« monday, monday | Main | open up and say baaaah! »

WWGD

WWGD?

Way back on September 11, 2001 - when I was a left leaning middle grounder - I remember thinking sometime that day as I watched the smoke of disaster fill the sky that I was kind of glad George Bush was president. Perhaps that was the beginning of the end of my left leaning ways. Or, conversely, the beginning of the start of my right leaning ways.

Now Al Gore is stumping around, preparing for a campaign for president. I do believe that his motto will be "Vote Al Gore. He's Not George Bush." That's all I can decipher out of his words these days, anyhow.

So I pose a question to all of you - left, right and middle alike:

What do you think would have happened if Gore had been the president on September 11, 2001? What actions would have taken? What do you think the country would be like today?

Just some hypothetical thinking to start your week off.

Comments

Same thing as Bush. What the heck did Bush do that no other president would have? The apparatus of the government would have gone into the same mode of operations for Gore as they did for Bush.

The only difference between the two would have been style. And, to be honest, at that point, the cowboy "Don't mess with Texas" style of Bush was probably a little more comforting than Gore's would have been. So? Personally, I wasn't paying much attention to what the President said at that point. He's just another talking head. I was more impressed with Giuliani.

I don't know that things would be all that different, with the exception of John Ashcroft trying to tramp all over our civil liberties. I watched Big Al on Letterman the other day -- I wish he could be that funny on the campaign trail instead of all wooden.

Not too hard to guess. Probably the same things that happened after the earlier attacks that came during the Clinton-Gore administration. The only difference between 9/11/01 and 2/26/93 was magnitude. Then there was the Cole, the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Nairobi, etc.

Oh yeah, another difference was the name on the door to the Oval Office.

It'd be a most gruesome of all wars to reforest the middle east. Even now, the treelines would slowly be creeping towards baghdad.

Seriously, though, there's something scary about that man. I wouldn't be surprised if he capitalized on the emotional backlash of 911, and with zero resistance from the left and zero action against our foreign enemies, left us huddling in a country that much closer to soviet ameristan.

He's like the evil spock, I swear. Lefties, especially socialist tree-hugging liars surrounded by mythological ozone holes and disproven greenhouse effects and the other 31 flavors of junk science, are a dangerous indulgence of an elitist empire soon to fall to rubble.

I might be wrong. With a name like GORE, hell, he could just be the next antichrist, or at least the most recent incarnation of Vlad the Impaler. I'm not sure. How'd his family get that name?

He's a liar and the vice-presidential spawn of a born pathological liar, so there's no telling what he'd do. No telling at all. He very possibly could have gone on to slay his whole cabinet, damian style.

But all in all, I'm pretty sure he couldn't do much better than what we've got now.

We would still be waiting for Gore to come out from under his securely-located bed, whimpering "Tipper, is it safe yet?".

Long time reader, first time commenter but I had to just say bwahahahahaha @ what Lisa ^^ wrote! I would tend to agree and I dislike Al Gore very much and am so glad the "good ole boy" from Texas is here to take care of business. Al is too scary for me to even think about how we'd be living today if he were in charge. He scares me and it's sad because he probably will end up becoming our next President.

All of you smug, self-certain Conservatives need to get a grip on reality. Shrub has done nothing that Gore couldn't/wouldn't have done. I expand on this a bit more here, but the primary responsibility of a President in a time of crisis is projecting an aura of leadership. Republicans have no monopoly on that quality. Shrub has done a good job of at least looking as if he is on top of things, but it's nothing that Gore couldn't have done every bit as well- and he wouldn't have had to steal an election to do it.... ;0)

Jack Cluth:
The only thing holding emperor bush jr back from total victory is the useless bureaucratic hash clinton made of our defense infrastructure.

Clinton could have prevented this; Clinton had bin laden IN HIS HANDS at one point, but let him go free as a bird. Clinton was a face man, much like that guy from the A-team, and alot of people just bought it.

I dunno what turns ppl into lefties... some misguided desire to do the right thing, I suppose, allowing them feel better about themselves, while all the while they're doing the complete WRONG thing, while all the while the founding fathers would spit on them and kick them into ditches and have them horsewhipped for being complete imbeciles, why? I dunno, my fellow countryman, I think they're just gullible. I think they just buy all the bullshit. The clinton era, the black hawk down innefectual cruise missile era, was a fine example of that kind of mentality.

