Thursday, October 11, 2007

Al's Big Day

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced tomorrow, October 12, in Oslo, Norway. Former Vice President Al Gore is said to be in the running for the award. There is much speculation that Gore may decide to run for President if he does win the Nobel Prize.

Here's hoping.


MK said...

I highly doubt he will run and I even more doubt that a Nobel peace prize would in any way sway him to change his mind. Winning the Nobel would put him in the company of Carter, Arafat and others, the association with which can easily be used to make him unelectable in flyover country. Not really a good idea.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/ MK.

Octopus Grigori said...

Let's bet. I bet he wins the Nobel Prize and announces his candidacy within four weeks. He'll win the Democratic nomination and the general election.

Anonymous said...

Ok--you're on for $20. Seein' as how you've already won the first stage of the bet, I ought to ask for odds, but I won't.


MK said...

I didn't doubt he had a good chance of winning the prize, but I still don't believe he'll run. The Spiegel had a good article arguing that by reinventing himself as a global green-causes ambassador, Gore has managed to step above and beyond politics. To now jump back into the trench warfare of partisan politics would be a step down. I agree.

MK said...

Addendum: I was listening to BBC World News on NPR this morning and the right wing contrarian guy they brought into the discussion made exactly the point I anticipated in my first post: that the prize has gone to less than savory characters in the past and that (in the view of right-wingers) awarding the prize to Gore only further diminsihes the credibility of the Nobel committee. He described the award to Gore as a "political stunt".

Toddy said...

Can I turn our attention to the Nanci Pelosi lead vote on teh Turkish/Armenian genocide issue?

It strikes me as bizarre, haphazard and smelling of patent unnecessary politicizing.

Has anyone officially labeled our own country's killing off of Native Americans as genocide? I think that might be a good place to start.

MK said...

toddy, what are you getting at? It's not like the Armenian community is large enough to make "politicizing" worthwhile.

Toddy said...

Actually, thats not true. The Armenian community in California is substantial in polittcal terms.
What I am getting at is that baldfaced thuggish politicizing happens on both sides of the isle.
What is the possible positive outcome of officially naming the nealry century old Armenian massacre a genocide at this point?
With tensions over the Kurds and our long lost respectability in the Muslim region, how can this be beneficial to anyone except someone who is trying to please a constituency half a world away?

I just figure that bashing conservatives is nice and all, but the smarmy bootlicking goes both ways.

Gore/Obama '08

Toddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toddy said...

political. aisle.

MK said...

The Armenian genocide issue's effect on Turkish relations is just a load of hot air. The effect of this will be negligible. France kicked that off long ago by criminalizing Armenian-genocide-denial. Sooner or later Turkey has to seriously confront that issue, especially if they ever want to join the EU. I don't really see this being politicized to any significant degree in the US.

Back on topic:,1,4688911.story

Toddy said...

The "sooner or later" argument is a red-herring. While Turkey has many, many issues to confront before trying to enter the EU, this is no time to be exacerbating tensions when we need as much political leverage as possible for our own broken down schemes. To me it is a blatant and foolish ploy. The crazy thing is, I am not sure what the ploy is for.

As far as the "back on topic"- The Octopus blogs an awful lot about politics. This is politics.

Octopus Grigori said...

MK: That poll depresses me. Although, does it say something that Gore shows up just behind Obama in that poll?

I do think Gore would rise rapidly if he entered. He could go after Hillary on her Iraq vote, and on her more recent Iran vote. (I think her Iran vote has been one of her biggest blunders so far and will come back to haunt her, come December and January.)

Let's be real: unless something dramtic changes, none of the current Democratic candidates will win against Giuliani. If Romney or Thompson is the GOP candidate, it's a different story.

Let's go point by point:

Hillary is too divisive, polarizing, and tone-deaf. Also, eventually opponents will start hammering home the point that spending eight years in the White House as First Lady does not count as experience in office. Her one foray into a major policy effort as First Lady was a complete debacle. And we've seen where a mealy-mouth position on Iraq gets you (i.e., Kerry being for the war before he was against it). We need a clear contrast, not a slightly less belligerent version of the Bush Doctrine. We will not win unless we present a clear contrast. Hillary cannot do this.

Obama is too young, green, skinny, and inexperienced. He's proven to be ineffectual at getting beyond nebulous platitudes, and seems comfortable only in delivering prepared, soaring rhetoric. He will look like a kid against Giuliani.

Edwards is also too inexperienced, a lightweight, and ineffective on the campaign trail. What has he been doing since 2004? Why should we elect a senator with one term under his belt to be President? What does he know about foreign policy?

Some people talk about Richardson, but he's sort of a goofball, a bit glib, prone to huge gaffs, and saddled with some serious baggage (i.e., Los Alamos, New Mexico's record, etc.). He does have significant foreign policy credentials, but that won't overcome his many errors and mistakes.

