Ed Driscoll

What if Spartacus had a Piper Cub?

Hey, it’s time for yet another “What would an Al Gore Administration have looked like” article. Newsweek, a specialist in the genre even before Tina Brown’s recent “What if Princess Di had lived?” cover story, ran one at the end of 2009. Glenn Beck massaged the topic last year in New York magazine of all places. And now Brent Budowsky of The Hill takes off on his own assault on reason. In a way, he’s sort of playing the record backwards — Budowsky wrote an article for The Hill last month that began “Let me be the first to propose a national movement to draft Al Gore for president in 2016.” His what-ifs are at risk of crossing the streams and violating the 22nd Amendment of the fantasy political football rulebook.

But in any case, what’s the problem? You’ve had the equivalent of Al Gore in office for three years now.

  • An out of control regulatory nightmare that cripples business growth? Check.
  • Raids on the music industry that would have made Tipper blush? Check.
  • Droning, robotic, leaden teleprompter driven speeches? And how.

As James Taranto noted last month, “Obama isn’t betraying the left, the left is betraying Obama–and they are doing so precisely because he has done what they say they want him to do.” Bill Clinton salvaged his presidency in the mid-1990s by tacking towards the center and working with the GOP Congress; Al Gore lost in 2000 because his far left policies frightened voters. As we saw during the first two years of the Clinton presidency, and three years of the Obama administration, they had good reason to be.

On the other hand, the same author who writes, “Stay tuned. I predict the day will come when we will know for sure what President Gore would do, when President Gore does it,” also wrote last year:

I believe John Mellencamp would electrify the campaign and electrify Democrats who want a fighter for working people, farmers, small businesses and small-town America to have a loud and clear voice in the Senate.

To those working to draft Mellencamp: You are fighting a good and worthy battle and I hope you succeed. America needs champions of justice and fairness and high principle in the Senate. John Mellencamp is exactly the kind of leader and voice our people need to lift the standards of our politics and the spirit of our nation.

But what would Tipper think?