Project a fucking aura of leadership? You, sir, are a prince among morons. Congratz :)

The first dark-skinned female president will be a republican, mark my words you bitches while you crawl back to the left. It's been a year now. Go ahead, you shiny happy retards. Stupid bastards.

Gore would have already declared "victory" in the war on terrorism and would be trying to get us back to what he thinks are more important issues -- things like socialized medicine and raising the minimum wage.

We certainly wouldn't be going into Iraq with Gore at the Helm and I sincerely doubt that Gore would have been as tough on the Palestinians as Bush has been. We wouldn't be launching hellfire missiles at terrorists in Yemen with Gore at the helm, in fact, I doubt that nations like Pakistan and Yemen would be cooperating with Gore in charge. Even non-Americans know that Democrats are like deer in the headlights during a real crisis. Having a weakling like Gore at the helm right now would be a nightmare...

I suspect that had Gore won the election, we'd be in the exact same place we are now, albeit with a different spin. Recognizing the need for war, Gore would make it politically correct for lefties.

Gore would emphasize how we were empowering the exploited woman and children of the Middle East by insuring their personal and religious freedom.

He would tell how we were feeding the hungry and clothing the poor.

He would explain, in measured cadence, how we were introducing advanced technology that will aid them in rising out of third-world poverty.

He would inform us of how we were protecting the environment by eliminating hazardous chemical weapons and unsafe handling of the world's petrochemical resources.

He would express regret over the loss of civilian life that occurred in carrying out our greater purpose, and quote old FDR speeches from WWII.

Barbara Streisand and Michale Moore would join hands and sing kum-bay-yah, praising our great sensitive leader for the tough choices he's had to make.

Gore would then praise the Palestinians for their courage under duress, and vow to do something to ease their pain. He would mildly chastize Israel in an attempt to appease our Islamic detractors while quietly slipping Israel another billion-dollar check under the table.

For those who fear Ashcroft and the potential for the abuse of our civil rights, I can only point to Janet Reno, Waco, and Ruby Ridge. Spare me your moral indignation, your partisan politics, your feeble-minded assumption of the righteous high ground.

As Michele has pointed out numerous times, an extremist by any other name, regardless of which side of the pendulum they swing toward, will smell as rotten and be just as dangerous.

To quote Steeler's Wheel with an emphasis of my own: Clowns to the Left of me, jokers to the Right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

If it was up to you lefties, there would be NO foreign policy and NO military, and yet still the first to complain that we "aren't doing enough" in the war on terror. Lefties, please, get your heads out of your asses, put them back on your shoulders and use the brains stuck between your ears to realize that Al Gore would only lead us to our deaths, by doing exactly what he is qualified for: NOTHING. Social Security will not mean SHIT if we're all subscribing to Saddam's disease-of-the-month club.

1)Convened a focus group to determine what his position should be.

2)Condemn the WTC massacre because the resulting plumes of smoke contributed to global warming.

3)Condemn additional airport security because profiling is discriminatory.

4)Blather incessantly re how it was America's fault.

5)Gone out in a blaze of glory when the next attacks were successful.

It's difficult to know what a Gore administration would have done. The Clinton Administration treated these attacks as criminal matters; the goal being to apprehend the perps and bring them to trial. President Bush treats these attacks as acts of war; the goal being Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women. I prefer the Bush view.

Regarding the voxnsync guy: Michele made him up. She wasn't really visiting family yesterday, she was building that website. Too fucking funny!

New York City would have been cleaned up much as it had been, but the "root cause" rhetoric would have dominated a Gore administration -- I can't imagine that he would have declared war on Afghanistan, and he certainly wouldn't have parlayed that political capital into an attack against Iraq. He would've tried to round up some terrorists -- but would there have been a Camp X-ray at Guantanamo? I don't think so.

Truth to tell, though, it's hard to say what would have become of Gore -- his only persona (the stumbling after-Clinton) has split into two media-driven halves at this point: the anti-Bush and the newborn socialist. Personally, I find neither appealing... But many people -- Democrat and Republican alike -- had little faith in the governor from Texas before he came into his own. I don't think there was the universal adoration of Bush that persists now, and he certainly didn't have approval ratings above 60%. I don't think that anyone can say what would have happened to Gore with any surety?

