately, polls are signaling that voters are fed up with the serial lying and want to, in the words of GOP Sen. John McCain, put an “end to the truth-twisting politics of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.” Amen to that.

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