Al Gore Praised, Even By Repubs

Folks, I am so sorry I have been incommunicado for these past few days, especially since so much has been going on when it comes to climate change and the environment. (I’ve been working on a couple of stories, one related to drought, and the science has been daunting.) The good news is that Al Gore has been more than holding up his end. He got the "rock star" treatment on Capitol Hill yesterday, according to NPR, and appears to have more than lived up to the billing. 

For a few snippets of video narrated by the Washington Post’s terrific Capitol Hill reporter Dana Milbank, take a look at this. Milbank focuses on the confrontation between Gore and James Inhofe, former chair of the committee, who a couple of years ago famously declared global warming a "hoax." Milbank shows the video in which not only does Inhofe ask Gore insulting questions about a serious issue, but refuses to let Gore answer except in writing, making himself look about as petty and unreasonable as a Senator can in a hearing. Following Inhofe came the much-admired Republican John Warner, who treated Gore with the greatest possible respect, asking to "learn" from him. Warner said he hoped he could "join" with Gore in his efforts. The contrast could not be more telling.

A couple of other points: my editor David Roberts has numerous interesting posts on Gore’s appearances yesterday. Here’s his blow-by-blow on his House testimony, which I think is very entertaining.

But let me wrap up with a couple of comments from the conservative side of the fence. This is where the real politics of the issue is playing out (at least in 2007, before we get down to the nitty gritty of emission reduction).

Last week while enduring some Limbaugh, I heard a woman call in and praise the host to the skies, but also impishly add that she thought Gore was doing a "wonderful thing" for his legacy by bringing attention to the issue of global warming. Limbaugh had no good answer, except to get rid of her as quickly as possible, and after that change the subject. It’s true: Gore is now surely by now by far the most beloved of all former presidential candidates. Who else even compares?

And take a look at this comment from a true Corner conservative, John Podhoretz:

Senators and congressmen get the idea that it’s okay for them to act like bullies because some people in their home state cast votes for them, but it isn’t, and it doesn’t matter what party they belong to. Message to Inhofe: It’s inappropriate behavior to ask a witness, even Al Gore, a question that contains an insult and then ask for the answer in writing so you can go on to your next, also presumably insulting, question.

Yes! Could better evidence of Inhofe’s self-defeating tactics possibly be found? Doubtful.

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