Friday, January 26, 2007


Message to Al Gore: Will you ever be able to forgive me? I'm wondering - seriously wondering - If I'll ever be able to forgive myself. I can't take the old Henry Hyde route and blame my errant ways on a youthful indiscretion. No, that would be the coward's way out. I've got to be honest enough to stand up before the world and admit it: I screwed up - BIG TIME, BABY! Please, let me relate to you good people my sad and tragic story....

In 2000, as the primary season was approaching, I was excited about the prospective candidacy of Bill Bradley. His views were much more in tune with the traditional Democratic constituency and I was of the opinion that recent years had seen the Dems move further and further away from the issues that really mattered - particularly the plight of the working and the middle classes. It soon became apparent, however, that the former New Jersey senator didn't stand a chance. Vice-President Al Gore not only had all the cash, he also had the massive weight of the Clinton White House and the Democratic National Committee behind him. Bradley's quest for the presidency was blown out of the water. I left the Democratic party at that moment. It wasn't just the nomination of Gore that left me frustrated; for a long time it had been painfully obvious that the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been creeping slowly but surely to the right. From the dawn of the so-called "Reagan Revolution", the GOP had been able to hijack America's political conversation to such a point that, by the year 2000, the word "liberal" had been transformed into an expletive. While all of this was going on, it seemed to me, the party of FDR just let it all happen.
By 2000 it looked like the time was ripe to support the candidacy of Ralph Nader. A message needed to be sent to the country and Nader was right on the mark on every single issue. At the time it seemed like a safe, even responsible thing to do. Nader was, after all, running as a third (Green) party candidate and as luck would have it, the Republicans that year nominated the worst candidate in its history: a disgusting, half-witted little frat boy named George W. Bush. Fine, I thought, I'll support Nader. Al Gore won't even have to campaign having such an incompetent fool as his main opponent. What the heck! This will be the political equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel!

I had forgotten to take a crucial factor into consideration: the jaw-dropping stupidity of the American people. Although the Bush Mob was able to obtain the White House by taking 57,000 African Americans of the voting rolls in the state of Florida, they wouldn't have been able to pull it off had the count not been as close as it was. As if that wasn't bad enough, the people even managed to re-elect the hideous little bastard four years later. Go figure. The headline in Britain's Daily Mirror the day after the election of 2004 put it perfectly: "HOW CAN 59,054,087 PEOPLE BE SO DUMB?" Good question! Any takers?

Six long and depressing years of hindsight have given me a new outlook on the subject of Al Gore. A viewing of his recent documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" (which has received two Oscar nominations), has only re-enforced my feelings: by not supporting Gore in 2000, those of us who call ourselves "liberals" - I beg your pardon....I meant "progressives" - committed one of the biggest political blunders in American history. But not for the candidacy of Ralph Nader, the Bush Mob would never have been able to steal that election and we wouldn't be in the pathetic mess we're in today. Here is the cold, hard truth: I am as responsible for the nightmare administration of George W. Bush as anyone.

Just consider what it would mean if the Democrats nominate Al Gore in 2008 - the symbolic nature of such a move would be powerful, indeed! They would be saying to the electorate, "Now do you see what a hideous mistake it was to send a murderous little thug like Bush to Washington? You have a chance to get it right this time, America - DON'T BLOW IT!"
Were America to send Al Gore to the White House, it would also send an important message to the rest of the world: "We realize that there are horrendous wrongs that need to be righted - and we're doing it". It'll take the United States a generation (at least) to even come close to repairing our damaged reputation within the international community of nations. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Sending the man who had the election stolen from him six years ago to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be an important first step, indeed. Think about it.

If and when Albert Gore of Tennessee announces his candidacy, I will immediately re-register as a Democrat just so I can vote for him in the primaries. After the debacle I had a hand in creating six years ago, it's the least I can do. The very least.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

It has just been announced that the great Molly Ivins, who has been battling breast cancer for some time now, is gravely ill in an Austin hospital. Please keep her in your prayers. We cannot afford to lose her. We just can't.