I hate to admit that the thought exercise is warranted, though... I wish that man would just walk away from the Democratic party.

Gore would still be negotiating the size and shape of the table with the Taliban. If he even actually decided that al Quaeda was involved. bin Laden would have been invited to the White House at least 4 times, 2 or 3 with Arafat along. He would possibly have attacked Israel, or at least cut off most aid to them, for knowing about the attack and only telling the 4,000 Jews to skip work that day and not the US. Then he would have banned the internal combustion engine from all military uses to slow global warming.
I figure by then he would be assassinated and we would have President Lieberman and VP Daschle.
Compulsory conversion to Islam would be passed in the Senate and stuck in committee in the House.
Saddam would have his nukes and N Korea would have their reactors. And we would just have to bend over and grab our ankles. Sans vasoline.

Gore would have gotten a restraining order against Al-Qaeda, prohibiting it from attacking any more buildings, pending the outcome of a recount of the dead.

Riyadh delenda est!

I'm still a left-leaning middle grounder, and this is not a question I like to think about. I really can't imagine we'd have done much more than Tomahawk Afghanistan once or twice.

I've thought about it a little.
I used to think that if Gore had been appointed by the Supreme Court, the 9/11 attack might never have happened at all.
Perhaps Gore would have successfully negotiated the Caspian Pipeline deal with the Taliban, who was still on the government payroll at the time.
With assurances of continued US support, perhaps they would have turned over bin Laden willingly and happily. Then I rubbed my eyes and realized that a 9/11 type attack was inevitable, sooner or later. Every admin since Carter paved the way for it,from weak-kneed appeasement to funding/training/arming terrorist regimes/dictatorships. I despise Bush, but I think Gore would have been worse. The best way to catch criminals is to think like one, so we are probably better off in this Reality.
We must destroy the monster we created.

I've thought about it a little.
I used to think that if Gore had been appointed by the Supreme Court, the 9/11 attack might never have happened at all.
Perhaps Gore would have successfully negotiated the Caspian Pipeline deal with the Taliban, who was still on the government payroll at the time.
With assurances of continued US support, perhaps they would have turned over bin Laden willingly and happily. Then I rubbed my eyes and realized that a 9/11 type attack was inevitable, sooner or later. Every admin since Carter paved the way for it,from weak-kneed appeasement to funding/training/arming terrorist regimes/dictatorships. I despise Bush, but I think Gore would have been worse. The best way to catch criminals is to think like one, so we are probably better off in this Reality.
We must destroy the monster we created.

Hey! I managed to post an opinion without insulting anyone or being sarcastic!
I want a cookie.

Hey! I managed to post an opinion without insulting anyone or being sarcastic!
I want a cookie.
MicheLe, is it just me, or is the comment function a little buggy? Doesn't seem to want to accept a post without a preview first.

If Gore had been president on 9-11:

On or about 9-12 Gore would have convened a blue ribbon commission to study the "root causes" of "why they hate us".

Next Al would have petitioned our European "allies" and the United Nations for permission to hunt down the perps and to take action -- if he got around to deciding action MIGHT be a necessary response to the attack.

Thereafter, Al would try to curry favor with the Muslim community by sponsoring a resolution at the UN rescinding the UN sanctions against Iraq.

Next Al would try to open diplomatic channels to the Taliban Gov't in the hope of forestalling any future terrorist activity emanating from Afghanistan.

Al Gore would have done all of these things within a month of 9-11.

What would Al Gore have done?
Don't know, don't care, it is pure speculation and is certainly based on whether a person favors Al Gore or not. Why not just ask if a person voted for AG - if yes they think he'd have done better than W, if no he'd have done worse. Probably a 90% correlation on these questions.
lk

Al Gore would have convened a meeting of all world leaders for a photo OP. A picture would have been published with the scowling faces of angry leaders standing on either side of the U.S. President. The leaders would all have had dinner and flown home to their respective countries having fought the terrorists with a sepian photo. Clinton did this with astounding results.

If Gore had been elected we would have had far less need for Peace Rally's. And maybe that would be good. Although Clinton might have started more wars
with such
demonstrations for peace
.

Frankly, folks who think Gore would have blown it just have a hard-on for the man. He would have done everything the idiot-in-chief has done, except we wouldn't be trundling off to Baghdad. He'd be making sure AQ was down for the count, and that Afghanistan had a fighting chanec.

