Sunday, June 25, 2006

My hope is that those who read the book and see the film will begin to feel, as I have for a long time, that global warming is not just about science and that it is not just a political issue. It is really a moral issue.
--from the introduction to An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It by Al Gore, Rodale Press, 2006.

Mr Gore said global warming was a "challenge to our moral imagination to understand it and then to respond to it urgently"....He stressed the problem was moral, not political, and said he hoped the current US government would re-think its environmental strategy and sign up to the successor to the Kyoto treaty.
--Al Gore, quoted at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival

"I'm a grandfather and he [George W. Bush] is a father and this should not be a political issue."--Al Gore, quoted by CNN, 5/23/06

[Springsteen] called politics "an organic part of what I’m doing. ... It’s called common sense. I don’t even see it as politics at this point."--Bruce Springsteen quoted in Editor and Publisher magazine.

I'm seeing more and more of this. Last year during the Katrina mess left-wing bloggers were screaming that that situation was "no longer a political but a moral crisis" blah blah blah. The argument is specious, as George F. Will points out in a recent column titled "Gore in the Balance": "Any large policy issue is a political issue and it is large because it is morally significant." Exactly.

But the greater issue is why lefties insist that their political points of view aren't political but "moral." And I think the answer is related to the point that Ann Coulter makes in her much-hated new book: Coulter's thesis (and I agree with it) is that the Left doesn't want to debate issues. It never wants to debate issues. So in lieu of debate it brings forth spokepeople whose "moral authority is absolute" (to quote Maureen Dowd again), like the 9/11 "Jersey Girl" widows, or Cindy Sheehan, or this or that Iraq war veteran: People who cannot be debated with because of their "moral authority." Democrats embraced John Kerry less for his policy positions than for all his medals, which would in theory contrast to the records of the cowardly Bush and Cheney to their shame (I recall reading an essay by Democrat Underground founder William Rivers Pitt during the 2004 primaries that made exactly this point).

And the new "this is no longer political, this is moral" meme is exactly in line with Coulter's thesis. What it boils down to is that the Left insists: Our positions are beyond simple politics, you rube. How dare you not agree! Why, debating us, even disagreeing with us at all--it's immoral!

Josef Stalin would have loved this argument.

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