At 5:57 AM, Blogger Nancy said...

I lost all respect for Ralph Nader when he insisted on running his third party candidacy in what was one of the most important elections in our history. Clueless people saw no difference between Gore and Bush.Come again?

I read Molly Ivins. I read her book on Shrub. Anyone who helped this horrible man get into office gets no more respect from me. And that especially includes Nader.

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Wilma Lamb said...

Dear Tom, No political science student I, but I thought it was beyond stupid to vote for Nader.
In hindsight had Nader's votes gone to Gore, we wouldn't have the worst leader in the history of this country in the White House today.
Too bad Gore waited till after the "selection" to use his devasting wit, it would have been a piece of cake to laugh Bush into the history books as running the most ineffectual campaign in American politics.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Blake said...

Great Tom!

I've been for Gore for over a year.

In addition to the excellent points you make I say he was second to be green (only after Kermit the Frog of Sesame Street) and his 2008 victory could cleanse the nation of its collective guilt over robbing him of an office he truly won and allowing a dunce to just about to ruin our great nation.

Now -how? Can we get Neo-Al Gore to run?

Rick Lippin

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Light Foot said...

The first time I actually focused on the possibilities of Al Gore, I wasn't too enthusiastic but as time went on I realized this was a man who seemed to have more substance than Bush I and II put together. I was outraged by both stolen elections and constantly thought what life on the planet would have been like with Gore as the rightful heir to the presidency. But that's life; predators win all the time.

The political landscape today has not changed much since the last presidential election, sure, the democratic majority is in and I hold high hopes for them, maybe too high and I still hope Gore will have a chance in the next Presidential election, if he chooses to run.

Like the new format on your site.

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Sandra Green said...

Dear Tom,

How delighted and surprised I was to see your second blog this week, one especially dedicated to Al Gore. Whom I did understand was our only chance to survive the darkness that was ahead. I had had Bush for a governor, who had done very little for his years in Texas's number one position. He let them build coal refiners in Texas of all place. Where we burn methane every day of the year in oil refinement. People got little, unless you were rich.

Al said he would not run and he likes all of the three front runners. Global warming is his most important fight and perhaps that is for the best. He need him out there selling out areas in small towns in places like Idaho.

If the planet does not survive, it does not matter which Democrat is in office. The time is short, like many 5 years to the tipping point. Much as I liked Hilary once because she is a woman, but her stance on the war was unacceptable to me. She has not said she is sorry for her vote. I like John Edwards because he is for everyone and that includes Mother Earth. To those people who were here first, She is a living entity.

At 9:19 PM, Anonymous fearless flower said...

Hi Tom,

I heard from a liberal friend that the GOP helped fund Nader's Campaign. What was Ralph Nader thinking!?
I hadn't thought of Al Gore as a viable candidate, but you may be right about him. He does have a broad appeal. He's going to have to tie in his environmental platform with keeping America out of wars in troubled oil rich regions like the Middle East and Somalia. The time has come to start developing energy alternatives and reduce our dependance on foreign oil. That may mean taking on the big oil companies, and I hope Al Gore is up for that.

I'm afraid things may get much worse before people wake up to the fact that we need to make major lifestyle changes if we want Earth to remain as we know her.

By the way, I went to the War Protest on Saturday in DC. People came from as far away as Tennessee, Wisconsin, Montana, and California. The march was originally to go in a 3/4 circle around the Capitol and then double back on itself to its starting point. So many people came, however, that it became a river of marchers completely encircling the Capitol building so that it seemed to have no beginning or end. I would say there were tens of thousands there. Many different groups participated. Some of the best slogans I saw:

"Send Bush Hunting With Cheney!"
"Rich White Bigots Run and Hide, You Support Genocide!"
and my favorite:
"Stop Mad Cowboy Disease."