Gore is better than all of the current Democratic candidates. The current incarnation of Gore would take it to Giuliani and his maniacal foreign policy advisors, would point out the utter folly of the war in Iraq, the planned war in Iran. And Gore provides a bright burning contrast: the incurious, close-minded man that was installed in office versus the man that should have been President. All those independents that voted for Bush in 2000? I'd bet they'll be running to vote for Gore in 2008 to atone for their colossal error.

Gore-Obama '08. Game over.

Octopus Grigori said...

Toddy: Living in L.A. near Glendale, I can surely agree with you that the Armenian community is politically strong out here.

It's interesting that Tom Lantos was one of the main proponents of the genocide bill.

I do think it is critical that the world remember the Armenians that were killed in the Armenian Genocide. I think it's important for the U.S. to recognize and call genocide by its name wherever it is happening. I agree, Toddy, that we should have started, a long time ago, by recognizing our genocide against the Native Americans.

In the end, I believe I support the Armenian genocide measure. But I am open to hearing arguments against the timing, etc.

MK said...


"The crazy thing is, I am not sure what the ploy is for."

You hit the nail on the head. There is just no context or timing for this to be the politicizing you allege. It seems rather that this is something the Armenian community has been pushing for years and which finally made its way through the slow-moving mills of congress without congress intending to make any specifically timed statement. Sometimes there are no ulterior motives (strange as that may sound). You do sound though as if you were falling prey to some of the Bushies' GWOT propaganda. This resolution is far more irrelevant than the French criminalization of Armenian-genocide-denial. Some hot air aside, this will simply not have any tangible effect. The tensions with northern Iraqi Kurds have different reasons and the US is unlikely to be able to influence Turkey one way or another on that matter anyway. Remember that the Turks were already on the verge of invading Northern Iraq sua sponte in '03.


You are making Giuliani into a bigger bogeyman than he is (or should I say boogie-man?). He is perfectly capable of gaffes himself and his lack of dogmatic religious and social concervative "values" makes him as much of a liability as an asset. He is more unelectable in certain areas than you think. Recall that religious leaders last week announced that they would consider backing a third party candidate if Giuliani becomes the Rep candidate/doesn't take a more drastic position on abortion and gays. I actually rate Giuliani's potential for self-destruction almost as high as Kerry's. It is easier for the Reps at this point to push through a relative unknown who talks like ordinary folk (e.g. Bush jr.), than someone who comes with the liability of years of public service in a highly visible office during which time he has taken many positions that can antagonize the right wing core.

Octopus Grigori said...


Maybe. Here's why Giuliani scares me:

1) He's pro-abortion rights, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights, pro-immigrant rights, etc. He is in the extreme right only on the issue of blowing up/locking up/torturing all the crazy Mohammedans. If he gets past the primaries (which it looks like he will at this point), this will throw independents into the mix. He's the nightmare candidate for Democrats if he gets past the primaries. And I think he will.

2) He puts New York into play.

3) With Podhoretz and Pipes as advisers, and basically promising to bomb Iran, he's kowtowing to the chattering classes of the neocons and their ilk. The so-called "pro-war left" of 2002-03, see, e.g., Dissent Magazine, the New Republic, the NYT editorial/newswriting staff, the Washington Post editorial board, the New Yorker, etc., may find themselves gravitating toward the socially liberal, tough on Islamofascism Giuliani. I may be wrong.

4) The man is a authoritarian tyrant just waiting to happen.

5) He and his advisers will bomb Syria, Iran, Lebanon, the Occupied Territories, and maybe Jordan for good measure, and then deport/intern my family and me.

MK said...


Podhoretz or not, I don't see him as quite that crazy. He's more similar to Arnie's Republicanism than to Dubya's. In either case, I think his abilitry to mobilize independents is offset by his ability to antagonize the religious/social conservative far right. He's not nearly as unbeatable as you make him seem.

Octopus Grigori said...

MK: Your comment is exhibit A for my case as to why Giuliani is the most dangerous Republican candidate. (By dangerous, I mean here most likely to win the general election. But I also mean most dangerous to the peace of the world and my continued existence as an American citizen.) Your comment shows how even good, sensible liberals like you see him as a moderate in the vein of Schwarzenegger. He's pro-abortion rights, he's pro-immigrant rights, he's pro-gun control, he's pro-gay rights. How bad could he be?

Um, advocating torture and extended war through the Middle East bad. Advocating the fondest pipe dreams of the neocons bad. Advocating perpetual war against Islam bad. Driving us deeper in the "Global War on Terror" bad. State of Emergency, Martial Law, Internment Camp bad.

(By the way, Schwarzenegger is nowhere near as crazy and vindictive and ruthless as Giuliani. I would seriously contemplate voting for Schwarzenegger. I would rather move to Norway than vote for Giuliani.)

