RE: Welcome to the FoG, microbunk

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From: Lucas Gonze (
Date: Mon Oct 09 2000 - 08:44:13 PDT

Look Wayne, this isn't alt.endless.politico-religious.wars. You made your
point, it was always obnoxious to be pushing it in a mainly technical forum, and
time is up. There are plenty of other places for you to vent. Go there.

- Lucas

> Tribunalist Eric Zorn, whom I consider to be one of the fairly reliable
> Friends of Gore, says just about the same thing I said last week ...
> Eric Zorn
> My guess is that even Al Gore's biggest detractors at first believed
> what they saw in their minds' eyes last Tuesday when Gore described
> the plight of a student in an overcrowded Florida high school.
> "They can't squeeze another desk in for her, so she has to stand
> during class," Gore said during the presidential debate with George W.
> Bush. We must act, Gore said, "so Kailey [Ellis] will have a desk and
> can sit down in a classroom where she can learn."
> Poor vertical child! This tale was certainly true! Not because Gore had
> such a great track record for precision, but exactly because he didn't.
> The rap on Gore going into the debates was that he had a candor
> impairment, an authenticity-deficit disorder. It seemed like a safe
> assumption that the absolute last thing he would do in front of the
> largest TV audience of the political season would be to freelance with
> the facts and reinforce the main nagging doubt about him.
> Overcrowding and underfunding are major problems in education. But for
> Gore to try to illustrate that with a fish tale at a moment when he
> knew that his every word was being triple-checked for veracity would
> be, well, what? Adjectives fail me. Reckless? Goofy? Arrogant?
> Suicidal? Insane? Pathological?
> Expletives, however, did not fail me when I learned later that Gore
> had it wrong. Kailey sits! Has for all but a few class periods early
> in the year when, administrators at Sarasota High School said, she
> could have availed herself of a lab stool.
> The Democratic Party holds the White House in rip-snortin' good times.
> The poverty, unemployment and crime rates are down along with other
> measurements of social distress; the economy is humming along as well
> as it has for decades; our nation is at peace; and the Republicans
> have nominated a veritable empty suit to run against a brainiac vice
> president whose positions on most issues are favored by a majority of
> voters.
> It should be a rout. Yet most polls show a dead heat, and Gore seems
> on the verge of blowing the election by compulsively displaying an
> allergy to accuracy.
> His opponents call them lies, but that's usually too strong. Gore
> embellishes, he exaggerates, he fudges, he uses unreliable sources and
> he neglects to stress the nuances that would leave listeners with
> accurate understandings. From "Love Story" to Love Canal to the
> creation of the Internet to, now, Sarasota High School--where, in
> fact, a $17 million budget shortfall in the district has caused
> overcrowding--Gore usually has the essential ideas correct, as I have
> noted in several columns.
> But he inexplicably gilds them with, well, what? Nouns fail me. Online
> journalist Mickey Kaus calls them "fiblets." I'm partial to
> "twisties," "distortionettes," "demifacts", "Shetland whoppers", and
> "microbunk."
> And what must secretly drive his handlers crazy is how unnecessary
> they are. There was no need for him to put Kailey's in the present
> tense, just as there was no need during the debate for him to say
> falsely that he'd never questioned whether Bush had the experience to
> be president or to dredge up the false memory that he "accompanied
> [Federal Emergency Management Agency Director] James Lee Witt down to
> Texas when those fires [in Parker County] broke out."
> The Gore campaign maintains that these were trivial inaccuracies, yet
> it is that very triviality that makes them so troubling. Most of us
> have learned from long experience to shrug off the slime and slop and
> swagger of political rhetoric--the traditional campaign codswallop
> such as Bush's mendacious assertion Tuesday that Gore has outspent him
> in this race--but Gore's weird and seemingly reflexive deviations are
> getting harder to dismiss as they accumulate.
> That said, I wish to borrow from Gore's playbook in responding to
> critics who pointed out that the phrase "well done!" in French is not
> "bien sait!" as I wrote in Thursday's column, but "bien fait."
> It was a joke. My memory failed me. I was misled by an adviser. It's a
> corruption of the language popular in Toulouse. Writers at the
> Sun-Times have made more significant errors. And, moreover, the phrase
> was 87 percent accurate and the point still stands.
> Now can we please, please devote ourselves to attacking real problems
> rather than attacking columnists personally?
> E-mail:
> This is no way to lose an election. Can we get some candidates with
> serious flaws next time around, please? How about Jim Wright vs Newt
> Gingrich?
> Cheers,
> Wayne

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