There are events scheduled for Feb. 17 in NYC and March 17 at the Pentagon. A great website for more information is

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Wilma Lamb said...

Dear Tom, We will have to get used to doing without Molly, hard as it will be.
This is two great Texas ladies we have lost, the great Ann Richardson passed not long ago; a victim of the same horrible disease that is taking Molly from us.
In their honor we must carry on their work of fighting George Bush and his gang of thieves, thugs and Constitution shredders at every oppurtunity till he occupies the presidential suite in federal prison. From what I read of the Libby trial maybe that time is nearing.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Dear Wilma,
I just can't imagine a world without Molly Ivins. I'm still praying for a miracle. No other journalist in America has dealt with the reality of this nightmare administration as articulately and with as much wit. She is to our time what Will Rogers was to his - more so. We've all read her books, but have you ever heard one of her audio books??? She reads them all with the timing and talent of a professional comedian. I love her so much....
Tom Degan

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Wilma Lamb said...

Dear Tom, Molly's articles and books were entertaining, an audio would be priceless!
We must strive to uphold her standard of journalism to honor her memory.
I have faith you can do your part.
Texas has produce some eightballs but also some greats, Ann Richardson and Molly Ivins, to name 2.
We can't blame Texas for Bush, his charachter(or lack of it) was formed long before he hit Texas.
As for voting for him lets just say they are oversupplied with bubbas

At 3:29 AM, Blogger larkrise said...

I am deeply distressed to hear about Molly Ivins. I will remember her in my prayers. She is such a wonderfully honest and spirited writer.
Al Gore is a good man,too. I dont know if he has the stomach for another run. The Mainstream Media is absolutely vicious towards Progressives. They will publish any lie or unfounded rumor. If the last election was a prediction of 2008, it will be one big atomic blast of mud. The TV ads were awful. I would support Gore, of course, but I wonder how much fight he has in him. Since the ascendancy of the far-right, politics has become dirtier than ever. You need the hide of a rhino to jump into the fray.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger cyclone said...


How have you done this? I pointed out quite some time ago that Nader voters were responsible for Boosh and was literally lynched by the alleged "progressives" on Alternet. They spewed the Nader BS, "if Gore could have carried his own state, he would have won. He doesn't deserve to be President. Don't you dare blame us!" Now, we see the results.

Nader had to have known what he was doing, and for that he should be drawn and quartered. It was clearly going to be a close election, he had no chance of winning, and a vote for him was a vote for Boosh. What little respect I had for him going in, went out in 2000. I hold him as personally responsible for this mess as anyone walking on this earth today, outside of this band of Boosh thugs who are leading the parade at present.

Nice piece,


At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Wilma Lamb said...

Cyclone, you got it on 2000 and Nader could well have been the spoiler in the 2004 election. He knew he didn't have a snowball's chance either time but the Republican money machine was pumping money into his coffers and the chance for payback and to getto play on the natioinal stage was too good to miss. Also I wonder how much more went under the table and any unspent campaign money goes into the candidate's bank account.

At 7:08 PM, Blogger stoney13 said...

Green my ass! If Nader had been as "Green" as he made himself out to be, he would have sent Exon-Mobil's check back to them uncashed!

Not your fault, Tom. We've all been fooled once or twice! Believe it or not, I used to be a registered REPUBLICAN!!!!! I thought the Democrats wanted to take my guns away! (Well.. some do!) I've learned now to judge by the platform, and to pick candidates based on what they've done, rather than what they say they're going to do!

Hillary's going to have to show me a damn-sight more than what she has to get me on her bandwagon! In fact, from what I've seen so far, Im VERY unimpressed! She voted us into this stupid war, and asked not one serious question about it!

At 7:10 PM, Blogger stoney13 said...

Great Spirit,

I ask you to send your healing to our brave sister Molly Ivins. The world will be a sadder place without her.

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, there's one thing no one is mentioning: When Al Gore becomes an actual candidate, all that great talk gets thrown in the trunk and he talks much like the rest of them.


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