Despite bin Laden's linking Iraq to everything -- clever move by him, eh wot? -- Hussein isn't exactly in bed with AQ, despite what y'all are thinking. He's not a dumb man, else he would have been deposed long ago.

Unfortunately, many here, Michele included, have bought the bullshit, hook, line and sinker.

I notice no one on the right ever talks much about Afghanistan these days, about how the Taliban is returning, and that Karzai only controls the city-state of Kabul.

Nope. We're gonna use it as the model for Iraq, instead! Yippee!

Trudeau was right -- Uncle Duke will be military governor soon . . .

There are many things I don't see the Right talk about:
CARA act sneaks back into Congress
Terror Flight School/drug trafficking Ring
US Gov "ultimate database" run by a felon
Manditory(dangerous)smallpx vaccines
Annan says Israel must "give back' land to ensure peace (heard this again from him on c-span last night-shocked no one's talking about it)
Possible Election Fraud in Texas
US Gov supports renewing elephant ivory trade
A bunch more that I'm too lazy to tag~
If anyone knows anyone on the Right that covers these types of stories, pleasre point me to them! Thanks.

Gore would have had a hard time standing up to the Blame-America-Firsters, as they are his core constituency. We might have had some weepy town meetings and calls for a National Day of Introspection. The left would feel like they had settled down to a fine meal of all their beliefs validated. The right would have raged in horror at the thought of an America that won't defend itself anymore. The economy wouldn't be helped by this stuff at all, as the U.S. would slowly shuffle toward a weakened state in the world's eyes.

With one hand tied behind their back, our military would begin to wonder why they bother to risk their lives. Our desperate attempts to curry the favor of the French would give the EU moral a leg up, if that can be believed. Soon, Time magazine would run a cover story, "America Shamed: What Now?" The UN would pass a resolution praising America for finally coming to grips with its bad self and falling back into the arms of the world community. The Peace Prize would effectively be a lock for Gore, nominated for his rescue of the Kyoto Treaty and ushering in the "New Era of American Responsibility."

The Republicans would run a campaign in 2002 based on homeland security as it applies to our future and the economy, and win big. The Dems would be painted as America-blamers with no ideas on how to save our butts from Islamofascist Imperialists. Also they'd talk a lot about prescription drug costs(?!).Meanwhile, the terrorists would circle ever closer with their eyes on the prize. Well, I guess some things would stay the same!

If Gore had been president, he would still be hiding under his desk instead of doing something about it. He would have pandered to the Europukes and the UN. We still would not have destroyed most of the terrorist bases in Afghanistan and none of Al Qaeda's leaders would have been killed or captured yet. And any thought of going after Saddam would have been completely out of the question.

We'd have surrendered faster than the French.

When all of you Conservatives finish patting yourselves on the back for your brilliance and obvious superiority, keep in mind that pride and arrogance goeth before a fall. And you will fall. Politics is a cyclical business, y'all, so be smug and self-righteous while you're still on top. Frankly, I'm tired of the insults and the name-calling. If this is what passes for reasonable debate, y'all have a lot to learn....

Unfortunately, the issues raised here are not about political cycles or winning. It really comes down to having a country to have political cycles in. The threat we face is not a cycle. It is not a fad. I am not smug, I'm determined to undermine those who would undermine us. I'm determined to convince as many as people as possible that it is right to defend ourselves. If it seems a person stands in the way of that, I don't have a lot of sympathy.

BTW, one of the natural ways to try to bring down winners is by denigrating the prize they have attained. For instance "Well, only a loser like you could win a contest like this. I didn't want to win anyway!" Additionally, this reaction is usually born from pride and arrogance on the part of the defeated. Ironic, but thoroughly human. Trust me, I've been on both sides.

Also BTW, last I checked, this wasn't a reasonable debate, or even something trying to pass for it. A lot of people are pissed off about the situation we find ourselves in, and not afraid to express their anger about it. If we weren't angry, I'd be worried.

In closing, just because you're smug doesn't mean you're wrong. And I'm sure this post sounds smug.

Wow, you people really get all worked up over a hypothetical question. ;) And the ad hominem and strawman arguments start to fly pretty fast.