The question is: which Republican candidate has the best chance of winning the general election?

The answer is: Giuliani.

The issue you raise about his turning off the conservative wing of the Republican Party is a factor only if it can prevent him from winning the Republican nomination. He is currently winning that race, warts and all. At this point it seems like there is no one able to stop him from winning the nomination. Romney, as a Mormon and a flip-flopper, will never be accepted by Republicans. McCain is basically washed up and too old. Thompson is D.O.A. I would worry about Huckabee if he didn't have such a doofus name.

You say he's unelectable (presumably in the Republican primaries) -- but I just don't see that being borne out in the Republican race so far. Who do you think will win the Republican nomination? Romney? Thompson? McCain? How do you see any of those guys winning? Think about it.

If Giuliani is the nominee -- and he will be -- the religious right will hold their noses and vote for him, because they are not going to vote for Hillary. I would be ecstatic if the far right would splinter off and form a third party, but I don't see that happening, despite all the hot air about it. The far right will have to accept their position as taken-for-granted, much as African Americans are largely taken for granted by the Democrats.

Meanwhile, we will have Hillary. How do you see that race turning out?

Octopus Grigori said...

MK: And you were right about Nader in 2000.

MK said...

No. Giuliani's perceived liberalism is as much if not more of a liabilityin the general election. The threat is not just that the religious right splinters off with a third party candidate. The threat is also that he just won't mobilize the "base" and that they will stay home and not vote. If you give flyover country the choice between two New Yorkers, they won't know what to do. Seriously, Giuliani isn't folksy enough to appeal to large parts of the country. Edwards has much more of an edge over him there. He could slaughter Giuliani in a number of places. Lack of experience is irrelevant. Dubya didn't have any worth mentioning either.

PS: I don't think I see Giuliani as too benign. Rather it seems you have too good of an image of Arnie. ;-)

Toddy said...

MK- "The crazy thing is, I am not sure what the ploy is for." Naming something a century old to appease a constituency is a political play. The end result is a political goal. What I am saying here is that the timing of the measure has no imminent necessity and is saddled with such potential foreigh-relational pitfalls that I can't figure it out.

Any candidate who does not openly scoff at the decision to go to war in Iraq scares me to death. That sort of blindness couldn't be more frightening. Giuliani is exactly as scary as many of the idiots on his side of things, especially concerning his social views, but I will even be scared of Hillary if she takes office on this front. She still hasn't publically come clean on her vote. That sort of thing spells doom to me.

MK said...

This is how Gore can affect the election:

And that in and of itself is a great achievement.

Toddy said...

Man, I really have to proof read my comments.
Er, Giuliani is scary.
I am grateful for his social views.


MK said...

Toddy, we're talking past each other here. I am saying (and you are agreeing on this part) that there is no logic behind the timing of this. Absent some logic behind the timing, this isn't politicization, as much as such a resolution could be used to appease a certain constituency. For polticization to occur there must be some sort of timing concern, to influence an election or some other political event. You don't politicize in a vacuum. But this resolution is simply untimely on every level. It simply looks like something that trickled so slowly through congress that it was forgotten about and eventually emerged at a most inopportune moment without any immediate ulterior motives by any of its sponsors. Note also that it's unlikely to be voted on:

Can we stop debating this completely spurious side track now which has nothing to do with Gore or the election?

Octopus Grigori said...

Everybody, let's play nice. It's fine to go off topic. This whole blog is generally off topic.

MK: I wish I could get behind Edwards, but the guy is a lightweight. I like his newfound leftish positions, and his taking it to Hillary, but I see it mostly as expediency (like his 2002 vote to authorize the Iraq war).

Also, Bush had two huge things Edward doesn't:
1) He shared the name of his father who was President.
2) He was the twice-elected governor of Texas. (And, yes yes, I know the gov. of Texas has very limited powers.) He could go around saying he was the chief exec. of a major state. What's Edwards' current job? Perpetually running for President? Also, his name recognition comes from being "that guy who was the VP candidate loser with Kerry".

MK said...

I agree with you. I was just saying that Edwards has a few non-negligible qualities that could allow him to hurt Giuliani, whether as a candidate or running mate.

Toddy said...

Damn. I feel so off topic. Politicizing is different, you are right there.
I ought to have used the word 'politicking' or something along those lines. Anyhow, the gist was got.
And no, it won't go through.
And no, Gore won't run.
I'll put money on that too.

Toddy said...

And I've no where else to vent my frustrations to intelligent people now and again as my own blog is decidedly not about this.

Lets not take that away from me now. . .

Octopus Grigori said...

I may end up owing a lot of people money.

We are doomed. How long does it take to get Canadian immigration applications processed?

MK said...

It's been four weeks now. ;-)