Al Gore Makes my Case
Bush and religious belief.
A short while ago, I noted that questions are raised about the genuineness of John Kerry's appeals to his faith. At the end of the essay, I asked for anyone to show me a mainstream story where Bush's faith is questioned. While no one commented with any such story, I saw one myself where former Democratic presidential contender, Al Gore, questioned the genuineness of President Bush's faith.
In an article in the New York Times entitled "Gore Accuses Bush of Masking Agenda", the New York Times reports that Mr. Gore accused President Bush of playing up religion as a political ploy.
Former Vice President Al Gore accused President Bush on Monday of using "the symbolism and body language of religion" to mask policies intended to satisfy the ideology of the right wing and the financial needs of wealthy campaign donors.
"The essential cruelty of Bush's game is that he takes an astonishingly selfish and greedy collection of economic and political proposals, then cloaks them with a phony moral authority, thus misleading many Americans who have a deep and genuine desire to do good in the world," Mr. Gore said in a speech at Georgetown University.
He added, "President Bush has stolen the symbolism and body language of religion and used it to disguise the most radical effort in American history to take what rightfully belongs to the American people and give as much as possible to the already wealthy and privileged."
Mr. Gore's speech was sponsored by the advocacy group MoveOn.org, which has spent millions of dollars in an effort to defeat Mr. Bush.
"I'm convinced that most of the president's frequent departures from fact-based analysis have much more to do with right-wing political and economic ideology than with the Bible," Mr. Gore said.
Of course, I did say at the end of my post that I didn't want any non-mainstream articles such as articles from Mother Jones Magazine, and I think it is clear that Gore has put himself into that category. Consider the following from Al Gore rendered irrelevant by his bitter attacks:
Al Gore can't seem to discuss politics these days without letting loose with bitter, mean-spirited, ad hominem attacks on President Bush, as if that were somehow a substitute for rational discussion.
Gore is so unbelievably bitter about his loss to Bush in 2000 (a vote that he did, in fact, really lose according to the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago and the accounting firm of BDO Seidman in a Study on behalf of USA Today and the Miami Herald). He has come out and said so many ignorant things that it is hard to take anything he says seriously. He is almost a parody of the most outrageous accusations made about the President, and the fact that this talk was sponsored by MoveOn.org does makes his statements even less credible in my eyes.
But at least Gore is still somewhat in touch with reality. Consider that the New York Times article I quoted above seems to suggest that Gore does not believe that Bush's belief in God is genuine. The Washington Post puts a different spin on what Gore said in its report about Gore's statements:
"While I have no doubt that his religious belief is genuine . . . ," Gore said, "most of the president's frequent departures from fact-based analysis have much more to do with right-wing political and economic ideology than with the Bible." Gore said Bush "takes an astonishingly selfish and greedy collection of economic and political proposals, and then cloaks them with a phony moral authority."
Ah, now that seems to put a different spin on it. Even Gore is admitting that Bush's faith is genuine, despite the fact that he is lying to the public (according to Mr. Gore). But is it credible? If Bush is really genuine in his religious belief, and that belief counsels against lying (in the Ten Commandments, no less) then on what basis am I to believe that Bush is "deliberately suppressing information about Iraq that would have undermined his case for war" as the Post reports? It seems that Gore believes that either (1) Bush lied contrary to his genuinely held beliefs, (2) Bush does not genuinely hold his beliefs, or (3) Bush genuinely believes that lying to the American public is acceptable within his religion. I wonder which it is.
Regardless, I will accept for the time being at face value Mr. Gore's acknowledgement that Bush's beliefs are genuinely held. So, even Mr. Gore, in his twisted vision of the Bush administration, acknowledges that President Bush's faith is genuine. I guess it's unanimous.