I thought about it for a while and my best figuring says old Gore would have done pretty much the same thing as Bush, with different packaging. Those two aren't very different really, with the exception of how they say things and a few key differences (abortion, love of wiretapping, etc). I don't really like either one of them that much, though Bush certainly has more charisma.

Andrew Sullivan points out that a President Gore would have had to take Cynthia McKinney and 'Baghdad' Bonior & McDermot seriously. Not to mention Sontag, Chomsky, Said, Moore, Baraka, Sarandon, Harrelson, et. al., ad nauseum.

Basically, I think we'd have made some kind of symbolic missile attack on the Taliban, accompanied by some tough talk, followed by nothing at all. Until the next plane hit.

Soon we'd have had suicide bombers in our shopping malls and President Gore would still be trying to 'look Presidential' while the country burned.

My God, we dodged a bullet in Florida 2000. President Gore would have been Jimmy Carter redux.

Interesting -- there are many anti-Bush posters here who are insisting that Gore would have done the same things that Bush has done...

My only conclusions, then, are: a) Gore's allegedly moral opposition to the proposed Iraq war can be nothing other than a political move, founded only in his obligatory resistance to whatever Bush wants, even if it's for the country; and b) the same people who are making that claim, and who are in their posts also ranting against Bush, are merely whining.

To be honest, I can't see the "intellectualizing" there... just self-deception and inconsistency.

My own take is that Gore would have followed actions similar to those of Clinton -- fire a few cruise missiles, declare victory, and continue to ignore the realities. Meanwhile, Saddam would have nukes before the 2004 elections, and we'd be dealing with a building Mideastern empire with him at the helm. It wouldn't be pretty, and it would take a nuclear war to resolve.

Gore would have taken down the Taliban, no question about it. He would also have had Tommy Franks's head on a platter for making such a bollocks of the Afghan situation.

We also would be finishing the job on AQ, instead of heading after Saddam, simply because he's locatable.

Conservatives have a hard-on for Gore, as does the media, but you can bet one thing -- we wouldn't have the insanity of John Ashscroft, et al. If Gore had even TRIED Gitmo bay, the Pugnicans would have been screaming for impeachment.

When the shoe is on the other foot, the Pugnicans simply shout lies repeatedly until they're drilled into people as fact. Liberal bias in the media, my ass.

Oh, and to the bogeyman of Saddam-with-Nukes -- get real, people. More BS. He would 1.) never use them, as he knows Iraq would be leveled, and 2.) he will never side with bin Laden. Why? Well, they both want to be the big fish in the small pond, and frankly, it's dumb to assume they'd work together.

Oh, sure, Osama-baby linked AQ with Iraq in a speech recently -- smart politics. It gets folks like yourselves all riled up. But Hussein would never give away or sell weapons for the same reason as above -- we'd know it, and he'd cease to exist.

Hussein wants to do business with the world, bin Laden does not. Look at Uncle Dick Cheney's track record with Halliburton, if you don't believe me.

Oh, and to the bogeyman of Saddam-with-Nukes -- get real, people. More BS. He would 1.) never use them, as he knows Iraq would be leveled, and 2.) he will never side with bin Laden. Why? Well, they both want to be the big fish in the small pond, and frankly, it's dumb to assume they'd work together.

Oh, sure, Osama-baby linked AQ with Iraq in a speech recently -- smart politics. It gets folks like yourselves all riled up. But Hussein would never give away or sell weapons for the same reason as above -- we'd know it, and he'd cease to exist.

Hussein wants to do business with the world, bin Laden does not. Look at Uncle Dick Cheney's track record with Halliburton, if you don't believe me.

Scott's comments remind me of why I gave up trying to be a liberal: the congnitive dissonance was just too great to bear.

Tell ya what, Scott... if you think the guy who has used every other WMD he's gotten his hands on won't use his nukes, you're perfectly welcome to bet your life on it. I won't risk that, nor the lives of my loved ones (and the lives of your loved ones are coincidentally going to be protected by the same actions which protect mine, no thanks to you).

Hussein has been repeatedly linked to the first WTC bombing; he's willing to use bin Laden, just as he's been willing to use Islam for the last decade and change. OBL is bound by a set of beliefs (crazy as they might be), but Saddam has made a personal religion of "whatever it takes this week", as a trivial examination of his history will show.

Trusting Saddam is like trusting the rattlesnake under your boot: only an idiot would do it, and then he wouldn't live long.